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Rotary News

Tom’s Blog – August 2020

Tom’s Blog – August 2020

Rotary Great Britain and Ireland President, Tom Griffin, shares the second instalment of his monthly blog.

Another month spent “Zooming” all over the country – without leaving my house!

This month I’ve visited clubs in Essex, the Peak District, the Scottish Borders, the East Midlands, and Surrey. Altogether, that’s over 2,150 miles I haven’t travelled this month. Whatever else it may have done, the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically reduced my carbon footprint.

It is, however, interesting where some members have had to travel to in order to attend a club meeting on Zoom. One had to drive to somewhere they could get a signal on their mobile phone; another joined from their caravan; while a third found they nearest place they could get an internet connection was the launderette!

All club visits are special, but I must make particular mention of my (virtual) attendance this month at Godalming Rotary in Surrey, where I had the pleasure and privilege of inducting their newest member, Dr Joy Brockbank. The COVID-19 pandemic is no reason to stop growing Rotary.

Another highlight was London Rotaract’s “Concert for Crisis” which featured, among others, former Rotary Young Citizen Award winner and Royal College of Music student, Grace O’Malley. This event raised over £2,250, and showed how an enjoyable fundraiser can still be held during the pandemic.

August 25th was special, for on that day the World Health Organization confirmed that its Africa Region was free of the wild polio virus. What a magnificent milestone!

A few years ago we could only have dreamed about eradicating this horrible virus from both India and Africa. But the fight must go on; unless we rid the entire world of polio it will come back and all those years of effort will have been wasted.

COVID-19 may be uppermost in our minds at the moment, but we must deliver on our promise to the children of the world.

Finally, I’ve even “Zoomed” with colleagues in Australia and New Zealand who are working on a potential regional