Rotary Club of Monifieth and District

President’s AGM Address

Fellow Rotarians, it is with great pleasure that I submit this report having almost completed my year as president. Many of you have commented that my year as President has gone extremely fast. And yes, it has; it has been challenging, fun and rewarding. All in all, it has been a very affirming experience.
My presidential year can be aptly described as “annus peculiaris”.
I became president not after a “hand over” but an unexpected “take over” due to unfortunate circumstances that you are aware of. Lockdown added to the difficulties. Without having sit-down meetings and unable to socialise in person put a strain, to say the least.
But we are a robust club. We recognise our strength. We are resolute. We know we have an important place in our community, and our commitment to serve. We did serve and continue do so.
I would like to give a big thank you to all of you who supported me during this period.
However, I would like to mention the following:
Neil Ferguson – Community and President-elect
Stan Ure – Secretary
Mike Watkin – Treasurer
Brian Cunningham – Fundraising
Alasdair Macleod – Health and safety, Foundation
Ewen Jenkin – Youth
Stuart Robison – International
Together with these council members I like to give a big thank you to.
Derek Lang – Past president
Nick Day – Auditor and International
Dennis Young – Community and Special counsellor
Hugh Begg – Handbook Scribe and Advisor
For their functions, wisdom, counsel, and support. Particularly, Dennis, whose steady hand and support during the awkward situations has been most valuable. I am grateful.
Stan Ure, our secretary
Stan has been outstanding in his support to me and the club as secretary – and the quality of his work has been excellent. A good secretary in any organisation is essential and without doubt Stan is truly first class in his role.
Mike too has been an excellent and meticulous treasurer – he has provided great support ensuring all transactions were dealt with speedily and efficiently. Providing reports and adding valued gift aid.
Both Stan and Mike are truly a credit to our club.
But as you all know, Stan has given his notice and will be giving up his role as secretary at the end of June this year. For reasons even I do not understand I have put myself to take up that role from Stan. It will be a major challenge to walk in those huge shoes. (What was I thinking!!)
We will miss Stan, but I know Stan will always be there for us when we need good counsel and support. Stan, I am ever so grateful for all that you have done as our secretary.
Moving on to the past year plan.
The plan that was put together, largely in consultation with the appointed team convenors, was mostly acted upon. It is either completed or work in progress. This was due to council’s and members for their dedication, hard work, and remarkable resilience. The pandemic, which continues to plague us, has made Rotary business difficult but we overcame. We embraced new technologies and learnt fast to conduct our business virtually.
We held our club meetings via Zoom. I can honestly say, with significant success. I acknowledge that few members could not adopt to these new “virtual” meetings and consequently could not engage fully in our club activities. It was imperative that we embrace the membership under an umbrella of fellowship and keep everyone engaged. So “Fellowship” was adopted as the prime theme. We organised several fellowship events throughout the year such as.

  • coffee mornings,
  • Virtual quiz,
  • Gin tasting,
  • Christmas party and
  • Burn’s Supper.

During Easter we organised an Easter Pack and delivered it to each member to encourage engagement with the club more.
Notwithstanding the constraints imposed by the pandemic, we still managed to make significant service to “change lives”. Over this period, we did multitude of community activities that have enriched the lives of people living in Angus.
Donation of several thousand pounds for

  • PPE,
  • Toys,
  • Food bank,
  • Tesco Vouchers,
  • Dictionaries for life
  • IT equipment for pupils

In addition, I identified Move More AngusAlive, a subsidiary of Macmillan Cancer Support, to be the main beneficiary this year and will receive £1000 next week.
It is not just the local community, our club’s efforts reached beyond to the international community too. We successfully contributed to.

  • Shoe and Shelter boxes
  • Village Water in Zambia
  • WASH project in India
  • Covid Disaster in India etc

I am sure you will all agree that our international endeavours have been totally successful due to the fabulous work by the team; Stuart Robison, Nick Day and Hugh Begg.
Stuart Robison, our international convenor
Stuart Robison has been Convenor of the international team for more than five years. His efforts, hard work and dedication were one of the reasons our international projects are so successful. Our, relatively small club, could punch way above its weight due to the efforts of Stuart and his team. Now, Stuart has given notice to step away from this role which he so efficiently held for several years. On behalf the club I thank Stuart for all his work done for the club.
Fund raising this year was near impossible due to the pandemic restrictions. However, members generously contributed to our Trust Fund, and we have been able to thus donate to Angus Young Carers, Food bank and help Covid crisis in India. Brian Cunningham and his team are committed to put forward plan to run again the projects namely the Charity golf day, Pop-up Shop and Santa Sleigh next year. I am glad we were able to do the “Beach Cleaning” with our neighbouring Rotary Club of Broughty Ferry amidst this pandemic without breaching the restrictions.
Now these restrictions are being lifted albeit cautiously. Opportunities to do more projects outdoor is feasible. It is possible to meet up with other people, share meals, share a drink in the pub, and share activities. But pandemic is still present and various variants of the corona virus are emerging. This means that we should still exercise caution and continue to wear mask, avoid crowding, maintain social distancing and hug carefully!!
Also, to have proper face-to- face sit-in Rotary meeting that we all are used to and crave for may not be possible yet. But that will not deter us from doing our Rotary business. We could and will continue our virtual activity and progress. The wheel of Rotary will go on, so our commitment to our community, and to the world goes on.
I am looking forward to hand on the baton to Neil and to be there for him, and to be a Rotarian ready to serve.

Praveen Manthri
President 2020-21
Rotary Club of Monifieth and District.