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The Rotary Club of Lochaber meets in the Alexandra Hotel, in the centre of Fort William in the North West Highlands of Scotland, on Wednesdays at 12.30 pm for 1.00 pm

EXCEPT on the first Wednesday of each month when we meet at 5.00 pm for 5.30 pm.

We are a Club of 33 members.



Date for Your Diary – Book Launch

 

Saturday 18th November is the date for the launch of the Rotary Club of Lochaber’s book “Children’s Bedtime Stories from the Scottish Highlands”. The launch will take place at the Highland Bookshop in High Street, Fort William. Full details later.

 

At the lunchtime meeting on 13th September, the club welcomed Sarah-Lou Bamblett. Sarah-Lou is the manager of the book shop and has been assisting the club in the presentation and marketing of our book.

 

The fourteen stories have now been completed and the illustrators Fiona Bárthenas, Rocco Berardelli, Kerr Brown and Connor Campbell are putting the finishing touches to their work. Armando Bárthenas is preparing the front and back covers and the general lay out of the book for printing. Ken Johnston and Margaret Boyd are both doing a tremendous job in moving this whole project forward.

 

Part of the duties of David Anderson, the author, at the book launch will be to undertake a reading of the stories. As a ‘trial run’ he read one of the stories to members at the meeting on Wednesday. The story “Robert Bogie – Chief Fireman” caused some amusement. Margaret Boyd gave David a vote of thanks.

 

Watch this space for future development of this exciting project.


Fort William’s Winter Festival – 24 And 25 November

 

This will be Lochaber’s tenth annual Christmas Festival and, to mark this milestone, the Lochaber Rotary Club is teaming up with the Fort William Town Team to put on a best-ever 2-day event on the lead up to Christmas.

 

Activities will kick off with the Street Gathering on Friday evening. Starting from the Parade Green, the children’s lantern parade will add twinkle to the official “Switch On” of the Christmas Tree Lights before making its way along the High Street. The switch-on event will be covered live on Nevis Radio and a magician will entertain the visitors. Cameron Square will house a marquee and mini fairground. From there, led by the Lochaber High School Pipe Band, the parade continues along the High Street to meet Santa in his grotto at the Costa Coffee shop. A huge range of local shops will stay open into the evening.

 

Moira Robinson, chair of the Town Team, said “Come and join us in the High Street for an evening of fun and entertainment. We'll have lots for you to see and do including the Christmas tree light switch on, late night shopping and much much more”.

 

Saturday morning will see Santa and his team of Cairngorm reindeer (courtesy of Ferguson Transport & Shipping) arriving at Cameron Square just before 11am and then, led by the Ben Nevis All Stars and the Lochaber Pipe Band, making his way along High Street, over the Parade Green and arriving at the Nevis Centre at 12 noon for the annual Designer Craft and Food & Drink Produce Fair.

 

With almost 80 stalls, and a huge range of gifts and crafts, this is the perfect event to meet all your Christmas shopping needs – and all in one single venue! The Rotary Club’s festival in the Nevis Centre is the perfect opportunity to source all your gifts, and stock up on your festive food and drink while avoiding a stressful trip to the city.  …and, as well as the festive-stacked stalls, the Festival offers live music, Santa’s grotto, a bouncy castle, a unique 6 classic malts whisky raffle, a live reindeer pen with photo opportunities, and a hot chestnut stall. Yes, we’ve got the perfect indoor marketplace for crafters and foodies and the very best in children’s entertainment! 

 

The Festival opens its doors at 9.30 am in the Nevis Centre. This year the children’s activities will occupy the studio hall with the craft and gift stalls and food and drink displays in the main hall. The snack bar and children’s play areas will be open.  The grand raffle offers prizes of five quality local food hampers and, for whisky connoisseurs, there is a collection of all six Classic Malts worth over £200 up for grabs. 

