A NEW Interact Club at Alford Academy has been officially inaugurated into the Rotary organisation by District Governor, Bill MacFarlane-Smith.
The ceremony took place in the Academy last Wednesday.
Interact is sponsored by Rotary International and is specifically geared for young people aged 14 to 18, to provide them with opportunities for active leadership, community service, and international involvement.
Academy Rector, Mrs Moira Milne, gave a warm welcome before inviting Paul Lawson, the Rotary's liaison with the school, to introduce the District Governor. Mr MacFarlane–Smith spoke of some of the projects being undertaken by Rotary International worldwide and drew particular attention to the final eradication of polio from the four countries where it is still found. He also spoke of the work being done by Interact Clubs elsewhere in the country and wished the new Alford club all the best for the future. He presented pupils with membership badges as well as a pennant from the Rotary International President, John Kenny from Grangemouth, whose motto for the year is "The future of Rotary is in your hands."
In her address, the new President of Alford Interact Club, Natalie Gillan, thanked Mr MacFarlane–Smith for his kind words and explained that the group had decided that the international project they wished to pursue for the coming year is support for the survivors of the Haiti earthquake. The charity they will support locally will be ALEC (Aberdeenshire Life Education Centres), the organisation which visits schools delivering age appropriate programmes on health issues, including drugs awareness. The Club's new Vice President, Andrew Glen, then thanked everyone for their support.
Interact has 11,000 clubs worldwide, with over 250,000 members. Each club undertakes at least one local community project and one international project each year.
Pictured are back row: Joshua Thomas, Rotarians Paul Lawson and Jennifer Dunn (Alford Vice President), Natalie Gillan (President Alford Interact Club), District Governor Bill MacFarlane-Smith, Councillor Richard Stroud, Rachael Armitage, Annabelle Samuelson, Jasper Tissen and Head Teacher Mrs Moira Milne. Front: Andrew Meechan, Callum Shanks, Andrew Glen (Vice President Alford Interact Club), Isabella Cook, Emma Riddell, Megan Cummings and Iona Beaton.