Thursday - 28 November 2013

Thursday 28 November saw the local Hamilton heat of the 2014 Youth Speak Competition being held at the University of the West of Scotland, Hamilton .Teams from three local secondary schools took part in the Intermediate and Senior competitions which were very closely fought

In the Intermediate contest, the John Ogilvie High School team comprising Missy McLaren, Clare Kellachan and Jodi Brownlie were successful and in the Senior contest, the Hamilton College team of Ronyn Gibb, Steven McLaughlin and Brendan Howard were the winners on this occasion. Both teams will now go forward to the West of Scotland District heats in the New Year   

All photos include Club President Archie Russell

John Ogilvie High School Intermediate Team- Missy McLaren, Clare Kellachan, Jodi Brownlie.


Calderside Academy Intermediate No 1 Team - Stephanie Doudie, Sophie McInnes, Kaya Sneddon.


Calderside Academy Intermediate No 2 Team - Nicole Duncan, Kirsty Stewart, Nicola Stewart.


Hamilton College Intermediate Team - Georgia Henderson, Callum Rodger, Robbie Houston.


Hamilton College Senior Team - Ronyn Gibb, Steven McLaughlin, Brendan Howard.


John Ogilvie High School Senior Team  - Erin Duffy, Joseph Kellachan, Martin McPherson.


Calderside Academy Senior Team  - Lindsay Clelland, Alex McLean, Emily Boyd.




Saturday - 23 November 2013

Rotarians and guests visited the Scottish Football Museum at Hampden Park, Glasgow for a tour around both the stadium and museum.

The visit was rather poignant as members saw the display of football photographs taken by recently deceased Club Honorary member and Past President Charlie McBain during his long career as a Press photographer and includes a photo of Charlie complete with camera in hand. The display was officially unveiled by Charlie’s wife Blythe at the beginning of November. In addition our Group was shown around by Charlie’s brother Sandy.

The photo shows Sandy McBain with Rotarians and guests



Saturday-   2 November 2013

The “Autumn?” tidy up of the gardens at Douglas and Avon wards at Udston Hospital took place today.
After a promising dry start, the heavens opened and participating Rotarians were well watered by the end of the morning. Chaps were involved in various tasks from weeding to sweeping, cleaning baskets to planting pansies and daffs for a spring display   

Naw , it's your shot to hoe !!

Harry Doyle , the bulb meister with his assistants David Evans and Jim Glass

Group photo -- Harry Doyle , David Evans , Bruce Cruickshank. Jim Glass, Mark Williams, Bernie Crozier and Jim Provan



Fundraising update – 19 October 2013

On Saturday 19 October, members of the club took part in a fundraising bag pack at the Marks and Spencer’s Store in Duke Street, Hamilton. International convenor David Evans was very pleased with the response from the public with a total sum of £425.12 raised for Rotary Club Charities and Projects



Weekly Report – 10 October 2013

Guest Speaker John Parkhill gave the club a very interesting overview of the Day and Night time courses available to older persons being run by Strathclyde University. The diverse range of subjects was covered in detail and John provided members with catalogues giving further information on times and dates (and prices)

Members asked a considerable numbers of questions with Hamish H Wilson giving the vote of thanks

The photo shows ( left to right – Hamish H Wilson, John Parkhill , President Archie Russell and Secretary Robin Wilkie)  




Rotary Visit to BBC Studios - 14 September 2013

Twenty four members and wives enjoyed a tour of the studios at Pacific Quay in Glasgow on Saturday. We were escorted by two  charming guides who explained the work done in Glasgow in the production of programmes for news, sports, drama and outside broadcasts. There was some excitement as John Barrowman was in the building as well as Tam Cowan and four members went on to view a recording of a new game show.

The guides took great pleasure in getting seven of us to produce a radio play about a haunted house. Head of Scottish has not yet been in contact with anyone with a contract of employment. Could do better was the opinion of the audience.




Weekly Report - 12 September 2013

Our meeting welcomed John Derbyshire of JDC Ecology who gave Rotary, information on his survey of Cadzow Oaks, the remaining part of the Scottish primeval forest. John has been working with Hamilton Golf Club in helping to relocate a badger sett to an area closer to Chatelherault Country Park.
His career is an extensive one having in the beginning worked with the famous Fred Dibnah on the difficult demolition of giant chimneys, the leftovers of the industrial age. He has currently been examining the last major primeval forest in Poland. His work in Scotland includes ecological consultation on bats and badgers for Scottish National Heritage. He recently surveyed gannet life on Ailsa Craig while the curling stone company was extracting a 10 year supply of granite.

