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The Official Magazine of Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland

April/May 2017

Feeling the love



Mehamn Kjøllefjord Berlevåg Honningsvåg Båtsfjord Havøysund Vardø Hammerfest Øksfjord Vadsø Kirkenes Skjervøy Tromsø

len rå ste e Risøyhamn V Finnsnes Sortland Harstad Stokmarknes Svolvær Stamsund

en Lofot Bodø Ørnes

Nesna Sandnessjøen Rørvik

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Kristiansund Molde Ålesund Torvik


Måløy Florø






See the aurora borealis the way it is meant to be seen; far from artificial ambient light and with a front-seat view on the deck of a Hurtigruten ship as she sails into the Arctic Circle along the Norwegian coast.


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Departures: 30th January 2018 15th & 19th February 2018 2nd & 8th March 2018


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© Davil Gubler

and Northern Lights

© Ørjan Bertelsen

© Shutterstock

and Northern Lights

© Trym Ivar Bergsmo

© Shutterstock


The 11-night Norwegian Discovery Voyage combines many highlights of the Classic Round Voyage and includes a 10-night voyage on the ship, the beautiful Dovre Railway journey from Trondheim to Oslo, and one night B&B in the capital city at a 4-star hotel. A fabulous picturesque voyage.


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Classic Round Voyage & Northern Lights: Price shown is per person based on two people sharing an inside cabin departing 30th January 2018 including full board voyage, return flights from London and transfers. Norwegian Discovery & Northern Lights: Price shown is per person based on two people sharing an inside cabin departing 29th January 2018 including full board voyage, return flights from London and transfers, railway journey and 1 night B&B at a 4-star hotel in Oslo. Regional flights available at a small supplement. *Available to book at extra cost. Voyages must be booked by 31st May 2017. Hurtigruten’s full terms and conditions apply. All prices and availability correct at time of going to press.





CONTENTS ROTARY IN ACTION Megan Sadler - Feeling the love Know your blood pressure Inside the iron lung

REGULARS 4 10 12

Rotary Manchester Conference 22 International Women's Day


The Big Bang Fair


GLOBAL IMPACT National Immunisation Day


Polio fact file


Meet the new RI President


Rotary inbox Talk from the top

Rotary International President

The Rotary Foundation


Rotary Ride cycling gear


Knebworth House feature



Trustee Chair


Rotary in Great Britain & Ireland President


RI Director


Rotary around the world


Meet & greet


Rotary effect


It's gone viral


And finally…

50 An evening with Daniel O’Donnell

Get in touch Rotary in Great Britain & Ireland Kinwarton Road, Alcester, Warwickshire B49 6PB t: 01789 765 411 Editor: Dave King e: PR Officer: e: Designer: Martin Tandy e: Advertising: Media Shed (Agent for Rotary) Contact: Connor Banks t: 01354 818011 e:

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Look for us online at or follow us: Facebook: /RotaryinGBI Twitter: @RotaryGBI YouTube: Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland


Enjoy Rotary anywhere

The Official Magazine of Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland



Megan Sadler - Feeling the love


THE LOVE By Maggie Abbett

Little Megan Sadler loves gymnastics, but a debilitating curvature of the spine means she has to wear a brace 23 hours a day. Life-changing surgery in America is an option, and it’s thanks to the power of Rotary on both sides of the Atlantic that Megan’s dream is going to be fulfilled.


OW appropriate, after arriving back in Wales from America following the first stage of potentially life-changing medical treatment, that the daffodils were blooming in the Spring sunshine for tiny Megan Sadler. Not only is the daffodil a Welsh emblem, but the flower also symbolises new beginnings. For 10-year-old Megan from Milford Haven suffers from severe scoliosis, a curvature of the spine, which means she has to permanently wear a restrictive body brace. There is no treatment available in the UK which would enable the promising gymnast to realise her potential. However, the Shriners Hospital in Philadelphia is pioneering an innovative surgical procedure called vertebral body tethering which allows the spine to correct as Megan grows. But time is running out with a very narrow window of opportunity available. In Megan’s case, her spine is at a 60 degree curve. Once it goes past 70 degrees, she can no longer get an operation to correct it. "Life is very difficult," admitted Megan. "I don't like my brace, especially when it is tight. It's uncomfortable. I love gymnastics. I'd like to be able to do a back handspring, but it's hard at the moment. I want to do competitions and win medals, and one day I 4 // ROTARY

Megan with Steven W. Hwang M.D., the doctor who will perform the surgery

“Life is very difficult,” admitted Megan. “I don’t like my brace, especially when it is tight. It’s uncomfortable.” would like to be a gym coach." In February, Megan, with her mother Laura, and sisters Kaci, 8, and Isabella, 4, made the 3,000-mile journey to Philadelphia for five hours of tests to discover whether surgery will be possible.

As a result, the petite youngster will be heading to the States again in May for up to a month when she undergoes major surgery. Shriners has offered to perform the operation and treatment free of charge, but there are still major costs for the family to find - to pay for flights and accommodation. Megan’s sister has autism and with a four-year-old to look after as well, this is a challenging time for the family. “If the surgery goes well, it will change Megan’s quality of life completely,” explained mum, Laura. “It means that she will only have to wear a brace at night rather than for 23 hours a day. It will give her some normality for a few years as she grows." It is a cause which has brought the Rotary family together, with Rotarians on both sides of the Atlantic working together to help the Sadler family. The Rotary Club of Milford Haven was alerted to the family’s plight by the Inner Wheel club which had begun fundraising. The club sprang into action, initially raising £1,000 in a special concert, further boosted by a concerted fundraising effort from both Rotarians and members of Inner Wheel in Pembrokeshire. Megan’s story then began to gain support through social media posts and links to the fundraising website. More than £7,000 was raised to help Megan’s family, including £1,500 from the Milford Haven Gymnastics Club where

©Mary Adams of Powerpix Photography

and future follow-up visits, but so that they might be able to make a donation to the Shriners Hospital. Southern Wales District 1150 is now working on more fund-raising initiatives for Megan and District 7450 are preparing for the family’s next visit to Philadelphia in May. Rotary President for Great Britain and Ireland, Eve Conway, wished Megan well with her treatment. She added: “This is a wonderful example of how Rotarians go the extra mile to make a difference across the world helping Megan and her family, with cooperation and support from Rotarians at home and in the United States. Steve Jenkins, said that the inspiring story of Megan and her family demonstrated how quickly and effectively Rotary can act. He said: “Megan’s story has proved that distance is no longer a barrier to Rotarians working together in order to overcome a need in our communities – in this case helping a family in need and to give Megan the chance to live her dream. “We must continue to use social media and new forms of communication positively and effectively. Together we are stronger.”


