2014-2015 was an eventful year for the Rotary Club of Jedburgh. President Gordon Stuart agreed to stay on for another year by popular acclaim.
The “Rotary Ladies” support group continued to organise car boot sales, garden plant sales and operate a ‘pop-up’ shop in the Canongate, earning a substantial amount of extra cash for the club’s charity account. These efforts are always much appreciated and the ‘Ladies’ were given due recognition by the membership during the club Christmas dinner at the ‘Carter’s Rest’ in December.
Long-serving member and past President George R. Miller was honoured by being presented with the Paul Harris Award for his outstanding contribution to the club over many years. George has always been a stalwart of the Jedburgh community and has served the town well in many capacities.
Many of the club members attended the District 1020 conference in Aviemore during November, enjoying a weekend of fun, exchanging of ideas and hearing from inspirational guest speakers.
Club members participated in and supported the Jedburgh Winter Festival during the first week of December 2014. This was a new event in Jedburgh and was a great success. With the inclusion of more activities in 2015, the Festival looks set to be a popular annual event in the Jedburgh calendar.
A members and partner’s car treasure hunt took place in April 2015 with participants touring the countryside south and west of Jedburgh looking for clues and ending at the ‘Cross Keys’ in Denholm for an excellent meal. A prize was given to the team with the most points.
In May volunteers from the club carried out the annual clean-up of Jedburgh by collecting litter from the roadsides and river banks. This is a service the club is glad to do each year in order to keep the town clean and tidy.
On 7 June the club held its annual sponsored walk around Jedburgh, which was well supported and raised more funds for the club charity account. Sales of crocus buttonholes in Jedburgh and Woodside Garden Centre were very successful, contributing towards the drive to eliminate polio world-wide.
On 10 June Jedburgh was honoured to receive Holocaust survivor Ziggi Schipper who gave a talk to Jedburgh Grammar School students at the Town Hall. The event was organised by the club in partnership with the school and was a memorable experience for all who attended.
The club gave assistance to over 30 charities, local groups and individuals throughout the year. The list is exhaustive and includes Jedburgh Grammar School, the primary schools, sponsorship of Rotary Young Leadership candidates, the J.G.S equestrian team, meningitis research, Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline, the Borders Children’s Charity, Jedburgh Food Bank, payment towards Gemma Scott’s racing wheelchair, financial support for local athlete Lucy Hope’s efforts to take part in the Commonwealth games, Jedburgh Women’s Aid and many others too numerous to mention.
Our ‘Lend with Care’ and ‘E Bay’ initiatives made excellent progress during the year and the club organised another successful outing for O.A.Ps to Eyemouth on 4 August.
The grayling fishing competition on the Teviot was well supported and on 28 July volunteers from the club helped to steward and park cars at the Waterloo commemoration event at Penielheugh, Jedburgh where there is a monument to commemorate the battle, the Duke of Wellington having been a cousin of the then Marquis of Lothian. Over £500 was raised through a bucket collection taken at the exits from the parking area.
The club held a special dinner at the ‘Capon Tree’ on 31 July to honour President Gordon Stuart’s two-year presidency. Normally presidents serve one year but the club felt that Gordon’s work had been so outstanding that it asked him to stay in office for another year. Members were glad to make a special presentation to Gordon in appreciation of his service.
During the 24th and 25th of July volunteers from the club helped to hand out safety wristbands to children attending the Border Union Show in Kelso. The bands had the parent’s mobile phone numbers written on them so that any children who became lost could be located through telephone contact.
Club Secretary Steve Smith has recently published a collection of his poetry, entitled, ‘After the Flood.’ The collection is mostly inspired by Steve’s love of Scotland and the Borders and he is donating money derived from sales to the Jedburgh Club.
Members recently heard from the Chair of the Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline charity which helps children from Belarus who have been affected by the explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant. Despite being born since the tragedy, the children are highly likely to suffer from thyroid defects, cancer or blood disorders due to residual radiation in their part of Belarus where the deadly radiation cloud was most dense at the time. This is a charity which the club supports and groups of children visit the Borders regularly to have new shoes fitted, have dental treatment and have a break at the seaside – a real treat for them as their country is landlocked.
Our 40th anniversary charter dinner and President’s Night was held on 16 October in the Dryburgh Abbey Hotel, St. Boswells. The club has received a special certificate from the R.I President, to mark its 40th anniversary. Kelso Club has been invited as it is our ‘Mother Club.’
The club continues to serve the people of Jedburgh and the wider world through a varied programme of charitable works and assistance. With undiminished energy we move forward into the coming year in good heart.