His talk set the scene of his examination of the 337 oak trees in a 5 mile circumference of the high parks. Previously the theory was that the oaks had been planted to form a deer forest for King David I in the 12th century but current opinion is that the oak woods have always been there. At present John has calculated, using dendrochronology (the study of tree rings), that the oldest began its growth in 1444. All 337 trees have been tagged and measured. The diameter and circumference is measured at 1.3 metres above ground level and information on health obtained through checking acorns, any fungus, broken branches and cavities. An oak tree takes 300 years to grow fully, 300 years as mature tree and another 300 into old age.

After many questions, Mark Williams gave the vote of thanks with the hope that John can return to speak again about our local natural history. Mark also wished that John would bring his penny farthing bicycle next time for a demonstration. Interestingly, John suggested that Rotary could join with Hamilton Golf Club in helping to regenerate some new oaks by potting some harvested acorns and growing these on before planting in the High Park and golf course area.

Forestry Commission Photograph



John Ogilvie Presentation - 12 September 2013

Rotary Club President Archie Russell with Dux Medallist Gillian Cuthbertson  at the John Ogilvie High School annual Senior Awards ceremony held at the school during September . The Rotary Club of Hamilton is delighted to sponsor the Medal for the school ..




Weekly Report - 5 September 2013

Committee leaders gave the club update reports on the projects for this session. Dux and Proxime Accessit (runners up) medals are being presented to John Ogilvie High. Arrangements for the Youth Speaks Competition were underway and Marks and Spencers have allowed us a bag-packing session on 19th October to raise cash for Rotary Charities. Jim Provan and wife represented Rotary at a 3 hour Dance Marathon in the Hilton in Glasgow. Three sessions included 40’s Swing, Line Dancing and Ceilidh left them exhausted but able to donate £300 to The STV Appeal 2013.

The club then heard from District Governor Richard Lees about attending the International Convention in San Diego. Targets included development of Youth through junior clubs and the long term project for Polio eradication. Unfortunately Polio has re-emerged in Somalia and Kenya which had been virtually polio free. Rotary’s fundraising has an agreement with the Bill and Melina Gates foundation who will give $2 for every $1 raised by Rotary. Rotary hopes that this will provide $525 Million over the next 5 years. Much food for thought for the members.


Weekly Report - 29 August 2013

Hamilton Rotary paid a visit to the library in the Town House, Cadzow Street. We were taken to the Reference Library where Irene Bent and Scott Broadfoot showed some of the treasures and then provided a whirlwind tour the building. Many of the really ancient books had been donated by members of the public. One volume on display was the minute book of Hamilton Town Council starting from 1700. It contains the signature of the famous Dr. William Cullen who was a Baillie in the town during the 1730s. There followed a visit to 8 levels within the building to see the storage area for books and maps related to Lanarkshire as well as out of print fiction. The inter-library service means that there are calls on Hamilton material which is sent to libraries and universities throughout the United Kingdom.

Historical documents are kept in a rather chilly controlled atmosphere room and it was here that some members of the club found that they are now part of history.

The weekly meeting was continued with a meal at the Bombay Cottage restaurant where our host and fellow member, Nirmal Singh, provided suggestions to those new to the Indian cuisine.

Thanks were expressed by President Archie Russell at both the Library and the restaurant.



Weekly Report - 22 August 2013

Gary Loutit, the Assistant District Governor spoke to the club about Interact.

Interact clubs, sponsored by individual Rotary clubs, are youth clubs for 12-18 year olds. Every year, Interactors complete at least two projects in their communities, one of which is overseas, helping them build friendships and a better understanding with young people in other  countries

Clubs can be drawn from the student body of a single school or from two or more schools in the same community and can be either single gender or mixed.

Gary’s home club of Renfrew, with the support of the Head Teachers of both schools in the town, Renfrew High School and Trinity High School, launched a new Interact Club for 14 – 18 year olds. The club has an after school joint meeting lasting 45 minutes and hopes to hone skills in good citizenship and community action as part of Curriculum for Excellence.

Hamilton Rotary agreed to consider approaching the town’s schools to see if they would be interested in such a development.

One of our members,Bruce Cruickshank, Course Manager for Hamilton Golf Club, gave a entertaining talk on golf ball history and development but it was unlikely to improve any member’s golf score. Bruce had sliced open some balls to examine the core at which one member muttered that he also was very adept at slicing.

Scotland’s Festival of History at Chatelherault Country Park. Rotarians assisted on the entry gate on Sunday and thoroughly enjoyed themselves undertaking two busy shifts.



Sunday 18 August 2013

On the weekend of 17 and 18 August, Scotland’s Festival of History was run at Chatelherault Country Park.  Rotarians assisted on the entry gate on 18 August and thoroughly enjoyed themselves undertaking two busy shifts.  Club Members - Steve Brough, Stan Cook, Bruce Cruickshank, David Evans, Bob Hamilton, Jim Provan and Euan Stirrat all assisted on the day.

