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Kayak challenge followed Comet route

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Dewode-LogoA SUCCESSFUL charity sea kayak challenge last month followed the first part of the route of Henry Bell’s Comet 1 steamship from Port Glasgow to Blackmill Bay, Luing.

Douglas Hardie and his daughter Ione travelled 73.5 miles on Friday and Saturday July 21 and 22, despite a strong wind and occasional rain.

They were raising money for a charity in Uganda called DEWODE — Dedicated Women in Development — which is chaired by Douglas’s wife Pauline.

Pauline said: “The idea developed from our research into Henry Bell. We have a cottage on Luing, and when we read that passengers disembarked at Blackmill Bay it seemed appropriate to honour his memory.

“We visited the various memorials in Helensburgh earlier this year and also obtained photos of the remains of the Comet's engine while visiting the Science Museum in London.

“Dougie and Ione had to rest for about three hours until it was light enough to do the open crossing of the turbulent Loch Fyne, but otherwise, it was non-stop.

“They had a particularly strong head wind around the Dorus Mor. Needless to say, they had the Comet in their minds at that point especially!

“The following day we had an additional fundraiser on Luing. We gave people the opportunity to have a go at kayaking or they could relax with a drink and African cookies.

“It proved to be very popular despite the strong wind. It was also another chance to hear about Henry Bell.

“We remain grateful to Henry Bell for his inspiration. We thoroughly enjoyed researching his life history and have a much greater appreciation of his achievement.”

The couple founded the charity in 2009. It supports a group of women who live in the Kabermaido District in North Uganda.

“It began as a women's agricultural group and we have subsequently built a Health Centre which we hope to develop further,” she said.

“We still have donations coming in following the kayak challenge, so we are not sure of the total raised for DEWODE yet. All fundraising goes directly to staff salaries, medical supplies and development.”

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 29 August 2017 15:48 )  

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First 2017-18 Winter Open Meeting

John Hume-wThe first Winter Open Meeting will be held at the Civic Centre, East Clyde Street, Helensburgh, at 7.30pm on Wednesday September 27. Professor John Hume will speak on the history of local churches. All welcome.

Winter Talks 2017-18

  • Wednesday September 27 2017 — AGM; then Professor John Hume: History of local churches
  • Wednesday October 25 — Cleland Sneddon: Childhood holidays in Rosneath
  • Wednesday November 29 — David Bruce: Greatrex, Forger and Photographer

  • Wednesday January 31 2018 — Mike Thornley: The Glenarn Garden
  • Wednesday February 28 — Bruce and Nicola Jamieson: Developing the Mackintosh Club
  • Wednesday March 28 — Richard Reeve: A Brief History of the Rosneath Peninsula

Meetings in Helensburgh Civic Centre at 7.30pm.

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Charity Number

Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation
SC024603