By Bernie Bell
The John Rae Society have had to postpone their Open Days at the Hall of Clestrain for this year, and also postpone other planned events. This will make a big dent in their finances, and delay progress on the restoration of the Hall.
Members of the JRS received a letter from our President, Andrew Appleby, and, the simplest way to explain the situation, is to quote Andrew –
“18th April 2020
This is to let you know that the Trustees of The John Rae Society are thinking of you. This pandemic is a worry to us all. In Orkney we are observing the recommendations seriously. So far we have had four confirmed cases, so vigilance is the order of the day. We do hope you are all keeping safe.
We have now got Microsoft Teams. This works very well for virtual meetings. I’m beginning to enjoy it. It certainly gets the work organized.
We are forging on with getting Heritage Assessments completed by Simpson and Brown in Edinburgh. Rob Robinson of Heritage Consulting is reporting on our business sustainability. Pressing on in these times is vital. We hope to be ready directly the crisis is over. We will then apply for the big funding to forward our Arctic Centre at The Hall of Clestrain and get on with restoration and all that goes with that.
In the last Newsletter, we asked if you could fill in the Community Questionnaire, which is on our website.John Rae Society Some of us have, but we need a lot more of you to do this by the end of April! It won’t take long, but is SO important for our funders to see. It will give us further access to this vital funding. Also, if you can think of others who might fill it in, please do ask them. You don’t have to live in Orkney for this. You can be anywhere!
The return on our John Rae Birthday Lottery was excellent. Thank you. As we have had to cancel our events, where we would have sold the rest of them, this won’t happen. But the Draw on the 30th September will still take place. Should you feel the urgent desire to have some more tickets, even if they are a present for someone dear to you, please do ask and we will post you some. Or you can get them from our website.
Despite the world situation, we remain positive and are working hard to make our great John Rae adventure the success it well deserves to be.
With all good wishes.
President of The John Rae Society.”
So, folks, you don’t necessarily have to put your hands in your pockets, as those pockets have a lot of demands being made on them at the moment! Filling in the questionnaire would help though – every little helps!