MSP de­liv­ers speech at Ro­tary char­ter din­ner

The Oban Times - - NEWS - by Neill Bo Fin­layson nfin­[email protected]­

An­other suc­cess­ful Ro­tary Club An­nual Char­ter Din­ner was held on Satur­day, with al­most 70 Ro­tar­i­ans and guests treated to a ex­cel­lent four­course meal at the Alexan­dra Ho­tel, Fort Wil­liam.

Guests also en­joyed a sparkling after-din­ner talk by their con­stituency MSP Kate Forbes, fresh from be­ing awarded a ‘Ris­ing Star’ ac­co­lade at the Her­ald’s Scot­tish Politi­cian of the Year awards.

Ms Forbes’ talk fo­cused on Scot­tish iden­tity and our per­cep­tion of our­selves. She, her­self, had a ‘very con­fused up­bring­ing’. Orig­i­nally from Ding­wall, she lived in In­dia for eight years (the only Scot­tish child who went to school in a rick­shaw!), then Glas­gow, be­fore re­turn­ing to Ding­wall Academy.

She then stud­ied at Cam­bridge and Ed­in­burgh uni­ver­si­ties, grad­u­at­ing with a BA hon­ours in His­tory and an M Litt in im­mi­gra­tion stud­ies.

Ms Forbes ad­mit­ted that ‘pol­i­tics is my bread and but­ter’ hav­ing worked in Dave Thom­son’s sup­port team be­fore suc­ceed­ing him and be­ing elected MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Bade­noch in 2016. She de­scribed her con­stituency as the ‘best in Scot­land’.

Turn­ing to Ro­tary, Ms Forbes said she was very aware of the work of the Ro­tary Club and its in­volve­ment in men­tor­ing youth, ad­vis­ing on ca­reer choices and op­por­tu­ni­ties. She told guests how she’s ben­e­fited enor­mously from the work of Ro­tary and con­cluded by propos­ing a toast to the Ro­tary Club of Lochaber.

Club pres­i­dent Iain John­ston thanked the politi­cian for an en­gag­ing and rel­e­vant talk be­fore invit­ing past pres­i­dent John Hutchi­son to pro­pose a vote of thanks on be­half of the club.

Mr John­ston re­minded those present that the Her­ald had also picked out Kate as ‘one to watch’ in the Scot­tish po­lit­i­cal arena and added his own ac­co­lade – ‘you’ve done no bad hen’ – be­fore wish­ing her well in the fu­ture.

After the event, Ms Forbes told the Lochaber Times: ‘On the day after St An­drews Day, I spoke about the im­por­tance of com­mu­nity as the foun­da­tion stone of our pol­i­tics.

‘Rather than speak­ing about Brexit and ref­er­enda and politi­cians, I spoke about the way in which we see our­selves as High­land com­mu­ni­ties.

‘Place, his­tory and lan­guage re­main im­por­tant means of bind­ing us to­gether.

‘So too does the in­ter­gen­er­a­tional work of the Ro­tary club which I too have ben­e­fited from.’

Pho­to­graph: Iain Fer­gu­son, alba.pho­tos.

Back row, left to right: Mar­garet Boyd, Celia Tal­bot, pres­i­dent elect Clive Tal­bot and Jane MacIn­tyre. Front row, left to right: Kate Forbes MSP, Vivien John­ston, pres­i­dent Iain John­ston and Oban pres­i­dent Iain MacIn­tyre.

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