Megan is a member. Just before they travelled to Philadelphia in February for tests to discover whether Megan would be receptive to surgery, Southern Wales District Governor, Steve Jenkins, contacted Dave Haradon, his opposite number in District 7450 in Philadelphia, to ask whether Rotarians there could wrap an arm around the family when they arrived. When the Sadler family arrived at Philadelphia International Airport back in February, tired and jet-lagged and wondering about how they were going to get a taxi to the hotel, 30 Rotarians waited at the airport with Welsh and Union flags and welcome signs, carrying a myriad of practical gifts including food, toys plus an iPhone with $200 credit. The Philadelphia Rotarians organised transport from and to the airport and to the hospital for their consultation, helping

bring down some of the transport costs. “It was so overwhelming, they were absolute brilliant,” said Laura. “We couldn’t thank the Rotarians enough because they did everything possible to take care of us. It was lovely.” Now thoughts are turning to May, and a possible month-long stay in Philadelphia. The operation, scheduled for May 22nd, is expected to last eight hours when Megan’s lungs will be deflated and some ribs removed as surgeons work on the youngster’s spine. “I’m excited about the operation,” said Megan. “The tests were a bit scary and I didn’t like having to breathe into a machine. "But I want to go to America because I want to get my life back.” Laura revealed that they have set themselves a fund-raising target of £20,000, which will not only fund this trip





is an abnormal curve •Sincoliosis the spine octors may advise wearing a •Dbrace to stop a curve from getting

worse. Bracing may be used when a person is still growing and has a moderate curve

For more details about Megan Sadler’s fund-raising, visit her JustGiving page:


Your letters

I HAVE always considered the magazine to be very useful as free publicity to nonRotarians, letting them know that Rotary is much more than a social club. I drive for a cancer support charity and I leave copies in hospital waiting rooms as well as in doctors, dentists, opticians, car showrooms etc. - anywhere there are people killing time and looking for something to read. If they open the magazine and the first article is about Rotary's charity work, they will probably read on. If it is about something only of interest to a Rotarian, e.g. a Rotary conference, they will probably reach for the next magazine. I was delighted therefore to find that the winter issue had a series of articles at the front about various charities that Rotary is supporting. I think it would be good if the magazine always had articles at the front that a non-Rotarian would read. Hopefully this will encourage people to consider joining us. Ken Jarrett Rotary Club of Largs, Ayrshire ROTARIANS, I have some good news for you. We have managed to get one of the biggest and oldest UK shirt manufacturers to support Rotary. The Wakefield Shirt Company, which was established in 1940 and is still managed by the original family, sells four million shirts a year, as well as casual wear, trousers, ties and also some ladies clothing, exporting to 40 countries. Their brand name “Double Two” is world famous. They were even awarded the “Queen's Award for International Trade”. The company has agreed to offer Rotary Members a 10% discount off the price of all its products, when they use the Rotary code on checkout (10ROTARY). All you need to do is go to the website, select your choices

INBOX and use the code when you check out. In addition you get free delivery in the UK on multiple units purchased. In its willingness to support Rotary, they will also generously give 10% to Rotary charities on all orders received from Rotary members. I urge you to take advantage of this offer, as it gives you a top class product, great value and it raises money for Rotary charities. Peter German Rotary Club of St. Marylebone

The Rotary Lalpur Eye Hospital in Purulia, India, is one of the success stories of the Guildford Rotary Eye Project.

THE GUILDFORD Rotary Eye Project (GREP) wishes to add to its skill base to better engage with potential supporters from the corporate world, the general public and of course the world of Rotary. The aim is to increase the level of support for this UK registered charity, thereby enabling it to help more of those in the developing world who have sight problems but are too poor to be able to


access solutions for themselves. These are voluntary positions and can be tailored to suit your busy lifestyle. It is estimated that there are up to 650 million individuals worldwide who are too poor to access solutions to a variety of sight problems. Within this number there are up to 50 million who are in need of surgical procedures, typically cataract operations. GREP is looking for those with marketing, branding and social media skills to help raise the profile of its trademarked name Global Sight Solutions. We are also looking for potential trustees with good administration and communication skills to support the existing team. You need not live near Guildford, or commit to a demanding pre-set schedule, or have a medical background, or even be a Rotarian! Please help the Guildford Rotary Eye Project and together we can make a real difference to the lives of others. You will not be committing yourself by enquiring and we would love to hear from you. John Miles Guildford Rotary Eye Project Telephone: 01483 481856 Email: LOVELY Rotary magazine! However, on page 24 of the last issue: 'Rotary Round the World' - in your map of Australia, Tasmania, the island at the bottom and which is two-thirds the size of England, is nowhere to be seen. Having visited two of the many Rotary clubs in Tasmania, I don't think they would be very happy if they were to learn of this omission. Next time, it would be lovely to see Tasmania added to your map. Rosemary Westwell Rotary Club of Ely

We welcome your letters on any subject to do with Rotary. Submissions should not be more than 250 words long. Please include your name and address. Email: or write to: Rotary magazine, Rotary in Great Britain & Ireland, Kinwarton Road, Alcester, Warwickshire B49 6PB. 6 // ROTARY

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Talk from the top...

Our diversity is our strength


orty years ago, the Rotary Club of Duarte, Calif., admitted three women members, in violation of the Rotary International Constitution. As a result, the club’s charter was terminated by RI. Undeterred, the club’s members continued to meet. They put an X over their Rotary insignia, made themselves new pins, and dubbed themselves the Ex-Rotary Club of Duarte as they continued to fight for the right of women to serve as Rotarians. Ten years later, a restored Rotary Club of Duarte sent Sylvia Whitlock, Rotary’s first female club president, to a presidents-elect training seminar. Not long after that, in 1989, Rotary’s Council on Legislation permanently ended Rotary’s status as a men-only organisation. Today, with more than 240,000 women in our clubs, Rotary is stronger than ever. We are women and men from nearly every country of the world, serving our communities in more than 35,000 clubs. At the club level, we need men and women of all backgrounds, ages, cultures, and professions; internationally, we need clubs in every city, country, and region of the world. The better our clubs reflect their communities, the better we can serve them. Our diversity is our strength.


It is difficult for most of us to imagine today why anyone argued so strongly against the idea of women in Rotary. Looking back, I think that opposition came from a simple resistance to change. Rotarians loved Rotary the way it was and couldn’t imagine it any other way. We still love Rotary as much as we ever did. We love the friendships and connections we make there, and the ability Rotary provides us to serve humanity. We believe Rotary has tremendous value in our own lives and in the world at large. And we recognise, more than ever, that for Rotary to continue to grow, it needs to embrace the world it serves – in all of its diversity, all of its variety, and all of its evolving needs for service. The Rotarians of today owe a debt of gratitude to the Rotarians of Duarte 40 years ago. Their determination, persistence, and enduring goodwill set the stage for the organisation we have become: Rotary Serving Humanity.




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ROTARY H11999 // 9


Know Your Blood Pressure Campaign

Why acting fast

could be a stroke of luck

Every three-and-a-half minutes someone in the UK suffers a stroke, and within the next two seconds someone somewhere in the world will too. To conquer this, there is an army of Rotarians who are keeping the condition at bay.






n the UK, someone suffers a •Istroke on average every three-

and-a-half minutes. Worldwide it is every two seconds

ere are 1.2 million stroke •Thsurvivors in the UK M ore than •survivors inathethirdUKofarestroke dependent on others

y the age of 75, one in five •Bwomen and one in five men will have had a stroke

•80% of strokes are preventable For more information about the Know Your Blood Pressure Campaign and the work of Rotary visit:

10 // ROTARY

s the fourth single leading cause of death in the UK, strokes are a condition that could not only have tragic consequences, but for survivors can leave lasting disabilities. The Stroke Association has worked with Rotary for the past 14 years to raise awareness of one of the leading causes of the condition, hypertension (or high blood pressure as it is more commonly known), and make communities aware that they may be at risk. This is something Rotarian Mukesh Malhotra knows only too well. Having been a strong advocate for raising the awareness of high blood pressure, the former Community Services Chairman for Rotary never thought that he would be the one needing support. Mukesh, a member of the Rotary Club of Hounslow and a business manager with British Airways, spent his career travelling the world. However, all this jet-setting had a downside. He explained: “The constant travelling meant I was not resting as I should have been, and although to the outside world my job would seem glamorous, the stress and exhaustion began to take hold. “When my first stroke hit it could be argued that the toll of my job was a contributing factor, but I was lucky enough to have been with my son, who is a doctor, and he took me to hospital straight away. This quick response meant I was able to regain many of my faculties within weeks. “I had just begun to phase myself back into work when I suffered my second stroke.

