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Catterline WRI meeting
President Mrs K. Irvine welcomed members and visitors to our April meeting. She then introduced Mr Joe Wishart who entertained us with stories and songs from popular Broadway shows and films such as ‘The King and I’, ‘My Fair Lady’ and ‘Camelot’. Mrs G. Stenhouse and Mrs L. Duguid judged the monthly competitions. The results were: Knitted scarf – 1 Mrs K. Irvine, 2 Mrs I. Collie, 3 Mrs E. Meston, 4 Mrs E. Crabb; ring of cheese straws – 1 Mrs K. Irvine, 2 Mrs M. Mair, 3 Mrs A. Meston, 4 Mrs E. Meston. Raffle was then drawn and refreshments served and Mrs A. Gauld gave the vote of thanks.
Fettercairn Institute AGM
A huge milk churn was one of the more unusual items on display at Fettercairn WRI’s ‘Show and Tell’ on Tuesday, May 3. This was the AGM and 89th birthday, and was presided over by Mrs Christian Milne, president, who had made and iced the birthday cake. Honorary president, Margaret Cargill presented the trophies as follows: Allison Cup for most points – Bea Easson, Grace Kerr Cup (runner-up to most points) – Morag Christie, Anderson Cup (most entries outwith the above)– Sheena Kelly and Irene Robertson, flower of the month trophy – Mary Farries. The winners of the monthly competitions were: Suggestions for two meetings for the new syllabus – 1 Mary Allan, 2 Bea Easson, 3 Fiona Milton; knitted article from 2016 Fettercairn Show schedule – 1 Morag Christie, 2 Bea Easson; flower of the month – 1 Irene Robertson, 2 Morag Christie, 3 Fiona Milton. The winner of the clootie dumpling competition, and who will now compete at Federation level, was Morag Christie. At the end of the evening, the new committee was announced: President – Helen Ritchie, vice-president – Frances Clark, secretary –Morag Christie, treasurer – Alison Argo, press secretary –Irene Robertson, raffles – Nancy Brown and Anne Fotheringham, competitions – Joan Nicoll and Bea Easson.
Inverbervie Probus Club
Inverbervie Probus Club had a “quick tour of the universe” at their meeting on May 3 when Chris Greene introduced Ken Kennedy, a retired haematologist at Ninewells Hospital, to share his life-long interest in the cosmos. This turned out to be an absolutely astonishing astrology adventure. Ken’s talk covered the theories of Einstein; Hubble’s discovery of an expanding universe; and Fred Hoyle’s description of the start of the universe 13.8 billion years ago as “a ridiculous big bang” – a name that has stuck. Ken’s incredible illustrations of outer space and samples of a 4.5-billion-year old meteorite found in Egypt and the core of a planet found in the Arizona desert were in themselves quite amazing. He went on to describe the Sun and planets in our Solar System before going beyond it to the stars – the nearest of which is some 25.3 trillion miles away – which would take a contemporary manned space probe, travelling at 25,000 miles per hour, 115,500 years to reach – on a one-way trip! There are millions of galaxies in the universe and Ken believes that while the universe is expanding at an ever- increasing rate before, it seems, it will eventually come to an end and all the stars will burn out. But then astronomers’ theories may all be wrong! Ken answered a wide range of questions before Chris Dennis expressed the gratitude of members for such fascinating presentation which was simply “out of this world!”
Skene Choir concert
Aberdeen Orpheus Choir will be singing at Skene Parish Church, Kirkton of Skene, Westhill, on Friday May 20, at 7.30 p.m. Further information can be gained from Margaret Mearns, (01224740176)
St Cyrus WRI meeting
President Kathleen Masson welcomed members to the AGM and introduced Joan Nicol who talked about some of the needlework she enjoys. She brought along some beautiful hand-sewn boxes she had made, as well as blackwork, crocheted and patchwork articles. Members were able to try their hand at making decorative flowers that could be used on sewn bags. Competitions: Home-made bunting – 1 F Moir, 2 M Taylor, 3 M Neill; Stem ginger shortbread – 1 M Hadden, 2 M Taylor, 3 H Keith; Foliage plant – 1. H Keith, 2 E Hair, 3 D Paterson. The winner of the Jubilee Cup with most points for the year was Margaret Hadden with Mary Taylor the runner-up. The Quaich for Flower of the Month competitions was won by Helen Keith.
