Society is still providing local support

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A Bute charity will focus on using its funds to continue to help others instead of any lavish celebrations to mark its 150th birthday.

The proposal to form a charitable society in connection with the Island of Bute was made in the Merchant’s Hall, Glasgow, on the evening of December 23, 1867. The objective of the society was the prevention or relief of poverty by giving financial aid to deserving persons living on or belonging to Bute.

Charles Soane, Secretary/Treasurer of Glasgow Bute Benevolent Society

Charles Soane, Secretary/Treasurer of Glasgow Bute Benevolent Society

The Glasgow Bute Benevolent Society launched in early 1868 with the first AGM, held in the Rose Hotel, Argyle Street, Rothesay.

However, a century and a half later, instead of shouting from the rooftops, the society will continue doing what it does best – helping others.

Society secretary and treasurer Charles Soane said: “We have just marked it with a wee notice to each of the beneficiaries. And we will just be noting our achievements at our upcoming AGM (July 6, 2pm at Bute Museum). It’s a nice opportunity to mark the longevity of the society and that it’s continuing to provide a benefit to the local community.

“We can’t spend charitable funds on social events. We could spend a minimum amount on something, but it seems better to us to spend the funds on charitable purposes than on a party.”

Charles explained more about how the society helps local people. He said: “It’s so satisfying that it is still there and able to support deserving people on the island.

“Currently there are 21 people who receive payments twice a year from us on the island. It’s fortunate that it benefits from the trust fund managed by the Glasgow trades house, which provides an annual income to the society.

“So we are able to make the distributions to the beneficiaries.”

And the next 150 years?

Charles said: “We are certainly hoping to continue but with the way charities are going these days the charity is looking to re-brand as a SCIO, as it’s like a limited company and provides some protection for the trustees.”

If you know of someone living on, or belonging to Bute who might be in need of financial assistance, either on a one-off or regular basis, contact Bute Advice Centre, 22/26 Bishop Street, Rothesay PA20 9DG.

Phone in advance (01700 502784) for an application form for submission to the charity’s trustees.