Ivor Butchart Face to Face 24 August 2017

Thu 24th August 2017 at 18.00 - 20.30

Ivor Butchart Face to Face

Ivor Butchart


It’s a tradition in Rotary that within the first year of membership (or thereabouts) new members give a talk in which they share some aspects of their life.  This is called a Face to Face: an informal process that helps members learn more about new(ish) members and helps to develop friendships. At the meeting of the Club on Thursday, it was the turn of Ivor Butchart to give his Face to Face.

Ivor was born in Dundee, where he also went to school and university. There he studied civil engineering, graduating in 1979, and entering employment with the consulting civil engineering firm Allen, Gordon and Company in Perth.

Giving an amusing twist to his talk, Ivor highlighted how often cardinal dates in his life had corresponded with dramatic events on the world stage.  He was born at the height of the Suez Crisis; started school at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis; and went to secondary school at the time of the first moon landing.  Such coincidences continued with the murder of Lord Mountbatten when he entered employment.

His employment itself was not short of incidents.  On one occasion, an excavator on his site damaged an unmarked underground cable. That, in itself, was of concern, but he was totally taken aback when an armed response unit arrived. It turned out the cable was a vital communication link for the early warning defence system at Balado, near Kinross. 

Continuing the link between important events in his life with those in the world, Ivor’s wedding to Ruth coincided with the Falkland War.  In due course, their first child, Graham, was born, followed by twins: Jennifer and Andrew.

Ivor’s career was focused on water-based provision, ranging across reservoirs, drainage, and the construction of hydro-electric schemes.  Despite his long involvement with water, he never learnt to swim!

Away from direct employment, he became Property Convener at Dunblane Cathedral in 1997, the year Bill Clinton was inaugurated, Hong Kong was returned to China and Princess Diana died.

Ivor retired in 2015 and now spends his time working as a volunteer at Dunblane Museum and, of course, keeping up with his son Andrew’s achievements on the world stage athletics track.

During his talk, Ivor posed a series of questions. The prize for the best score, appropriately, went to our most senior member, David Mackie.  Following a lively set of questions, Ivor was thanked for his talk by Speaker’s Host Hugh McCrea.