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PORTLETHEN SWRI – January 2016

Meetings in December and January were both social occasions.

In December we held our annual Christmas Party where members contributed food for the buffet. We were entertained by Portlethen Brownies who sang Christmas songs and played violins and a keyboard. A fun night was had by all.

We participated in Portlethen Parish Church Christmas Tree Festival where our tree was decorated with ornaments hand made by members.

On Monday 11th January we held our annual Burns Supper at Portlethen Golf Club where we enjoyed the traditional dishes. Gwynne Stewart of Stonehaven Fatherland Burns Club addressed the haggis which was ably piped in by Grant Robbie of Newtonhill Pipe Band. Afterwards Gwynne Stewart delivered the Immortal Memory and recited Tam O’Shanter from memory – no mean feat. Thanks to everyone for their contributions. The institute was delighted to win a cup for best syllabus in Kincardineshire Federation which was proudly displayed.

Next meeting Monday, Feb 8, 7.15pm back at the usual venue of Portlethen Academy Community Wing for a complimentary therapy evening. Competitions are A Valentine verse and A heart (any craft).

Community Cafe

Held every Thursday this term at the Porty Cabin, Cookston Road, Portlethen. The cafe takes place 10am-12 noon and is run by primary 7 of the primary school.

Luthermuir Hall and Park Committee

Luthermuir Hall and Park Committee are holding a Family Quiz night in the Village Hall Friday, January 15, 7pm for 7.30pm start Teams of up to four people. £2 per person BYO drinks and nibbles. Come along and test the old grey matter.

On Friday, January 29 Luthermuir Hall and Park Committee are holding a Burns Supper 7pm for 7.30pm in the hall. Scott Carnegie Ceilidh Band. Bar provided by Scots Corner. Tickets on sale at Scots Corner or contact Morag Innes 01674 840336. Adults £15 Children £8 Family ticket 2 Adults 2 Children £35. Come along and Toast the Baird then maybe Strip the Willow.

Stonehaven Rotary Club

After a two-week break over Christmas and New Year, Stonehaven Rotary Club resumed its normal weekly lunchtime meetings on Wednesday of last week.

The speaker was Rotarian Alastair Morgan whose talk was intriguingly entitled “From Fireballs to Mass Kissing”!

He went on to speak about New Year traditions in countries across the world-starting with the Fireballs in Stonehaven and moving on to the tradition of wearing red and yellow underwear in Brazil and Turkey-the colours symbolizing love and money, farmers in Romania listening to hear whether their animals were speaking (which symbolises good luck if they do!), people in Siberia planting trees underwater, while in other parts of Russia people write a wish on a piece of paper, placing it in a glass and burning it before topping it up with champagne and drinking it!

New Years Day swims are quite a common tradition with 1500 people taking part last year in the “Loony Dook”. In South Africa, there is a tradition of throwing furniture out of the window—out with the old and in with the new! In Denmark people smash crockery against the doors of their friends’ houses while in Estonia they eat seven times on New Year’s Eve, washed down with champagne of course. And in case you were wondering where to go for the mass kissing in the title, the answer is St Marks Square in Venice, after the firework display. Alastair finished by informing members that of all the Resolutions made by well-intentioned people at New Year, the evidence was that 90% of them are broken in the first week! Vote of thanks was given by Rotarian Peter Newell.

Most people know about Rotary’s charitable fundraising for projects at home and abroad, and of course that’s a big part of what we’re about. However, Rotary is also about having fun.

The Gavel is a hotly contested but friendly series of traditional pub games, played between participating Clubs in our Rotary district - which covers every part of Scotland north of a line from the River Forth to the Isle of Skye.

The Gavel contest which starts off with competitions at Area level, gives an opportunity for Rotarians to meet together socially, while enjoying some friendly inter-club competition. Stonehaven Rotary Club is currently enjoying success in this year’s competition. They are currently Area 4 champions and are due to play against a team from Fraserburgh Rotary Club on Wednesday of next week. Because of the travelling distance which would be involved for either club to go to the other’s venue, the match will take place in Aberdeen.


Despite the appalling weather, there was a big turnout of members and visitors at the January meeting on Tuesday 5th January, and they were not disappointed. The meeting was presided over by Vice-president, Mary Farries, who dealt with the business first. She then introduced Peter Myles, a sheep farmer of Dalbog, near Edzell. Peter and eighty of his sheep were involved in part of the filming of “Sunset Song” which is now showing on cinema screens, to great acclaim. Peter was ably assisted at the meeting by two of his daughters. Peter had obviously given a lot of thought to his role as shepherd, and was aware that ear-tags would not have been used in the early 20th century; he coloured each tag with a black marker, so it would not be seen. Filming of the sheep took place in the middle of Fettercairn, which was transformed to look like a 1913 Market Day in Stonehaven. Peter, accompanied by his daughters Susan and Sally, is seen guiding the sheep along the way. He had spent some time beforehand, tiring them out in the Fettercairn Showfield, so that they would be more biddable. Peter is an experienced speaker and had some interesting photos to accompany his talk.

Winners of the monthly competitions were as follows:

Mobile phone cover (any craft) - 1st: Frances Clark, 2nd: Bea Easson, 3rd: Morag Christie.

3 plain scones - 1st: Sheena Kelly, 2nd: Morag Christie, 3rd: Bea Easson.

Flower of the Month - 1st: Irene Robertson, 2nd: Mary Farries, 3rd: Morag Christie.

Finally, Dorothy Pert proposed the vote of thanks to Peter, Susan and Sally.