The photo shows Euan Stirrat with a small Pirate     



Saturday 17 August 2013

Saturday 17 August saw club members of the Rotary Club of Hamilton fundraising for charity at the Asda Hamilton Superstore.  Members packed bags at Asda for customers in aid of WaterAid which supports the installation of safe water and sanitation services in Africa, India and other places throughout the world. Over the afternoon, the sum of £353.10 was raised for the charity.

Members of the Rotary Club are very appreciative of the support from both customers and staff at Asda Hamilton
The picture shows Rotarians Steve Brough, Bruce Cruickshank, Harry Doyle, David Evans, Alison Hardier, Euan Stirrat and Hamish Wilson. (Jim Provan took the photo)



Weekly Report - 8 Aug 2013

Thursday night had the Hamilton Rotary members taking a deep breath as we were given a talk on life UNDER the ocean wave. Chief Petty Officer Peter Harvie described the life of a submariner from his experience in 5 subs during 23 years in the Royal Navy.

He signed on for twenty years and trained in many areas of engineering which skills are certainly required in the isolated life on a submarine. His tasks cover the systems using electronics and hydraulics to ensure navigation and battle readiness and at the same time make sure the showers and toilets are working.  If the showers were down for 3 or 4 days then the crew would be rather sticky; it’s not as if you can go outside for a breather.

Before setting sail the crew have to go through training (a work up period), where they are set problems to be fixed without any outside help.

At sea the shifts are 6 hours on 6 hours off but in repair mode you are on until it is fixed. Peter has had to do a 72 hour stint which he euphemistically said was tiring. Action stations are done weekly and at the drop of a hat so the crew is in constant readiness.
Submarines are under water for 12 weeks at a time and only the top brass know where they are. What day of the week it is can be best described as “if it is curry then it is Wednesday”. For a crew of 172 a huge amount of food is required for 3 months, and heaven help the chef who has under-provided. One occasion saw tea bags being hung up to dry for use in an emergency. 

Crowding is always a problem and the sleeping bunks are best described as coffins. Crew does not get bad news and are limited to 120 word messages. Any medical treatment has to be done and so far Peter has not seen any operations done on the dining table. There is a gym with bike and cross trainers and many use computer game machines.

The members fired questions about international training exercises, about hide and seek, who are the enemy etc, with Peter explaining that if he gave out the secrets he would have to shoot everyone and spoil the evening.
Ian Brown proposed the vote of thanks and the members responded with great enthusiasm.  




Weekly Report - 1 August 2013

The Rotary Club of Hamilton was enthralled by speaker Brian McKenzie who is a long time member of Lanark Golf Club. Brian regaled the members with golfing stories that covered his 56 years of golf and his talk featured some of the 140 courses he has played during that time. Though Brian has played many of the famous courses in the British Isles he has also encountered courses throughout Europe, the U.S.A., the Caribbean and Dubai.

He recounted, when on one of his visits to Carnoustie Golf Club, he was asked by the starter to fill in his start time, occupation etc. on the sheet before going to the 1st tee. He glanced at the entry above his and asked did they get a lot of jokers at this club? The starter looked bemused and asked what he meant. Brian pointed out the previous golfer under occupation had written ‘Astronaut ‘.The official quietly explained, the previous golfer was not a ‘Joker ‘, he was Neil Armstrong!

The course Brian rated the most highly was Kingsbarns at St. Andrews. It was an extremely interesting talk full of anecdotes and laughter, a well deserved and hearty vote of thanks was given by Steve Brough.



Saturday 27 July 2013

Hamilton Rotarians ran a “Table Top” sale for Rotary Charities at Cadzow Church, South Hall today

The picture shows the members in action   



Weekly Report  - 11 July 2013

Rotarian Bruce Cruickshank provided members with an outside visit of sorts. We were treated to a walk around Hamilton Golf Course to be shown the various land management programmes which are underway to maintain and improve the course.

The photos shows Bruce and members during the tour  




Weekly Report – 27 June 2013

This week marks the change of Club officials with Archie Russell taking over as President for the year ahead. The photo shows outgoing President Steve Brough congratulating Archie on his appointment  




Weekly Report – 20 June 2013

New member Alison Harvie  provided the club with a job talk



Weekly Report – 13 June 2013

New member Bruce Cruickshank provided the club with a job talk




Weekly Report - 21 May 2013

Joint meeting with the Rotary Club of Bothwell & Uddingston at Bothwell .




Weekly Report - 16 May 2013

Our meeting was a return "outside" visit to Strathaven Brewery -- Strathaven Ales is a microbrewery just outside Strathaven with has a comprehensive collection of "real" ale which is retailed through Scotland and even into the Continent .

