Rotary club is 50: members past and present to join in golden celebration

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Fifty years after it was formed by a group of local businessmen, The Rotary Club of Campbeltown is calling on all members, past and present, to join its golden anniversary celebrations.

At the group’s inaugural dinner at Machrihanish’s Ugadale Hotel on April 22 1971, the charter was presented to the club’s first president, Ian MacPhail, by then district governor Archie Hutchieson.

The club has evolved since then but it has always upheld the Rotary International motto of ‘Service Above Self’, raising thousands of pounds through various fundraising events to support many local and international causes including Water Aid and polio eradication.

In Kintyre, Rotary cash has funded school trips and boosted football, tennis and dancing groups, as well as various charities.

Among the club’s many fundraising events over the years are the popular Sale of the Century, Christmas Post, burger van and golf events.

However, the club insists it is not all about fundraising and requests for money as it has given awards to many local people who have been nominated by the public or by their teachers at Campbeltown Grammar School (CGS).

These awards include Citizen of the Year, Most Promising Young Musician of the Year, Young Stockperson of the Year and Euroscola of the Year, which is sadly now defunct because of the UK’s exit from the European Union.

New this year was the Young Photographer of the Year, the three winners of which went on to the western district final in Glasgow.

The club has also run mock interviews for secondary school students, and liaised closely with staff at CGS.

Every year, the club conducts a primary inter-schools quiz, the winners of which also go to the western district finals.

‘Sadly, The Rotary Club of Campbeltown has been affected by Covid, like all charities and organisations, and we has been unable to meet for our usual weekly lunches in the Argyll Arms Hotel,’ said current president Pat Healey.

‘We also, crucially, have been unable to do any fundraising owing to Covid rules.

‘However, many members willing and able to have continued to meet weekly on Zoom, and have had the benefit of speakers who don’t have to travel the long road to Campbeltown to attend meetings.

‘These included a journalist speaking from Washington DC about the then upcoming American election, and several from England.’

Happily, the club, which is always looking for new members, has resumed lunches in the Argyll Arms Hotel, Campbeltown, and this has been much appreciated by members.

Its postponed 50th anniversary charter dinner is set to take place in the hotel on Friday October 22. All members past and present, and many others including late members’ widows, are invited.

Anyone who would like to attend the dinner or join the club can contact secretary Cameron McNair by telephoning 01583 431265 or by writing to: The secretary, The Rotary Club of Campbeltown, c/o Argyll Arms Hotel, Campbeltown, PA28 6AB.