Charity quizzer is Rotary’s Citizen of the Year

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A quiz queen who has boosted many charities’ coffers is the Rotary Club of Campbeltown’s Citizen of the Year 2019.

At a Rotary dinner last Thursday, Helen Gilchrist, who, the Courier understands, gained 600 per cent more votes than the other candidates from a public nomination, received a signed scroll from the Rotary president John McDowall.

At he same ceremony, the club announced that the Most Promising Young Musician of the Year 2019 is Suen Yee Walker and the Young Stockman of the Year is Greig Gillespie.

Helen’s citation for the award stated: ‘Helen was nominated for her outstanding fundraising for various charities and organisations.

‘It started nearly 30 years ago when she organised the first Stars in Your Eyes in Babettes.

‘This was so popular that Helen continued fundraising.

‘This has included the dialysis unit, Campbeltown, Dunblane Tragedy Fund, Nancy Glen Fund (£9,500) and, most recently, the Machrihanish Golf Club fire.

‘In 2016, Helen was diagnosed with cancer and, after intensive treatments, she decided to give something back for the wonderful care she received.

‘She organised quizzes that raised more than £2,000 for the Mairi Semple Fund.’

During the evening, Suen Yee gave a ‘superb performance’ of  Schubert’s  Unfinished Symphony on the keyboard.

Suen Yee’s citation included the following: ‘Suen Yee has been playing the piano and tenor horn since she was eight years old and the cello since she was 13.

‘Suen Yee has participated in the Scottish Youth Brass Band Championships since 2010, winning all sections. Her group are also the current Youth Ensemble Champions.

‘She started playing with the Northern Sea Cadets and Tri-Service Bands in 2014.

‘She has performed at many prestigious events, including the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier naming ceremony in front of the Queen, and the Duke of Edinburgh gold awards ceremony at Holyrood Palace.’

Rotarian Andrew Ronald spoke about the Campbeltown Young Farmers events through the year and explained how Young Stockman Greig became involved in farming.

Mr Ronald said: ‘Although Greig was not brought up on a farm, he has had an interest in shepherding from a young age.

‘His passion for the outdoors and livestock enabled him to work on various farms since leaving school. His dream was to one day have his own flock of sheep.

‘After a lot of hard work and determination, Greig is now the proud owner of a flock of Texel and Blackfaced sheep.’

To experience Helen Gilchrist in action, there is a Campbeltown and District Juvenile Football Association quiz in Stronvaar Bowling Club tomorrow evening.