New President for Oban Rotary Club

Oban Rotary Club presidential handover between Douglas Small (left) and Kees Van Rein

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Oban Rotary Club now has a new president – the 71st in its history after it was established in 1949.

Douglas Small has officially handed over to Kees Van Rein, originally from Holland.

Mr Van Rein spent a career in the diplomatic service until retiring to Kilchrenan.

Mr Small said he had thoroughly enjoyed his year in office which started in July 2019.

But it was ‘tinged’ by the fact his duties had been curtailed by the pandemic.

Mr Small said: ‘Oban Rotary performs a multitude of good deeds to deserving individuals and organisations in our community.

‘We are a thriving and happy organisation who enjoy our meetings and fundraising activities.

‘It has been an honour for me to have served as their president. I wish Kees van Rein all the best in his year as president and hope that he derives as much pleasure from the
honour as I have done.’

Mr Van Rein said it was a ‘great pleasure’ to take over the baton and despite the coronavirus impact on fundraising, he believes ‘challenges are there to be overcome’.

He said the ‘inventiveness and perseverance’ shown by members would prevail.

Recently, the club has welcomed seven new members, including three women.

Mr Small’s activities during the last year included the presentation of cheques to Argyll Talking Newspapers, Oban Phoenix Cinema and the Gaelic choir.

Fundraising activities took place in 2019, including the Golf AM AM, a sponsored hill climb, the Duck Race and a Clay Pigeon Shoot.

November and December saw the club celebrate the 70th birthday of the granting of its charter and certificates presented to the winners of its Christmas Card Competition.

The club also assisted in the Reindeer Parade, which attracted more than 5,000 people to Oban.

More events, help and presentations followed in the early part of 2020 and when the pandemic struck, the Rotary established a Covid Response Group to work with Argyll and Bute Council.

It helped deliver prescriptions and carry out shopping for vulnerable members of the community.

Among the club’s gestures to help has been members donating £5 a week each to Hope Kitchen which has helped raised around £2,450 for the charity.