Celebrating 100 years of Rotary 23rd February 2005

Paul Harris
Founder of Rotary

Welcome from President Andrew Jackson

Club Photographs

100/12 Years: Editorial by Mike Daw

Club Service

Vocational Service

Sport

Community Service

Kids Out

International/Foundation Service

Charities

Balgownie's Link with the Orient

Centenary Message from Rotary International President Glen Estess

 

Welcome to Rotary’s Centenary from Our President

It is with great pride and a sense of achievement that Rotary as a worldwide organisation is celebrating its centenary on 23rd February, 2005. In today’s modern throw-away age, longevity is not a common feature and centenaries are rare. Quite rightly, Glenn Estess, Rotary International President has urged Rotarians worldwide to “Celebrate Rotary”. The celebrations also provide an opportunity to try and inform non-Rotarians locally, nationally and internationally of the organisation’s worthwhile achievements. An example of the power for good that Rotary can exert has been its response to the recent Tsunami disaster. Rotary Clubs in Britain and Ireland raised £5million. Of this sum, more than £1million of aid was delivered to survivors within 14 days of the disaster, using Rotary colleagues in the affected areas. This helped ensure aid was targetted where it was needed most.

Rotary at all levels has concentrated on service to its communities and fellowship. Within our own Club there is a strong commitment to these ideals which is met through our committee arrangements, which are outlined in the following pages. We are always keen to welcome new members to our Club and hopefully this Centenary Review will encourage a number of readers to consider joining the Balgownie Club.

On a personal note, I have felt honoured to serve as President of our Club in this centenary year. The support and fellowship provided by club members have made my tasks all the easier and more enjoyable.

Andrew J. Jackson

President
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Members of the Rotary Club of Aberdeen Balgownie on 3 February 2005

Back Row: David Blair, Graham Beattie, Ian Downie (Secretary), Graham Low (Vice President), Mike Clark, Edward Ross, Allan Thom, Bill Bruce & Mike Daw
Centre Row: Alex Nicolson, Malcolm Ross, Rathin Khaund, Jack Archibald, Stewart Mitchell, Alasdair Imray, Erik Stien, Mark Makrygiannis, Charles Robertson & Gavin Scott
Front Row: Graham Donaldson, Ray Massie, Ray Grant, Leslie Roger, Andrew Jackson (President), Alex Simpson, Alistair Melville, Nicol Proctor & Dave Cormack
At Side: George Lumsden, Alister Robertson (Treasurer), John Boyce & Tom Spencer

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100 years of Rotary and 12 years of Aberdeen Balgownie

It’s strange to think that the friendship, fund-raising and service activities of Balgownie Rotary Club would never have happened but for the action of Rotary’s founder in 1905.   When Paul Harris, a young American lawyer from rural Vermont, went to work in Chicago he felt something of a stranger in the big city.  He had the idea of bringing together a few businessmen for regular meetings and the first of these was held in Chicago on 23 February 1905.  This was the origin of the Rotary movement – four founder members who became the pioneers of a vast organisation throughout the world.  They met at regular intervals, rotating between each’s place of work and so eventually coined the name “Rotary”.  

They formed the first Rotary Club in Chicago in 1905, expanded the membership, and added service to the community to their aims and activities.   Other clubs developed slowly; by 1910 there were 14 clubs and Paul Harris was elected the first President of the American Association of Rotary Clubs.   The idea spread north to Canada, and then in 1911 crossed the pond to Dublin, London and Belfast.   Rotary soon adopted the principles of service, understanding, goodwill and fellowship, firmly rooted in individual self-governing clubs affiliated to a national and international organisation.   

Even to this day, individual clubs are still relatively small (20-100 members) and still aim to have one representative from each profession or business within the local community.   Regular attendance at weekly meetings is actively encouraged so that all members can get involved in the club’s repertoire of activities.   In modern parlance, Rotary clubs are “participative” with each member encouraged to give some of his/her time to the programme.

This formula, of fellowship and service at club level, crossing social, religious and political boundaries, has had amazing success over Rotary’s 100 years.   From 14 clubs and 300 members in 1910, the movement has grown to 32,000 clubs and 1.2 million members world-wide in 2005.   There are now clubs in no less that 166 countries, subdivided into 529 Rotary Districts.   This must be one of the most spectacular, yet unsung, successes of the 20th century and it’s a privilege to be part of it.

