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Presscuttings 2016/2017

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




Udston Hospital Garden clean up - 15 October 2016

Rotarians undertook their Autumn cleanup and replant visit to our local "old persons " hospital where we look after the garden outside Douglas and Avon Wards . Photos also show the two planters donated by Hamilton Inner Wheel





Meeting - 8 September 2016


Members enjoyed a whisky tasting evening at the home of Harry Doyle.The photo shows the obligatory Fish & Chips being administered






Meeting report - 7 July 2016


The Rotary Club of Hamilton held first meeting of the 2016-17 Rotary year on 7th July 2016, This meeting saw the culmination of fund raising and the packing of backpacks for dispatch to Malawi in support of Mary's Meals, the charity which has since it's inception delivered more than 500,000 Backpacks to children in Malawi, Liberia, Uganda and Romania.

Rotarians and guests enjoyed a short video, presented by Mary Campbell, which showed children in Malawi, smiling, jumping, shouting, and laughing with excitement, as they opened their Backpacks, each of which contained the basic materials needed for their school work, e.g. pencils, rulers, notebooks etc., as well as some clothing and toiletries. These Backpacks are an incentive to the children to attend school, where in addition to learning, each is given a daily meal, hence the name Mary's Meals.

The excitement of the children seen in the video became infectious, as Rotarians checked off their list of items and furiously packed the Backpacks. This was a fun night at the Rotary meeting. It seemed amazing to realise that the simple items in these Backpacks, which we in Scotland take for granted, can bring such happiness to thousands of children in less affluent countries than ours.

At the end of the evening, members of the Rotary Club responded with enthusiasm to Hamish Wilson's vote of thanks to Mary Campbell.

Readers who would like to know more about the work of Mary's Meals can find details on


President Elect Bruce Cruikshank whose committee organised the campaign

Rotarian Harry Doyle ( centre) sourced all the contents of the back packs


A lot of concentration was involved in this exercise




St John Ogilvie School Interact Club restores Benches - 22 June 2016


St John Ogilvie School Interact Club have restored two benches at Udston Hospital. The benches were given some years ago to Udston Hospital garden by the Rotary Club of Hamilton and were in need of attention. The restoration work was done by the members of the Interact Club, with guidance from the school’s technical department and the photographs show ‘final coat’ day.

The Interact Club was formed with the encouragement and mentoring of the Rotary Club of Hamilton and has been operating for four years. Interact Clubs operate much as Rotary Clubs, but with members of school age.
The photographs show the final coat being applied and the visit of the incoming president of the Rotary Club of Hamilton, Eddie Hawke and Rotarian Jim Glass at the occasion. 

Jim Glass has been involved with the gardens at Udston Hospital for some years. The Rotary Club of Hamilton help maintain the gardens at Udston on an ongoing basis and recently the Interact Club has become involved with the maintenance.’’





2016 Primary School Quiz

The Rotary Club of Hamilton’s annual Primary Schools Quiz competition was held in St John’s Primary School on Wednesday 27 April.  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, Woodhead Primary School came out as winners with Chatelherault Primary runners up. The winning team was presented with gift vouchers, a winner’s certificate and the winners shield by Club President, Bernie Crozier. The other competing schools were St Elizabeth’s, Quarter, St John’s and St Mary’s Primary School and Hamilton College (Junior School).

The Rotary Primary Schools Quiz is a national competition for Primary Seven pupils and the winning team, Woodhead Primary will represent Hamilton in the District final which takes place on 6 June.

Photograph shows the winning team, Lauren Leys , Callum Campbell, Amber Paterson and Lucas Nelson with Rotary President Bernie Crozier.

Photograph shows the winning team, Lauren Leys , Callum Campbell, Amber Paterson and Lucas Nelson with Rotary President Bernie Crozier.

Chatelherault Primary School ( Runners Up )


Quarter Primary School

St Elizabeth's Primary School

St John's Primary School

St Mary's Primary School

Hamilton College Junior School




Spectacles Collection - 12 February 2016

Recently The Rotary Club of Hamilton has been helping the locally based charity Sight Aid International by collecting disused and unwanted spectacles.

