KATE FORBES MSP GUESTS AT LOCHABER ROTARY CLUB ANNUAL CHARTER DINNER

KATE FORBES MSP GUESTS AT LOCHABER ROTARY CLUB ANNUAL CHARTER DINNER

Another successful Rotary Club Annual Charter Dinner was held on Saturday, 1st December. Nearly 70 Rotarians and guests were treated to an excellent 4-course meal at the Alexandra Hotel, Fort William and enjoyed a sparkling after-dinner talk from their constituent MSP Kate Forbes – just fresh from being awarded a “Rising Star” accolade at the Herald’s “Scottish Politician of the Year” award. Kate’s talk focused on Scottish identity and our perception of ourselves. She, herself, had a “very confused upbringing”. Originally from Dingwall, she lived in India for eight years (the only Scottish child who went to school in a rickshaw!), then Glasgow, before returning to Dingwall Academy. She then studied at Cambridge and Edinburgh Universities graduating with a BA Honours in History and an M.Litt in immigration studies.
Kate admitted that “politics is my bread and butter”. She worked in Dave Thomson’s support team before succeeding him and being elected MSP for Skye, Lochaber & Badenoch in 2016. She described her constituency as the “best in Scotland”.  Turning to Rotary, Kate said she was very aware of the work of the Rotary Club and its involvement in mentoring youth, advising on career choices and opportunities. Kate said “I’ve benefitted enormously from the work that you do” and concluded by proposing a Toast to the Rotary Club of Lochaber”.

Club President Iain Johnston thanked Kate for a very engaging and relevant talk before inviting past president John Hutchison to propose a vote of thanks on behalf of the Club
John reminded those present that the Herald had also picked out Kate as “one to watch” in the Scottish political arena and added his own accolade – “you’ve done no bad hen” – before wishing her well in the future”.

 

Photo courtesy of Iain Ferguson
Back row: Margaret Boyd, Celia Talbot, President-Elect Clive Talbot and Jane MacIntyre
Front row: Kate Forbes MSP, Vivien Johnston, President Iain Johnston and Oban President Iain MacIntyre.

ROTARIAN DAVID AWARDED WITH PAUL HARRIS FELLOWSHIP December 4th 2017

ROTARIAN DAVID AWARDED WITH PAUL HARRIS FELLOWSHIP December 4th 2017

The Lochaber Rotary Club has awarded its highest accolade to local man David Robertson from Torlundy. David was Club President in 1998, he has chaired all of the Club’s committees during his 30-year membership, and has been a key figure in the 10 year run of the Club’s annual Christmas festival, putting a huge amount of time and effort into negotiating, organizing and co-ordinating the multitude of tasks and statutory consents that underpin what has become Lochaber’s premier annual event. David is only the fourteenth club member to be recognised in this way in the 67-year life of the Club.

At the Club’s annual dinner on 2 December, a surprised David was presented with a ‘Paul Harris Fellowship’ for his exceptional dedication and contribution to the work of the Club and to the Lochaber community as a whole.

Club President Donald McCorkindale, in presenting the award on behalf of the Club, stressed that Rotary’s highest commendation is “a tribute to these special people who demonstrate a special commitment to the work of Rotary” and added “it is a great privilege in my year as president to present you with this mark of appreciation”. In responding, David, still in shock, thanked the Club for this “wonderful” gesture and said he was proud to be a Rotarian. Club members and guests showed their appreciation with warm and sustained applause.

LOCHABER ROTARY CLUB’S ANNUAL DINNER  December 3rd 2017

LOCHABER ROTARY CLUB’S ANNUAL DINNER December 3rd 2017

Rosie Curtis – Scotland’s First Ever Female Fish Farm Manager

Nearly seventy Rotarians and guests enjoyed an excellent 4-course meal at the Club’s 67th Charter Night dinner held at the Alexandra Hotel, Fort William on Saturday 2nd December. Ably chaired by Club President Donald McCorkindale, the guest speaker was the modest yet multi-skilled and versatile Rosie Curtis who entertained everyone with an absorbing and wide-ranging talk.

Rosie is a native of Kilchoan, the westernmost village on the UK mainland, and one of Scotland’s most remote settlements. After leaving school Rosie studied hospitality at Inverness College before her love of cooking led her to a 7-year stint at Nevis Range where she rose to the position of assistant manager.

After the loss of her father, Rosie returned to Kilchoan to help support her family and the family croft. Achieving a sustainable livelihood with a small croft in Western Ardnamurchan was a challenge and, as well as crofting, Rosie used her energies to become an ambulance driver, ‘watch manager’ of the Kilchoan Retained Fire Crew as well as local Coastguard Officer.

In 1997 Rosie joined Marine Harvest, firstly at their Glenmore sea farm site, then as assistant manager at their Laga Bay farm and, since 2014, as manager of a new sea farm at MacLean’s Nose near the mouth of Loch Sunart. On her appointment as farm manager, Rosie became the first ever female fish farm manager in Scotland. The farm now provides employment for 10 people and produces 1.2million fish every year.

Rosie is passionate about salmon farming and this came through in her talk. She is determined to eliminate chemical cleaning in favour of the natural environmental process of using sea wrasse, which they harvest themselves from nearby sea waters.

In 2015 Rosie was awarded ‘farm manager of the year’ at the annual Scottish Marine Aquaculture Awards. Rosie told the audience that she collected the award in her ‘salmon pink’ dress and added that “Marine Harvest is one of the best companies you could work for. They look after and encourage their staff. It is a privilege to hold this most rewarding job”. Rosie finished by proposing a toast to the Rotary Club of Lochaber.

On behalf of the Club, President Donald thanked Rosie for this insight into fish farming and continued “you have shown how a woman in a man’s world can make a difference”. The audience responded with warm applause.

Lochaber President-Elect Iain Johnston, Oban President Tom McQuade and Lochaber President Donald McCorkindale
Vivien Johnston, Julie McQuade, Lesley McCorkindale and Rosie Curtis, Fish Farm Manager with Marine Harvest
Photo courtesy of The Write Image, Fort William