90th Anniversary Dinner
In December 1929 the Rev T F Harkness Graham, founder President of Hamilton Rotary Club and then District Governor, wrote to Rev W Phin Gillison, minister at Ayr Auld Kirk, suggesting the formation of a Rotary Club in Ayr. A lunch meeting was subsequently arranged in the Station Hotel between several individuals from both towns at which the Ayr group showed no enthusiasm. However six months later, the same men met again and there was a decision to form a new club in Ayr under Phin Gillison’s chairmanship on 9th December 1930.
Many subsequent meetings took place in the offices of Kilpatrick and Wilson, solicitors, then at 33 Newmarket Street, between that December and May 1931. A charter dinner was held in September 1931 in the Station Hotel, attended by many august dignitaries from all over the county and beyond.
Mondays at lunchtime were chosen as the best meeting day and time because then, there being no washing machines, the lady of the house was assisted with reasonably cheap domestic servants and she was only too happy to have her husband out all Monday, a recognised washing and cleaning day.
After many, many years of raising monies for local and international charities, as well as contributing project successes like Message in a Bottle, the Scottish Poppy Appeal, the Ayrshire Coastal Path and countless others, the Rotary Club of Ayr held its 90th anniversary dinner on the Brig o’ Doon on Thursday 18th November, hosted by the genial Kenneth Dickie and entertained by harpist Meredith McCrindle. Seven other clubs including our Mother Club, Hamilton and our Daughter Clubs, Alloway, Girvan, Prestwick and Cumnock attended the glittering evening, joining 90 guests, Rotarians and partners.
During the evening when the audience was entertained by speakers delivering fun and facts, a prestigious award was announced. Fiona McAvoy MBE, head teacher of Newton Primary School, was welcomed into the Paul Harris Fellowship for her sterling work in reducing poverty and helping disadvantaged children and young people in the community. Two further presentations were made, this time to members of the Club. A Club Service award was given to Ronnie Wilson for his work as Treasurer and other key services. A special Poppy Scotland Award was given to Paul Williams after his successful 5 years organizing the Poppy Appeal in Ayr.