Although Rotary has contributed greatly (in manpower and funding) to improvements at local and international level, it tends to shrink from publicity.  For example, how many people realise that over the past 20 years, Rotary’s $600 million Polio Plus campaign has almost eradicated the disease?   During this period, the number of cases has fallen from 350,000 to only 1000 per year and is now found only in six countries.   Many other organisations might envy the scale, influence and enthusiastic membership of Rotary, but most Rotarians prefer to concentrate on their fellowship, fundraising and charities, rather than seek heavy media coverage.

But we do want to celebrate the Centenary!  This Newsletter is one way the Balgownie club is marking the 100 years of Rotary since Paul Harris started his group in February 1905.   There are other events, too, at Club, District and national levels.   We, at Balgownie, are nearly 12 years old so we are relative youngsters to Rotary.   We are one of 83 clubs in District 1010 which covers the northern and western half of Scotland from Dundee to Shetland and from Skye to Lewis.   At the last count, there were 3200 members in this District and, of these, 32 are in the Aberdeen Balgownie Club – shortly to be increased by three new members.

Our fledgling club started meeting from December 1992, and was officially accepted into the Rotary movement at its Charter Dinner on 17th June 1993.   Our “mother club” was Aberdeen St. Nicholas who, together with District Extension Officer Doug Westland, gave much advice and support to the formation of the Club.   We shall always be greatly indebted to these parents and advisers who ensured that Aberdeen Balgownie was formed properly and became a new and viable club under Les Roger’s founder presidency.

We meet at the Mains of Scotstown Inn at 6 for 6.30 pm every Thursday.  After dinner and club business, there is a speaker except for one evening per month which is reserved for a Business Meeting and Club Council.   When there is a fifth Thursday in the month, spouses and partners are invited to attend – when the noise level trebles!    Our venue at “The Mains” meets our needs very well and we are grateful to the staff for feeding us for the last 10 years, especially to Kath and her staff who cheerfully wait on us, and to the chefs who tempt our palate each Thursday evening.

Each Rotary member is allocated to one of four committees which organise fund-raising and charity events.  Much of this business occurs outside the formal Club meetings – sometimes after the meeting has finished.  Club Council is the governing body of the club, currently comprising fifteen members.   Its monthly meetings are chaired by the President (or vice President) and are minuted by the Secretary.  Presidents serve for one year, but luckily for us, Secretaries and Treasurers are normally in post for longer.  Enquiries about the Club should be addressed to the Secretary, Ian Downie - home telephone: 01224 826646 or email:

secretary at balgownie hyphen rotary dot org dot uk 

First and foremost, Aberdeen Balgownie is a club with lots of fun and fellowship amongst members.  But beyond that, it works to raise funds and provide services to a wide range of charitable organisations – locally, nationwide and internationally.   Some of the wider charities and projects are organised through RIBI (Rotary International in Britain & Ireland) or RI (Rotary International) but most of our charities are selected and organised by the club itself.  A selection of recent fund-raising and supported projects is shown later.

The regular Thursday club night has always been the core of the Club where fellowship and business are the order of the day.   We have had some 570 meetings since the Charter Dinner, and we have welcomed some 400 speakers to those meetings.  Most speakers are from outside the club but occasionally we prevail on members to give a job talk or to hold forth on any subject that interests them – and us.   Over the years we have welcomed many Rotarian visitors from both local clubs and from overseas.  Our wide range of club banners from the UK and beyond indicates the range of visitors, and similar visits made by our own members to other clubs.  One of the joys of Rotary is the ability to extend one’s contacts and friends when travelling away from home.  From my experience, working in four continents, Rotary meetings across the globe seem to have similar formats and one is made very welcome in strange places, although the language may be a bit tricky!   Thank goodness for the widespread use of English – there are usually some English-speaking members even in the remotest club.

