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Our club entry May 2022


Ready for a change?

May is a sort of between-times season for the Rotarians on Portland.   Christmas and the New Year have come and gone, and we are not yet into the season of Street Fairs, dog shows and so on.  Having said that, Santa’s sleigh has already been stripped down and is being serviced ready for the end of the year.

May and June are the months when Rotary Clubs and Districts train next year’s teams because our Rotary Year starts on 1st.July and committees and individuals have to get ready.  For the first time ever the President of Rotary International will be a lady – Jennifer Jones, a media consultant from Ontario. Young and dynamic, Jennifer worked with me at a big Conference in Sao Paulo a few years back.  I can promise you that Rotary will have great leadership.  Interestingly one website describes her as being 25 years old.  That is a misprint.  Shall we say she is just over 50 and she will be very good for the image of Rotary.  Our new Club President for 2022-2023 will be Mark Townsend who is coming back as President because he enjoyed himself so much the first time round.   Mark will take over from Celia Canter who has had a great year in spite of Covid.

The May Table Top Sale went well and our thanks go to all those who worked for, or supported, Portland Catz Rescue. The next Table Top Sale will be on Saturday 11th. June when we will all be supporting The Leg Club, so put the date in your diaries please, come along and see us if only for a chat, or a coffee and a slice of cake, and there will be a wide range of goods to purchase and, of course, all the profits will go to support yet another good cause on the Island.

In my last missive I mentioned the little girl who was incubating polio when she flew from Pakistan to Malawi and so produced the first case on the African continent for five years although it is officially classified as an imported case. Sadly there have been two cases of the wild polio virus in Pakistan itself – the first there for eighteen months.   Remember we do not classify a country as polio-free until there has been no case for three years, and the reason for that is simple.  The polio virus lives in water for a number of years.  Some of the money donated by Rotary clubs has gone to setting up a network of surveillance laboratories all over the world, and water samples are checked in these facilities on a regular basis.  In Pakistan for example, there was only one case of wild polio last year, but the laboratory samples have continued to show evidence of the virus in the water – not surprisingly. When one realises that the immunity levels against polio, and the general health and nutrition in some of the rural or more distant provinces are not as high as would be desirable, it is again not surprising that some children will develop polio.   Of course, because of these two cases, these two areas have been inundated by health workers, vaccinators and vaccines to stop the spread (there has been no spread from that isolated case in Malawi). So we now start another three year period of intense immunisation and do our best to ensure that these two children in Pakistan will be the last ever to be infected by this dreadful disease.

Our charity – The Rotary Foundation – runs on donations from Rotarians and others all over the world.  What we do in Portland is to have Foundation Feeds.  A Rotarian acts as host and provided a dinner at his or her home and invites other Rotarians and partners along for a meal.  Each guest pays a little amount of money to the host and/hostess and this money goes into our charity.  It is a great way of having a fun evening with good food and company, and the money raised goes to help eradicate polio, provide clean water, education, hospitals, clinics, libraries, schools, surgery to correct deformities, provide sight and hearing, and even life.  Thus, even in what could be called the low season for Rotary activities, we are still hard at work enjoying ourselves, as well as helping those in need as well.  More next month

Keith

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