A member of the Ayr Rotary Club was reunited with friends via video after a 20 year separation.

Jimmy Begg, a member of the Ayr branch, got to catch up with Rob Antoniazzi, a former member of the Rotary Club of Ayr, Queensland, Australia.

It came after the Ayrshire club were being invited to join a video call with the Australian branch’s members.

The connection between the clubs stretches back 73 years with the Australians donating food provisions to the Scottish club in the years after World War II.

In the year 2000, club member Jimmy Begg, with his wife Helen, travelled to Queensland where he took the opportunity to say thank you for the food parcels sent from Ayr to Ayr after the war.

There he presented their sister club with a friendship Quaich and formed a lasting, personal friendship with his hosts Rob and Lina Antoniazzi.

It was a fond reunion for Jimmy, who had been invited by Ayr, Queensland club’s president, Narelle Hibberd, to join their meeting.

In Jimmy’s own words: “When my mugshot appeared in their gallery, Narelle remarked ‘We have a visitor’.

“I introduced myself as a member of Ayr Rotary Club, Scotland, who had visited them in 2000.”

Then came a surprise for Jimmy when Rob, although no longer a club member, also appeared on Zoom.

Rob and Jimmy enjoyed a good catch up asking about each other’s families.

Jimmy invited the Queensland members to attend a Scottish Ayr club meeting. The offer received little uptake when it was calculated it would be held at 2am Australian time.


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