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Catterline WRI

President, Mrs K. Irvine welcomed members to the February meeting. She introduced Kincardine Kickers Line Dancing team from Stonehaven, who performed a variety of dances. They then put the members through their paces by teaching them two dances which was great fun for those watching and taking part.

The monthly competition for a non-alcoholic drink was judged and results were: 1 Mrs M. Mair, 2 Mrs E. Garden, 3 Mrs E. Pearson and 4 Mrs E. Meston. Mrs E. Garden gave the vote of thanks.

The next meeting is a floral art demonstration which will be held on March 10 at Catterline Primary School at 7.30pm. All welcome.

Mearns Probus

Montrose Port Authority was the subject of the latest talk at the club, with Jim Raeper the technical manager assisted by Shirley Cheyne.

Montrose Harbour was established by Royal Charter in 1493, and is a sheltered natural harbour at the mouth of the basin and river South Esk.

In 1832, a Harbour Trust was created and operated successfully until the Montrose Port Authority was formed to oversee operations there.

The operations see annual turnover of 550 vessels and half a million tons of cargo, bunkering services and crew change operations. Materials handled include Fertilizers, Agri-bulks Forest Products, steel, road salt and anchorage chains for off shore installations.

Using a camera attached to a ‘drone’ the total area of the port authority was shown on video, from the inner basin to the mouth of the river South Esk at the harbour entrance.

This allowed the audience to see how the harbour has developed over the years, but especially since the 1960s.

The integration of Rossie Island into the south side of the harbour greatly increased capacity for berthing and storage facilities, with additional capacity for heavy lifting using cranes on the quayside.

Future plans for the harbour area include Marketing, Customer Interaction, decommissioning of off-shore installations, and provision for off-shore wind structures, especially with the proposed Inchcape or Bell Rock wind turbines. Cruise liners visiting are also being investigated as another service for the future.

Malcolm McCoig thanked Jim and Shirley for an excellent presentation on behalf of the members present.

Marykirk WRI

Vice-president Miss H. Murray welcomed everyone to the February meeting.

Speaker was Mrs S. Skene who gave a talk on the history of Stracathro Hospital which has been an important medical facility in the area

for a number of years. The vote of thanks was given by Mrs M Finlayson. Competitions resulted as follows;

Glasses case - 1 H. Macdonald, 2 Mrs M. Easton. Health Bar - 1 M. Easton, 2 A. Rushbridge.

Fettercairn WRI

A varied evening of entertainment was on the cards when Stracathro WRI visited Fettercairn Rural on Tuesday March 1. Sheila Burnett read three poems in the Doric.

They were about the WRI, hippins and Jeannie’s Auntie. This was followed by a 20-question quiz from Anne Leiper. Finally, Mary Gardner showed various craft articles she had made over the years.

However what everyone was talking about later was the work done by Mary’s grandmother about 1900. There was a large patchwork bedspread and a pincushion, but pride of place went to a beautiful tablecloth embroidered with butterflies.

After tea, Sheila was persuaded to do another recitation; this time it was Aesop’s Fable about the dog and the bone, but done in Scots. The meeting was presided over by Christian Milne, president.

The winners of the monthly competitions were as follows: Bowl of 3 hyacinths - 1 Morag Christie, 2 Bea Easson, 3 Jane Stewartl bowl of Spring flowers - 1 Bea Easson, 2 Morag Christie, 3 Irene Robertson.

Flower of the Month - 1 Chris Milne, 2 Fiona Milton, 3 Irene Robertson.

There was also a competition for a jar of chutney. The winner, Morag Christie, will represent Fettercairn at the next round,at Federation level. The vote of thanks was proposed by Helen Ritchie.

Stonehaven rotary

The speaker at last Wednesday’s meeting was Rotarian Peter O’Dowd. The title for his talk was ‘Was more less, or less more? ‘ in which he spoke about his experience of rationing, which was in place in Britain from January 1940 when bacon, butter and sugar were rationed.

This was followed by the rationing of meat, tea, jam, biscuits, breakfast cereals, cheese, eggs, lard, milk and canned and dried fruit. Fresh vegetables and fruit were not rationed but supplies were limited.

Peter gave examples of the weekly quantities of some food items allocated per person. As the war progressed rationing was extended to other commodities such as clothing and fuel.

Women tended to make their own clothes, to mend clothes and to cook meals from scratch.

Despite these restrictions, Peter said that he never felt hard done by, as this was the norm for everyone

Rationing ended in September 1953 and meat and all other food rationing ended on 4 July 1954. Peter then added the comment that obesity began in 1955!

He concluded that people were perhaps happier then when they had less –the less is more in the title of his talk- and read a list of “-lesses” for 2016. Vote of Thanks for this interesting talk was by Rotarian Gordon Ritchie.

On Saturday 27 February. Stonehaven Rotary Club’s Young Vocalist of the Year, Aaron Knight, a pupil at Mackie Academy, took part in the Distract round of the Rotary Young Musician of the Year competition, which was held at Perth Community College.

Aaron sang well but was not placed first or second.

As this is a progressive competition, the standard of performance of all the competitors at each stage is very high and progression to the next round is harder at each level of the competition.

Well done to Aaron who performed well, accompanied by Andrew Cheyne, who was previously Principal Teacher of Music at Mackie Academy.