Some members took the brewery tour, some just sampled the "wares" , some had more "wares" than others and probably got into trouble when they got home !!


Whatever the position, an enjoyable evening was had by all




Udston Hospital Garden Tidy Up – 11 May 2013

Saturday 11 May saw Rotarians visit the gardens outside Douglas and Avon wards of Udston Hospital for the first tidy up of the year. Despite the rain, those who attended weeded, planted and generally “squared up” the garden and filled the hanging baskets in the hope of a reasonable summer.

The Gang

Artist at work

Gardener at work ?


I have my “ding a ling” ( it’s a wind chime)

What will I do with this?

It’s nice to be happy at work!




Primary School Quiz 2013

The Rotary Club of Hamilton’s annual Primary Schools Quiz competition was held in Townhill Primary School on Wednesday 8 May.  As usual the competitors and supporters were enthusiastic and the competition closely contested.
Rotarian Jim Provan set and asked the questions in a room filled with supporting parents, teachers, pupils and interested Rotarians, all of whom enjoyed the closely fought contest.  Throughout there was a friendly and good competitive atmosphere in the room.

The quiz consisted of 10 rounds of six questions covering varying topics; some of questions the 80 odd adult spectators found difficult to answer. After a keenly fought contest St Mary’s Primary School came out as winners closely followed by runner up Chatelherault Primary School, and in third position Hamilton College.  The winning team was presented with gift vouchers, a winner’s certificate and the winners shield by club President Elect, Archie Russell.  The other competing schools were St Elizabeth’s, St Mark’s, St Peter's and Townhill Primary Schools

The Primary Schools Quiz is a national competition and winners, St Mary’s will represent Hamilton in the final which takes place on 20 May.

Photograph one shows the winning team, Alana Gallacher, Katie Ireland, Skye Higgins and Cameron Murphy with club President Elect, Archie Russell.

Photograph two shows the Rotary team



Annual Walk - 4 to 6 May 2013

This year saw nine walkers covered part of the “Mary Queen of Scots Way” which runs from Arrochar to St Andrews.   The section chosen to walk was from Glenfarg to St Andrews and was spread over the three days—Glenfarg to Falkland, Falkland to Ceres and Ceres to St Andrews using Falkland as a base.

The weather was relatively kind to the walkers who all enjoyed the experience and the fellowship in the evenings. Thanks to Mark Williams for organising the weekend  

Participating Rotarians Jack Baillie, David Evans, Bob Hamilton, Kenneth Miller, Jim Provan (1 day), Lawrence Scott, Robin Wilkie, Mark Williams and his son Harry Williams.

Starting off from Glenfarg

What is Robin (left) doing?

Waterfall near Falkland

Day two outside Falkland Palace



Journeys end



Weekly Report – 2 May 2013

James Gibbons, a member of the Rotary Club of Motherwell & Wishaw provided the club with a slide presentation entitled “ Freezin for a reason”

James gave members an overview his ten day dog sledge trek through Lapland with teams of Huskies and all the adventures encountered en route. A group of eight persons took part in the trek within the Arctic Circle and covered around 100 miles. It was a sponsored event for Cancer Research UK (you had to raise £3.5k to take part- James raised £7k).

Hamish G Wilson provided the vote of thanks on behalf of the club  



Youth Speaks Update - 28 April 2013

Sunday 28 April saw the Senior Team from John Ogilvie High School (sponsored by the Rotary Club of Hamilton) compete in the RIBI National Finals of the Youth Speaks in Hull.

The competition aims to offer young people:

 an experience in speaking on a public platform as a member of a team

 an incentive to formulate ideas on topical subjects

 the discipline in dealing with a topic in a limited time

 the opportunity of learning and practising high standards of expression, presentation and appearance

The Team was competing  against another 6 schools from throughout England and Wales who had won through to their own Club, District and Regional contests, therefore, the standard of presentation was extremely high.

The three boys, Matthew Campbell ( Main Speaker), Aidan Hutcheson ( Chairperson) and Joseph Kellachan ( Vote of Thanks ) gave a strong performance and were successful in achieving second place in the National Contest, Joseph Kellachan won the individual prize for the best Proposer of the Vote of Thanks

The Club and the school are both delighted with the achievement of the team in a very strong competition .     

Patricia Anderson, coach and English teacher at the school writes :-

“Congratulations to Aidan Hutcheson, Matthew Campbell and Joseph Kellachan who came runners-up in the Rotary Youth Speaks National Finals in Hull !

The boys’ performance of their speech, “We’re All Cheats” was nothing short of PHENOMENAL – they even blew me away and I’ve heard it at least 92 times!  