 

Rotary Club President Donald McCorkindale said “We are delighted to be working with the Town Team. This has created a really exciting 2-day treat for the whole family and we’re working with local organizations to expand some activities into the following week. This year will see an even bigger range of unique stalls laden with local crafts, gifts and food products, and our charity raffles offer quality prizes”. Donald added, “Our local craft workers and food producers have put a huge effort into making this the premier Christmas event in Lochaber and we are expecting to attract almost 3,000 visitors this year. Why would you travel afar for your Christmas shopping when you have an event such as this on your doorstep”?Fort William’s Winter Festival – 24 And 25 November

 

This will be Lochaber’s tenth annual Christmas Festival and, to mark this milestone, the Lochaber Rotary Club is teaming up with the Fort William Town Team to put on a best-ever 2-day event on the lead up to Christmas.

 

Activities will kick off with the Street Gathering on Friday evening. Starting from the Parade Green, the children’s lantern parade will add twinkle to the official “Switch On” of the Christmas Tree Lights before making its way along the High Street. The switch-on event will be covered live on Nevis Radio and a magician will entertain the visitors. Cameron Square will house a marquee and mini fairground. From there, led by the Lochaber High School Pipe Band, the parade continues along the High Street to meet Santa in his grotto at the Costa Coffee shop. A huge range of local shops will stay open into the evening.

 

Moira Robinson, chair of the Town Team, said “Come and join us in the High Street for an evening of fun and entertainment. We'll have lots for you to see and do including the Christmas tree light switch on, late night shopping and much much more”.

 

Saturday morning will see Santa and his team of Cairngorm reindeer (courtesy of Ferguson Transport & Shipping) arriving at Cameron Square just before 11am and then, led by the Ben Nevis All Stars and the Lochaber Pipe Band, making his way along High Street, over the Parade Green and arriving at the Nevis Centre at 12 noon for the annual Designer Craft and Food & Drink Produce Fair.

 

With almost 80 stalls, and a huge rage of gifts and crafts, this is the perfect event to meet all your Christmas shopping needs – and all in one single venue! The Rotary Club’s festival in the Nevis Centre is the perfect opportunity to source all your gifts, and stock up on your festive food and drink while avoiding a stressful trip to the city.  …and, as well as the festive-stacked stalls, the Festival offers live music, Santa’s grotto, a bouncy castle, a unique 6 classic malts whisky raffle, a live reindeer pen with photo opportunities, and a hot chestnut stall. Yes, we’ve got the perfect indoor marketplace for crafters and foodies and the very best in children’s entertainment! 

 

The Festival opens its doors at 9.30 am in the Nevis Centre. This year the children’s activities will occupy the studio hall with the craft and gift stalls and food and drink displays in the main hall. The snack bar and children’s play areas will be open.  The grand raffle offers prizes of five quality local food hampers and, for whisky connoisseurs, there is a collection of all six Classic Malts worth over £200 up for grabs. 

 

Rotary Club President Donald McCorkindale said “We are delighted to be working with the Town Team. This has created a really exciting 2-day treat for the whole family and we’re working with local organizations to expand some activities into the following week. This year will see an even bigger range of unique stalls laden with local crafts, gifts and food products, and our charity raffles offer quality prizes”. Donald added, “Our local craft workers and food producers have put a huge effort into making this the premier Christmas event in Lochaber and we are expecting to attract almost 3,000 visitors this year. Why would you travel afar for your Christmas shopping when you have an event such as this on your doorstep”?



Rotary Grace from PP Terry Lee


 

For good food, we give thanks


For good Fellowship, we give ourselves


For good Service, we give our all


 


Bless the food we now shall eat


And those who cook and serve it


And if there be a good dessert


God grant us to deserve it


 Amen




Rotary Assists at Lochaber Show

The Rotary Club of Lochaber assisted at the 120th Lochaber Agricultural Show and Family Fun Day at Torlundy on Saturday 26th August. Members looked after the entrance gate in addition to manning a bottle stall charity fund raiser. A Shelter Box tent was erected next to our bottle stall. The weather was sunny all day and a great time was had by all who participated.

 

Special thanks to David Mee for coordinating the entrance gate, Mike MacGruer for organizing the rota, Terry Lee for supervising the bottle stall and for all who contributed in any way to the day. 





Transport Chief Honoured by Lochaber Rotary Club

 

The Rotary Club of Lochaber has awarded honorary life membership of the Club to Alasdair Ferguson, Managing Director of Ferguson Transport and Shipping. In its 67 years of existence the Club has handed out this prestigious recognition on only a handful of occasions. Alasdair and his colleagues at Fergusons have supported the Club’s annual Christmas Festival, both in terms of sponsorship and manpower, over the last 5 years and have been instrumental in bringing the Cairngorm reindeer to the event.