Stonehaven Mill O’Forest
Summer is nearly here…all but the weather! Globally, with the football Euro Championships in France and Rio Olympics 2016 in August, the summer months has a timetable packed full of sporting events – the same is true at Mill O’ Forest Primary School. Our cross country team are already in full swing. Last month they excelled at a championship meeting at Balgownie, Bridge of Don with all pupils beating each of their personal bests, knocking at least 90 seconds off their times. Rory Buchanan, Olivia Pole, Ralphie Bannerman and Faith Wood all secured top places in their year groups. Since then the team have been in action again in Kirkcaldy. A small team of four P6 boys came 20th overall and three P6 girls were 21st overall. All the Mill O’ boys ran 1.5km within eight minutes and the girls all crossed the line under nine minutes. Olivia Pole and James Holt were our fastest finishers in Kirkcaldy. Well done to all of you! All the team and school are looking forward to June 20 and the schools’ cross country championships. The school is also proud to host a netball summer camp on Saturday, May 28. The inter-schools championship will take place that day in the school grounds for P6 and P7 pupils. The hockey team have also tasted success! On May 6, the Mill O’ team made up of both boys and girls won the Hockey Cluster Active Schools Festival which took place in the town’s Mineralwell Park. Off the sporting field, our competitive spirit has also shone through. This time success was enjoyed in the quiz room. The school was proud to have two teams included within the top 12 teams from Aberdeenshire primary schools in the Euroquiz competition. This quiz tests pupils on their knowledge of Europe, its countries, languages and culture. The school’s teams were the ‘Mill O’ 4 stars’ and ‘Mill O’ 12 Gold Stars’. The ‘12 Gold Stars’ really shone in the language round with full marks! The ‘4 Star’ team battled through an intense head to head to proceed to the next round at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh on Tuesday. The P7 Mill O’ pupils have even managed to combine sport and their knowledge obtained from reading. Recently, a group of pupils visited the University of St Andrews for a taste of Harry Potter’s favourite sport, Quidditch. The university’s team, ‘The St Andrew’s Snidgets’ coached the pupils in the mystical game in a morning of accelerated training. In the end, Gryffindor flew in as winners (of course!) Slytherin came second, Ravenclaw were third and Hufflepuff were fourth. Better keep a look out and make sure the traditional Mill O’ School houses don’t have a last minute name change before school sports day on June 24. Of course, with summer and a (little) bit of sunshine also comes gardening. Stonehaven is a town with a love of horticulture and the younger members of our community at Mill O’ also show their enthusiasm in our Gardening Gang, Allotment Club and Eco-Committee. We are delighted to report that the school has won a place in the finals of the ‘One Picnic Pocket Garden Competition’ which is to take place at the Royal Horticultural Centre in Edinburgh on June 3-5, but more on that later...
Stonehaven Cats Protection will be holding a coffee morning in Stonehaven Town Hall on Saturday, May 21, 10.30am-1.30pm, entry is free. There will be craft stalls, refreshments, tombola, bric-a-brac, face painting, CP merchandise for great gift ideas and much more. Come along and join in the fun, something for everyone. This Saturday Stonehaven Cats Protection will be holding a table top sale at the Planestones just off the Market Square in Stonehaven from 10am-2pm. Come along and browse and support a local worthy cause.
