President’s Diary - March 2021
By now most of us have had one jab and some two, so the Club is beginning to plan what comes next. It is still early but we hope through community collaboration and teamwork, we will gradually move out of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns, and return to our fellowship, fun, service and fund-raising, away from Zoom meetings and isolation.
This month we took delivery of the £500 District Grant which we had applied for earlier in 2020. The ICA wanted a rolling digital advertising screen. This will be mounted in their shop window within the Easton ICA offices. It will help knit the Portland community together with an ICA project information board spreading community support news. It could also provide advertising revenue for the ICA, if they share their shop window digital platform with other Portland organisations. The picture shows our new presentation cheque being used for the first time and a brief moment when Katie Pascoe, the ICA Project Officer and myself removed our face masks for the photograph. You will also notice the 2020 Portland Rotary Community Award certificate in the middle background on display.
March is also the month Rotary highlights the progress of the End Polio Now campaign, which started over 30 years ago. I should like to thank Keith, our esteemed Club founder and District Polio Champion for an absolutely riveting presentation this month, describing Rotary’s world beating campaign and how close we are to eradicating Polio.
Another inspiring speaker was Lewis Hybell, a multigenerational Portlander who started the Portland Rocklings. He spoke to us about his Rocklings project which supports struggling families who need help providing family Birthday presents for children up to sixteen years old. Recently they have also been very busy delivering old laptops to the students at Atlantic Academy, and I predict we shall be hearing more from Lewis in the future.
On a completely different theme we also shared a Zoom meeting with Jo Shannon, responsible for the development aid project Tools For Self Reliance targeting sustainable development through the provision of good quality hand tools. TFSR aims to provide tools to kick-start small businesses, to help mechanics, metalworkers, plumbers, carpentry and shoe repairing throughout many African countries.
During the Zoom District Assembly, we voted on further District money being made available to Clubs, but the March highlight has to be District Governor Rory’s Zoom District Conference, a jamboree of films, workshops and live talks, aimed to highlight the work of Rotarians together across the District, sharing all our latest “do-goodery”.