I was shaking in my boots when they went up last out of the seven teams in the competition as the standard set was so high,but I have never been more gobsmacked and proud of them for how they raised their game to put themselves in contention in front of an audience of hundreds. Countless Rotarians, VIPs and members of the audience came to commend the boys during the decision making time which speaks volumes (pardon the pun!). Author Gervaise Phinn who was Master of Ceremonies made a point of seeking out all three boys to praise them personally and from someone who speaks for a living, that’s a very nice pat on the back indeed.

Alas though it was not to be our day as Brentwood (public) School from Essex were crowned winners for their fine performance. They didn’t do a clean sweep though as individual prizes were awarded for the best Chairperson, Main Speaker and Proposer of the Vote of Thanks across all seven teams and Joseph was awarded that accolade for the latter of those three- an outstanding achievement! I’m running out of adjectives to describe how proud I am and how special an afternoon it was but it was truly a rare and precious thing to witness (and worth all the form filling!). Well done the boys – second in the full of the UK is a momentous achievement (managed to find one more adjective) !”

Team members - Aidan Hutcheson,Joseph Kellachan and Matthew Campbell.

Teacher Patricia Anderson and the team - Aidan Hutcheson, Matthew Campbell and Joseph Kellachan.

Joseph Kellachan with his "Best Proposer of the Vote of Thanks Award"

The Team, The Teacher and accompanying Rotarians Stan Cook and Jim Provan



Weekly Report - 18 April 2013

At this week’s meeting, President Elect , Archie Russell and Club Secretary,  Robin Wilkie welcomed two new members to the club – Bruce Cruickshank and Alison Harvie.



Weekly Report - 11 April 2013


A lot of planning, research, physical and mental training and here was David Evans from Strathaven and 3 of his pals at the base of Mount Everest in the Himalayas. Their journey started on 12 October and they set off looking forward to their visit to the mountains, valleys and villages of Khumbu Himal.

Oman to Kathmandu in Nepal was their last plane journey before they joined up with their guides, sherpas, cook, porters and yaks in Lukla.Their next stop at 11,300 feet was Namche Bazar where they formed their base for a few days to acclimatise before heading into the more serious mountains, valleys and high villages. They paid a visit to the local monastery where a “safe journey” blessing was received before heading off for Dingboche at 14,500 feet.

Unfortunately one of the team developed altitude sickness and he and the cook descended to Namche Bazar to recuperate .They party carried on until they reached the vast ice flow of the Khumboo glacier at the base of Everest next to the mountain pass at Thokla where various memorial stones and death masks are displayed. The next stop was Gorak Shep at 17,000 feet where they rested for 2 nights .David and one of the sherpas climbed to the top of Kala Pattar ,this was their final peak at 18,300 feet and adjacent to the Chinese border.

19 days later and a wee bit lighter in weight, David and his colleagues returned home to Scotland with lots of photographs and stories to tell.

The vote of thanks was delivered by Alex Torrance


Weekly Report - 4 April 2013


Inspector Maurice Rhodes of the new Police Service of Scotland gave us an insight into his role within the Trunk Road Patrol Group, Motherwell which covers a vast section of policing mainly within the former Strathclyde roads areas. Today 4 April he was on duty with VIP patrol for the visit of William and Kate in the west of Scotland, in the past he has been involved in the escort of category A prisoners from Barlinnie and Shotts prisons. He explained that planning for such visits can take weeks, months and sometimes over a year, citing the recent  Pope’s visit as such an example.

He showed some videos of drivers over the limit driving at speed in excess of 100mph in the centre of Glasgow and the surrounding areas, some due to excess alcohol and emphasised the Force’s focus on ‘Keeping People Safe’.
Inspector Rhodes has been in the Police Force for 31 years and of those 14 years has been spent in the Road Policing Department, a section of the police which covers a lot of specialist training mainly on the roads and streets around central Scotland. He explained the Advanced Police Driving method ‘System of Car Control’ in cars, on motorcycles, and specialist 4X4 and 6X6 vehicles, and other specialist duties such as assisting the military, witness protection, crash investigation, firearms, VIP protection , ANPR vehicle recognition and many others , whilst also explaining the main training and duties carried out by the Road Policing Units.

Maurice highlighted the Automatic Number Plate recognition cameras which can record  whether you have a road licence, insurance, MOT etc.and explained that the camera reads 15 number plates per second—so beware !!

The vote of thanks was delivered by Kenneth Miller



Weekly Report - 28 March 2013

The Rotary Club of Motherwell & Wishaw was the host at this year’s joint meeting with Hamilton with the club running an event – “ An evening with William Topaz McGonagall” , the famed Tragedian and Poet whose most famous work is the “Tay Bridge Disaster”. It’s a sort of a “Burns night” but with several twists.