“This time I wasn’t quite as lucky and I have suffered from aphasia, which made it difficult to speak and communicate afterwards. I have made a slow recovery and although I don’t have full mobility in my left side I want to urge that life does go on after you suffer a stroke and I am an example of that.” Although the cause of Mukesh’s stroke wasn’t determined, the biggest risk factor of the condition is suffering from hypertension. It is estimated that in the UK 5.5 million people are undiagnosed with high blood pressure, something Rotary clubs across the country are trying to reduce. Each year, events are being held in local shopping centres, gyms and community centres on Know Your Blood Pressure Day, which takes place this year on 22nd April, to raise awareness about how easy it can be to detect. Although a raised blood pressure commonly presents no symptoms, unless it is particularly high, it is something that is relatively simple to treat. Through simple lifestyle changes such as stopping smoking, making dietary changes or becoming more active you can self-manage your blood pressure. It is these simple changes which can reduce your risk of stroke. Alexis Wieroniey, Deputy Director for Policy and Influencing at the Stroke Association, pointed out that one in seven people in the UK suffer from hypertension - millions more are unaware they suffer from it. She explained: “This is why it is so important that we hold community-based blood pressure testing events, like the ones Rotary hold, as sometimes people can find

We often say high blood pressure could be a silent killer because there are often no symptoms and it is the leading cause of strokes with over half in the UK caused by hypertension.

it intimidating to visit a doctor to get checked. “We often say high blood pressure could be a silent killer because there are often no symptoms and it is the leading cause of strokes with over half in the UK caused by hypertension. “However, it is really simply to test whether someone has a high blood pressure and through the Know Your Blood Pressure testing events you can get peace of mind within a matter of minutes. All the events are overseen by a health professional and we can then provide an indication of what your blood pressure reading is and refer you to a GP if that is required.” Rotary clubs have been instrumental in the success of Know Your Blood Pressure Days and since the campaign began in 2003, over one million blood pressure readings have been taken.

Each year the events are becoming even more successful with last year seeing the highest numbers of blood pressure tests with over 70,000 people visiting the events. However, there are still communities that are at a higher risk of stroke and Alexis believes that the Stroke Association and Rotary can work together to ensure these communities are being served. “Research has proven that people from more deprived areas are at an increased risk of a stroke and in general, people from these areas are likely to experience more severe strokes. “In many cases it is simple to treat and it could make all the difference. "We believe that Rotary clubs can really support us in this wish as these events are already taking place, and with small modifications and new ways of thinking, we can target communities that have little awareness around the condition.”

Currently it costs the NHS around £23,000 to treat someone who has suffered a stroke, and then there are additional costs for ongoing social care and rehabilitation. Alexis added: “Although the cost to the NHS and for on-going care is substantial, the impact on the individual can be far greater. Suffering from a stroke can be life-altering and it’s not only the physical implications but also the affect to confidence and mental well-being. “That is why we’re proud of the work we do at the Stroke Association to try and reduce the number of strokes happening, and we are so appreciative of the support from Rotarians. "Without them on the ground spreading the word we couldn’t have achieved all we have done.”

ROTARY // 11


Inside the Iron Lung

Breathing new life into polio's history The life-saving iron lung is a depressing symbol from yesteryear of polio. Now one Cumbrian-based Rotarian has built his own mechanical respirator to promote awareness in the battle against the debilitating disease.


ECALLING the fear that gripped the UK during the height of the polio epidemic in the early 1950s, Frank, a Past President of the Rotary Club of Upper Eden in Cumbria, thought of the iron lung, a device largely relegated to museums and history books. For many polio patients, the apparatus was crucial to surviving the disease’s early stages, when their muscles were too weak, or paralysed, for independent breathing. An iron lung, Frank reasoned, would educate younger generations who grew up free of the fear created by polio, a virus that spread easily, during the 20th century. He hoped to borrow a model to put on tour to serve as a reminder that the polio fight remains unfinished. “I spent the last three months of 2015 looking for an iron lung in hospitals,” recalled Frank, 65. “I had hoped to source an original unit, but they have all been scrapped and those that remain are in museums, and they would not part with them. Being fully committed to the project, I had no other option than to build an iron lung myself.” This proved quite a challenge, even for a retired mechanical engineer and selfdescribed ‘nut and bolt man’, particularly after he resolved that only a fullyfunctioning machine would do. Using the outline dimensions of a unit as a reference, Frank rolled and welded steel for a cylindrical main chamber, fabricated tracks for a mattress that slides into and out of the unit, and cut access doors and windows. “I cajoled various local companies into assisting with the project,” he says, particularly painting the unit and a trailer used to transport it; Upper Eden club members also assisted. “I suppose in some ways people are used to my hare-brained ideas, and not one of them declined to support the project,” he added. Frank, who bore most of the 12 // ROTARY


Your gift transforms lives


Frank put his engineering background to good use, rolling and welding all the steel components himself.

construction costs, spent four months on the heavy metal labour of love. The display serves not only to educate and raise awareness, but also inspire people to donate. For many visitors, the iron lung exhibit makes a connection to the history of polio. “To finish the job, he then created visual displays to fit into and onto the trailer, including a television programme of iron lungs being used for real,” noted Ben Lyon, the club’s immediate past president. “The finished result is a stunning promotional and educational tool in aid of polio eradication.” Onsite, a computer-controlled sequence activates the lung, in thumps and whooshes, for five minutes before triggering a YouTube video about iron lungs. The replica will be on display at the Rotary conference in Manchester, 7th-9th April. The display is available for Rotary Clubs that can arrange transportation and staff it to raise funds and awareness for End Polio Now.

For more information email Roger at:

hen you give to The Rotary Foundation, you can be completely confident that your fellow Rotarians put those donations to work on life-changing projects in our six areas of focus. That confidence should inspire our continued support, especially when we consider the remarkable results. In March, we observed Water and Sanitation Month, let’s take a closer look at how Rotarian led projects are providing millions of people with access to clean water and adequate sanitation facilities. This area of focus has long been high on many Rotarians’ service agendas, and for good reason – 663 million people do not have access to clean water, and one-third of the world’s population live without access to a toilet. Think about how different life would be if you had to spend hours each day fetching water. Our efforts in providing clean water have far-reaching effects. An estimated 10,000 clubs participate in water and sanitation related projects, with strong support from our Foundation. In 2015-16 alone, The Rotary Foundation provided $19 million for global grants in this area of focus. And that’s just one of the six critically important issues that our Foundation is addressing today. In 2015/16, our Foundation provided $76 million for all global grants, which also fight disease, save mothers and children, promote peace, support education, and provide economic opportunities to many people worldwide. Our Foundation was conceived in 1917 to “do good in the world” and that is exactly what it has been doing for 100 years. To celebrate this milestone, I encourage all Rotarians to consider making a special centennial contribution to ensure that we continue our urgent and transformational work throughout the world.

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What they say...