Morning worship at Dunnottar Church last Sunday was a Songs of Praise service as the Rev Rosslyn Duncan was conducting a communion service at Mearns Coastal Church. Dunnottar elder Hazel Paterson led the service with the support of the joint churches worship team. Ros Marshall did the children’s talk and began by asking what their favourite thing was. She received answers such as Star Wars, Minions and chocolate…the last of these was no doubt the favourite of many of the adults in the congregation! She went on to tell the children about one of her favourite things and produced two of the handbells from the set used by the Kilwhang Ringers. She explained a little about the history of handbell ringing, telling them that sets of hung bells date from 6th century BC China and sets of handbells tuned to a scale first appeared in the UK in the 17th century and by the 18th century, groups of ringers had branched out into tune playing. Handbells were used as practice for ringing peals of bells in churches where there are belltowers and now there are many groups of handbell ringers throughout the world. The hymns, which were sung on Sunday, were the favourite hymns of people in the congregation for whom they were meaningful for different reasons and the congregation enjoyed singing very familiar hymns throughout the service. Dunnottar Church organist Dr Albert Bil also enjoyed the service, making full use of all that the organ in Dunnottar Church can do, including rousing use of the trumpet stops in particular hymns! Last Saturday morning, the Kilwhang Ringers held a most successful coffee morning with performances by the Ringers in St Bridget’s. They were delighted to have raised over £600 through this event. Thanks to everyone who went along to support them.
The Granite City Brass Band is performing a concert tomorrow ( Saturday) in Dunnottar Church. The full concert band is coming so this will be a very exciting event. Tickets, including refreshments, are priced at adults £5, children £2 and are available from Giulianottis’s or at church door. The band is performing free so that all proceeds will be shared between Christian Aid and India Village Ministries. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear great music and support two worthwhile causes. Transport is available at 6.30pm from Market Square. Contact Ros Marshall 762 813 for details.
Past president Tom Welsh was the speaker at the first meeting in May of Mearns Probus Club. Born and brought up in Auchenblae Tom attended the local Fordoun Public School and then went on to the Mackie Academy. On leaving school Tom got a job at the Fordoun aerodrome which was being built by the main contractors W & JR Watson from Edinburgh.From building Nissen huts to acting as a “chain-boy” when measuring out areas, where a length of chain 22 yards or 66 feet long was pulled along by hand before the markers were put in. He moved to Laurencekirk as an apprentice compositor with the Kincardineshire Observer Office there under the leadership of Alex Taylor snr, the printer and stationer. War service from 1943-1947 saw Tom away in India as a soldier, before returning to complete his then seven-year apprenticeship at Laurencekirk.Along with many other apprentices and workers from Auchenblae Tom cycled to Laurencekirk every day in all weathers, but remarked that on reaching the top of the Gallows Brae met Postie Chree who always gave them a weather report for the day.Continuing with the publication of the Observer, using their own machinery and at that time hot lead from the script to be printed and everything in mirror image. This was not only dangerous but required a unique skill.On the death of the proprietor his son, Alan Taylor, took over the business and continued on after the Observer was transferred to the Angus Press in Montrose. Another shift to Montrose saw Tom move to the Montrose Review staff until he left his compositor’s job as new technology was taking over. However, a local firm at Fettercairn ‘Slingers’ was producing rubber stamps so Tom started a virtually new career there. Since then that company has moved on to Forfar to bigger premises and is now part of another company ‘Astute’ in Forfar whose founder Alistair Donald, from Laurencekirk was one of Tom’s apprentices at Fettercairn. This was a memorable trip through Tom’s life and he had with him on show past copies of the Kincardineshire Observer along with posters for farm roups, examples of small handbooks for Young Farmer Clubs and other memorabilia from the printing side of publishing. Club Secretary Ian Bell thanked Tom on behalf of club members.
Last Sunday we had a visiting preacher, Jonathan Groves. For his sermon Jonathan’s theme was ‘Why did Jesus come?’ He gave us three reasons why: 1 To save us from our lost-ness, 2 To call us to live as true disciples, 3 To send us out to make more disciples. Those of you who have been paying attention will realise that this sermon fitted in very neatly with Pastor Nathan’s recent sermons, as so often happens. God is obviously speaking to us. I hope we are paying attention too. Jonathan pointed out that we are commanded to go out and make disciples and yet we can often feel overwhelmed, don’t feel we have the right to tell others what to believe or we are just too afraid. Jonathan reminded us that we aren’t expected to do it by ourselves and in our own strength. Jesus promised that He would be with us always and He empowers us for the tasks He wants us to do. Jonathan works for an organisation called the Kerusso Trust in Malawi where they have several initiatives to help Christians in that country grow in their faith and then go out and share it with others. It was encouraging, and humbling, to hear of all that is going on in that country especially the enthusiasm that the local Christians have for sharing the gospel with others. Normal service has been resumed and Mainly Music returns this Thursday afternoon at St Bridget’s, the Zone is at Carronhill on Friday from 7.15 pm and we will be at Carronhill on Sunday morning. On Monday evening the ladies craft group will be meeting for the final time this session, and making plans for the next session and the 3-2-1 group is on Tuesday evening. Please see our Facebook page and website for further details of all our activities.