Dress is “Formal” with gentlemen wearing a flat cap and scarf. The evening starts with a Final Toast, the meal starts with coffee and mints and works backwards through the various courses finishing with the starter – the main course is invariably “stovies”.  The evening concludes with a welcome. Rather than applause for speakers those present are encouraged to boo and hiss at the performers


. Ian Carrol

Ian Carrol

The evening was hosted  by Motherwell & Wishaw President ( or Heidyin) Ian Carrol with member Archie McCunn  surpassing himself as McGonagall himself giving a sort of an “immortal memory”. During the evening we also had a rendition of the Tay Bridge Disaster as well as a number of other poems , one of which was delivered by Hamilton Past President ( or Past Heidyin) Mark Williams.

Archie McCunn

Archie McCunn

Mark Williams

Mark Williams

This is the second McGonagall evening hosted by Motherwell & Wishaw club which Hamilton club have attended and the event was thoroughly enjoyed by all those present.





Weekly Report - 21 March 2013

St Kilda Islands and Their Inhabitants

Hirta, Boreray, Soay and Dun form the main islands of the St Kilda group which lie approx 50 miles west of Benbecula.The islands were granted World Heritage status in 1986 and are one of the few in the world to have natural and cultural qualities and are Europe’s largest bird sanctuary with Atlantic puffins, Northern gannets and Northern fulmars being the main birds. The islands were originally owned by the McLeod family and the ground rental was paid by the islanders to the McLeod’s with the oil and feathers from the fulmar birds, today the owners are the National Trust for Scotland.

Today artistic interpretations with songs by Runrig and Anne Lorne Gillies, poems by Thos Skelton and Helen Scott, films by Bill Bryden and Michael Powell and an opera have been made of the islands and its past inhabitants highlighting the isolation and the difficulties of living on such a remote location. The source of food was potatoes, barley and sheep but the main source was sea birds and fish and it is estimated that in a year there was 20 thousand gannets and 89 thousand puffins eaten by the inhabitants including many thousands of tons of fish, not a varied diet in today’s terms.

Smallpox, tetanus, flue epidemics and food shortages caused many deaths and by 1930 only 36 inhabitants remained.
Religious zeal and the 1st world war brought the evacuation of the islands on 29 August 1930 and the only people to inhabit today are volunteers in the summer who rebuild the ruined stone buildings and a few MOD personnel who attend the radar station.

Jim Percival from Wishaw whose ancestors has lived on St Kilda gave a very well prepared talk assisted with photographs, poems and songs.

The vote of thanks was delivered by Ian MacGregor.



Weekly Report – 14 March 2013

Our speaker this week was Gerard Falsey and his subject was “organ donation”.  Hamilton born Gerard is a receiver of the donated lung which was transplanted in February 2011.

Gerard was a premature baby and suffered a genetic lung disease in one lung and asthma in the other. He worked full time until his mid 20’s but was inclined to recurrent infections from which he was not recovering properly before he caught another one as a result of which his health was gradually declining. 

He was assessed to go on the organ transplant programme around 2008 at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle when he was put on the single living transplant list ( to go on this list you are estimated  to have 12/24 month life expectancy ) . He spent 20 months on the waiting list during which time he had 9 false alarm calls which involved him going down to the hospital in Newcastle. During that period his health had deteriorated to the extent that he was being fed by tube and in a wheelchair. The final call in February 2011 involved an 11 hour operation following which he felt the difference immediately and enjoyed a fairly smooth recovery leading to discharge from hospital 5 weeks after the operation. His life has now returned to a more normal level and he is devoting some of his time to  promoting the organ donation service and the charity “Live Life and Then Give Life”

Organ transplants have been one of the great medical success stories of the second part of the 20th century. Age is no barrier to donation. Presently there are 7500 people on the waiting list with 30% of the UK population on the Donation register.



Update 17 March 2013

The Regional Finals of the Youth Speak competitions took place today at Pollokshaws Burgh Hall in Glasgow
The Hamilton Club sponsored team from John Ogilvie High School won the Senior Contest against teams from St Luke’s High School, Barrhead, Whitley Bay High School and High Tunstall College of Science, Hartlepool.


The Intermediate Competition was won by a team from The High School of Glasgow

Both teams go on to take part in the National Final of Youth Speak which is being held in Hull on 28 April  



Octave in Concert - 6 March 2013

Hamilton Rotary members and friends were entertained in St John’s Church, Hamilton on Wednesday 6th March to a musical evening by Octave, a local amateur choir .They entertained with songs from the musicals, the Beatles, Barry Manilow, Sting and many others. Approx £1000.00 was raised from the 100 plus people who attended and will be used for local charities and other good causes. The music was directed by David Fisher with singers Janis Cunningham, Esther O’Hara, Kirsty Ross, Julie Thomson, and Carol Whitelaw with male singers John McKenzie, Jonathan Proctor and Raymond Tulips.