HIS year we are closer than ever to making history and achieving Rotary’s long-standing goal of a polio-free world. We are on the verge of eradicating this disease, thanks to the dedication and determination of Rotarians, with cases cut by 99.9% and hopes that we could even see the last case of polio this year. But we need to keep raising awareness and funds until we End Polio Now and forever. For more than 30 years, Rotarians have been on the frontline in this battle. It was a great honour for me to join British Rotarians as we travelled to India earlier this year to take part in a mass National Polio Immunisation Day campaign aimed at reaching 172 million children under the age of five (see feature on page 16-18). Purple was the colour of the dye we were putting on each child’s little finger to show they had been immunised against polio. And back home, Rotarians have been going purple for a purpose with our Purple4Polio campaign, launched when I became President of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland in July last year and the campaign has really taken off. About seven million purple crocus corms have been planted across Great Britain and Ireland, involving our partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society. Rotary clubs have been teaming up with the RHS’s community-based “Bloom” groups to plant crocuses to brighten up public spaces in local communities and help promote Rotary’s campaign to rid the world of polio. Our Purple4Polio Ambassadors are supporting the campaign including celebrity gardener Alan Titchmarsh, TV

It’s blooming marvellous

Crocus flowers in bloom at the Rotary Support Centre in Alcester

presenters Chris Tarrant and Konnie Huq, and legendary singer and songwriter Donovan, who contracted polio growing up as a child in Glasgow. They have been joined by Paralympian, broadcaster and polio survivor Ade Adepitan. Ade contracted polio in his home country of Nigeria when he was just one-year-old and, as a result, has worked tirelessly in the fight against the crippling disease. Broadcaster and author Julia Roberts and Paralympian Anne Wafula Strike MBE both caught polio in their early years and are committed to backing Rotary’s campaign. All of these ambassadors have different personal stories to tell, but all are united in their passion to support the Rotary Purple4Polio campaign until the job is done, and the world is declared polio-free. Wilkin & Sons Ltd. (Tiptree Jam) and Typhoo Tea, the second largest tea manufacturer in the UK, have also come on board the campaign supporting the Rotary Purple4Polio Tea Parties launched on International Women’s Day on 8th March (see pages 26-27). Typhoo donated tea to Rotary clubs and branded disposable mugs. Wilkin has given 52,000 specially-

branded jars of Purple4Polio jam to Rotarians across Britain and Ireland. The aim is to raise £1 million by donations and fill the empty jars with coins. This will become £3 million when tripled by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s pledge to match every £1 raised by Rotary for ending polio with another £2. Meanwhile, Purple4Polio ice cream was launched in the Scottish Parliament Holyrood in February. There have been more than 600 media reports about our Purple4Polio campaign in the national and regional press, in print and online, and in the broadcast media. And for Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland, poliogiving is up by 65% over the same period last year. About 800 Rotary Polio Bears, like mine, are now out and about spreading the message about Rotary’s campaign to rid the world of polio. So lots of exciting things are happening in the campaign to raise awareness and funds in the year that we hope to see the last case of polio. So thank you to all Rotarians for more than 30 years of working towards a poliofree world.

“By putting two drops of polio vaccine into each child’s mouth, we were taking part in a moment of history because we are now closer than ever to reaching Rotary’s goal of a polio-free world.” Read Eve Conway’s account of her trip to India as part of National Polio Immunisation Day. 14 // ROTARY

Pages 16-18

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National Immunisation Day

The polio warriors from Europe


s we walked through the slums of Delhi to make sure that no child under the age of five had missed being immunised against polio, I was struck and moved by the magnitude of what Rotarians have achieved. By putting two drops of polio vaccine into each child’s mouth, we were taking part in a moment of history because we are now closer than ever to reaching Rotary’s goal of a polio-free world. I joined a team of about 70 British Rotarians who had travelled to India

16 // ROTARY

By Eve Conway | Rotary President in Great Britain & Ireland to take part in a mass National Polio Immunisation Campaign (NID). We were among more than 100,000 Rotarians helping with the NID across India, determined to keep up the battle to eradicate this disease. “The polio warriors from Europe” is how the Indian Rotarians in Delhi described us: on the front line, joining them in the fight to make history and wipe out this disease now and forever. It was a moving tribute. Rotarians from across Great Britain and Ireland have been doing this for many years now co-ordinated by Rotarian Mike

Yates. I was last there in 2009 when I produced films for Rotary and BBC News with TV presenter Konnie Huq about our End Polio Now campaign. This year, we joined Rotarians from Belgium, Sweden, Japan, Australia and the United States. India has had no cases of polio for six years and was certified free of the disease in 2014, and the Rotarians there are determined to ‘keep India polio-free’, the wording on our blue and red caps. We were at polio booths set up for parents to bring their children to be immunised before going house to house to make sure that no child had been missed.

Across India for this National Immunisation Day, there were 709,000 polio vaccination booths with 2.5 million vaccinators delivering 225 million doses of polio vaccine in a huge operation that aimed to deliver drops to 172 million under-fives in one go. At one polio booth in a poor part of Delhi, we were surrounded by dozens of children jostling in a long line and then enthusiastically showing us their little fingers (or pinkies) that had been dyed purple to show that they had received their polio drops. A sea of smiling faces! My Purple4Polio teddy bear called “Pinky” was a favourite with the children who took delight in kissing its face. The presence of visiting Rotarians at immunisation booths increases the immunisation levels as children come in large numbers to see us. A health correspondent from The Independent travelled with us British Rotarians to chart this story. India was seen as one of the most challenging places on earth to eradicate

India has had no cases of polio for six years and was certified free of the disease in 2014

polio and we are now on the brink of a historic milestone. There were just 37 cases of polio worldwide in 2016 in three countries Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. That compares with about a thousand cases a day in 125 countries when Rotary started its campaign to rid the world of polio in 1985. This led to the launch of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988 when Rotary partnered with the World Health Organization, Unicef and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and, more recently, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, working with national governments to eradicate polio worldwide. Polio cases have now been cut by

99.9% and global health organisations are optimistic that the last ever case of polio could be recorded this year. We need three years of no cases anywhere in the world to declare the world polio-free. The world is on the verge of eradicating this disease that has caused paralysis and death, mostly in children, and this is thanks to the dedication and determination of Rotarians who started and have spearheaded the campaign for a polio-free world for more than 30 years. We are near to making history and must finish the job! My journey to India with British Rotarians proves that it can be done.

225 Mil lion


Making a difference By Mike Yates | Chairman Polio Sub-Committee


he Prime Minister of India said he had only one word for the volunteers who had helped India become polio-free. That word was “gratitude”. Without 2.5 million working days of volunteers, the huge task of mass immunisation of 172 million children under five-yearsold would not have been possible. These volunteers have come from Indian Rotary clubs, helped by Rotarians from Belgium, Sweden, USA and Japan as well as student nurses. Over the last 12 years a small 0.2% of these came from the Rotary Britain & Ireland volunteer groups who have gone to help our Indian colleagues. We have been statistically small, but recognised to be very important. Our groups have been directed to help in districts classed as high risk due to them having poor sanitation, high population density and being near to borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan. The aim now is to keep India polio-free.