The Club has kept in touch with its members by various means.  It had a regular and very colourful Newsletter from August 1995 to August 2001 which reported on recent events and future plans together with a liberal sprinkling of photos, jokes, and presidential messages.   Thanks to John Boyce’s enthusiasm and later Mike Daw, the Newsletter kept members amused and in touch with club activities.   For our 10-year Anniversary in 2003, we produced a special, illustrated version which recalled some of our more memorable events from the previous decade.   (We still have a few hard copies available.)   At that time, we had supported 75 organisations in our first decade (some of them regularly) and we’ve added some new ones in the last eighteen months.   More recently we have relied increasingly on email for ad hoc urgent messages and for distributing Council Minutes.   The Club also has its own website at http://www.balgownie-rotary.org.uk which gives details about the club and its activities.

Mike Daw

Editor

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Club Service

The Club Service Committee has, arguably, the most varied remit within the committee structure and is assigned the responsibility for arranging fellowship, social and sporting events throughout the calendar, for the enrichment and benefit of members, including their wives, partners and friends.    Customarily in the  Balgownie Club there is no shortage of support for such events, whether it be curling, golf, football (spectating), dining or simply enjoying a good night out.  Club Service also supports our Secretary in preparing the Club Handbook which provides details of membership contact details, weekly duty responsibilities and speaker arrangements.   In this regard we have enjoyed an interesting programme of both members and external speakers this year covering wide-ranging topics such as: Aberdeen's historic Brideswell, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Aberdeen Countryside Project, Albyn House Association and the Shore Porters Society.

Since the start of this year we have seen an increase in the number of curling participants and our two teams are making their mark, now at the new Curl Aberdeen facilities.  So far this year, we have enjoyed two Curling Suppers, which have been well-attended and have provided the opportunity for members, their wives and friends to be tutored in this popular sport and enjoy a dram and meal afterwards. Equally so, Balgownie is always well represented at Rotary golf outings and we regularly return with the top honours (see sports section, below). 

On the social front, 34 members and guests attended the Evening Express Carol Concert in the Music Hall and then enjoyed a meal at Poldino's Italian Restaurant.  Similarly 28 members and wives attended and thoroughly enjoyed a local production of 'The Steamie' at the Aberdeen Arts Centre and proceeded thereafter to a meal at Sam's Chinese Restaurant.  Another night out is being planned for early Spring 2005.

On the 11th March we plan again to hold our Silent Auction which combines the opportunity to enjoy a meal and social intercourse with friends and guests and to raise funds for local charities.  The Silent Auction involves members contributing interesting items including objets d'art, paintings, jewellery, and other unwanted items of (little) value which are sold to the highest bidder on written lot cards.   Excitement reaches fever pitch in the final countdown to closure of the auction and some go home well satisfied with their treasures which, it has been known, mysteriously return again next year.  The positive aspect of the auction is that it traditionally raises over £1,000 for our Charities Account.

Finally, the Balgownie Club will be well represented at Rotary’s Centennial Dinner in the Trinity Hall, Aberdeen on Friday 25th February 2005 where members of Rotary clubs throughout District 1010 will join together in celebrating 100 years of fellowship and service around the world.

Graham Low

Club Service Chairman

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Vocational Service

Since I joined the club in 1994 (during its first year), I’ve served on the Vocational Committee on 5 occasions – almost half my Rotary life!   The Club’s first Vocational Chairman was Erik Stien and I remember very clearly some effective and enthusiastic lunchtime meetings held in his office at Ellis & McHardy. Looking back at some of the records, I see that these meetings were regular and always run to a strict agenda.  One of our early projects was Erik’s brainchild: the Glover Scholarship – more later.  We considered such topics as Heartstart, Vocational Service Awards, RYLA, Mock Interviews, Primary Schools Quiz as well as carrying out our own fund-raising effort – remember the trolley dashes at Norco and ASDA?   Since then we have been involved in Young Enterprise at both Bridge of Don academies. Schools taking part in this exercise form companies with a board of directors, and then plan, produce, market and sell a product or products.  They aim to make a profit at the end of their year of existence and to reward their shareholders. There are area and regional competitions to find the most successful company in Scotland

Last year, we sponsored a pupil from Old Machar Academy as our Euro Scholar.  Pupils with a good command of French are taken along with others from the Scottish Rotary districts to spend a couple of days in Brussels studying the operation and scope of the EU, and taking part in discussions with Europe-wide pupils.

