Rotary Youth Leadership Awards - 2..
11 September 2017

We were pleased to welcome Thomas Grubb to the club meeting of 11th September. Thomas has just left Waid Academy and is now studying Administration at Kirkcaldy College. He came to talk about his experiences at the recent RYLA event, where his attendance was sponsored by Anstruther Rotary.

The Rotary Youth Leadership Award is a week-long Rotary International course that takes place at the Abernethy Trust Centre in Nethybridge, just a few miles from Aviemore. It offers young people an opportunity to participate in physical and intellectual activities, aimed at developing skills in team working, leadership, communication, problem solving and decision-making. These are seen as foundations for self-confidence and self-esteem - vital aspects of responsible and global citizenship.

Thomas thanked the club for sponsoring his attendance at RYLA and commented on a number of aspects of the course. He was particulalrly keen to use the experience to improve his problem solving and decision making skills.

He mentioned the daily talks on various topics as being helpful - as was the opportinity to take the lead in his group during the canoeing activity. He also commented on team building and that he is keeping in touch with a number of friends that he made. 

Following a good many questions a vote of thanks was proposed by Andy Matthew. Thomas is seen here receiving his RYLA certificate from club president Derek Mathie.

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards 2017..
21 August 2017

Our photograph shows Kiera Halliday being presented with a framed RYLA award certificate by club president Derek Mathie.

The club was delighted to welcome Keira as speaker at the meeting of 21st August - when she described her experiences at RYLA - the new skills gained, new experiences and new friends made.

The aim of RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) is to develop leadership qualities, give a sense of pride in achievement, stimulate mind and body, emphasise the importance of sportsmanship, fitness, and personal relationships.

Camps this year were held at Abernethy centre, Nethybridge, girls from 1st to 8th July, and boys 8th to 15th July. 68 girls and 63 boys took part, all sponsored by Rotary clubs from our district 1010. Mentors included Rotary members, teachers, and business people. There is a full week of motivational speakers, team building exercises, and outdoor activities including canoeing, hill walking, mountain biking, climbing and abseiling.

This year, Anstruther Rotary Club sponsored Kiera, who is from from Upper Largo. She is a sixth year pupil at Waid Academy, Anstruther and would like to study medicine. She has already gained five highers, all at band A, and is now taking three subjects at Advanced Higher level plus an additional Higher.

Congratulations to Keira, with warm thanks for an interesting talk and best wishes for the future.



19 August 2017

Thursday the 19th August saw members of Anstruther Rotary Club meet at Crail Golfing Society for their annual Stableforth golf competition. The weather was beautiful, as were the views from the course across the sea and to the coastline beyond. After 18 most enjoyable holes of golf, members retired to the clubhouse for a delightful meal together - and to total up the scores. After several checks, there was a clear winner – John O’Neil, who had achieved 36 points. Runner up was Ian Brunton with 27 points while all others were within a few points of each other.

Our photograph shows last year’s winner, William Duncan, presenting the trophy to John O’Neil.

17th Century Trading from the East Neuk..
31 July 2017

The meeting of 31st July was treated to an extremely interesting talk by Emeritus Professor Chris Smout, who took as his topic 17th Century trading from the East Neuk of Fife. 

It was immediately clear that trading in those times was important, extensive and a fundamental part of business for the East Neuk. Prof Smout commented that they probably knew more about Europe in those times than we do now!

Sailing boats of 30 to 50 tons displacement, from East Neuk harbours traded continuously across the north sea to the Scandinavian and Baltic countries. Voyages would typically be of three weeks or so duration. It is known that there were important trade links to the low countries and down to Bordeaux for wine. Cargoes would include herring, train oil, salt, coal and animal skins; and on the return would bring cloth, flax, hemp, timber, rye, wheat - and ballast such as pantiles. Interestingly we heard that Crail town hall includes Norwegian timber.

It was also clear that trade was extremely well structured and organised, with ships carrying a Supercargo and terms being negotiated via Scottish factors in the foreign ports. 

The talk included much fascinating detail, including reference to trading records of Konningsberg from 1597, when 28 Scots boats were noted as arriving; of which all but two were from Fife - including eight from Anstruther. 

Much more information was obtained from a skipper’s notebooks, covering the period 1662 to 1685. It was evident from these that there was some very profitable trade going on. Then, as now, wine had a hefty profit margin and made it possible for that skipper to own a house and property in Bordeaux, as well as in Fife.

Altogether a fascinating reminder of our long established trading links with Europe and of the skills and courage of the sailors that made the trade possible. Following questions, an appreciative vote of thanks was proposed by David Mann

Papua New Guinea..
11 July 2017

Club member Charles Thrower presented an illustrated talk about his visit to Papua New Guinea at the meeting of 10th July. This provided an extremely interesting sketch of what remains an isolated and remote part of the world.

Becoming independent in 1975, it is the second largest island group in the world and, remarkably, the interior remains isolated with peoples not yet contacted. One of the most culturally diverse countries in the world, there are 852 known languages, of which 12 now have no known living speakers.

The country is one of the world's least explored, culturally and geographically. It is known to have numerous groups of uncontacted peoples, and researchers believe there are many undiscovered species of plants and animals in the interior.

Charles showed photographs of the island, the people, their arts, crafts and way of life - which remains traditional. He also touched on the historical practice of cannibalism and the influence of this in a disease known as ‘Kuru’. This word derives from the local word for ‘trembling’ and it is now widely accepted that kuru was transmitted among members of the Fore tribe via funerary cannibalism. Deceased family members were traditionally cooked and eaten, which was thought to help free the spirit of the dead. It is a disease of the brain, perhaps with similarities to BSE. Since these practices ended more than half a century ago the disease has almost completely disappeared.

Charles also touched on the effects of invasion and warfare during both WW1 and WW2 and economic development since. Although richly endowed with natural resources including mineral, forests and marine, development is hampered by the rugged terrain — including high mountain ranges and valleys, swamps and islands. Agriculture, for subsistence and cash crops, provides a livelihood for most of the population.

The Last of the (Rotary) Year..
26 June 2017

June 26th saw the final meeting for this Rotary year. It was a time for retiring president Andrew Lindsay’s valedictory talk - and for passing over the reins to incoming President Derek Mathie.

But it was also an opportunity for the pleasant job of welcoming a new member to Anstruther Rotary Club. Mr Allan Adey was formally ‘inducted’ and welcomed by all. Best wishes are offered to Allan for many happy and fulfilling years as a Rotarian.

Andrew went on to reflect on the many achievements of the club over the year and to thank everyone for their work to make his year in office a success. He especially thanked those who had taken leadership roles for fundraising, work in the community and for the social programme too.

With the formalities concluded, Andrew moved to a most interesting illustrated talk about Guyana - where he has a family home - and about our joint work with the Rotary Club of Demerara in the fight against diabetis there.

Andrew produced visually compelling pictures of the country. The 8986 foot high Roraiman mountains - vertically sided and the setting for Conan Doyle’s ‘Lost World’. The Kaieteur waterfall at 845 feet and 30,000 gallons per second, the largest by volume single drop waterfall in the world! But also of ordinary homes, the way of life and the sugar cane industry. And finally of some of the wildlife - from jaguars, via what seemed to be a lot of snakes - to spiders twice the width of a man’s hand! 

Altogether a fascinating update on Guyana and the links with the Rotary Club of Demerara. Andrew was warmly thanked by President Derek Mathie for his talk and for his leadership and work for the club over the past twelve months.

The picture below is of Andrew and Derek (on the left).

View All Stories

Click for Map