Recently, the Royal Edinburgh Million Dollar Weekend was hosted by RI President Gordon Mclnally and his spouse Heather in their hometown, the event coinciding with the Edinburgh International Festival — ‘The Fringe’.
Four AKS members from India — PDG K P Nagesh and Uma from RID 3191, PDG Deepak Gupta and his spouse Reena (RID 3012) took part in this “remarkable experience”. Ravishankar Dakoju from RC Bangalore (RID 3191) and his spouse Paola too were all set to attend this gala, but could not do so due to a tragedy in the family.
RI President Gordon McInally expressed heartfelt gratitude to the major givers, whose continued support has played a pivotal role in Rotary’s mission of doing good in the world.
On the evening of August 17, the Waldorf Astoria Caledonian set the stage for a warm welcome reception and dinner for AKS members from around the Rotary world. “The night began with the soul-stirring melodies of traditional Scottish bagpipes, setting the tone for a memorable gathering. The local Rotary Club of Braids, led by PDG Alasdair Seale of RID 1020, extended their warm welcome. As we entered a beautifully adorned dining hall, the irresistible aroma of a delectable feast filled the air,” said PDG Nagesh.
During the dinner, President Mclnally shared insight into TRF’s tireless efforts and the positive impact it continues to make year after year. He expressed heartfelt gratitude to the major givers, whose continued support has played a pivotal role in Rotary’s mission of doing good in the world. Trustee Chair Barry Rassin echoed these sentiments and underlined the need to expand the community of regular givers, as only collective action and dedication could help the organisation to help more people.
A sumptuous breakfast set the stage for the group’s journey to the iconic Royal Yacht Britannia. This floating palace has hosted royalty, world leaders and dignitaries, making it a truly unique and historic landmark. “Our luxurious bus tour of the city treated us to breathtaking views of Edinburgh’s beauty. At the Palace of Holyroodhouse, we immersed ourselves in its splendour, exploring its gallery, palace gardens, and the regal dining hall. Later in the day, we were treated to a VIP seating arrangement at a mesmerising military band show, a spectacle of grandeur and national pride. As an air force officer, connecting with esteemed defence leaders during this event filled me with a deep sense of pride and camaraderie. It was a moment that underscored the shared values and commitment to service that transcend borders, making the memory all the more meaningful,” said Nagesh, who is a retired flight lieutenant.
At the grand dinner at the Edinburgh Castle, the generous donors were treated to the various flavours of Scotland and celebrated the camaraderie that Rotary embodies. The next day they had a leisurely Sunday breakfast with the RI president and trustee chair. “Their genuine warmth and approachability were evident as they visited each table, taking time to connect with every participant. It was a reflection of Rotary’s core values of service and fellowship, leaving a lasting impression on all of us,” he added.
It was a moment that underscored the shared values and commitment to service that transcend borders, making the memory all the more meaningful.
– K P Nagesh, AKS member and PDG, RID 3191
The four Indians returned home carrying with them beautiful memories of the special time spent with Rotary’s top leaders, and “the generosity, unity and graciousness that defines Rotary International. The event was a testament to Rotary’s enduring spirit and the power of philanthropy.”