Johnshaven Jottings

The Johnshaven Community Gardeners are on the lookout for more volunteers
The Johnshaven Community Gardeners are on the lookout for more volunteers
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Remembrance Day Service

In the 100th anniversary year of the outbreak of the First World War, the Rev Colin Dempster welcomed a large congregation to the annual Remembrance Day service in Johnshaven Church on Sunday morning.

The Union flag was received by the minister who went on to tell the story of the Christmas truce which took place on the front line in 1914. Then, in his sermon, referring to events which affected his own family in the Second World War, spoke of the horrors of war, stressing how grateful the nation should be to those who gave their lives for their country and concluded with Jesus’ words, “ There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”.

The colours returned, the congregation was led in procession by piper, Samuel Collins, to the War Memorial where Mr Dempster conducted the Ceremony of Remembrance. With due reverence wreaths were laid on behalf of the Kirk Session and congregation of Mearns Coastal Parish Church, Benholm and Johnshaven Community Council, the Guides, Johnshaven Primary School and Lathallan School.

After a short reading from the Bible, the minister prayed that peace should prevail throughout the world, the Last Post was played by Marshall Halliday on Viennese horn, the two minute’s silence was impeccably observed and a meaningful and moving ceremony was concluded with the singing of the National Anthem and the piper playing a lament.

At the church service the praise was led by organist Helen Doig and the minister intimated that calendars with stunning photographs of Johnshaven and St Cyrus, costing £6, are still available by contacting either himself on 01674850880 or Marion Brownlee on 01674850308.

This Sunday’s services will be held at the usual times of 10 am at St Cyrus and 11.30 am at Johnshaven when the Sacrament of Holy Baptism will be celebrated.

Mearns Coastal Guild

The Guild next meets in the Church Hall on Monday, November 17, at 2.30 pm for a “Crafty Afternoon”. All welcome.

Village Hall Committee

In delivering the annual report of the Village Hall Committee to their AGM, acting-Chair, Karelia Wright, thanked Chris Alexander for her time as chair and said that it had been a reasonably good year for the hall

Mrs Wright then went on to say that, with the support of the wider community, successful fund-raising had generated over £3000 through the pantomime, Fish Festival teas and the NEOS Café Day.

Moving on to deal with the committee’s plans for the future, the chair explained that maintenance and building issues have been ongoing with a particular focus on the need to provide a disabled toilet and she thanked Ewan MacKenzie for taking on a lot of the tasks involved. In this connection the committee will shortly be submitting an application to Big Lottery Scotland for Investing in Ideas funding and the success or otherwise of this application is likely to determine how the committee goes about improving the hall over the next year or two. Whatever the outcome, she stressed that there are already sufficient funds available to make essential upgrades such as providing a toilet for people with disabilities at the rear of the hall. Work is also underway in finalising the committee’s Vulnerable Adult and Child Protection Policy and the hall letting form, a new cleaner has been appointed and Mrs Wright thanked Issy Townsend and Cathie Williamson respectively for their help.

In drawing her report to a conclusion, Mrs Wright said that the hall would be a very busy place over the next month or so with a number of exciting events planned including the first film show for more than 50 years and a Johnshaven Bake Off, underlining the crucial role the Village Hall plays in the community and how important it is to keep it running smoothly and in good shape.

Finally, Mrs Wright suggested that the committee should now concentrate on making solid progress on improvements to the hall and on recruiting new members and thanked everyone for the considerable time and effort they had given to the hall over the last year and had a special word of thanks for the Treasurer, Sheila Simpson, whose experience and dedication is appreciated by all.

In presenting the Statement of Accounts, Mrs Simpson said that it had been a particularly good year financially for the hall. Income was £9279 and expenditure £5055 giving an excess for the year of £4225. Fund raising had realised £3393 and the profit from the Lucky Haul Lotto was £1971, once again illustrating how important the latter is in helping to meet the annual running costs of the premises. The main items of expenditure were electricity £1066, insurance £881 and fixtures, fittings and repairs £535 and the hall finished the year with cash assets of £23624.

The following office-bearers and committee were elected for 2014-15:

Chair, Karelia Wright. Secretary, Issy Townsend/Karelia Wright. Treasurer, Sheila Simpson. Committee: Holly Chandler, Rebecca Chambers, Ewan MacKenzie, Ian Pennington, Clark Simpson, Cathie Williamson.

Sunshine on Leith

“Sunshine on Leith” (certificate PG), a musical comedy featuring music by The Proclaimers will screen in the Johnshaven Village Hall on Saturday, November 15 at 7 pm. Tickets priced £5, with children under 16 paying £3.50 can be bought from Johnshaven Stores or by phoning 01561 361956.

This film is supported by North East Arts Touring (NEAT). Contributed by Karelia Wright

Johnshaven Community Garden

The arrival of cold and wet weather signalled the end of gardening at the Johnhaven Community Garden for this year, but not the end of activities.

At a meeting held on Friday last, the volunteers met to discus their aims for next season, and to make arrangements for a stall at the forthcoming Johnhaven Village Christmas Fayre which is to be held in the Village Hall on Saturday, November 22, at 2pm.

On reflection, the volunteers had accomplished quite a bit in the garden between the months of April to October.

A lot of effort went into the formation of a rose garden in memory of Mrs. Maisie Murray, a founder member who, along with Mrs. Berit Jarvis, is now remembered in the garden. Thanks are due to help given by Aberdeenshire Council, to all who contributed financially, and to those who toiled to get the garden ready in time for a formal opening, when a plaque was unveiled by Maisies’ son, Alan.

A gift of well-rotted manure was also welcomed - after the official opening!

The arrival of two pieces of equipment, namely a battery-operated strimmer and hedging shears, helped members tackle difficult jobs with much more ease, and thanks are also due to the Johnshaven Fish Festival Committee and SCOTMID for financial aid.

New members are very welcome to join the group, so that the maintenance of the Community Garden can continue with renewed vigour next April. For information, please ring 01561-362720 or 01561-361658.