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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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2018-19 Open Meetings

MacKintosh Club logoA new programme of Winter Open Meetings begins at Helensburgh Civic Centre at 7.30pm on Wednesday September 26 with a talk by Bruce Jamieson on developing the Mackintosh Club.

Winter Talks

Wednesday September 26 — Bruce Jamieson: Developing the Mackintosh Club

Wednesday October 31 — AGM; then David Clark: How Helensburgh ended the Great War

Wednesday November 28 — Eric Thompson: Helensburgh and the Peace Movement

Wednesday January 30 — Trust members: brief talks on images of the past

Wednesday February 27 — Robert Ryan: Loch Lomond islands by canoe

Wednesday March 27 — Jon Reid: The Royal Northern Story


 Meetings in Helensburgh Civic Centre at 7.30pm.

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Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation
SC024603