Santa’s Elves are chosen to ride on the sleigh at the Rotary Christmas Festival on 25th November 2017

Santa’s Elves are chosen to ride on the sleigh at the Rotary Christmas Festival on 25th November 2017

At the lunchtime meeting of the Rotary Club of Lochaber on Wednesday 15th November, Jodie Ferguson and Mairi Sandison from Ferguson Transport judged the Christmas Card Message competition which was set to decide who would ride on the sleigh with Santa along Fort William High Street heading towards the Nevis Centre for the Rotary Christmas Festival on Saturday 25th November.

Chosen as best out of 123 entries from the primary schools of Lochaber was Faolan Hunter, age 9, Lundavra Primary School and Kayla Duncan, age 8, Caol Primary School. We congratulate them both and hope that they enjoy this memorable experience. Their poems are below.

The Club hopes to promote a Christmas Card design competition in the run-up to Christmas 2018 and the messages will be used in the cards.

Ferguson Transport and Shipping pay all costs for the reindeer to come to Fort William for the festival.

Pictured are Jodie and Mairi along with Rotarians Margaret Boyd and Geoff Heathcote.

Here are the winning messages –

Faolan Hunter, age 9, Lundavra Primary School
It’s time to decorate your tree
it’s time to be full of glee
Christmas time is full of joy
for every girl and every boy
Watch Santa fly
and zoom through the sky
Look at the snow
and its amazing glow

Kayla Duncan, age 8, Caol Primary School
Wishing you lots of Christmas cheer
Santa’s coming with his reindeer
Snow is falling from the sky
Children making snow angels as they lie

Who is coming down the chimney tonight?
As quick as a flash Santa is out of sight
Listen to the angels sing
Isn’t it the loveliest thing

Rotary Welcomes a New Member Nov. 8th 2017

Rotary Welcomes a New Member Nov. 8th 2017

At the lunchtime meeting on 8th November, the Rotary Club of Lochaber welcomed a new member – Scott Greenlees of John McLellan Funeral Directors.

Scott is native to Evanston north of Inverness. Having served with major funeral companies in Inverness and Aberdeen, he moved to Fort William over five years ago to work with Ewen MacLennan. In 2016, Scott led a management buyout, along with his co-investors Pete O’Neill and Gordon Fergusson.
Scott was proposed for membership by Geoff Heathcote who praised his professionalism and care at work. Geoff stated that he felt that Scott would be a great asset to the club.

Exciting Prospects for Lochaber Oct 4th  2017

Exciting Prospects for Lochaber Oct 4th 2017

Guest speaker at the business meeting of Lochaber Rotary Club on 4 October was Duncan Mackison, Executive Manager of Jahama Estates – the property arm of GFC Alliance estates. Other arms include the SIMEC Group that is now running the two former BA hydro-power stations, and Liberty House which is now operating the aluminium smelter.   Duncan was formerly the chief operating officer for the largest private landowner in the UK – the Duke of Buccleuch. In his new role his remit includes the largest of the GFC estates – the former BA land extending to nearly 120,000 acres. The land is made up of some of the most stunning scenery in Europe including Ben Nevis. The estates provide the catchment area for the water supply to the hydropower stations at Fort William and Kinlochleven.
Duncan will also act as general ambassador for the GFG Alliance in Scotland, and will lead discussions with Scottish Government, Highland Council, public sector agencies and local communities to develop major industrial, agricultural and recreational projects for the Alliance. He will be heavily involved in GFG Alliance’s economic redevelopment around Fort William, which includes building a large-scale alloy wheels manufacturing plant and multiple projects across adjoining lands covering renewable energy, outdoor sports, tourist facilities, forestry and new agricultural activity.  Duncan responded to a wide range of questions and, on behalf of the Club, Past-President Finlay Finlayson thanked Duncan for the insight into the wider economic picture in Lochaber. Members responded with appreciative applause.
postscript – Immediate Past-President Paula Ross’ niece Nicola Dale also works for Jahama!  –  small world!
Pictured is President-Elect Iain Johnston, Duncan Mackison, President Donald McCorkindale and Past-President Finlay Finlayson.

Thanks to Iain Ferguson for the photos.

Ron’s Cycle Trip to Lismore – a Report from David Robertson. Sept 23rd 2017

Ron’s Cycle Trip to Lismore – a Report from David Robertson. Sept 23rd 2017

On Saturday morning 23rd September, nine Rotarians and friends met in Port Appin in time to board the 10 am the ferry to the Island of Lismore.  We were very fortunate with the weather, with everyone enjoying a sunny dry morning combined with a freshening south-easterly blowing. The normal ferry is currently undergoing a refit and had been replaced with a largely covered rib, which was very efficient. Following two short trips, all the bikes and passengers were ferried across the Appin Sound to Lismore.
We all set off with the brisk southeasterly freshening and what can only be described as “a bit side on”. It was, however, a very manageable wind. Three miles later, we arrived at the local Community run cafe. This incorporated an Art Gallery, books and high-quality souvenirs. After enjoying tea, coffee and cakes we re-joined our bikes for the onward journey of five or six miles arriving at a high vantage point at the southern end of the island where we all enjoyed spectacular views of the surrounding islands and across the Firth of Lorne to Oban.

With the wind on our tails, we set off on the return trip once again stopping at the Community cafe. Continuing our cycle, Clive suggested a slight detour to the old Lime Kilns in Port Ramsay, which turned out to be a scenic and interesting diversion. Anne and David made good use of the spare minutes before the ferry by picking a very substantial quantity of luscious big brambles.  Our cycle trip was mainly on good tarmac roads with very light vehicular traffic. The route was surprisingly hilly and a bit testing at times but good for the heart rate. The total distance covered was approximately seventeen miles with time on the island just over five hours.

Once again big thanks to Ron for the organisation and to all participants for the wonderful company on our Island of Lismore trip.