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Presscuttings 2017

Tuesday 12 December 2017


President Mark Williams handing over 35 back packs to Rachael Park of Mary’s Meals . The back packs have been sponsored by Rotarians , the St John Ogilvie High School Interact Club and friends of Rotary. They will now be sent to Africa for the use children supported by the Mary’s Meals charity   




Monday 11 December 2017


The Interact Club at St John Ogilvie High School held a coffee morning at the school to raise funds to assist Mary’s Meals.

The pupils are seen here with President Mark Williams of the Rotary Club of Hamilton handing over back packs  to be delivered to Mary’s Meals for onward shipment to projects in Africa.

Each back pack has been filled with age specific items for girls or boys including sandals, shorts, T shirts, dresses, soap, toothpaste, stationery and a ball. These will be distributed at schools in Africa where Mary’s Meals provide food.



Youth Speaks Competition 23 November 2017


The Rotary Club of Hamilton's annual Youth Speaks competition was recently held in the U.W.S. Campus. Seven teams to part from Calderside Academy, Hamilton College and St. John Ogilvie in a hard fought competition in what proved an interesting and entertaining evening. Both the Intermediate and Senior sections were won by teams from Hamilton College. They will go on to represent Hamilton in the Glasgow District Final in February next year in an attempt to reach the Regional Final.

Intermediate team photo - Catherine Mackenzie, Megan Ruddy and Beth Leggate.


Senior team photo - Hannah Ord, Olivia Russell and Davina Markoff.




Meeting - 5 October 2017


At its regular Thursday meeting Hamilton Rotary club was treated to a visit from Sheila Moore and Elaine Perry volunteers for Guide Dogs accompanied by two beautiful Guide Dogs.

Less than 1% of their funding comes from the Government and therefore relies on the generosity of the public.
Current cost from birth to retirement is approximately £56,800.

It takes around 20 months of specialised training to transform a new born puppy into a confident guide dag.
The process of matching a blind person to a dog is rigorous and essential. Factors like public transport, children and workplace are just a few of the many factors that have to be taken into account.

Elaine then took over and told us how Ricky was matched to her.

Elaine was registered blind in 2012 and in 2013 her suitability to receive a guide dog was assessed. She was successful and started her training with Ricky in October 2013. They are now inseparable.

Guide dogs will normally work until they reach 9 – 11 years old. The age depends on the willingness of the dog to work and their continuing good health.

The photograph is of Elaine, her guide dog and President Mark Williams




Meeting - 28 September 2017

At its regular weekly meeting Hamilton Rotary Club was entertained by a talk by John McIlhagger on the history of the Highway Code.

He started by asking the members when they last read the Highway Code to reveal that most of us had read it in the early 1950s and maybe in the 1970s when our children were sitting their tests. Considering the huge changes in driving conditions perhaps this is rather lamentable.

The first publication of a Highway Code was published in 1931 and was “A code of good manners” and cost one penny.
It now costs £2.50.

The first cars appeared on the roads in 1894, regulated by the 1865 Locomotive Act requiring a man to walk in front of a car waving a red flag.

Whether this was for safety or a ploy by the railway owners to make the car less popular is a matter of debate. The first prosecution for speeding was in 1896 and coincidentally this was the year of the first automobile fatality.
In 1903 all vehicles had to be registered, £1 for cars and 5 shillings for motor cycles.
In 1916, The Safety First Council (later developed into RoSPA) distributed posters and leaflets with hints for drivers, such as, “The Rule of the Road is a paradox quite, In Riding or Driving along, If you KEEP TO THE LEFT you are sure to be RIGHT, But if you go RIGHT you are WRONG.”

The Road Traffic act 1930 required vehicles to be insured and in 1935 the 30mph speed limit in built up areas was introduced as was the driving test.

In 1931, 7,100 people were killed on Britain’s roads, rising to about 8,000 in the mid 1960s but falling most years since to about 1700.

In 1996 Theory and Practical was added to the driving test.

