Mearns Probus Club

The second meeting of the club for June was held in the Crown Inn, Laurencekirk, with President Lawrie Smith chairing the meeting.

The president introduced Mrs Helen Smith to talk on a visit to South Africa with the Charity Good Will and Growth in Africa also known as GAGA. Helen is a retired nurse and president of the Stonehaven Rotary Club, and with fellow members and volunteers travelled to an orphanage at Ithembalihle.

Their purpose was to erect a building during their two-week stay and this they succeeded in doing. A plot of land had been donated by the Government but there was no running water or electricity available in spite of the fact that pylons carried live cables crossed the site. All the water had to be carried in containers by the volunteers for the building work.

On completion – in time – the concrete block walls and roof trusses plus roofing had been constructed with no scaffolding, cement mixers or hoists. All done manually.

Slides were shown of the progress of the building and Helen informed her audience of the sanitation, food supply and funding to provide a home for the many orphans there – or waiting to come in. Most of their costs were met by the volunteers for the travel and accommodation at a hostel near the site.

Albert Smith proposed thanks to Helen on behalf of club members. The next meeting will be on Monday July 1, in the Crown Inn at 10am.

Speaker will be Kip Fraser from Montrose on his charity cycle trip from Land’s End to John O’ Groats last year.