Free Portland News

Chistmas 2019 By keith

A Very Happy Christmas to all our readers

It may have escaped the notice of some of you, but Christmas is coming.

So may I take this opportunity of wishing all readers of FPN a Very Happy and Peaceful Christmas, and Peace and Prosperity in a Polio-Free 2020?   We hope.

But to more practical information for the moment.  As you know Santa delivers presents to some of the children on Portland on Christmas morning.  If you would like your children to be excited, thrilled and, perhaps, a little overawed non that special day, why not drop a parcel in to Hull Gregson and Hull in Easton Square or to The Paper Shop in Fortuneswell with a donation of £1 per parcel (with a maximum of £2-50 per household)?  These two collection points will be receiving presents from Monday morning, 16th. December until closing time on Friday 20th. December.  The practicalities are that, once collected, the Rotarians have to sort out the presents into sacks, street by street, for Santa, and this can take a little time so, to avoid disappointment, please stick to these collection times.

I have to say that we very much appreciate the support of both Hull Gregson and Hull and The Paper Shop – both businesses have helped with this collection for many years and, without the use of their shops as depots for the presents, many children would have been disappointed on Christmas Day.  Sadly I understand that Mr. & Mrs Nash have decided to close down the Paper Shop at the end of the year, so this will be the last year that we will be able to use their facility.  We wish them well, thank them for all their help over many years, and hope they have a Very Happy Retirement.

I am advised that Janet’s trip o Bath was once again a great success, and our apologies to those who tried to join the trip but were, unfortunately, a little too late as the seats were all taken.        I am also most grateful to all those who either gave prizes, or bought raffle tickets to add to the fun of the trip.  It all helps to support those less fortunate than ourselves and we are most grateful to you all.

As usual, a party of Rotarians attended the cenotaph service at the top of the Island on Remembrance Sunday where we laid a wreath in memory of those who gave heir all so that we can now have what we do have today.

My thanks, as usual to all those who supported the latest Table Top Sale (our last of this year – next one in February).  This one was in aid of Julia’s House so your support will have made a Christmas that little bit happier for those who, sadly, need Julia’s House.

At the time of writing we have another party of Rotarians out helping the villagers in Nepal.   With Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Dorchester Casterbridge and Dorchester Poundbury, we have sent a party of, I believe, about 15 people to help assess the water delivery systems that we have instituted in the villages in the foothills of the Annapurna range, and to sort out help for some other villages.

I mentioned polio at the start so I will finish with an update because, at the moment, we have almost 100 cases of wild polio this year – nearly all in the North West Frontier area of Pakistan.   FPN readers will remember that immunisation stopped for a while earlier in the year and of course, the inevitable epidemics happened.  This will mean a not-so-very-happy Christmas for a lot of families out there but it may be that the message will now get through – get immunised or get polio.  A sad way to finish a year but let us hope that the lesson has been learned and hope that this will spur on everyone so that 2020 really will be polio-free.