Plenty to talk about at club

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - DISTRICT NEWS -

An­nan­dale Speak­ers Club met in Locker­bie Bowl­ing Club on November 1 when there was a good at­ten­dance of mem­bers present.

Pres­i­dent John Kerr demon­strated his ver­sa­til­ity by also act­ing as Mr Speaker for the evening.

Ron­nie Cal­lan­der got the meet­ing off to a good start with “Light the blue touch pa­per.”

He tack­led the ex­plo­sive sub­ject of Brexit which has been stirred up by both the press and politi­cians and is so com­pli­cated for both Bri­tain and Europe.

Ron­nie went on to dis­cuss the Gun­pow­der Plot and how Guy Fawkes had been caught.

“It’s all go­ing up in smoke” was David Bell’s sub­ject.

He told the story of Joachim Ron­nebergh, a Nor­we­gian who came to Bri­tain dur­ing the war with 10 oth­ers from the Nor­we­gian Re­sis­tance, to have mil­i­tary train­ing prior to be­ing parachuted into Nor­way to at­tack the Tele­mark Norsk Hy­dro Heavy Wa­ter Plant.

This dar­ing raid suc­cess­fully de­stroyed the plant and foiled Hitler’s plans to have a nu­clear bomb.

They then made their es­cape to Swe­den.

Joachim died last week aged 99. Mem­bers found the speech most in­ter­est­ing.

Next to the ros­trum was Frank Far­rell who posed the ques­tion “What has hap­pened to Hal­lowe’en?”

In a very amus­ing speech Frank re­lated his ex­pe­ri­ences as a young­ster dress­ing up in an old jacket worn back to front and cov­ered with a sheet.

They went guis­ing with their turnip lanterns call­ing at many houses and de­liv­er­ing their party pieces of po­etry and song be­fore re­ceiv­ing their re­wards of mon­key nuts, tablet and tof­fee ap­ples. How things have changed: the turnip has been re­placed by the pump­kin; cos­tumes are read­ily and cheaply avail­able at the su­per­mar­ket and the young­sters just have to tell a joke be­fore be­ing re­warded.

In Frank’s opin­ion the magic of Hal­lowe’en has been lost.

Top­ics were in the ca­pa­ble hands of Brian Shaw who posed the ques­tions to John Reid, Sandy Grant, Alan Collins, Ge­orge Gil­hooly and Bruce Edin­sor.

Sub­jects ranged from hair styles, the bud­get, vil­lage halls and crowd fund­ing in Mof­fat. All were well an­swered.

In the sec­ond half Bobby Smith’s sub­ject was “Look af­ter the pen­nies.”

Mem­bers were treated to the tale of farm­ing be­fore and dur­ing the Sec­ond World War when even some hill ground was used to pro­duce food and the sheep’s wool was in de­mand to pro­duce uni­forms for the troops.

Bobby ex­plained that when sheep are be­ing out-win­tered it is im­por­tant to give them some food in the troughs or else they will lose con­di­tion and cast their wool.

He ex­plained that the loose wool can be harm­ful to oyster catch­ers and other birds.

He il­lus­trated his speech with pho­to­graphs.

Bobby was crit­i­cal of the fat cats of in­dus­try to­day who are paid far too much while the rest of us have to look af­ter the pen­nies.

“A fool and his money” was tack­led by Phil Kenyon.

He told the fas­ci­nat­ing story of a fraud car­ried out in 1820 by Gre­gor Mc­Gre­gor who in­vented a new coun­try called “Poy­ais” ex­tend­ing to some 1800 acres.

Mc­Gre­gor pro­duced maps and brochures about the coun­try and in­vited peo­ple to in­vest.

This was so suc­cess­ful that in 1822 two ships set sail for Poy­ais only to dis­cover they had been duped and Mc­Gre­gor had ab­sconded to France with £200,000.

Phil then out­lined some of the cy­ber scams and frauds that we all en­counter to­day and warned mem­bers to be on their guard. This was an ex­cel­lent speech.

The last speech of the evening, from Alis­tair Steven­son, was en­ti­tled “All that glit­ters is not gold”.

Alis­tair agreed with the state­ment and felt that the young­sters of to­day should lis­ten to their el­ders: stan­dards are slip­ping and there is a lack of moral­ity in the mod­ern world.

He went on to de­scribe the prop­er­ties of gold in­clud­ing fool’s gold.

He quoted from Shake­speare’s Mer­chant of Venice where the suit­ors of Por­tia had to choose one of the three cas­kets – gold, sil­ver or lead to win her hand in mar­riage. This was a very good speech to con­clude the meet­ing.

Critic Michael Dickie had lit­tle to crit­i­cise and much to praise. Time­keeper Ken­neth Mor­land pro­posed a vote of thanks.

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