"Service above self"

Rotary Club of Shetland

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The Rotary Month

January 2011

The New Year seemed to have a travel theme for the Rotary Club. Our first speaker of the month was member Donald MacKinnon who reported on his recent trip to Australia. Donald considered himself slightly lucky to have got there as the flight from Singapore was on the Qantas A380 Airbus where the engine blew up two days later. As well as visiting family, Donald managed to see quite a bit of Australia including Uluru (Ayers Rock) but the highlight of the trip was what sounded like a very enjoyable train journey from Perth to Sydney on a service called the Indian Pacific. The journey covers 2,700 miles over three days and nights but with stops along the way to allow passengers to explore some of Australia’s sights and history. Australia is a long way away but with stopovers in Singapore and Hong Kong, Donald had several of the seafaring members of the club reminiscing about their youthful visits to the Far East.

The travel theme continued later in the month with a talk from Marilyn Stewart, a director of Voluntary Action Shetland, entitled “Three Wheels on My Wagon”. Marilyn and her husband have been intrepid explorers of Europe covering large distances in their campervan. Judging from the pictures they had certainly travelled far and wide to some spectacular places but the journeys were not all without incident. The title of the talk referred to a trip through one of the long Alpine tunnels where after some nasty noises and wobbly steering one of the campervan wheels parted company from the rest of the vehicle and left them stranded in the road in a dark and busy two way tunnel. Fortunately the police soon came to the rescue but it was certainly a day that wouldn’t be forgotten.

January was a quiet month with only three meetings but there was one important piece of business which was the appointment of Steve Benn of Virkie as Junior Vice President. Steve has been a member of several Rotary clubs in his home county of Yorkshire and joined the Rotary Club of Shetland at the end of 2009. The club has a busy year ahead with several major fund raising events planned for the spring and autumn (watch this space) and Steve’s experience will no doubt be a great help in making these a success.

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