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Young Farmers, young and not so young, listening to the main speaker, Professor Kevin Sinclair, a past member of the Watten club. Picture: Robert MacDonald / Northern Studios
About 350 past and present Young Farmers got together at the weekend to celebrate 100 years of the organisation in Caithness.
The centenary ball at the Assembly Rooms in Wick on Saturday night was the high point of a busy programme of activities marking the anniversary.
A total of 243 sat down for dinner and another 100 attended the dance only, with music supplied by local band Whisky.
The main speaker was Kevin Sinclair, formerly of Watten Young Farmers, now professor of developmental biology at the University of Nottingham.
Avril Henderson, secretary of the Caithness Young Farmers’ 100th anniversary committee, said: "It was great to everybody all there, dressed to the nines and having a great time.
"It wasn't all Caithness folk – there were some from outwith the county. But even from within Caithness there were folk that hadn't seen each other for a while and they enjoyed catching up.
"It was a great way for everybody to get together and celebrate the 100 years."
Photos and cuttings from over the years were on display.
Mrs Henderson emphasised that the success of the event was down to a team effort, adding: "We all try our best."
Guest speaker Professor Kevin Sinclair (centre, front row), a past member of Watten Young Farmers, with (from left, front) Jane Strawhorn, Ayrshire, chairperson of the Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs (SAYFC), John Forbes, Caithness district chairman, Sandy Douglas, chairman of the centenary organising committee, Avril Henderson, secretary of the centenary organising committee, (back) Ally Brunton, Fife, vice-chairman of SAYFC, Euan Bremner, Caithness district secretary, Beth Douglas, North Area vice-chairperson and secretary of Bower Young Farmers, James Mackay, past Caithness district chairman, and Gordon Henderson, organising committee member. Picture: Robert MacDonald / Northern Studios
Organisers were back at the Assembly Rooms next morning tidying up.
Caithness Young Farmers are planning another
Christmas tractor run this year, on December 27.
They are hoping to hand over cheques early in 2024 to the three charities that have been supported by the centenary activities – the Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution, Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance and Moray Firth Radio Cash for Kids
Scotland's Young Farmers movement began in Caithness. At the end of September
a commemorative stone was unveiled at the old Lanergill school, now a private home, where the first Young Farmers club in the country was formed in April 1923.
The movement is led by the Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs (SAYFC). There are 72 clubs across Scotland, including the three in Caithness.
National chairperson Jane Strawhorn and vice-chairman Ally Brunton were among the guests in Wick.
SAYFC describes itself as a membership organisation for and run by young people from across Scotland. It has more than 3500 members across three regions.
Isla Mackay, a member of the Bower club, and Eva Swanson, a past member of Watten Young Farmers, cutting the centenary cake during the ball in Wick on Saturday night. Picture: Robert MacDonald / Northern Studios Past and present members of Bower Young Farmers. Of the three clubs remaining in the county, Bower is by far the largest with more than 80 current members. Picture: Robert MacDonald / Northern Studios Some of the past and present members of Forss Young Farmers. Picture: Robert MacDonald / Northern Studios Kevin Sinclair, professor of developmental biology at the University of Nottingham, a past member of Watten Young Farmers, addresses the gathering at the Assembly Rooms in Wick. Picture: Robert MacDonald / Northern Studios Five past members of the former Watten Young Farmers and a young Bower member who is from the district baked the main cake and three other smaller cakes, along with various other tasty items, for the centenary ball. The three smaller cakes were served following the dinner and the main cake went into a prize draw. With the main cake are (from left) Margaret Brims, Isla Mackay, her mum Meg Mackay, Helen Campbell and Eva Swanson. Alison McDonald, who made tablet, was unable to attend. Picture: Robert MacDonald / Northern Studios Some past members of the former Latheron club. Picture: Robert MacDonald / Northern Studios Some of the past and present members of Halkirk Young Farmers. Picture: Robert MacDonald / Northern Studios Past members of Watten Young Farmers. The club folded a few years ago. Picture: Robert MacDonald / Northern Studios
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