REPLICA MODEL T FORD FINALLY REALISED

REPLICA MODEL T FORD FINALLY REALISED

The bronze £90,000 replica full-scale Model T Ford has finally arrived at Cameron Square and several Rotarians were there on Saturday 19 May to assist and support the project.

Our pictures show Rotarians Margaret Boyd, Robbie Robertson, George Bruce, John Hutchison and Charlie Moore.

We welcome this inventive iconic sculpture. … a visitor attraction as well as a commemorative statement of the town’s heritage … … no doubt it will rival “sair feet” as a photo opportunity!

Well done the West Highland Museum!

ROTARY CLUB HEARS ABOUT NEW M&S FOOD HALL IN FORT WILLIAM Feb 15th 2018

ROTARY CLUB HEARS ABOUT NEW M&S FOOD HALL IN FORT WILLIAM Feb 15th 2018

FORT WILLIAM STORE MOST REMOTE IN UK

Over 50 rotarians, partners and guests enjoyed an excellent 3-course meal at the annual Partners’ Lunch event on 14 February in the Alexandra Hotel. Guest speaker was Sam Nugent, manager of the new Marks & Spencer Food Hall at the North Road Retail Park, Fort William.

Sam gave those present a quick and fascinating summary of the history of M & S from the early days of Michael Marks (a Polish immigrant) and his “Penny Bazaar” in Leeds in 1884, his partnership with Thomas Spencer ten years later and how, within the next 30 years they established 234 stores around the UK. (They now have over a thousand)

Sam reminded everyone that, among other things, M & S were first to introduce expiry dates for their food (1972) and first to develop “melt in the middle” chocolates ! They introduce 250 new food products every year, the research and testing of each product costing around £50,000.

The company is not just a retail shop but is also wholeheartedly committed to environmental issues such as recycling all paper and card, climate change, beach clean-ups and a no-waste policy. At the company’s expense, every employee is encouraged to spend one work day per year helping with a community project.

The 8,000 square foot Fort William store is their most remote in the UK and, with the exception of Sam and his two managers, all 64 staff were recruited locally. The store is performing well and 80% of the staff are on permanent posts. The company is also working closely with the Job Centre and is supporting the Claggan Greenfingers Project, the Lochaber Rural Education Trust and the Caol Community Centre.

On behalf of the Rotary Club, past-president Paula Ross thanked Sam for his interesting and encouraging talk, stressing that the Club was glad to have M & S in town and welcomed its support for so many community projects. Paula added “as a neighbouring worker in the aluminium smelter I will be popping in for my lunch”. A hearty round of applause echoed from those present.

Past-President Donald Young, President Donald McCorkindale, President-Elect Iain Johnston and Sam Nugent, Manager of Marks & Spencer Food Hall, Fort William

HAGGIS ADDRESS TAKES CENTRE STAGE  AT ROTARY CLUB ‘BURNS SUPPER’ LUNCH Jan 25th 2018

HAGGIS ADDRESS TAKES CENTRE STAGE  AT ROTARY CLUB ‘BURNS SUPPER’ LUNCH Jan 25th 2018

At its weekly business lunch meeting on 23 January in the Alexandra Hotel, 32 members and guests of Lochaber Rotary Club celebrated the life and songs of Robert Burns with a fine meal of game terrine and traditional haggis with neeps.

In the absence of a piper, Rotarian musicians Sheana Fraser and Richard Baxter provided a fiddle and guitar accompaniment to the Alexandra Hotel’s Angela Nolan as she carried the haggis aloft on a silver salver before past-president John Hutchison ably and energetically addressed the beast with a stirring rendition of Rabbie’s “fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face, Great Chieftain o’ the Puddin-race!”.

After lunch members continued their tribute to Rabbie when John led them in singing “Aye Fond Kiss” and in a lively performance of “Green Grow the Rashes”. President-Elect Iain Johnston thanked John, Sheana, Richard and Angela for an excellent and memorable session of lunchtime entertainment. Members applauded enthusiastically.

President-Elect Iain Johnston, Rotarians Sheana Fraser and Richard Baxter, and Angela Nolan with the haggis on the silver salver.

STRONTIAN YOUNGSTER WINS WEST OF SCOTLAND HEAT  IN “ROTARY YOUNG CHEF” COMPETITION Jan 28th 2018

STRONTIAN YOUNGSTER WINS WEST OF SCOTLAND HEAT  IN “ROTARY YOUNG CHEF” COMPETITION Jan 28th 2018

Fourteen-year-old Angus Dunn, a third-year pupil from Ardnamurchan High School, has won the West of Scotland heat of the Rotary Young Chef Competition. This competition is open to school pupils in the 51 Rotary Club districts that stretch from Wigtownshire in the south to Fort Augustus in the north and includes the City Of Glasgow.

The purpose of the competition is to encourage and develop creativity in young people, including creativity in the kitchen. Cooking among young people is a growing interest and a valuable life skill and the challenge of this event is to prepare in two hours a three-course healthy meal comprising starter, main course and dessert for two people costing less than £15.

Angus impressed the judges with his pasta based starter of haggis-filled tortellini with a fresh pesto sauce, followed by the main course of west coast inspired smoked mackerel on wilted spinach with gratin dauphinoise. For dessert, Angus presented the judges with a mouth watering tiramisu with sugared almonds. This three-course combination was judged the winner. Rotary District Governor Gary Louttit said, “Well done Angus, I was delighted to be able to present Angus with the Winner’s Trophy”.

Angus is now preparing for the next stage of this national competition. He said “I really was surprised to win and am looking forward to the next round. Pasta is my favourite food and I am glad I have learnt to make it now”.

Lochaber Rotary Club is very proud of Angus’ considerable achievement and wishes him well in the national final where he will be flying the flag for Lochaber and for Ardnamurchan High School. Club President Donald McCorkindale added “I know Angus, and know him to be a talented young man. I was delighted to hear of his success in the District Young Chef Competition and wish him well in the next stage at Alnwick – the Scotland and North of England heat”

Photos

District Governor Gary Louttit presents Angus with the Winner’s Trophy

Angus with his winning 3-course meal for two costing under £15

An Update “Bedtime Stories from the Scottish Highlands” Jan 25th 2018

An Update “Bedtime Stories from the Scottish Highlands” Jan 25th 2018

The book “Bedtime Stories from the Scottish Highlands” was launched on Saturday 18th November 2017 at the Highland Bookshop in Fort William by the Rotary Club of Lochaber.

Last week, the club’s treasurer informed me that sales of the book, over the Christmas period, had amounted to £2,548.86. As the only expenses was the printer’s bill of £1,495.00, this means that two months from the launch date, the club has already raised £1,089.86 for its charitable work. I would like to thank the Rotarians, and others, who manned the stall at the Christmas Festival and at Morrisons for their efforts in selling the book. Thanks to friends who sold the book and recommended it to others. Thanks to all the businesses who are now stocking it. Thanks for the very kind comments that some have made to me. But special thanks go to those of you who have bought it, and hopefully have used it as a bedtime story.

I have started writing new stories. My first one is on the now familiar theme of the Loch Ness Monster gong to someone’s aid. I read this story to the residents at Abbeyfield House a couple of weeks ago and they seemed to enjoy it.

My intention is to put an occasional update of the project onto this Facebook page.

A big thanks to everyone who supported me as I stepped out onto this very strange, and at times frightening, venture for me.

Best wishes for 2018.

David Anderson