A constant theme within the committee for a number of years has been that we continue to support the Primary Schools Quiz and Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA).   Both of these endeavours have been most worthwhile and have given us an inroad to the schools within our community.   So this Rotary year, 2004/5, we are again supporting both.   

The Primary School Quiz will take place just before the Easter holidays at Oldmachar Academy where we hope that all seven primary schools in the area will enter a team again this year.  The winning team goes forward to the area final with the two top area teams going on to the District and Scottish final in June.

RYLA is open to 5th and 6th year pupils and each year we select one boy and one girl from the local academies. Over the years we have been most impressed with the quality of the candidates and the selection process is sometimes very difficult. Those who have attended come back to the club and describe their experiences at the week-long camp at Nethybridge.   The feedback is very positive and we are confident that all have benefited greatly in the development of their leadership abilities and livelong friendships.

Graham Donaldson

Vocational Service Chairman

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Sport

Sport, in particular Golf and Curling, have a strong following within Balgownie Rotary Club.

The photo shows some of our members with Rotary trophies which were won over the last year.  The Jack Thain and Lewis Forbes golf trophies are played for by all the Curling Clubs in Aberdeen during the summer months, and the Wylkedin Quaich is played for at Carnoustie every year in May.  This is open to all Scottish Rotary Clubs in Districts 1010, 1020 and 1230 and is seen as the unofficial Scottish Rotary Golf Championship.  In true Rotary fashion, the winners have to organise the following year’s event so we are busy at present putting that together.

The one Curling trophy on show is the Sandy Wilson Friendship Trophy which is played for at the Rotary Friendship Bonspiel in December. Curling is a sport that we only became involved in on becoming Rotarians so we are still very much apprentices, however we have two very keen teams who are continuing to improve and we look forward with anticipation to the years ahead in our recently opened new Curling Rink in Aberdeen.   The curling photos are of the 16 Rotarians and guests who battled with each other at our Bonspiel on 29 January.  This developed into a full night out for 25 members and wives, at the new curling facility.

We will continue to develop sport within the Club and try to include new activities encompassing more of our members, partners and families.   It’s a wonderful way, not only to develop fellowship within the club but also to get to know members in other Rotary clubs.

Be active in rotary sport - it builds good health, friendship and fellowship at local, district, national and even international levels.

So, come on! Sport is good for you!

Leslie Roger

Sports Convenor

Competitors at our Club Bonspiel Jan 05

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Community Service

Balgownie Rotary tries to respond to the needs of Bridge of Don by meeting and helping as many of our neighbours as possible.   Our Community Service Committee, this Centenary Year, is continuing to give time and effort to the organisation of local events such as:

The annual Kids Out event at Craibstone on 8 June 2005, carrying on a 12-year tradition for all Aberdeen clubs.  Nearly 500 handicapped children will enjoy a great day of food, fun, games and rides, all of which needs 500 adult volunteers for safe supervision (more details later).

At Christmas, contributions of soft toys and festive dry goods for Christmas parcel distribution through Voluntary Service Aberdeen.

Registration of several members with the Senior Citizens Assistance Network (SCAN) for helping senior citizens living at home to deal with their daily business issues affecting their homes, personal safety and well-being.

Distribution of 1,200 more “Message in a Bottle” packs through local pharmacies such as Tesco Extra at Danestone, local doctors, churches and support groups.   This will bring the total to 2,400 local homes containing bottles with their vulnerable householders’ medical details stored in the bottle.   These are placed in the fridge, with green cross stickers on the entrance door and the fridge so that, in a crisis, the emergency services and neighbours have access to vital life-saving information.

David Blair

Community Service Chairman

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International / Foundation Service

Aquabox

In this country we regard drinking water as a plentiful resource but in other parts of the world this is sadly not the case.   Aquabox is a registered charity devoted to the acquisition and shipment of water filter treatment boxes to countries affected by drought and famine.  These include: Darfur in Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Iraq, and various parts of SE Asia.   Aberdeen Balgownie has supported this excellent charity for several years.   This year, we participated with seven other N. E. Rotary clubs in raising £5,500 specifically for aquaboxes to be sent for Tsunami Relief in the areas surrounding the Indian Ocean.   As a club, we’ve also donated a further £450 to Aquabox for the immediate provision of filters and purification tablets, sufficient to produce 10,000 gallons of drinking water.

