As the country eases into the second stage of winding down pandemic restrictions at the beginning of Spring, so Richmond Rotary has marked the occasion in a colourful and floral way.
The Mayor of Richmond, Geoff Acton, recently inaugurated the Rotary Gardens Crocus Wheel of Hope Community Project.
Rotary Gardens is a small pocket garden by the river opposite Richmond Landing Stage in Buccleuch Passage.
Richmond Rotary raised funds in 1974 to change it from derelict land to a garden for the benefit of the community.
This was the Mayor’s second visit to Rotary Gardens. The first was on World Polio Day last October when he presided over the planting of 6,000 purple crocus corms in the shape of Rotary Wheel.
This was to celebrate the pivotal role that Rotary International has played in eradicating the polio virus and to celebrate the continent of Africa being declared free of the wild polio virus.
The planting of the wheel last year was to give hope to Richmond residents and visitors during a difficult time in the nation’s history.
It was hoped that by the time the Rotary Wheel turned from a chalked outline into a carpet of purple crocuses in March 2021, a safe and effective vaccine would have been produced.
The planting of the wheel last year was to give hope to Richmond residents and visitors during a difficult time in the nation’s history.”
The Richmond Mayor, Geoff Acton, visited Rotary Gardens to inaugurate the purple blooms of the Rotary Wheel.
Dr Tony Sayer, President of the Richmond Rotary Club, said: “Never in my wildest dreams, did I imagine that when we stood to inaugurate this Purple Crocus Wheel we would have not only found and approved effective coronavirus vaccines, but that over half of the adult population in our country would have been vaccinated.
“This brings to mind the words of Robin Williams ‘Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party’, we’ve got you covered’.
“It is now time to celebrate the beginning of spring and the gradual return to normality with the start of schools reopening and the beginning of easing the lockdown rules.
“We are proud to have planted these purple symbols of hope working with the wider local community for the benefit of Richmond residents and visitors.
“The appearance of the purple crocuses this spring gives us hope that, as we conquered polio with a vaccine, we would gradually conquer Coronavirus globally with vaccines.
“We salute, and owe a debt of gratitude, to our scientists, our NHS, our front-line workers and all our fellow citizens who obeyed the lockdown rules and helped us emerge slowly, triumphant, from the darkest year since the war.
“Every year, when these crocuses bloom, they will remind us of the true grit and determination of the British people in controlling, and hopefully eradicating, the coronavirus.”
At the end of the ceremony, the club donated a small pot of the same crocus blooms which the Mayor presided over planting last year as a token of appreciation from all who contributed to this community project.