Free Portland News

May 2021 by Keith


 

Free Portland News - A Rotary Input.
What is Rotary doing?


Having penned an article for this month’s FPN, I have now rewritten the whole article for two reasons.
Firstly there is now light at the end of the tunnel.  We hope to start our regular weekly meetings again on 1st July – Covid, of course permitting, and probably the Table Top Sales will begin in September.  However our club is coming into the 22nd Century and our Committee meetings will be held on-line to cut down on time spent travelling and pollution. Other meetings will be face-to-face, and it will be lovely to see all my friends again.


The other reason for the change is that I have received an article from a reader of FPN who enjoyed the information about how Rotary started and how we became dual gender, and he wants to know more about what we do in the world today.  He has sent me a suggested article, as if written by me, which I have amended only slightly, but which tells you a little what we do at present.  He has done his homework well.
I will expand on this in future articles but thought you might prefer something by a different author this month.   It is lovely getting feed-back from readers, both positive and negative – at least someone is reading what I have written.  

Thank you for that, and, if anyone has other suggestions, please let me know and I will do my best to oblige – kbeejay@btconnect.com.  

So here is his/my offering -

Last month’s Rotary contribution talked about how Rotary was founded in Chicago. Maybe we should go on and look at today’s Rotary International and what its aims are across the world.


Succinctly the organisation has seven foci.
- Promoting Peace - by fostering understanding across cultures;
- Fighting Disease - in particular the 25 year campaign to eradicate polio;
- Providing clean water - that is sustainable clean water, sanitation and hygiene;
- Saving mothers and children - with medical care, education and economic opportunities;
- Supporting education - education for all including adult literacy;
- Growing local economies - creating opportunities for decent and productive work;
- Protecting the Environment - promoting living in harmony with the environment.

This covers a lot and is hugely ambitious, but, as the website say, Rotary International has 1.2 million members and 35,000 clubs across the world. It is a global organisation.

So what part does the Island and Royal Manor of Portland Rotary club play in all this?

Well, from the top. The club is playing a part in keeping the peace with France through a long established visits exchange with the Rotary club of Vere in Normandy, France - maybe important right now!

I myself, as a GP, immersed myself in the Polio campaign and have been supported by our club in undertaking front line roles in this work.

The club is actively engaged in supporting water sustainability projects in Nepal and, pre-Covid, members made annual visits to access and further the progress of these projects.

Mothers and Children - perhaps more local here, but we try to play a part with children’s Christmas parties and Santa Claus which brings smiles to children and their mothers, but members have also been involved in international projects on this subject as well..

In supporting education, the club puts forward local candidates for the annual Rotary Youth Leadership Activities; a challenging and fun weekend of leadership learning.

Local economies - we cannot provide jobs, but we do, with our fundraising, help local organisations whose aims are to help the wellbeing of our local community. Plus, Rotary meetings provide those networking opportunities!

The Environment is the new focus and again the club is open to fundraising for local projects and potentially new projects in understanding what positive local activities are possible.
So with Portland Rotary you can go local and meet your neighbours, or global and meet the world.

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