 

At its lunchtime business meeting on 26 July, Club President Donald McCorkindale welcomed Alasdair and his wife Jill to lunch and presented Alasdair with the Certificate of Honorary Membership and the accompanying Rotary lapel pin. Donald said, “On behalf of the Club I am delighted to bestow upon you this mark of recognition awarded to those who distinguish themselves in meritorious community service and support for the aims of Rotary”. Donald added “Thank you for your friendship and your dedicated and inspirational service to our community”.

 

In accepting the award Alasdair said he was humbled and privileged to receive this honour. He added “I know how hard the Rotary Club works both for our community and all over the world. I appreciate this award. Fergusons will continue to contribute and work with and support the Club both now and in the future”. Club members endorsed Alasdair’s comments with warm applause.

 

Pictured are (from the left) President Elect Iain Johnston, President Donald McCorkindale, Alasdair Ferguson, Jill Ferguson and Club Secretary Geoff Heathcote.




Donald becomes our new President

 

On 28th June, the Rev Donald McCorkindale, who is the Church of Scotland Minister at Morvern, Strontian and Ardgour, was inducted as the Club’s 68th President. He brings considerable experience to the position, as in the year 2007/08, he was President of the Rotary Club of Inverkeithing & Dalgety Bay. This is the first time Lochaber has had a President who had been a President in another club.

 

After induction, Donald paid a tribute to the late Derrick Warner. He said: “This should have been Derrick’s year.”

 

We all wish Donald every success in his year as President.

 

Donald is pictured with Immediate Past President Paula.






Lochaber Rotary Club Golf Tournament Raises Over  £60,000 For Charity


 

On a beautiful Sunday morning on 28th May, twenty-one teams teed off on The Rotary Club of Lochaber’s annual Golf Competition at Fort William Golf Club. This was the 17th year of the event and, thanks to the generosity of local business sponsorship, brings the total amount raised to date to over £60,000. The main sponsors this year were Marine Harvest and John McLellan & Co, Funeral Director.


 

Rotary President Paula Ross said “We are extremely grateful to our sponsors and to the Golf Club for allowing us to use their course for this annual competition. It is a major fund raiser for our charity programme and enables us to support numerous good causes in Lochaber. I would like to emphasise that, thanks to our own members donating their time and organisational skills, we have no administrative overheads and that every single penny is used for local charities and worthy causes”.


 

Paula added “In a magnificent gesture both the lady’s and men’s winning teams donated their prizes to the Club for use for local charities. Our raffle alone raised over £500 and, taken altogether, we have now raised over £60,000! This tournament just goes from strength to strength!”


 


Results: -


Overall Winners - “Inverurie Locals” (P. Laing, Davie Laing, Derek Laing J. Ferguson)


First Ladies - Left Overs (R. MacIntyre, A Lovatt, K. Leitch, I. Cameron)


Second -    “Wattsman Wanderers”  ( J. Wattsman, M.Kerr, B.Gribben, I.Fyfe)


Third    -     “Stewards Inquiry”   (J.Duncan, A.Overend, I Robertson, G.Worsdall)


Yellow Ball -  “Le Grande Fromage”  ( D.Matheson, D.MacInnes, N.Young, E MacColl)


First Visitors  -  “J.Rosie's Guests” (D.Lingard, G, Waterstones, D.Donaldson, G.Rees)


Nearest the pin at 3rd hole  - Marc MacDonald


Nearest the pin at 6th hole - Rosie MacIntyre


Nearest the pin at 12th hole - Gareth Rees


Nearest the pin at 16th hole - A. Overend


Longest Drive Ladies - Ann Lovatt


Longest Drive Men - Padraig McNeill


 


After the prizes had been presented, Past president Donald Young said “On behalf of the Club I would like to thank all committee and members of the Golf Club for their terrific support over the years, Chambers and his bar helpers, Claire for the excellent food, all our very generous sponsors and raffle prize donors, our Rotarians who turned out to help, Viv Johnston for very ably presenting the prizes and last but certainly not least, all the players for their support”.


 


Pictured are three of the teams who competed. Thanks to Armando for the photos.