The enhanced importance of a volunteer from Britain & Ireland is that in a Delhi slum or remote village, we do attract more children to one of the many immunisation booths set up all over India. One example came to light when the Senior Epidemiologist of Amritsar visited a booth where last year they immunised 152 children. This year, with three volunteers from our islands, they had immunised 361 by the time of his visit in the afternoon. Rotary volunteers with their spouses or adult children are required to be in India from Friday, before the NID, until Monday evening after the NID, which is always on Sunday. It is not a holiday but most volunteers stay before or after the NID to be a tourist. This year 66 volunteers went to help the January NID, from Rotary clubs stretching from Guernsey to Orkney and including the Rotary Britain & Ireland President Eve Conway. After a briefing in Delhi on Friday, January 27th, they divided into groups going to Amritsar,

Delhi and Bhiwadi where on Saturday they helped publicise the next day’s NID. Then on Sunday they were in teams of three at the many booths, giving drops, marking the little fingers and trying to draw more children to the booths. On Monday, they went house-tohouse with a health worker, trying to find the children missed on Sunday. In 2016, India introduced immunisation by injection which is safer, long lasting but more expensive. The switch is progressing well with 65% coverage on average but as low as 40% coverage in slum areas so they need to be supplemented with oral drops to keep the level of protection above 90%. There will be National Immunisation Days continuing into 2018 and possibly 2019. If you are interested, email me at: and I will let you know more details when the date for the early 2018 NID is fixed in September. ROTARY // 17

Polio fact file


Poliomyelitis (polio) is a paralysing and potentially fatal disease that still threatens children in some parts of the world. The poliovirus invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours. It can strike at any age, but mainly affects children under-five. Polio is incurable, but completely vaccine-preventable.


In 1985, Rotary launched its PolioPlus programme, the first initiative to tackle global polio eradication through the mass vaccination of children. Rotary has contributed more than $1.6 billion (£1.28 billion) and countless volunteer hours to immunise more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries. In addition, Rotary’s advocacy efforts have played a role in decisions by donor governments to contribute more than $7.2 billion (£5.78 billion) to the effort. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative, formed in 1988, is a public-private partnership which includes Rotary, the World Health Organization, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and governments of the world. Rotary’s focus is advocacy, fundraising, volunteer recruitment and awareness-building.

18 // ROTARY


Today, there are only three countries that have never stopped transmission of the wild poliovirus: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. Less than 37 polio cases were confirmed worldwide in 2016, which is a reduction of more than 99.9% since the 1980s, when the world saw about 1,000 cases per day.


Every dollar Rotary commits to polio eradication will be matched two-to-one by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation up to $35 million (£28 million) a year through 2018. These funds help to provide muchneeded operational support, medical personnel, laboratory equipment, and educational materials for health workers and parents. Governments, corporations and private individuals all play a crucial role in funding.


The polio cases represented by the remaining 0.1% are the most difficult to prevent, due to factors including geographical isolation, poor public infrastructure, armed conflict and cultural barriers. Until polio is eradicated, all countries remain at risk of outbreaks.


More than one million Rotary members have donated their time and personal resources to end polio. Every year, hundreds of Rotary members work sideby-side with health workers to vaccinate

children in polio-affected countries. Rotarians work with UNICEF and other partners to prepare and distribute mass communication tools to reach people in areas isolated by conflict, geography, or poverty. Rotarians also recruit fellow volunteers, assist with transporting the vaccine, and provide other logistical support.


Rotary has a growing roster of public figures and celebrities participating in its “This Close” public awareness campaign, including Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; actresses Kristen Bell and Archie Panjabi; WWE superstar John Cena; supermodel Isabeli Fontana; Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu; action movie star Jackie Chan; boxing great Manny Pacquiao; pop star Psy; golf legend Jack Nicklaus; conservationist Jane Goodall; premier violinist Itzhak Perlman; Grammy Award winners A.R. Rahman; Angelique Kidjo and Ziggy Marley; and peace advocate Queen Noor of Jordan. These ambassadors help educate the public about polio through public service announcements, social media and public appearances.

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Ian H.S. Riseley is a practising accountant near Melbourne, Australia, and principal of Ian Riseley & Co, where he advises local and international businesses. He received Australia’s AusAID Peacebuilder Award in 2002 in recognition of his work in the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. He also received the Order of Australia medal in 2006 for his service to the community. A member of the Rotary Club of Sandringham since 1978, he has served RI as treasurer, director, trustee, RI Board Executive Committee member, task force member, committee member and chair, and district governor. He received The Rotary Foundation’s Regional Service Award for a polio-free World and its Distinguished Service Award. How did you hear about Rotary and when did you become a member? A couple of years after I launched my accounting practice, my most significant client was a private hospital close to my office. The CEO was a Rotarian, and they must have been desperate because one day they invited me to a lunchtime meeting to speak about the fascinating topic of current developments in income tax. Yes, they more or less stayed awake. A few weeks later, the same client got in touch with me and said they were chartering a new club nearby and 20 // ROTARY

I said, “What does chartering mean?” (That tells us how often we lapse into Rotaryspeak.) He said they were starting a new club in Sandringham and asked if I would be interested in going to the initial meeting. I said, “Absolutely.” But I didn’t go, which was foolish. I did go to the second meeting and met the 20 or so people who had been at the first meeting. They were the business elite of Sandringham, and I thought, wow, this is quite a group. So I kept going and we chartered – which means, by the way, we started the club – in November 1978.

Was Rotary a good fit for you right away or did it take you time to become comfortable? I feel almost embarrassed saying this, but I felt comfortable immediately. It says something about the nature of the charter members of our club. We are talking about people who run extremely successful companies, but they were all really nice, absolutely first-rate individuals, and I wasn’t made to feel like the proprietor of a two-bit accounting practice down the road. That’s one of the delights of our


Meet the new Rotary President

organisation globally – we’re all equals. I think that’s really important. What moment made you see the importance of your involvement in Rotary? I was the third president of our club at age 34. I went to PETS (presidentselect training), which was held in a huge auditorium. I walked in, sat down, looked over my shoulder, and there was the senior partner of the accounting firm that I had previously worked for. John Hepworth was renowned among Australian accountants and was there as the incoming president of the Rotary Club of Melbourne, Australia’s first club, which started in 1921. Many of the movers and shakers in the city of Melbourne are in the Rotary Club of Melbourne. And there I was, the incoming President of the Rotary Club of Sandringham with 35 members, and we’re on a par. If a young person asked you why he or she should join Rotary what, in order, would you say? There are four elements. The first one is friendship. Rotary offers the opportunity to meet people in a semi-social environment and also achieve good things. The second one is personal development. I became the third president of my club at a very young age as I was starting up my accounting practice. I didn’t enjoy speaking in public, but being involved in a Rotary club means that you’re encouraged – some would say forced – in a friendly environment to get experience speaking, running meetings, motivating people, all that sort of thing. Your Rotarian colleagues are not going to fault you for a simple mistake. So you get practice, you improve, and you do it better. I’m not quite as shy anymore, so that’s a significant benefit. The third is business development. We’ve shied away from this over a period of time, and I don’t believe we should. When I was invited to join the Rotary Club of Sandringham, I told Juliet, “Well, they’ve invited me to join this group, what do you know about it?” She knew about the same as me, which was not a lot, but she made the point that we’d make new friends, and hopefully some of them wouldn’t be accountants because too many of our

