At our meeting on 09/02/21 club members remembered the life of long time member Alex Watson.
The memorial was led by Allan Frazer, other club members also contributed their memories of Alex.
Allan led off with his memories of a Burns Night Supper held in Jan 2015 with 65 people present. Elaine served Scottish Oatcakes with Haggis along with slow braised shanks, rumbledethumps - potato, cabbage and onion, roasted root vegetables and green salad. Before eating the party heard the Selkirk Grace.
“Some hae meat and cannot eat.
Some cannot eat that want it:
But we hae meat and we can eat,
Sae let the Lord be thankit.”
Alex grew up in Pittenween which is East of Edinburgh in the Fife area of Scotland. At the age of 21 he paid one pound for a sea voyage to NZ to take up a job with the ANZ bank. During this time, he studied to gain his accountancy qualifications and then set up in private practice and over many years handled the personal finances and tax returns for many Club members.
His wife, Barbara says that both she and Alex greatly enjoyed their involvement with Rotary and in particular enjoyed hosting 3 Rotary exchange students – Alejandro from Argentina, Mieke from Germany and Stephen from Denmark. She went on to say that Alex celebrated his 90th birthday last year but in recent times his quality of life had deteriorated. I met up with him a few weeks before he died and we were able to share some good times.
He was President for the 1994-95 year. In this role he presided over the Club running the second Karori Rotary Garden Party at the British High Commission in Homewood Ave; also, this was during the Trees for Survival Rotary District programme with the planting of the trees in the Battlehill Reserve at Pauahatanui. Alex and Club members assisted the Marsden School girls here growing native plants from seed.
Alex took on the role of Club Treasurer for many years. And without fail he would rattle the coins collected from the Sergeant’s session during the meeting. Also, he served as Club Secretary from 2011 to 2013. His office also recorded member apologies for a number of years.
Alex was a regular attendee at Club meetings listening to some excellent speakers but also the occasional boring one He enjoyed his Scotch whiskey and donated good bottles of whiskey for club auctions.
Alex and Barbara were very sociable and invited many Club members to their beach house in Waikanae for BBQs.
Earlier I mentioned the Burns Night Supper which Alex and I organised. Alex played a key role including reciting Burns’ famous poem To A Haggis, with great enthusiasm: the first verse goes

“Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o the puddin’-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang’s my arm.

When he reached the line ‘an cut you up wi’ ready slight’, he cut open the haggis with great flourish. At the end of the evening we all sang Auld Lang Syne and in remembering Alex I would conclude with reciting the verse:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

Alex had a private family funeral service. We extend our love and heartfelt thoughts to Barbara who is also at Selwyn Sprott and their family.
Farewell Alex, RIP