Presidents Diary

February 2021

President’s Diary February

Sarah reminded us that February 23 is Rotary’s 116th Birthday, and to celebrate this she set-up a Portland Rotary funded lightshow on Weymouth’s Pavilion Theatre. In fact, the Rotary colours, yellow and blue stripes will up be lighting up the theatre all week. This day is also called Rotary World Understanding and Peace Day. On February 23, 1905, little did Paul Harris and his three friends realize what they were starting when they met in room 711 of the Unity Building in Chicago. We have come a long way since then, but we still have a long way to go to achieve goodwill, peace, and understanding among all people of the world.

Sarah also persuaded our neighbours, the Melcombe Regis Rotary Club to add to our donation in support of the Weymouth Pavilion. The theatre is struggling like so many businesses during pandemic closure. So, thank you Sarah, for a bright-light outcome!

A huge thank you to Jayne also, who has been co-ordinating the collection of laptops for Atlantic Academy, so a reminder to everyone to keep searching and networking with our friends to provide more laptops for home schooling on Portland.

In support of the young people on the Island, youth workers Lisa Osborn and Debbie Warren from the Portland Drop-In centre spoke to us about their work running an imaginative youth club at the Community Hub, Fortuneswell. Targeting 135 young people, Lisa described how they have been doing doorstep drop-ins during the pandemic. Over Christmas, with the help of Portland Rotary, they had also delivered secret Santa presents. The Drop-in has been funded by BBC Children in Need sponsorship over the last six years, but this funding is likely to end soon. More support is needed to continue their work, which during normal times, provides four evenings a week of structured, age-appropriate youth activities. In response, I am sure Club members and committees will be devising a strategy of support for this very worthwhile organisation in the coming weeks.

Following a very entertaining talk by Yorkshire Rotarian Mike Storr, describing eminent Music Hall entertainers, a donation to Asthma UK was arranged. 

No further news from Nepal about the water projects or food situation has been received this month, although the International Committee’s Market Place fund raiser is taking-off. Janet’s brilliant expertise running the Club’s Facebook has led to the selling of items on Facebook’s “Marketplace” for Rotary good causes. The money raised has so far gone to Foundation. It also meant I got rid of my unwanted wheelbarrow and TV, and people were happy their money was going to Rotary.

Finally, I should like to thank Mark for his excellent refinement of the Club’s website. The time spent, energy and imagination to further our public image and connect members and keep them informed about all things Rotary, via the Club’s website is truly wonderful. Do have a look at it, explore the links, go into the District and Rotary International sites, find the Rotary training that is available to members and what is happening around the Rotary world.  But most of all the website reveals our Club’s history and all the fun and good times we have had together over the years. It illustrates what Rotary is all about, and how we as Rotarians, gain so much when we go out and help others.