Lochaber Rotary Club meets with Fort William Town Team and Lochaber Chamber of Commerce.


Lochaber Rotary Club recently met with the Fort William Town Team and Lochaber Chamber of Commerce to hear a presentation given by James Taylor, a
n international conference speaker, author, coach and consultant on creativity and innovation, who believes in the power of good ideas.


His website www.jamestaylor.me states that: “James Taylor M.B.A. F.R.S.A. is an award-winning speaker and internationally recognized leader in creativity and innovation. For over 20 years, he has been teaching entrepreneurs, educators, corporate leaders, writers and rock stars how to build innovative organizations and design the creative life they desire. As the founder of C-SCHOOL™ and host of The Creative Life Podcast and TV Show, he’s taught hundreds of thousands of individuals in over 120 countries through his online courses, books, videos and keynote speeches.”


He gave a fascinating talk on creativity. He said that historically creativity flourished in cities which were open to the import of goods. By importing goods, ideas were also imported. Creativity thrives where it is valued and rewarded. His publication “The Little Book of Creativity”, which he describes as "The Inspiring Guide To Unleashing Your Creative Potential, Breaking Down Blocks and Finding Your Creative Path", can be downloaded for free at https://www.jamestaylor.me/free/  .


At question time, discussions took pace as to how these fine principles could be applied to our Lochaber situation.


In thanking him, Past President David Mee said that the talk was truly inspirational and we all looked forward to considering its usefulness. David also thanked the Fort William Town Team and Lochaber Chamber of Commerce for the work that they undertake locally and hoped that there would be many more joint meetings and ventures between our three organisations.


Pictured is President Paula with James Taylor (right) and some of those who attended the meeting.






Lochaber Rotarians continue the fight to rid the world of polio.



Wilkin and Sons have supplied 52,000 jars of Tiptree Plum jam, each made with plums grown on their fruit farm at Tiptree, to help Rotarians the length and breadth of the British Isles to enjoy a spot of jam on toast, or even a cream tea, whilst raising funds for the charity Purple4Polio. The aim is to raise up to £1 million, and with matching funding through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, this £1 million will become £3 million.

The Rotary polio campaign dates back to 1985 with the ambitious promise Rotarians made to the mothers of the world that polio would be eradicated and their children would no longer suffer from the life threatening and crippling disease.

That promise is on the brink of being fulfilled, with just 37 polio cases in three countries in 2016. There are real hopes that 2017 will see the last case.


Lochaber Rotarians have all paid £2.00 for a jar of the jam. The idea is that once they have enjoyed the jam, they then fill up the empty jar with money to carry on the fight.





Sheana Fraser Awarded a Rotary Paul Harris Fellowship


 

The Lochaber Rotary Club has awarded its highest accolade to its first ever lady president in the Club's 67-year history. At its business lunch meeting on 15 February Sheana Fraser, who was club president in 2012, was presented with a "Paul Harris Fellowship" for her substantial and unstinting contribution to the work of the Club and to the Lochaber community. Sheana, who was the originator and the inspiration behind the Club's Lochaber Christmas Festival held annually in the Nevis Centre, became only the thirteenth club member to be recognised in this way. 


 

The popular festival and craft fair has become the biggest annual event in Lochaber and regularly attracts almost 3,000 visitors. It will reach its 10th anniversary later this year and the Club has promised something special to celebrate this achievement!


 

In 2012, Sheana undertook a sponsored swim equivalent to the length of the English Channel to raise nearly £1300 to fund the cost of bringing the famous Cairngorm Reindeer team to Lochaber for the Festival. In presenting the certificate and medallion, current Club President Paula Ross, the 'second' lady president, said it was the highlight of her presidential year and an honour to convey the Club's recognition of Sheana's outstanding commitment to the Club and to the community.


 

Also present at the presentation were Alasdair Ferguson of Ferguson Transport & Shipping and his wife Jill. Alasdair's company has generously funded the reindeer visit for the last four years and, as President Paula said " that meant that Sheana didn't need to swim the channel anymore!".


 

An unsuspecting Sheana said she was "absolutely speechless" and added "The Festival involves a lot of people, it’s not just me. There are a lot of people involved doing a lot of work, including the wider Lochaber community."