District news – Week 51, 2019

The top table of the Rotary's Charter Night. NO_T51_ObanRotary01

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Oban
The top table of the Rotary's Charter Night. NO_T51_ObanRotary01
The top table of the Rotary’s Charter Night. NO_T51_ObanRotary01

The Rotary Club of Oban held its 70th annual Charter Night in the Oban Perle Hotel at Station Square.

The top table for the evening included president Douglas Small and his wife Judith, Inner Wheel’s president Elizabeth Mudie and her husband David, district governor Jimmy Johnstone and principal speaker Dee Bradbury, president of the Scottish Rugby Union and former Oban police officer.

Rotarians and guests were entertained by Dee with stories of her time in the Oban police force but also in her current position as president of the Scottish Rugby Union.

Rotary president, and former sheriff, Douglas came to know Dee well during her former working life as a police officer and shared some memorable moments of some of the town’s well-known characters of the past such as Nellie Peace and Joe Tonner and his three-legged dog.

Dee’s oldest son Magnus is a current Scotland international player on the rugby field and represented Scotland at the recent World Cup in Japan.

Top class music for the evening was provided by Helen Jordan on the fiddle accompanied by Winnie McNicol on keyboards ,with The Hen’s March to the Midden and other great tunes getting feet tapping .

Accomplished young piper Emma Hill from Connel piped in the top table, with much gusto in a brief cameo appearance.

Oban

The Dove Centre in Oban has announced its Christmas and New Year opening hours.

The centre will be open on December 23 and 24, as well as December 30 and 31.

It will then be closed again until Monday January 6.

Islay

There will be a Christmas evening concert in Islay High School tonight (Thursday December 19).

The event will begin at 7pm and tea, coffee, and home baking will be on offer.

Tickets cost £5 or £4 for a concession.

Helensburgh

Plans have been submitted for repairs to Helensburgh’s pier, along with the installation of new barriers and benches.

Argyll and Bute Council has applied for planning permission to carry out work on the structure, which has been closed for more than a year on safety grounds because of concern over its deteriorating condition.

It was estimated in April that comprehensive work on the pier could cost up to £1 million, while in July it was suggested it could be included in plans for the new waterfront leisure centre.

The operators of the paddle steamer Waverley announced earlier this year that the ship would be unable to berth at the pier during its summer cruising programme – although that announcement was later rendered academic after the Waverley’s entire 2019 schedule was cancelled when it was discovered she would need new boilers to sail again.

The work for which the council is now seeking planning permission would not change the situation regarding the Waverley’s ability to berth at Helensburgh, and the part of the pier which has been off limits for many years because of fire damage would remain so.

A decision on the proposed improvements, which would restore safe access for pedestrians, is expected from the council in early 2020, with the public currently able to submit comments.

  • Plans for a new extension to Helensburgh’s Victoria Halls have been unveiled – amid concern over current storage arrangements at the popular venue.

And measures are also being proposed to stop young people gathering around the halls’ storage containers who have left club members afraid to use them at night.

A report submitted to Argyll and Bute Council by applicant Live Argyll, the charitable trust which runs the area’s council-owned leisure centres, libraries and halls, says it “cannot be overstated” that two key issues must be addressed to allow the hall to continue to function and sustain commercial success.

It says that efforts must be made to ensure adequate storage provision and address the restricted capacity of the main hall.

Also highlighted in the report is the issue of young people using the area as a shortcut to Hermitage Park – with graffiti and debris widespread.

Live Argyll has now submitted plans to the council, designed by Glasgow-based CMM Architects. A decision from the council is expected by late January.

Killin

At the November monthly meeting of Killin SWI, president Elizabeth Woods welcomed a good turnout of members and friends.

The speaker was Lisa Godfrey, who works for a London-based corporate travel company. She has worked in the industry for 18 years and has loved every moment.

Her remit is with an insurance company and the skill and expertise she has gained over the years is quite remarkable.

Lisa has been in the fortunate position to be chosen to experience some familiarisation trips which includes visits to Dublin, Helsinki, Bangkok and Delhi but her most wonderful experience was to Kenya. The vote of thanks was given by Jean Faichney.

Business was discussed, tea and coffee served and the competition winners were announced. Scenic photo: 1. Catriona Inglis, 2. Cathie Reid, 3. Ellen Stewart. Postcard: 1. Ellen Stewart, 2. Kay Riddell, 3. Lesley Stitt.

Meetings are usually held on the first Thursday of each month and anyone wishing more information should contact Ann Watson on 07796491362.