 

Our Ambassadorial Scholar

This year the Club is host to Ambassadorial  Scholar, Mariko Harada from Japan, who is studying Family Law at Aberdeen University.   She has already visited several Rotary clubs in the Aberdeen area, St Andrews in Fife, and St. Fillans in Perthshire, with further visits planned for Fraserburgh and Inverness.   She is eagerly awaiting the lighter evenings of summer to indulge in her passion of visiting castles.

REMIT (Rotarians Eliminating Malaria in Tanzania)

The aim of this project is to heighten the awareness of the debilitating disease Malaria, and to raise funds for the equipment, education and research necessary for its eradication.

The short term goal is the provision of an insecticide-treated net for all pregnant women and children under 5, in Tanzania.  The use of these nets, which only cost £2.50 each, reduces infection rates by over 80%. Initially, we raised some funds through a club raffle which were forwarded to REMIT.  We plan further commitments in future.


Tema  Project, Ghana

Aberdeen Balgownie has identified a project in Tema, Ghana, which we consider is worthy of a matching grant from Rotary International. The project involves the training of local persons as mechanics, who then would be capable of performing the simple routines of lorry servicing. Many lorries transporting goods and food aid within Ghana break down with minor fuel, clutch and brake problems. The project will help Ghanains to help themselves by improving transport efficiency. The local Rotary club in Tema has undertaken to manage the project locally and to oversee the spending of funds raised by our Club.

Bill Bruce

International Service Chairman

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Kids Out

Kids Out is a national charity, based in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, providing fun and happiness to disadvantaged children all over the country. The kids it supports come from all manner of backgrounds, some have learning difficulties or are physically handicapped, others are seriously deprived or abused.  The charity continually provides a number of child-related services such as respite care, helpline services, child carers and grant aid for special play equipment and toys.

A national Kids Out day out for boys and girls with special needs is held annually on the second Wednesday in June.  On this day, events are held throughout Gt. Britain and Ireland - organised by Rotary and supported by the Littlewoods organisation.

The Kids Out day has its roots in the Liverpool Motorists Annual Outing for Handicapped Children and Littlewoods' Founder, the late Sir John Moores, was the chairman of the Liverpool event for nearly 40 years.  In 1989, the Littlewoods board felt it would be appropriate to extend the yearly activity to other cities and towns where Littlewoods was represented.  It was felt that a partner arrangement was required for local organisation of the new events, thus creating an opportunity for Rotary.   Discussions took place between Littlewoods and Kingston upon Thames Rotary, which resulted in three local Rotary Clubs coming together to organise the first Kids Out day in Kingston in 1990.  Since then there have been similar events held every year, currently at 100 venues in RIBI.   This now involves 25,000 children from 1,000 special schools, and 15,000 volunteers from 750 clubs.

The Aberdeen Kids Out day was started with a lot of effort and enterprise by the late Bob Fitzpatrick of St. Fittick’s Rotary Club. It’s fitting that his widow, Helen,  has joined Rotary, is continuing his good work and is indeed chairman of the 2005 Kids Out organising committee.

The Aberdeen event first took place at Bridge of Don barracks in 1993 which proved a popular venue with children and Rotarians alike. All Aberdeen clubs participated by sending a representative to the organising committee meetings for several months prior to the event, as well as many more club members acting as chaperones, caterers and general helpers on the day itself.   We at Balgownie have participated in Kids Out every year since the start.

The day itself includes: horse and pony riding, farm animals, steam train rides, clowns, conjurors, bouncy castles, face painting, police and fire engine demos, football and FOOD!   Although most events are outside, we’ve managed to cope with any inclement weather due to good luck and some contingency planning. A few years ago, Kids Out was offered a new site at Craibstone by the Scottish Agricultural College. The facilities were more modernised than the Bridge of Don barracks, with on-site catering facilities and a more sheltered location.

The children have even more at their disposal than ever before, and more Rotary clubs are wishing to participate, with clubs from Ellon and Oldmeldrum and hopefully more outlying areas, continuing to join in the activities.