The evening was organised by Arthur Barrie introduced by Jim Provan and the vote of thanks was given by Club President Steve Brough.

Octave is taking over the GLO Centre ,Motherwell from 12-14 September for three nights of charity concerts . Details can be obtained from Shona Fisher on 01357 523149



Update  - 6 March 2013

Today President Steve Brough paid a visit to John Ogilvie High School to formally present our Youth Speaks Senior Trophy to the school team comprising  Aidan Hutcheson,  Matthew Campbell and Joseph Kellachan. The Team will be participating in the Area Final ( which covers Teams from both Scotland and the North of England) which is being held at Pollokshaws Burgh hall on Sunday 17 March at 1pm.


Steve then had the opportunity to thanks pupil Matthew Brownlie who has been instrumental in refurbishing benches from Udston Hospital on behalf of the club. The benches had become rather weather beaten and Matthew has down a great job in restoring them to their formal glory



Weekly Report - 28 February 2013

The speaker this week was Bob Dalziel who gave the club a very interesting talk on “The Glasgow Tobacco Lords”

In the years from 1707 to 1783  the “Glasgow tobacco lords “were the wealthiest men in Europe with their enormous mansions, lavish life style , expensive clothes and in some cases black slaves to attend to their needs.
The 3 main tobacco syndicates were headed by Glasgow merchants  William Cunningham , Alexander Speirs [Speirs Wharf] and John Glassford [Glassford Street].

Tobacco,rice,cotton and rum were the main imports from the American colonies and these goods transformed Glasgow into an international  centre of commerce .These imported goods were  reputed to “assist your body” so demand was huge and trade was very lucrative.

Glasgow merchants had financed trading missions to Chesapeake since 1707 and they began to dominate the tobacco imports to Europe after 1740.

The Tobacco lords made their money not only from importing these goods but also re-exporting tobacco through Scottish ports as well. They invested their money in industry and land and many built large townhouses in the centre of Glasgow. One spectacular townhouse owned by William Cunningham still stands in Queen Street, was the Stirling Library, and is now the Museum of Modern Art , another is the Mitchell Library ,the building being donated by Stephen Mitchell a not so well known tobacco lord.

The demise of these business men was sparked off by the American War of Independence in 1775.The American planters were heavily in debt to the Glasgow merchants and collection of these debts was impossible at the time of hostilities. In 1783 when peace came the new independent United States could send tobacco direct to Europe and the use of the Glasgow merchants was reduced dramatically.

The vote of thanks was well presented by  Harry Doyle



Weekly Report - 21 February 2013

Digital Hearing by Russell Borland

Statistics show that when you reach over the age of 50 you have a 40% chance of hearing reduction, over the age of 60 you have a 55% chance and over the age of 70 you have a 70% chance of hearing reduction.

Russell explained the above statistics and also commented that ladies were better than men and that loss of hearing can start as low as 20 years of age. Hearing loss is caused by the length of time that you are exposed to noise not particularly the volume of the noise .The most common exposure is pop concerts, disco type entertainment, workshops, building sites, farm workers, dentists, teachers, and other similar situations. Ear defenders are the best form of reducing noise but loss of hearing can cause stress and other forms of ailments and denial and vanity play an important aspect of hearing loss. Russell who is a Registered Health Professional and a Hearing Aid Audiologist explained that he was born deaf but after several operations he has his hearing restored to 90%.

Hearing assist devices are now very sophisticated and have a vast range of design and cost depending on your budget. Minimum £300 to maximum £4000 per each ear is the cost and each piece requires several visits to be tuned to the individual’s requirements. You cannot purchase hearing aids via the internet but in the national press there will be hearing awareness schemes to assist with ear testing in Asda and other locations .Aspirin can reduce your hearing loss by approx 4% but doctor’s advice should be sought. Hearing aids are available via the NHS , the scope is good but limited. Coffee, migraine and diet can be the cause of tinnitus which has no cure but can be managed.

The vote of thanks was given by Arthur Barrie



Weekly Report - 14 February 2013

David Pirrat, retired Hamilton solicitor and member of the Rotary Club of Strathaven was this week’s speaker with a talk entitled “Ramblings of a lawyer”. 

This was an overview of prisons from the 19th century onwards highlighting that although crime rates have actually dropped, the worldwide prison population has increased significantly. In 2007, there were app 9m people in prison worldwide.
Prisons have only been used as a primary punishment for criminal acts over the last couple of hundred years having replaced corporal punishment, penal bondage and capital punishment. Most crime has its roots in alcohol and/or drug misuse although there are underlying issues of poor literacy and lack of learning.

