Inverbervie and District Probus

At the meeting on February 25, Chris Green introduced guest speaker Jim Brown who gave a very informative talk on the 2012 Olympic Torch and W.D. Kinear, a local Olympic gold medallist.

Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby’s design for the torch was chosen from over 600 submissions.

They designed the torch at their studios in London and it was engineered in Basildon and 8000 of them (one for each bearer) were manufactured in Coventry from gold PVD finished aluminium.

The torch has 8000 laser cut perforations, 3600 on the inner casing and 4400 on the outer, representing the 8000 runners and the 8000 mile journey. Functionally the holes reduce the weight of the torch and allow the heat generated from the gas burner to dissipate.

Several of the torches have been offered for sale on e-bay and sell for around £5000 but one has allegedly been sold for in excess of £150,000.

Ben Ainslee started the journey at Land’s End and Jim was chosen as one of the fortunate 8000 to be a torch bearer on the leg from Montrose to Brechin as it made its 70 day journey around the United Kingdom. The youngest bearer was 12 years old and the oldest 100 years.

Another lesser known torch was Logan’s Olympic Torch. A paper version of an Olympic torch started a round-the-country relay, after being sold on an online auction site by a five-year-old boy.

Logan McKerrow had the idea after seeing real Olympic torches for sale on the internet for thousands of pounds.

His torch has been bought and re-sold 60 times, by people helping him raise £34000 for the Hearing Dogs for Deaf People charity. The Queen was presented with it as the 61st owner in her 61st year on the throne.

William Duthie Kinnear was a Scottish rower who won many major scull events at London regattas and was chosen to represent Great Britain at the Stockholm games in 1912 where he won a Gold Medal. He was born at Laurencekirk and trained as a draper before moving to London in 1899 and worked for Debenhams.

All his rowing training was carried out in his spare time. During World War One Kinnear served with the Royal Naval Air Service and afterwards became a rowing coach. He was inducted into the

Scottish Sports Hall of Fame on 12 of March 2007.

During his centenary, in recognition of his achievements, a plaque was mounted on the wall of the house where he lived in Johnston Street, Laurencekirk.

The vote of thanks was proposed by Peter MacInnes