June Edition

by Keith


Welcome back

So, back to normal at long, long last – after 16 months to be exact.
It has been fun chatting with club members on Zoom and, indeed with others around the world for the last year plus, but it is not the same as being able to sit down with friends and to be able to meet face to face with those that we are helping.  Hopefully our weekly meetings will be starting again in the next few weeks – Boris permitting of course. 
Also I am back to writing this month’s update myself and my sincere thanks to the FPN reader who sent me his suggested offering last month – which, hopefully, you have all read.  It is lovely to know that there is someone out there reading what is written, and even more enjoyable when people talk to me, write to me, ask questions, or make suggestions about what I should be telling you.
Last month’s correspondent suggested that, having recently told you a little of the history of Rotary I should tell you the present and future of our organisation. I think that is called versatility.
So, where are we going now that life is starting to return to normal?  The great news is that the Table Top Sales will start again on September11th., and the first one is dedicated to a Hedgehog Friendly Portland.  So come along and support the club members again, the stall holders, and hedgehogs.   You will meet many old friends and, hopefully, make some new ones.  The more you support, the more the local organisations can raise for their causes.  Sadly it has been impossible to hold these Sales for so long because of Covid, but the club has continued to support these organisations by making financial donations to them in lieu.  Perhaps not as much as they would have raised with a Table Top Sale, but ever little helps.
During the last year or so we have lost two members who will not be renewing their membership, but we gained one as well.   We are always looking for new blood, new ideas, new helpers, and, often, a new direction in which to go. Let me know if you are interested.
One of our speakers recently was from Shelter Box.  This was started by a Rotarian from Helston over 20 years ago and you can probably remember seeing television pictures of the large green boxes with the Rotary wheel on them being flown out whenever there has been some disaster.  These boxes contain a large tent and all sorts of equipment, as well as water filtration facilities, to enable a family to survive, even in the middle of winter.  This organisation has become so big that it is no longer rum by the small Helston Lizard Rotary club, but by a large organisation with permanent staff.  Sadly, even during Covid pandemics, disasters still occur and those affected still need shelter and support simply to survive.  Shelter Box is yet another Rotary success story.
And of course you would expect me to update you on Polio wouldn’t you?   Incredibly, at the time of writing and now almost halfway through the year, we have only had two cases of wild polio in the whole world – one in Afghanistan and one in Pakistan. These are the lowest figures since Rotary started the fight against polio over 35 years ago. In spite of his marital problems Bill Gates is still trebling everything we raise to get rid of this terrible scourge which means he gives us £2 for every £1 we raise.  I don’t know any bank that will give us that “interest”.  And the final bit of good news on this topic is that we now have a brand new, genetically engineered vaccine.  This is similar to the structure of the new Covid vaccines which only use some of the genetic material from the virus cells to produce immunity and not the whole polio virus itself.  The benefit of this is that mutations cannot occur so the vaccine itself should no cause complications like Brazil variations, or Indian variations.  The polio fight, and Rotary, are moving into the 22nd. Century with a vengeance.

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