The first meeting of the Mearns Ladies Probus Club was held in the Crown Hotel, Laurencekirk and opened with the retiring President, Mrs Mavis Cowie, handing over to the new President, Mrs Anne Black.
Mrs Black welcomed 31 members and introduced the speaker, Ian Dow whose talk was on The Discovery Award. Mr Dow is the North East Coordinator for the Discovery Award Scheme. The Discovery Award was an idea formed in 1987 by people involved in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme and is aimed for the over 50’s. The Award is open to all over this age regardless of status, state of health and level of ability. It is non- competitive and those taking part set their own goals and reap the award of their own achievements. As with the Duke of Edinburgh‘s Award Scheme the Discovery Award has three levels - Bronze, Silver and Gold - all divided into four sections with an agreed time scale. Those taking part start with the Bronze and progress to the Gold. The sections within each level are headed Service in the Community, Hobby or Interest, Recreational Pursuit and Discovery Challenge or Journey of Discovery. Mr Dow has achieved the Gold award and gave an overview of the activities he undertook in achieving each level. These ranged from helping in charity shops to theatre trips to tapestry. Activities around his involvement with the Rotary and Scouting movement lent themselves to achieving some of the categories. In addition as a retired nurse, he was involved in an immunisation programme against polio in India.
The Scheme holds an Annual General Meeting every year and new members are always welcome. Questions followed and Mrs Black thanked Mr Dow for a most interesting talk.