Members of St James’ congregation were pleased to join other worshippers from the northerly charges within the Diocese of Brechin for the annual Ascension Day service. This was held at St Andrew’s Church, Brechin, where the service was conducted by the Bishop, Nigel, and the Rev Roderick Grahame, minister of Brechin Cathedral preaching. The service was joyful and inspirational. On Saturday, May 7, we held a Scottish- themed evening in the hall, which was much enjoyed, with stovies, music, singing and dancing to the Swannies. Next Sunday, Pentecost, our service at 10.30am will be led by the Rev David Gordon who will also preach. This Sunday, the 9am Communion service was shared between Peter Smart, Diocesan warden of Readers, and Pam Levack-Moir, who is preparing to lead services in the future. Anne led and preached at the All Age Service, which was more ‘Songs of Praise’ with choices by the congregation. Anne’s theme was based on the life and mission of Fanny Crosby, later known as Frances Van Alstyne. Fanny was blinded by a medical mistake when still a baby, but never let her blindness prevent her from expressing her faith, through the many gospel hymns she wrote in the 19th/early 20th century. Her hymns were – and remain – very popular. Some are to be found in our regular hymn books, ‘Blessed Assurance’, ‘Praise him, praise him, Jesus our blessed Redeemer’ and ‘To God be the glory’, to name but three. People often sympathise with folk with disabilities but maybe don’t see beyond the disability. Whether it be physical disability that prevents walking, or deafness, or blindness, or simply old age that brings its own disabilities. But Fanny Crosby shows us through her hymns that disability is only the outward part of our personality. Fanny died in 1915 and was buried in Bridgeport, America. Her tombstone bears the inscription ‘Aunty Fanny’ and the text ‘She hath done what she could’. Anne concluded with a prayer: “O God, sometimes we feel a little sorry for ourselves and think that others have much more than we have. Help us rather to think of the blessings that are ours and how best to use them. Teach us that nothing greater could be said of us than that we have done what we could.” At the service at St Philip’s in the afternoon, Anne led worship and preached on the subject of ‘Disasters’ – both natural and man-made. The man-made disaster of the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in April 1986 – just 30 years ago – resulting in the contamination not only of the heartland of the Ukraine, but of farming land as far away as Scotland and North Wales. Then there were the natural disasters – the volcanic cloud that stopped all flights in the north Atlantic area a few years ago – and, more seriously, an eruption that darkened the skies and caused crops to fail and animals to starve – this was in 1784 and led to starvation among the people of France when the price of bread increased 20-fold and when the people protested, resulted in the well-known quotation from Marie Antoinette, “If they have no bread, let them eat cake”. The legacy of these events are manifold. There is a legacy of resentment among those who felt let down by their rulers all those years ago, because they didn’t seem to care that their people were starving. Then there was the physical legacy in the bodies of those who survived the disaster of Chernobyl. Sometimes we must face disasters over which we have no control and we are left with only prayer – and each other. Some may pray deeply and sincerely, others may pray in their actions and works. In the Litany which we used to recite at Rogation-tide, we have: “From lightning and tempest, from plague, pestilence and famine, from battle, violence and murder and from sudden death – Good Lord deliver us.”
NE Aberdeenshire Members Centre NTS has a talk at Fyvie Castle on Wednesday, May 18, at 7.30pm. It will be given by Dr Jennifer Melville, the Trust’s Head of Collections, and feature a portrait of Lady Elizabeth Forbes of Monymusk by Joshua Reynolds, the sub title of which is ‘An Edinburgh Love Story’. All members and others who may be interested are very welcome to attend. Telephone 01358 742234 for further information if required.