Free Portland News entry by Keith Barnard Jones/ Free Portland News Entry by Keith-Barnard-Jones
I was saddened to hear of the death of Gilbert Harris last month. Readers may remember my recent comments about losing friends and attending funerals. For those who don’t know, Gilbert was the Maitre D’ at the Heights Hotel before moving to manage the Colliton Club in Dorchester. He was also a member of our Rotary club for a number of years but, when he moved to Dorchester, he joined the Dorchester Rotary Club instead. Our loss. Their gain. Gilbert and I often bumped into each other over the recent years and he never seemed to change. Another friend gone, and another good, caring Rotarian lost to the world.
Our thanks again to those who supported the Table Top Sale this month in aid of Southwell W.I.. From our point of view, not only are we helping a lot of organisations on the island but, as each TT Sale is for a different beneficiary, but we also meet a number of different people at each Sale. It all adds to the fun. Please remember that the date for June has been changed to Saturday 2nd June. See you there at the Community 2000 Hall?
Right, back to defibrillators for a moment. Readers have been asking about the various sites (previously reported) and I am delighted to be able to tell you that there is now a brand new defibrillator attached to the front of the St. John Ambulance Hall in Easton Lane. Full instructions on use are attached to it. Hopefully it will never need to be used but, if it saves even one life it is well worth the cost. Thank you very much St. John Ambulance
I have been asked what is next for Rotary after polio. Yes, we are moving on and, hopefully, polio will soon only be a note in the history books. I actually attended a meeting in London a few weeks ago to take part in a discussion about Transition to our next challenge after polio. Around the world we have a superb network of teams who are doing the work on the ground, as well as a large network of surveillance laboratories, plus a heck of a lot of experience, and contacts in Governments, countries, communities and Rotary Clubs. All this cannot simply be thrown away when the world is polio-free, so the London meeting was held to decide how best to use the contacts and laboratories etc. in this future polio-free world. Readers might be interested to know that we have already used this network and teams in the fight against the Ebola Fever outbreak last year in Africa. That is one reason why that epidemic was brought under control so swiftly. So the Transition is to see how all these facilities can be utilised to help fight, possibly malaria, or rubella, or measles, or even AIDS. It is going to be an interesting year or two with various agencies wanting to fight a particular disease and trying to persuade the other members of the partnership to see things their way. Who will win? Watch this space.
I was stopped in the street last week by someone who wanted to know more about Rotary. We are not a secret society so anyone wishing to know more has only to ask any Rotarian. I try and put just a little about our organisation each week, but, if you want to know more, please contact any Rotarian that you know and he or she will be only too happy to help. We now have an even bigger club thanks to the addition of two more lovely young ladies who were inducted as Rotarians at the end of last month. A very warm Welcome to Jo Way and Sue Leach.
As I understand it, we received no nominations to attend the Breakthrough experience this year, so we have sown seeds and are hoping that we will be able to find two youngsters to participate in 2019. Having been along to some of these courses, as an observer I hasten to add, the change in these youngsters over just a few days is incredible – confidence grows, communication skills improve and the leadership potential manifests itself increasingly from day to day. I just wish that there had been something like this around when I was young – in the last millennium.
Our last meeting of each month is for our partners as well as for members. At these meetings we try and find an extra special speaker and one of our recent speakers was no exception. Barrie Campbell from the Dorchester Casterbridge Rotary club produces documentaries for television and he showed us a superb presentation on Nepal. Readers will be aware of our club’s efforts to provide water storage facilities to save the villagers climbing or descending hundreds of feet to fetch and carry water. Seeing it shown by a real professional through moving images made us feel as if we were there. As Barrie said - £100 goes a very, very long way in Nepal. A great evening.
Some of you may have heard of our planned trip to Southampton in October to see Wicked. Unfortunately, or fortunately, this has proved to be such a popular trip that all the tickets disappeared instantly. However, as soon as I hear that Janet is planning another such evening of fun and culture I will let FPN readers know.
Finally, we had a big meeting at the beginning of this month when all the in-coming Presidents from the 50+ clubs in our District plus the Chairs of the various committees are trained – this year at the Bath & West Showground. This means that we have a brand new team all itching to go at the start of July, led by our next President – Garry Urwin. It only seems a few days ago that our current President Ian McPheat took office. All the signs point to our having another great year of Service Above Self.