The meeting ended by a test on the Highway Code and the Rotarians answered most question correctly



Monday 11 September 2017



Club President Mark Williams presents Calderside Academy Dux , Abbie Wyper with her

Rotary Club of Hamilton Dux Medal .

Well done Abbie



Meeting 21 September 2017

At its weekly Thursday night meeting members of Hamilton Rotary Club were entertained by a thought provoking talk by the playwright Anne Hogg.

The theme of the talk was the occupation and subsequent closure of the Caterpillar factory in 1987.

She saw the devastating effects of this at first hand as her father aged 55 was made redundant and never worked again.

She was keen that this piece of our history should not be forgotten and decided to write her play “Butterfly”. However since theatres prefer plays to be at least an hour and 40 minutes or so with an interval she wrote a companion play “Out of the Bad” focussing on the struggles of the wives and partners to play alongside “Butterfly” to celebrate the 30th. anniversary of the closure.

Both plays were performed in Motherwell Civic Theatre thus marking the 30th. anniversary of the occupation.

A particularly poignant part of the play is when one actor asks, “Why us?” and the answer comes back, “They did it because they could”.

While the plays are thought provoking they are also funny and light hearted. Anyone wishing to see the plays can see them on 27th. October in The Town House Hamilton.






Meeting 31 August 2017

At its regular Thursday evening meeting Hamilton Rotary Club was treated to a wonderful and inspirational talk by Vicki McCluskey President of “Ups and Downs”.

“Ups and Downs” was formed in 1995 by three teachers, George Barclay, Elaine Kirkwood and Teresa McKinnon to give the Downs Syndrome students and their siblings a forum to display their talents in dancing, singing and acting.
The group was small in the beginning and in 1996 it performed “Take 1” in Motherwell Civic Centre. It has become a victim of its own success as only 70 people can be accommodated on stage, cast of 51 + 6 siblings + 13 helpers and is full.

Owing to pressure for tickets the group has moved to Hamilton Town House and the next show is from Mon. 5th. March to Sat. 10th. March 2018 with a rest day on Wednesday.

Anyone wanting tickets will have to be quick as the shows are always a sell out.

During the lengthy Q&A session Vicki was ably supported by two “Ups and Down” students Paul and Catherine. Paul played Paw Broon and Catherine played Maw Broon in their recent concert “Take 22”.

Catherine just loves acting.

The group has performed at The Royal Highland Show, The Edinburgh Festival and has won a “Great Scot” award.
The group gets many, many requests to perform and try to do as many as possible.

A few students have appeared in TV shows with two of its cast members appearing  in Tuesday’s episode of “Trust Me” on BBC1.

During the Q&A session Paul said “It’s good to have fun and laugh” and Catherine said “Ups and Downs is a family”.

Truly inspirational from two remarkable young people.

If you want to know more about “Ups and Downs” log on to its Facebook address Ups & Downs Theatre Group.

President Elect John Rimmer with students Paul and Catherine and Ups and Downs President Vicki McCluskey



Weekly Meeting 27 August 2017

At our weekly Thursday night meeting the members of Hamilton Rotary were treated to a very interesting talk on photography by David Cation backed up by wonderful photographs.
What took many of the members by surprise was the important role of photography in the construction and civil engineering industries.
When bidding for contracts it is an invaluable tool in displaying examples of completed work.
When completing a contract it gives a timeline of the progress of the contract.
David gave us a very interesting insight into the progress of the new Queensferry Crossing.
Photography provides an invaluable record in demolition contracts when they go according to plan but particularly when things go wrong.
Photography also provides an essential historical record, for example in the ship launchings on the Clyde.
He then showed a variety of beautiful photographs, some of which won national awards.
Anyone interested in seeing David’s portfolio can view it on
If you are interested in knowing more about Rotary log on to  



David Cation ( left )with President Elect John Rimmer



Handover Meeting 29 June 2017

Outgoing President Eddie Hawke congratulates incoming 2017/2018 President Mark Williams





Udston Hospital Garden plant up - 27 May 2017

Another session up at Udston Hospital tidying and planting up the garden at Douglas Ward. Participants this time around were Harry Doyle , Robin Wilkie , Jim Provan , John Rimmer and Bernie Crozier