friends were accountants, as if that could possibly be true. Rotary is good for business. Why should we shy away from promoting this? The fourth one, and by far the most important, is the chance to make a difference in the world. If someone asked me to eradicate polio, my ability to do this would be rather limited. But when you gather together with 1.2 million people of like mind and have people like Bill and Melinda Gates donate funds to help achieve this objective, the opportunity for success is far greater. What has been your favourite job in Rotary? Bar none, it was acting as the president’s representative at a district conference. I loved that job. That’s why, when I allocate this responsibility on my behalf in 2017-18, I’ll make my selections for representatives very carefully. It’s a job that gives you the chance to go somewhere else in the world, or somewhere else in your own country, and understand how Rotary does all its great work. As you prepare to assume the highest office in Rotary, is it hard to have a regular conversation with your fellow club members? Who in their right mind is going to say yes? The answer is not at all. Maybe it’s because I’m Australian, and in Australia we have a really good technique for keeping people grounded. It’s called the “tall poppy syndrome.” If you get too big for your boots, my gosh, people bring you down to your rightful place in life very quickly. One of the absolute pleasures about the role that I now have is going around and meeting people and talking to them to ascertain what makes them tick. What’s on your to-do list? I have three words: planning, planning, and planning. This is a planning time, and I’m pleased to have the opportunity to think about ways in which I want to do things differently. In particular, I’m looking for ideas on how Rotary can relate better to young people. I want to get to know as many of the district governors-elect for 201718 as possible and establish lines of communication and understanding. I mean

to tell them, “No pressure, but I’m relying on each and every one of you,” and they can rely on me too. What things are working well in Rotary and what things aren’t? Well, the service we do for humanity, I think we do particularly well. Can we do better? Of course we can. Can we be better organised? Probably. Can we have a better relationship with the community at large? Yes, we probably can, but the actual service work that Rotary does is second to none, it’s wonderful. What else is good? Membership is growing in India, in Korea. In places where there’s a developing middle class, there’s a stampede to join Rotary. The corollary of that is that membership in places like the U.S., Great Britain and Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand has fallen. We’re not attracting enough new members and we’re not retaining them. Our demographic is ageing and that’s not good. We’re not reinventing our clubs, and that really needs to be at the forefront of our attention. Satellite clubs (a new type of affiliate club sponsored by a traditional club) provide an avenue to involve younger people who need more flexibility. Female Rotarians are making a real difference, and we need more of them. The best clubs are those that are close to their communities. Do you have any specific suggestions for clubs? A review of the vocations of our membership is a good method to identify weaknesses and determine who to invite to join. Also I think we are missing a significant opportunity by not having more women in our clubs. There are some clubs, I’m ashamed to say, that don’t have any female members. We also need more women at the senior ranks of both the Trustees and the Board of Directors. How could a club or district coax you to visit during your tenure? Issue an invitation! I have made it a priority to visit parts of the Rotary world that seldom see the president or president-elect, and so far I have been to parts of Canada and the Caribbean that fit this description. My calendar fills quickly, but send me an invitation, and if it can happen, I’m pleased to come.

ROTARY // 21


Manchester Conference


Moving forward


A five-minute guide to the Manchester conference… This year’s conference is taking place at Manchester Central, from 7th-9th April, with events taking place at the famous Manchester Town Hall and the stunning Midland Hotel.

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te l

Mi dl



The line up of speakers is more exciting than ever before including broadcaster and polio survivor Ade Adepitan telling his story, Virginia McKenna OBE and Will Travers OBE talking about their work with the Born Free Foundation and Rotary International President, John Germ, who will be speaking about his own Rotary journey.


Across the weekend there are a whole host of activities taking place to get involved in. As well as the usual plenary sessions, there will be the chance for attendees to get involved in a Rise Against Hunger Meal Packing Project, packing food boxes to be sent to people in famine across the globe and the opportunity to witness inspiring young people being recognised at the 10th anniversary of the Young Citizen Awards. 22 // ROTARY

When the sun goes down, there is also a stellar line up of entertainment. Friday night kicks off with a drinks reception at the historic town hall, followed by an elegant dinner at the Midland Hotel or a spectacular Legends of Las Vegas Concert with tributes to all of your favourite artists. On Saturday, guests can attend a grand dinner at Bridgewater Hall before being thrilled by a West End Meets Broadway Show – another glittering ode to the biggest hits from the most loved musicals!

If you’ve missed it…

If you couldn’t make it this time, there are still plenty of ways you can get involved in conference from the comfort of your own home. Look out for the coverage of the Young Citizen Awards on the BBC News Channel on Saturday and don’t forget you can also follow along with our conference hashtag #RotaryConf2017 for all the behind-thescenes action!

For a full list of events, speakers and helpful information visit:

s we move into Spring it is also a time in Rotary for those in office to reflect that they have only a few months left to finish their goals and aspirations for their year in office in 2016/17. But the beauty of Rotary and its strength is that as one year comes to an end a new team is ready to carry on the great work that Rotarians do. Therefore in January, over 500 incoming District Governors from all over the world headed for San Diego to the International Assembly to hear the ideas, goals and theme of the Rotary International President for their year in office, Ian Riseley. He chose as his presidential theme “ROTARY: Making a Difference”. Showing the true fellowship of our international organisation, several Rotary clubs host the incoming District Governors on their way to San Diego. Many are hosted in Florida, and Vice President Jennifer Jones and myself were invited to be the speakers at the final luncheon of the five Rotary clubs of Vero Beach who hosted incoming Governors from Germany, England, South Africa, New Zealand, Norway, Mexico, Australia, India and Scotland. This was the 42nd year that the Indian River County had hosted in this way. Following the International Assembly I journeyed to Chicago for several days of board meetings, we discussed and made many decisions on the way forward for Rotary International including the re-zoning of our areas which takes place every eight years and the changes made will take place in 2020. Following the decisions taken at the Council of Legislation (COL), Rotary’s Parliament, one item allows Rotary clubs to choose how they meet and conduct their business and this has resulted in several clubs meeting in different ways. Another decision taken was to allow members of Rotaract to also be members of a Rotary club, and I am delighted that I will be attending the European Convention of Rotaract in Warsaw next May.

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Rotary around the world Rotarians across the world join with their communities to make a difference. We highlight just a few events helping to change lives for the better.


Making a real difference In only its second year, the Rotary Club of Kota Kinabalu Pearl has embarked on a project to expand English proficiency amongst primary school students in rural Borneo. The newly appointed Club President Datuk Noni J. officially launched the scheme stressing that, “English is the language of Science, Technology, and Business, among other disciplines, and its importance cannot be underestimated, especially at the global front.” Project REAL, Rural Focus-English for All kicked off in October as the club distributed nearly 400 English dictionaries to pupils at three schools. In November the club introduced an English corner in the St. Edmund School in Kota Belud the first of three planned. “We want to improve the children’s standard of English in places where access to English books is limited,” says club member Phyllis Lo. Instilling a love for a second, but all-important, language (Malay is predominant) is the goal. “English is widely used and spoken in the private sector in Malaysia,” Lo adds. “However, English is hardly spoken in rural areas of Sabah. There is definitely a need for students to master English at a young age. They will be more employable if they have some proficiency in English.” President Datuk Noni J. added, “Taking cognisance of the fact that English is an international language, widely used the world over, we started this initiative to help expose rural young people to English. "We want to prepare them for a world that is slowly but surely shrinking to become a global village where English will be one of the few dominant languages. It is these considerations that led us to initiate Project REAL.”

