‘Weel kent’ faces at Ellon Rotary, as men of Kent pay flying visit

Rotary President Bob Black welcomed seven Rotarians from the Weald of Kent last week.

When Ellon Rotary Club was not long established, a group of Rotarians including Jim Anderson, Ron Davidson, Alan Donaldson and Bob Duncan visited Macon, France to collect Beaujolais wine for a fundraiser. They befriended a group of Rotarians from Kent, establishing a link between the two clubs. The visitors were met at Aberdeen Airport and after lunch were treated to a tasting tour of Glengarioch Distillery. The following day they viewed the seals at the Ythan Estuary.

Mike Taylor also introduced a weel kent speaker to the meeting - Bill Smith, former Principal Teacher of Art and Design at Ellon Academy. Bill is now enjoying the challenge of guiding and lecturing on Plancius, a Polar Arctic expedition ship. The ship visited Holland, Rona and St Kilda before crossing the North Sea to the Faeroes and Greenland, then on to Spitzbergen.

Bill’s photographs and talk gave Rotarians an insight into the stunning landscapes, with views of cliffs jutting perpendicular to heights of 2500 feet. In the Arctic Circle, Bill as lead guide would step ashore first armed with a rifle to check for the presence of polar bears. Passengers were treated to the thrill of sharing the environment with these dangerous animals. The trip was an ornithologist’s and animal lover’s dream, with walrus, seals and blue whales.

Rotarian Alan Donaldson thanked Bill for his images and stories and commented that generations of school children had benefited from Bill’s enthusiastic leadership.