Well-deserved Easter break for staff and pupils

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Primary School

With staff and pupils soon to break off for a well deserved Easter break the Primary School’s March newsletter reflected on what had been a very rewarding second term and looked forward to the third and final chapter.

The recent trips to the RSS Discovery in Dundee and to Huntly’s Nordic Outdoor Ski Centre, Britain’s only purpose-built-all-weather facility for cross-country skiing, were thoroughly enjoyed by the classes which took part and the Friends of Johnshaven School were thanked for funding the transport, while the Primary 7 pupils have been congratulated on successfully planning, organising and running a whole school talent show in aid of “Red Nose Day” fund. A good time was had by all, £80 was raised and “ it was wonderful to see how confident all the participants were.”

On Tuesday of the last week of term Kirsty, Katy and Hamish took part in the Enterprising Mathematics Challenge in Aberdeen. It proved to be, as its title would suggest, a very challenging occasion but the three budding mathematicians performed creditably and were complimented by the organiser, Helen Martin, a lecturer in mathematics at Aberdeen University. The following day a selection of pupils from P3-5 participated in the Sportshall Badminton Challenge at Bervie School where they all did really well.

On Friday morning the term’s activities concluded with a church service in which the pupils responded enthusiastically in the hymn singing. The address was given by the Rev Colin Dempster, the Bible readings by David McKinnon and the organist was Mrs Helen Doig.

Looking to next term, the school is holding an “Easter Fun Open Morning” on Thursday, April 21, from 9.30 a.m. until 12 noon. Teas and coffees will be served by the “Friends of Johnshaven School” and the pupils are to be organising some fun activity stalls and games. The toddler group, “Nippers”, has already been invited and the school is extending this invitation to all members of the local community to come along and help raise money towards the cost of buses for school trips and funding other resources which will benefit the children’s learning experiences at school. Donations towards the various stalls will in due course, therefore, be much appreciated.

There will also be an Easter Bonnet competition, the children being asked to make their bonnets at home and bring them in on the day while adults will be given the opportunity of trying their hand at a number of curriculum based activities and tasks, the staff regarding this open day as “a lovely way… to celebrate having had a positive HMIe report.”

School recommences on Monday, April 18 and the ragbag collection will be held on Monday, May 9.

Mearns Coastal Parish

In addressing the congregation in Johnshaven Church on Sunday morning, the minister, the Rev Colin Dempster, focused their attention on a number of significant headlines on the road to Easter.

The praise was accompanied by Marshall Halliday on Viennese horn.

This Sunday’s services will be held at the usual times of 10 a.m. in Johnshaven Church and 11.30 a.m. in St Cyrus Church and, approaching Easter, the Sacrament of Holy Communion will be celebrated at a Maundy Thursday service in St Cyrus Church at 7.30 p.m. on April 21. The service will be preceded by a walk around the village and followed by an informal supper in the Church. A Good Friday service will be held in St Cyrus Church at 11 a.m. and on Easter Sunday there will be only one service in the parish and that will be a family service in Johnshaven Church at 11 a.m. followed by a time for fellowship and refreshment.

Carpet Bowls

The first carpet bowling final of the season, the Ladies Singles, took place in the Village Hall last Tuesday night between Bett Beedie and Mary Brebner and what a tense and nail-biting contest it turned out to be.

The early stages were cagey until a run of 3-1-3 gave Bett a distinct advantage at 13 - 4 after eight ends. However, she found it very difficult to dig herself out of the dreaded graveyard and, by winning the next five ends, Mary pulled back to within two shots, 11-13. Bett took a single at the fourteenth end to edge three in front, 14-11 but, also with a count of three at the fifteenth, Mary drew level, 14-14, only for Bett to draw on all her experience to score six shots over the next three ends to be only one shot away from victory, 20-14. Mary rallied with a single but Bett Beedie was not to be outdone and, with a single at the twentieth end of a terrific final, ended Mary Brebner’s valiant challenge to win the match and take home the trophy by 21 shots to 16.

Members hoped to have completed the finals on Tuesday night and end their season with the Christmas Pairs next Tuesday – well, better late than never as they say.

Wairds Park

Now in its 88th year since being gifted to the Parish of Benholm by Miss Anna K. Scott, of Brotherton Castle in 1923, Wairds Park officially opened for business on Friday. Once again filling the post of Warden is Mrs Jenny Beedie and her assistant is Ms Lynne McBay who will double up as cleaner. The position of groundsman will again be held by Mike Knowles. Despite the general lack of sunshine the 2010 was a very successful one for the park and the committee will be hoping that 2011 will be equally so. Several additions were made to the amenities last year and the grounds were well up to scratch for the opening although, now having two all-weather floodlit sports courts, the park is never really closed these days and one improvement has already been carried out for the new season: the ever-popular and challenging putting green has been moss killed and scarified – no excuses for missing those three foot tiddlers now putters!

Community Council

The Annual General Meeting of the Community Council will be held in the Village Hall on Wednesday, April 13 at 7 p.m. and will be followed by the regular monthly meeting of the Council.

The past is all around us

Twenty years ago the Benholm and Johnshaven Heritage Society drew a large attendance to their first Annual General meeting since being formally constituted a year earlier. Chairman, Alec Wallace, reported that the group now had 16 Life members, 44 ordinary adult members and seven junior members and during the year activities had included a Burns Supper and a very successful combined “Mid-Yokin” and photographic exhibition featuring local shops and had an a outing planned for St Andrews and Anstruther. However, Mr Wallace pointed out that the main purpose of the Society was to preserve the history of the parish and he hoped that members of the public would help the executive committee to achieve this.

Since then the Society has succeeded in collecting a large number of artefacts and documents related to the history of Benholm and Johnshaven and around 12 years ago was entrusted with the Lifeboat House with a view to converting it to a heritage centre and since then members have been working hard to make the historic building physically suitable for that purpose and ran a series of highly successful fish festivals to provide the funding for the project. Most recently the Society began to discuss with the newly formed Johnshaven Community Café Group the possibility of incorporating a café into the heritage centre .