The picture shows Rotary Club President Bernie Crozier handing over the boxes of spectacles to charity founder Sean Walls. These will be checked and graded ready to be shipped to Africa to be used in the work done at clinics in Malawi and Kenya.

Since it’s inception in March 2010 Sight Aid International has screened over 10,000 children and adults in some of the poorest areas of Kenya and Malawi and supplied glasses and eye medicines to those who have required them. Recently the charity sent a team of Optometrists from the UK to work in the two clinics making a huge difference to the lives of those with eye problems. The Rotary Club would like to thank all those who donated spectacles mainly from church congregations around the area. About 1,000 were collected.






Weekly Report - 11 February 2016

Members of the Rotary club of Hamilton, gathered for their weekly meeting at Hamilton Golf Club on 11th February 2016, and were fascinated by their after dinner speaker, Mr Jim Brown, a member of The Glasgow Archaeological Society for more than forty years. Mr Brown drew on his extensive knowledge and experience to present the story of the Roman Army in Scotland in such a manner that Rotarians could visualise not only the artefacts such as the remains of Antonine and Hadrian's walls, but could vividly imagine the life style of the soldiers who served in the Roman Army in those times.

The logistical and administrative problems of present day forces throughout the world, are the same as those experience by the Romans, it seems, that only the technology has changed. Future visits to Roman sites, such as the bathhouse in Strathclyde park will take on a new significance for Rotary members, who will now be able to visualise much more than simply the stones of the ruins which remain. It was clear from Mr Brown's presentation that “What you see, depends on how you look.”

The interest in the subject which Mr Brown aroused by his relaxed and informative presentation was reflected in the array of questions and his answers at the end of his presentation.

A vote of thanks to the speaker was proposed by Mr Ian Brown.


Weekly Report - 4 February 2016

Members and guests of The Rotary Club of Hamilton were, on the evening of 4th February 2016, delighted to welcome their after dinner speaker Moira Gallagher, to the Hamilton Golf Club, were she spoke on the subject of “The Silverline.”

Moira first spoke of the thousands of elderly people in the UK who for various reasons find themselves isolated in their homes, cut off from their previous friends and suffering perpetual emptiness and loneliness, which eventually can result in a deterioration of physical and mental health.

With the aid of slides and a video, Moira managed to cheer up her audience from this depressive thought by describing how the Silverline, through its many volunteers, brings cheer and friendship to over one million such elderly people.

She explained how the Silverline, provides a twenty four hourly telephone service which can give advice on a wide range of personal problems which may be worrying to those who are isolated. In some cases the elderly person may only need to talk with a friendly voice to overcome their feelings of loneliness, in other cases the Silverline can provide practical advice and help in solving problems. There is of course a need to let those who would benefit from such a service know how to access it. The first point of contact is to telephone: 0800 4 70 80 90

Moira's talk emphasised the growing number of elderly people in our country and the ongoing need for more volunteers. Readers who would like to know about opportunities to volunteer to befriend an elderly person, by exchanging letters or speaking to them for half an hour per week, can find details by visiting the internet site.

Moira's talk to Rotary members and guests, sparked great interest, and it is hoped this short article will encourage readers to visit the Silverline web site.

Moira's address to the Rotary Club was followed by many interesting questions and answers, and the evening was conclude by a most heart warming vote of thanks by the Rev Arthur Barrie.



President Bernie Crozier with Moira Gallagher


Club Burns Supper

Members & Guest of the Rotary Club of Hamilton held their annual Burns Night at the Hamilton Golf Club on Thursday 14th January. Thanks were accorded to Top Table Speakers together with Piper Robert Dickie and Music & Songs by Raymond Tulips who concluded the night with Auld Lang Syne

Burns supper

Left to Right

Douglas Cook – Propose the toast to The Lassies
John Sleith – Address to the Haggis and 2 Recitations
Club President  Bernie Crozier
John Freeland – Propose the Toast to The Immortal Memory of Robert Burns
Jean Hawke – President of The Inner Wheel
Club Vice President Eddie Hawke – Vote of Thanks
Alex Magowan – President of The Hamilton Probus Club




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