24 // ROTARY


Digging deep The Rotary Club of Auburn, California, has raised $5,000 to help provide water for children in Argentina. Armed with suitcases full of medical and school supplies, Rotarians Matt Feola and Toni Colella along with Feola’s lifelong friend Cheryl Mueller made the trip to the Ezeiza region of Argentina to provide aid to a community stricken by poverty. In total, the Rotary Club of Auburn raised approximately $5,000 for the cause. Together with members of the Ezeiza Rotary Club, the trio set about installing four water wells to service six schools in the area, which will benefit more than 5,000 students across the region. Inspiration for the water wells campaign came after Feola witnessed a young boy drinking water from a ditch in Buenos Aires. He recalls how the child must have only been around seven years old, squatting low to drink directly from the filthy water. The boy was unconvinced by Feola’s horror. He simply looked up at him sceptically, as if to say, “What else am I going to do?” It was then that Feola knew something needed to change, and fast. “That really broke my heart,” he said of the experience, later adding, “The poverty is beyond understanding.” Upon his return, Feola was no less motivated to help the children of Argentina than he had been during his trip. He drew up a proposal for the water wells, seeking funding for a $2,500 matching grant from Rotary International. Over the next year, Rotarians donated a collective $4,000 for the water wells, while Feola said he collected an additional $1,000 from folks in the Seneca Falls community where he resides. "They came through in a way I'll never forget," he said.


One step at a time Three clubs in Lagos state contributed a total of nearly $13,000 to correct clubfoot, a birth defect in which one or both feet are twisted out of shape. With the assistance of a clinic at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, the Rotary Clubs of Gbagada, Ikoyi, and Lagos have treated 210 indigent children with deformed feet. Dr. Ladipo Adewole, who works at the clinic, said they have so far treated about 6,000 children with a 95 per cent success since 2005 when the clinic was first set up. However he added that there was a noticeable drop in attendance because of the high cost of the treatment, which is what made them turn to Dr. Deinde Shoga and Dr. Kamaru Omotosho, who are past District Governors of Rotary International, and used their positions to influence the support of the clubs. "Parents of the children now only need to transport themselves to the clinic to receive treatment for their children. All the materials donated would last for at least two years before we exhaust them," he said. Director, Clinical Services and the Acting Chief Medical Director, Dr. Ayo Adedokun, said, “But for the assistance of Rotary International, many children would have been left hopeless, helpless and rejected and their parents have been saved from begging with the children by the side of the road.” He added that the adoption of the clinic by the clubs would lead to an influx of parents whose children were born with clubfoot deformity. President, Rotary Club of Gbagada, Olanrewaju Akintilo said the exercise would enable the children to play football while the President, Rotary Club of Lagos Island, Modupe Sasore, said the project has saved the future of the children.


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International Women's Day

Take tea and fight polio! During International Women’s Day in March, Rotarians across Great Britain and Ireland held simultaneous Purple4Polio tea parties to celebrate an historic milestone: Rotary's dramatic success to date with the ongoing campaign to rid the world of polio.


HE tea parties kicked off across the country at the quintessentially British tea-time of 4pm, with a media launch which took place at the Rotary London's headquarters in Regent’s Park. TV presenter Konnie Huq helped to mark the launch with celebrity guest speakers who included Jane Garvey from

26 // ROTARY

BBC Radio 4’s ‘Woman’s Hour’, along with broadcaster and Purple4Polio Ambassador, Julia Roberts. The event was chosen to highlight the synergy between the International Women’s Day 2017 objectives ‘Be Bold For Change’ and the Purple4Polio campaign, which was launched in 1985 with the ambitious promise to mothers of the world that polio would be eradicated


Somnath Saha, CEO, of Typhoo Tea, said: “Uniting communities to help eradicate polio is essential, and we’re proud to be a part of helping achieve this.

and their children would no longer suffer from the life threatening and crippling disease. That promise is now on the brink of being fulfilled, with just 37 polio cases in three countries in 2016 and real hope that by 2017 we will see the last case of polio worldwide. To support the tea parties and Rotary’s campaign to end polio forever, Typhoo Tea, the second largest tea manufacturer in the UK, held a tea tasting at the launch. The company donated tea and branded disposable mugs. Wilkin & Sons Ltd. (Tiptree Jam) also gave away 52,000 specially branded jars of plum and greengage Purple4Polio jam to Rotarians across Britain and Ireland. Somnath Saha, CEO, of Typhoo Tea, said: “Uniting communities to help eradicate polio is essential and we’re

proud to be a part of helping achieve this. Working closely with Purple4Polio nationwide, we hope these charitable tea parties played a part in bringing people together to cross the finishing line and end polio now.” Polio eradication has become a personal mission for Eve Conway, the President of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland. She has recently returned from India where she joined British Rotarians on the front line in the fight against the disease. India was declared polio-free in 2014, but there are still vital ongoing national immunisation campaigns giving polio drops to every single child under fiveyears-old in order to keep the country free of the disease. Eve said: “We want to celebrate our immense achievement so far and remind everyone how we are so close now to

Rotary’s goal of a polio-free world. With just 37 cases worldwide last year, it’s absolutely vital we push this last step. "We are truly on the brink of an historic milestone, and this year we could see the last case of polio worldwide.”



nternational Women's Day •I(IWD) has been observed since in the early 1900s

t is a global celebration which •Iaims to inspire women in countries across the world

To find out more about Rotary or the Purple4Polio campaign, please visit: ROTARY // 27

Nathan Reade This time we meet 32-year-old Nathan Reade, a former Rotary Youth Leadership Award nominee who believes it’s time for a modern image for Rotary. Rotary Club: Faringdon & District, Oxfordshire Occupation: Senior Systems Engineer – Railway Signalling Design What were your perceptions of Rotary before you became involved? I was first introduced to Rotary in 2004 after I had been nominated for the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA). I was slightly surprised by the way the club was organised and I held on to a certain belief about the organisation for a few years. As brilliant as I could see that Rotary was, it didn’t feel like the right organisation for me to become involved with at the time. How did you find out about Rotary? Faringdon & District Rotary Club is a very active club and I would often take my family to events that they had organised in the local area. At one of these events my wife and I started chatting with one of the Rotarians who was very different from the preconceived ideas we had of who Rotarians were! What has been the most inspiring Rotary event you have been involved with and how did you find the experience? Throughout December, Faringdon & District Rotary Club tour around the town with Father Christmas in tow riding in a full-scale mock-up of Thomas the Tank Engine, distributing chocolates and chatting with the children who rush out to meet him. Being a part of this event is truly inspiring as you get to see firsthand how much pleasure and enjoyment 28 // ROTARY

can be brought to so many people through the time and effort Rotary clubs put in to running their events. What do you personally get out of being a member? There is nothing more frustrating than seeing people suffering and feeling completely unable to help. Being a member of Rotary gives me the satisfaction of knowing that I am part of a global organisation, proactively working to provide assistance and alleviate suffering wherever the need may be. What do you tell people who are interested in the organisation and want to join? We have recently started a satellite club in Faringdon, which aims to be less formal than the existing club. The beauty of having the two clubs running in conjunction with each other is that we should be able to cater for people who are looking for different things. What impressions did you take away from your first few Rotary meetings? I was made to feel very welcome from my very first visit and I found the meetings enjoyable and informative. The overriding impression I took away was how efficiently any money raised was distributed to those who needed it most.