Believe me, this is one of the greatest days in the Rotary Calendar or any other calendar for that matter. Come on lads, let’s give it some welly on the second Wednesday in June!   Get June 8th in your diaries!

Charles Robertson

Kids Out Convenor

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Charities

As a small Club, Aberdeen Balgownie has been successful at most things that we’ve attempted over the years. For example, in terms of supporting charities, our financial contributions have averaged nearly £300 per head annually over the last eleven years, plus all our physical and personal support to the various charity organisations, both locally and nationally.  The Club has also financed a number of international projects either using our own contacts or via the wider Rotary movement.  On a world scale, Rotary has been heavily responsible for almost eliminating Polio, and Balgownie have done their small bit for Polio Plus.

Last year we raised money for VSA Broomhill Park Appeal, Children’s Hospice Scotland, Macmillan Roxburgh House Appeal, Rotary International (Foundation), AIDS Relief, Water Aid, Kids Out and the Tema Project in Ghana.

For several weeks leading up to Christmas 2004, most club members participated in selling raffle tickets in the Bon Accord Centre, Aberdeen for a new Mini.  This was part of a wider effort by all Aberdeen Clubs.  The raffle, which was drawn on Christmas Eve, yielded a profit in excess of £25,000, with £17,000 allocated to our named charity, CLAN, and the remainder divided amongst the participating clubs for their own preferred charities.

You can see how active the Club is since all these charities are on top of the other activities in which the club involves us. It is indeed a privilege to be a member of a Rotary club.

But, as Rotarians, are we doing enough for the Club?  Or if you are not in Rotary, then why not join?  You need very few qualifications to be a Rotarian and everyone can use the friendship. The organisation needs more members, and millions of people need help from the Rotary movement across the world.

In this Centenary year we have to raise a lot of money and I would like to think we could improve our charitable contributions by fifty percent. We can do this by continuing to improve the things we are already committed to such as The Race Night and The Silent Auction, but the easiest way to increase our funds is another big project.  That is why we are attempting to organise a Centenary Charity Golf Competition in aid of the Anthony Nolan Trust at Deeside Golf Club. If you want to be involved, speak to George, Leslie, Dave, Alasdair Imray, Jack or myself.

Let’s be sure we all have a successful and satisfying Centenary year, and remember the more effort you put into Rotary, the more you and our charities get out!

Raymond Massie

Charities Convenor

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Balgownie’s Link With The Orient

Bridge of Don is not over-endowed with famous historical characters; as most of the homes here are less than 50 years old, that’s hardly surprising. But one character caught the eye of Erik Stien a few years ago when he read “The Scottish Samurai”, the intriguingly-entitled biography of Thomas Glover. The son of a coastguard, Glover was born in Fraserburgh in 1838, grew up in Bridge of Don, and after an apprenticeship as a shipbroker travelled to the “Wild East” of Shanghai and from there to Nagasaki - where he spent most of his life. By his trading enterprise, aided by shrewd diplomacy and a little cunning, he amassed a considerable fortune while also gaining friends in high places and contributing to the rapid modernisation of Japanese industry. He became a consultant to the fledgling Mitsubishi group and was honoured by the Emperor of Japan shortly before his death in 1911.

As Glover had brought students to Aberdeen from Japan at a time when it was still illegal for them to leave the country, Erik had the idea of commemorating him by arranging a biennial visit to Japan for a short study tour by a student from Aberdeen, with a corresponding visit from Nagasaki in the alternate years. A letter was duly written to the Rotary Club of Nagasaki, who readily agreed to the scheme, giving us the surprising news that Glover’s son had been a founder member of their club in 1938. In 1996 the first British Thomas Glover scholar, Joyce Kindness, made her visit to Nagasaki to be provided with a visit programme and accommodation by the families of Japanese Rotarians in Nagasaki and Nagasaki West clubs. Akiko Nagaishi, her Japanese counterpart, visited us the following year.

