Friday 3rd odf March 2017 It was big welcome back to Donny Graham as he returned to the East Kilbride Rotary Club last Friday to regale the members with his poetry in the auld Scots tongue. Donny, from Milngavie and a member of the Glasgow Haggis Club, sets many of his poems on the local inns and particularly about the resident bar maids. However his first ditty was about the Carbeth Inn, recently closed and immortalised in Sir Walter Scott's novel Rob Roy. Many of his poems are on his poetic Milngavie pub crawl starting at the Cross keys, on to the Black Bull Hotel, then the Talbot Arms and finishing back at the Cross Keys. Almost all the poems include the bar maids, Rashnin at the Cross Keys and Nadia in the Talbot Arms. It was a wonderful 15 minutes of colourful and humorous entertainment, mentioned in the vote of thanks by member Ian Macpherson, who went to thank Donny commenting that as long as Donny was penning his poems Burns memory would live on.
Picture above with club President Bruce Gunn
Kittoch Rotary Club member, Ron James spoke on the 17th of March 2017 about the "The Northern Lights and the Arctic Circle" at the East Kilbride Rotary Club lunch last Friday. Ron took a flight in 2009 over the Orkney Isles to view the Northern Lights. A chance remark that he might like to see the lights from the ground saw the seed sown and he set about arranging a trip to see the Aurora blazing across the Arctic. The journey started from Heathrow flying to Tromso in Northern Norway and then on to Karesuando in Northern Sweden. The temperature was -22°C so wrapping up in warm clothing was paramount. It took Ron 20 minutes to put on 3 pairs of socks, 4 layers of clothing, 2 pairs of gloves with mitts on top and finally an outer suit followed with a mask and goggles. The most important task was to remember a toilet break before donning all the clothes! Ron's expedition included cross country skiing, trips on snowmobiles and travelling on dog sleighs. While there he visited the indigenous people known as Sami, they don't like to be called Laplanders. They live in tepees and herd reindeer selling the meat to the Russians. Also in the itinerary was a visit to an ice hotel. All this took place in January when there was only 4 hours of daylight each day. Concluding his talk Ron admitted that after all his planning, organising and trudging through snow in freezing temperatures he never got to see the Northern Lights.
On the 31st of March 2017 Lesley Ingram, Chairperson of Ashcraig Former Pupils Club, shared her journey of 7 years with the members of East Kilbride Rotary Club recounting how they created the club and the many hurdles they had to overcome. The Former Pupils Club provides an environment for young adults with physical and or visual disabilities. They provide an avenue for the members to socialise, take part in games and learn new skills which also give respite for a number of hours to the parents and carers. Following the withdrawal of funds by the Education Department a committee made up of parents and club members formed with a view to regenerating the club, raising funds and broadening the range of experiences on offer to the young adults. For several years they were based in the former Ashcraig School. A weekly partnership with Urban Fox was established to deliver a sports programme for members while others took part in Quizzes, bingo, baking or playing snooker. With the new format in place the committee sought other ways of developing as a club. Young inspirational speakers were asked along to the club such as Shona who had volunteered in Africa despite being wheel chair bound. These success stories of the achievements of other young disabled encouraged the members to believe anything is possible. Fostering relationships with Glasgow Disability Alliance who organised First Aid courses, Alcohol Awareness and chair and Massage therapy, Creative Electric for drama sessions and Project Ability delivering art-based projects expanded the member's experiences. The latest project is the very successful summer camps initially ran for 6 days and now extended to 2 weeks. Lesley finished saying that the hard work by the committee, staff and members over the last 7 years has enriched the lives of the young disabled adults. Her colleague Ian Johnstone detailed the financial difficulties with running the club, how they have to raise £50,000 each year to keep the club running with transport being the most significant cost. Rotarian Ian Craig gave a sincere vote of thanks.