Fellowship Walk 29 April - 1 May 2017

Some pictures from this year’s May Bank Holiday weekend Fellowship Walk  which was a canal walk covering the length of the Union Canal from Edinburgh and ending at the Falkirk Wheel



They all look rather fresh don't they - walkers Bob Hamilton , Jack Baillie, Robin Wilkie and Kenneth Miller

The photographer , Mark Williams doesn't appear in any of the photos

The "scenic" Union Canal

Pity about those two guys blocking the view of the canal boats

Note the glasses in hand

Well , they had to travel by train to get there





Meeting - 13 April 2017

At the meeting of the Rotary Club of Hamilton held on the 13th April 2017 at The Hamilton Golf Club, members were unusually slow to respond to an invitation from their speaker Valerie Reilly to ask questions. This unusual hesitancy may be explained by the members' unfamiliarity with the content of her talk, which was titled “The Original Olympics.”
Valerie is an accomplished speaker who painstakingly researches her topics, and this was the fiftieth talk she has delivered this year. In this talk she uncovered many facts which surprised her audience, hence the need for some thought before Rotarians could formulate their questions. When the questions eventually came, they were answered with accuracy and candour.

Valerie traced the history of the Games from its inception over 2,700 years ago in Olympia, where it was part of a religious festival, held in honour of Zeus, king of the Gods. One of the most spectacular event was The Chariot Race, the only event in which girls could be involved as owners, with their male employees driving two or four horse teams within a specially built arena. It was the owner, rather than the driver that was awarded the laurel wreath of victory.

Valerie spoke of the establishment of the Cotswold Olimpick Games, which were started by Robert Dover around 1622 with the approval of King James, but were ended by the Puritans after the English Civil War in 1642. They were revived a number of times before the venue was eventually bought by the National Trust in 1928. She spoke also about the Wenlock Olympian Games which were established in 1850 by the Wenlock Olympian Society and are considered to be the forerunner of the modern Olympic Games.

Many other fascinating insights into the Games were provided throughout the talk, which prompted an enthusiastic response to a well articulated vote of thanks proposed by Mr Jack Baillie




21 March 2017

The Rotary Club of Hamilton’s annual Primary Schools Quiz competition was held in Woodhead Primary School on Tuesday 21 March.  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. After a keenly fought contest with the leading school, St John’s  Primary School came out as winners with Woodhead  Primary runners up. The winning team was presented with gift vouchers, a winner’s certificate and the winners shield by Club President, Eddie Hawke. The other competing schools were Chatelherault, St Mark’s,  St Mary’s and Townhill Primary School and Hamilton College (Junior School).

The Rotary Primary Schools Quiz is a national competition for Primary Seven pupils and the winning team, St John's Primary will represent Hamilton in the District final which takes place on 23 May


Photograph shows the winning team, Hana Christie, Kirstyn Queen, Jack Pollock and Euan Parkes   with Rotary President Eddie Hawke.





26 January 2017

The Rotary Club of Hamilton have, for the second year running, donated filled backpacks to the Scottish charity, Mary's Meals. The charity provides over one million dinners per day to children in African countries such as Malawi and Liberia, which not only provides them with their main daily meal but acts as an encouragement to attend school and receive an education.
Many of these children do not have basic learning tools such as pencils and notepads, so the backpacks are filled with these items along with suitable clothing for 4-12 olds

22 filled backpacks were donated this year and handed over by President-Elect Bruce Cruickshank to Mary Campbell of Mary's Meals at a recent meeting.

More information on the charity is available at



Visit 27 January 2017

President Eddie Hawke visited St John Oglivie High School to present “Rotaract” badges purchased by the Rotary Club of Hamilton for the school’s Rotaractt Club . President Eddie was able to speak to the school assembly on the relationship of the two clubs and the pleasure of the Rotary Club of Hamilton of seeing the Rotaract club's success.

Certificates were also presented by President Eddie to the District Finals Youth Speak team from St John Ogilvie High School



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