Mearns Probus Club

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There have been two meetings of the club during April, both held in the Crown Inn, Laurencekirk, on two separate Monday mornings.

President Eric Bell introduced both speakers, both of whom are club members.

The Rev Douglas Lamb spoke at the first meeting on “Facts and Figures” from History looking at connections between well known – and not so well known – men and women and other events. Items included in his talk ranged from “The Cutty Sark sailing ship, Hercules Linton from Inverbervie who designed the ship and, of course, Burns’ poem on Tam o’ Shanter.

Reference was also made to the Halifax Explosion when two ships collided in the harbour there, one of which was packed with explosives and flammable material, the result was reputed to be the biggest explosion prior to the atomic bomb.

Moving on to Europe, the First World War resulting from Emperor Franz Ferdinand’s assassination in Serbia was discussed by Douglas as was a famous Austrian Princess affectionately known as Cissy, who had connections with Bonnie Prince Charlie. The Churchill family, the Bairds of Ury Estate, Culzean Castle, Anne Frank, Martin Buber, the Holy Land and the Bowes Lyons, were all included at some stage in his talk, at various points. Past President Lawrie Smith, thanked Douglas on behalf of the Club.

The second meeting was given by Life member and Past President Sandy Jeffrey, from North Craigo. A retired teacher and school inspector who spent many years in Borneo, upgrading the schools syllabuses to the required levels, he is also a keen amateur photographer. From his own garden, he has captured many images and these were shown on a large screen to his audience. By choosing the correct filters and withh elp from his computer, the colours can be adjusted and unsightly electric wires and pylons digitally removed. The results shown included Monkey Puzzle trees over 100 years old within sight of his home, all with different backgrounds depending on the seasons of the year. Daffodil fields, grain harvesting, heather clad hills, trees, birds, shrubs and flowers all figured in his presentation.

Alex Finlayson proposed thanks.