Ten years of friendship

Since these first highly successful visits, the scholarship has continued uninterrupted for ten years, organised by our International Service Committee, and assisted by invaluable help from Fraserburgh and Aberdeen clubs. Many firm friendships between West and East have been made as a result , and parties of Rotarians have also made reciprocal visits. In 2001 Jack and Betty Archibald, Graham and Stella Donaldson, Ian and Catherine Downie and Rathin and Lekha Khaund from our club headed off to Japan on their personal “study tour” and were treated like royalty by the Rotarians of Nagasaki and Nagasaki West. This year the fifth Scottish scholar, Stuart Kennedy, a third year student of Genetics at Aberdeen University, will make his trip of a lifetime.

Academic and civic benefits

The scholarship has acquired an academic and a civic role as well as a social and cultural one. Sponsorship from the Robert Gordon University and Aberdeen University, without which the visits to Japan would not be possible, has conferred an obligation on the successful scholar to deliver a paper on what they have learned about their specialist topic during the visit. The visiting scholar from Japan invariably takes tea with the Provost, while our student ambassador from Balgownie meets the Mayor of Nagasaki, in both cases to the accompaniment of local press and TV publicity.

There is also the tourist dimension. The Glover House in Nagasaki is in the centre of a garden which is one of the major centres of tourism in Japan. Glover’s Scottish family home – appropriately located in Balgownie Road, Bridge of Don – is now a museum, a centre for Anglo-Japanese relations and a growing place of pilgrimage for Japanese tourists in Scotland. We hope to mark the tenth anniversary of the scholarship by placing  a plaque in the wall of the house.

Since the inception of the scholarship, our club has acquired a reputation for its hospitality towards the Land of the Rising Sun, and therefore this year we are proud to have been allocated the responsibility for hosting a Japanese Ambassadorial scholar, Mariko Harada, who is studying for a Master’s degree in Family Law at Aberdeen University.

The Glover Scholars

1996 Joyce Kindness      
1997 Akiko Nagaishi
1998 Scott Taylor            
1999 Erika Kondo
2000 Colleen Paterson
2001 Yuki Bessho
2002 Judith Macdonald
2003 Masahiro Yamaguchi
2004/5 Stuart Kennedy

At Christmas 2004 two Glover scholars met each other and Mariko the Ambassadorial scholar.

From left Judith Macdonald, Erik Stien, Mariko Harada and Stuart Kennedy

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Excerpt from RI President’s February message

Dear fellow Rotarians,

This month is a milestone in Rotary’s history – our 100th anniversary. Few other organizations have reached this landmark achievement. We’ve survived a century of change, but Rotarians have always been up to the challenge. Despite two world wars, regional conflicts, uncertain economies and unpredictable politics, Rotarians have been united by the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self”. For nearly 100 years, these three words have been our guiding light.

Rotary started in 1905 as the inspiration of one man, Paul P. Harris.   He is an example of how one person can change the course of history. His pioneering vision gave rise to the concept of volunteerism at a time when there was little concern for the “common man.” The original club eventually grew and expanded across borders to form an international organization dedicated to humanitarian service and peace. Rotary is historic in that it has transcended geographic, religious, racial, political, social and other barriers.

I feel privileged to serve as your president during the centennial year. As a Rotarian who grew up in a small rural community, I can relate to Paul Harris and his desire to make friends and help his neighbors. I chose the RI theme “Celebrate Rotary” so that each club could commemorate the centennial its own special way. Our anniversary is a golden opportunity to raise awareness and publicize the good works of Rotary.

Rotary club members are ordinary people who accomplish extraordinary things – sometimes through sheer force of will. Thanks to The Rotary Foundation of RI, Rotarians have provided more than $1.4 billion for service projects in more than 166 countries. Rotary supports the world’s largest privately funded international scholarship program and sponsors one of the world’s most popular youth exchange programs. We have been leaders in the global fight against polio, saving millions of children from this crippling disease. It is our birthday gift to the children of the world.

One hundred years ago, Paul Harris took the first steps on our journey of service. As we enter our second century of service, we must continue to evolve and grow as an organization. I encourage Rotarians to raise the bar and reinvent the Rotary wheel. With more than 1.2 million members in 166 countries, we have incredible potential to change the world.

Let us Celebrate Rotary by creating a better world and a better future. The next 100 years holds even greater challenges – and greater promise.

Glenn E. Estess Sr.

President, Rotary International

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