The highest prisoner rate per 100k of population is the USA at 730, the UK comes in around 154 with most European countries being around the same or lower. USA had 5% of the world population but 25% of the world prison population.   
David provided the club an insight to the reasons for the significant disparity in the prison population in the USA where there are app 2.3m prisoners compared to about 80k in the UK. For example, Florida has an ordinary population of a quarter of the UK with app 100k in prison. David highlighted the tendency in the USA towards using prison as a solution rather community sentencingwith capital punishment still in operations in several States.

The club was given an interesting comparison of prisons and the sentencing regimes in different countries

The Vote of thanks was given by member David Evans


Weekly Report - 7 February 2013

Donating 200 Pints

David Fanshawe found himself working in a chocolate factory in 1959 during his gap year at university. The Blood Donation Service arrived at the factory and all were press ganged into giving blood. David continued to donate blood but in 1972 after donating ,he received a letter from Law Hospital asking him to attend.

David was apprehensive and no explanation was given in the letter but he was shocked when he discovered his blood contained Hepatitis B antibodies. By 1977 he had donated 100 pints and by 1984 had reached the staggering and maximum allowed --200 pints of blood.

David is a director for the Blood Donation Service and is on the ethics committee re the cost of blood donations and the cost of selling blood to private clinics [a tricky subject].Due to his epic donations and his service to the community .David recalled with a bit of humour how he was invited to meet Mrs Thatcher at 10 Downing Street where he met and enjoyed the company of others who had contributed to society.

David is a past president of the Rotary Club of Lanark and a member of Lanark Golf Club.

The vote of thanks was made by Past President Ian Bell



Weekly Report - 31 January 2013


Ex Lord Cornet, Gordon McGregor has been supporting and providing activities for children with disabilities and special needs from Stanmore School in Lanark on a voluntary basis for a number of years. Activities during the annual Adventure Holiday range from canoeing, abseiling, nature trailing, zip sliding and latterly a challenging off road wheelchair access to the top of Ben Nevis for 8 wheelchairs and 24 assistants.

Gordon has now decided to start a new independent project “Paradventures” which will provide a wider scope of activity assistance to both children and adults with disabilities.  His new project has the backing financially and physically from local firms such as Developing Local Community Fund through the Leader project at South Lanarkshire Council, Border Biscuits, Western Recreation Trust, Taggarts Land Rover, Sabre Systems and local organisations such as Lanark Round Table.
The catchment area for these activities is mainly Lanarkshire and the Lothians and covers ages from early teens up to 65 years of age.

Paradventures have proposed plans for several Adventure Holidays, Outdoor learning and proposed activities such as 3 peaks Scottish mountain walk challenges, Arthurs Seat in Edinburgh and further afield to the Italian Dolomites and Miami. Gordon with local assistance is designing and building all terrain wheelchairs.



Weekly Report – 17 January 2013


Hamilton Rotarians and their guests celebrated the annual Burns supper at Hamilton Golf Club on 17 January. The evening was organised by Ian Bell, chaired by Rotary President Steve Brough with top table speakers ,poets,singers and piper .Fraser Porteous piped in the haggis with Mark Williams the haggis carrier and John Sleith addressing the haggis in his entertaining fashion.The immortal memory was carried out by Archie Cowie,the toast to the lassies by Sandy Pender and the reply from the lassies by an entertaining Lesley McIlhagger.Ian MacGregor and Walter Mclaren provided the songs of Burns and the vote of thanks was carried out by Rotarian Archie Russell .

An entertaining evening was had by all who attended



Weekly Report – 10 January 2013


Ghana lies on the west coast of Africa with the main port of Accra facing into the Bay of Guinea.

It started with 3 local churches in Lanarkshire contacting churches in Ghana via Skype and soon twinning was developed with the result being a visit of 12 members of Hamilton presbytery including Allan Nicolson to  local churches, schools etc in Ghana.
Allan and his friends were living in an area several hundred miles inland where the facilities were not quite as attractive as Accra.The visitors were invited to a wedding very  soon after arrival when the ceremony lasted nearly 3 hours which is the same timescale as a normal church services.There are no supermarkets but mostly local markets selling everyday foods and provisions, smoking food is a speciality in the area in which they lived and lorries filled with charcoal could be seen regularly on the roads

The people are generally poor but happy and were curious to see strangers from Scotland. The visitors travelled to various churches and schools and met local children, church elders and the general public on their visit
Hamilton Grammar school has a connection with a local school in  the Donkorkrom district of Ghana and the members of that school paid a visit to Hamilton Grammar school and the Rotary club in September 2012     

The vote of thanks was well presented by Jack Baillie


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