Carnoustie Rotary Club has taken a look back on decades of success after losing the battle to recruit the new members needed to keep the organisation alive.
The decision to end the presence of the international organisation in the burgh was taken after much soul searching by current Rotarians, who have proudly reflected on the group’s achievements over more than 60 years.
“Despite our efforts, it just proved too difficult to recruit new members to maintain the club at a viable level of membership,” said Rotary vice-president Eric Armit.
“It has been very sad for all of the members as it gave us the opportunity to contribute to and support so many deserving organisations in the town and elsewhere.”
The inaugural meeting of the Rotary Club of Carnoustie was held at Nicoll’s Rooms in the town on January 30 1956 and the formal presentation of the Rotary Charter took place at the same venue in mid-June that year.
Milestone celebrations have included 25th and 50th charter anniversary dinners for the club, whose regular meeting place was the Station Hotel.
Following the last meeting earlier this summer, Mr Armit and fellow Rotarians have reflected on the Carnoustie involvement in local, national and international campaigns down the years.
The club met the challenge set by Bill Gates to Rotary International worldwide in 2008 to raise £4,500 for the organisation’s campaign to eliminate polio, with folk concerts and school ‘Purple Pinkie’ days contributing to the final total.
It also forged a strong link with Africa when a club member visited Choma in Zambia.
“He discovered that the local fire station didn’t have any equipment, let alone a fire engine. As our member was with the fire board locally we were extremely lucky to be given a fully-refurbished fire engine from Tayside Fire and Rescue which after fund raising we were able to send to Choma,” added Mr Armit.
Support has continued through the provision of food, sports goods and redundant NHS Tayside medical equipment unit from the defunct Ashludie Hospital which was used to fit out a new clinic there.
Mr Armit added: “From 2015 to 2018, the Rotary Club of Carnoustie presented an annual Christmas musical raising funds for local schools and organisation and in 2015 we organised and hosted a Provost’s Summer Ball which raised over £13,000 for the Provost’s selected charity Alzheimer’s Scotland.
“The late Lord Provost of Angus, Helen Oswald was the first honorary member elected to the Rotary Club of Carnoustie,” he said.
Annual highlights have included the club’s tri-am golf tournament and Burns supper, and Rotary has regularly donated money to community causes and sponsored prizes for a broad range of events including the primary schools’ quiz, poetry competition, town gala and youth organisation events.
They also proudly subsidised Carnoustie High in a history-making trip to China last September when pupils became the first UK school brass band to perform there.