If we granted you a wish to change something about the organisation, what would it be? The image. Rotary has almost been a victim of its own success – most people have heard of the organisation but often assume that it is not right for them. If Rotary could be seen as fresh, vibrant, and relevant to people from all walks of life I am sure that membership numbers would soar. How do you find the time to fit in Rotary with other hobbies and interests? Being a member of Rotary is enjoyable and so I never find myself having to make time for it. As my wife is also a Rotarian we actually find our social life is often centred around Rotary meetings and events. We hold one of our meetings each month on a Saturday morning to which we all take our children along as well and this helps to balance the often hectic work/family/Rotary schedule. If I asked you sum up the organisation and your enjoyment of it in just a few words, what would you say? Sociable, enjoyable, rewarding. l

If you would like to be featured in Meet & Greet, email editor Dave King at:

Changing Lives: Smart, Simple Solutions In Bangladesh, local communities received training from Practical Action in how to grow pumpkins on the sand bars left behind by receding flood waters. This gives families the diversified skills and opportunities to build more secure, resilient livelihoods for the future. Practical Action is an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) that uses technology to challenge poverty in developing countries. Finding out what people are doing and helping them to do it better, the charity enables poor communities to build on their skills and knowledge to produce sustainable and practical solutions- transforming their lives forever and protecting the world around them. Technology has a vital role to play in building livelihoods. But at Practical Action, it doesn’t mean just physical infrastructure, machinery and equipment – it’s also the knowledge, skills and capacity to organise and use these effectively.

Practical Action currently has 90 projects in developing countries around the world. These projects focus on areas where a big difference can be made: Energy access, food and agriculture, urban waste and water, and disaster risk reduction. ‘Before we had to go to the toilet outside, sometimes we were scared if it was dark. Now my school has a better toilet and we have learned how to use it. We have clean water too, not muddy from the river. We can have a drink anytime we like’ 9 year old Daniella, beneficiary of a Practical Action project in Altamarani village, Bolivia.

Giving kids a taste of technology Following on from the success of its Technology Tournaments for secondary schools, Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland has teamed up with the Rochester Bridge Trust to launch a junior version of the popular contest.


he Junior Technology Tournaments will be a series of events run across the country by local Rotary clubs partnering with local primary schools. The two will work together to run fun and interactive workshops where children are asked to participate in a variety of different challenges designed to get them thinking about the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) subjects. The launch comes at an important time, since latest statistics released by the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment show that the percentage of students studying STEM subjects after GCSE has fallen by 3.5% with only 42% of students choosing to study a STEM subject as part of their further study. The new initiative aims to spark an interest in these subjects with kids from an early age, which it is then hoped will lead to further take up of the disciplines in post GCSE education. The project was officially kicked off at The Big Bang Fair, the UK’s only young scientist and engineers fair, at Birmingham’s NEC in March. The Rochester Bridge Trust’s education mascot, Langdon the Lion, led the proceedings and a variety of bridge 30 // ROTARY

building activities were also on offer across the two days giving youngsters of all ages a taste of the appeal of civil engineering. Aileen White, Education Officer at the Rochester Bridge Trust, explained: “We have produced a complete set of primary level education materials that can be used by Rotary clubs all over the country to open young children’s eyes to the possibilities of engineering through handson activities. “This is an exciting next step in our efforts to support and inspire engineering education. “The Junior Technology Tournament

challenge packs include instructions for organisers, on-the-day teaching materials and all the guidance children and adults will require for a successful event. “The only things that need to be provided by participants are a selection of readily-available classroom materials, some responsible adults and a room full of enthusiastic youngsters.” Donna Wallbank, Chair of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland’s Domestic Committee said she was excited by how the project has developed. She added: “Our Technology Tournaments, facilitated by local Rotary clubs across the country, have become quite a success. "We are now thrilled to be able to offer this junior version, which has been made possible by working with the Rochester Bridge Trust.”

Visit: to meet the winners of The Rotary Prize for Medical/Scientific Advancement Visit: to find out more about the Trust’s engineering education initiatives

Supported by

The Water-Survival Box provides clean water for up to five years and essential survival items within days following disaster. Over 12,500 Water Survival Boxes distributed in 49 disasters since 2006. Recent distributions include 140 Boxes together with 120 School Bags to Chile. Thanks to all our supporters for their help in providing “water for life�. A humanitarian project by the Rotary Club of Chelwood Bridge.

For more information please contact us at or Tel 01761 409115 Providing water for life

Rotary Club of Chelwood Bridge in North East Somerset District 1200 – England


MAF flying in partnership with Rotary for over 30 years For 70 years MAF has supplied a solution for the problem of poverty in isolation, delivering a lifeline for isolated communities in 26 countries across the developing world. Operating 135 light aircraft, MAF flies into over 1,600 destinations – dirt, grass or mountain airstrips – enabling: clean water and food, economic and community development, medical supplies and equipment, educational and healthcare teams, and peace building opportunities to reach over one million people living in poverty in some of the world’s most remote and inhospitable places on earth. Standard water survival box is designed for a family of five. Families who have lost their homes and all their possessions following natural or man-made disaster. 1st priority is the water-purification kit – to protect against water-borne disease.

What else is essential?

How does it work?

Arrange a speaker at your Rotary Club and hear more about MAF’s inspirational work 2nd priority is to provide survival items for: eating and drinking; health and hygiene; basic shelter; simple tools; household items – all to help survival for the early weeks and months after disaster


tDPOWFSUTDPOUBNJOBUFEXBUFS into safe drinking water

How much does it cost? The standard water-survival box is ÂŁ150. This covers the cost of the box, waterpurification kit, all contents, and air freight to disaster area. tWFSZĂśOFNJDSPQPSFTCMPDLBMM

bacteria and viruses but allow Boxes are packed with a set of new contents clean water to pass through. All boxes are identical This speeds up the customs inspection process O Water-survival boxes are consigned to the local Rotary Club, local Red Cross Society, or handled by locally based representatives of international aid agencies O We aim to get the boxes to survivors of disaster within days of the event to protect against water-borne disease. O O O

Request a speaker at Registered charity in England and Wales (1064598) and in Scotland (SC039107) ÂŽ Registered trademark 3026860, 3026908, 3026915

17-067 Half page ad for Rotary Magazine.indd 1

20/01/2017 09:13

This year’s Rotary Ride is just around the corner, and whether you are putting on your own event, attending an event at your local Rotary club or maybe even just donating a few pounds and going for a cycle ride on the day make sure you get cycling and get involved!


Orla Kiely Wicker Bike Basket



If you are planning to ride at night, these lights are a great way to ensure you will be seen. The LEDs are programmed to detect your speed and illuminate when they are orientated at the front or rear of the bike – allowing you ultimate visibility to other road users.

If you want to recreate that classic bicycle look, this Orla Kiely Bike Basket is the perfect choice. It features a stylish Olive print liner and can store up to 3kg, making it an ideal place to store your small belongings, whilst looking great too.

Dare2b Saddle Sure Padded Cycling Shorts

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These lightweight cycling shorts feature an anatomically designed Coolmax stretch pad insert which keeps you comfy on the saddle however far you ride. They also boast a clever gel gripper tape at the hem, which prevents them riding up as you pedal.

Bluetooth Bone Conductor Headphones

The Universal Smart Phone Attachment allows you to securely fasten your mobile to your handle bars, meaning you can easily snap, film or track your gps whilst you ride. It also features 360 rotation for portrait or landscape viewing and comes with a 5 year warranty as standard.


These clever headphones send sound frequencies directly to your ear canals by sending vibrations through your bones, leaving your ears uncovered to hear the world around you, meaning it’s great for cyclists who need to listen out for other road users. The Damson Audio version also features Siri, Cortana and Google Voice connectivity meaning you can also answer calls or skip a track with just your voice.

32 // ROTARY


Camelback water bottle

£14.99 Designed to keep your drink cooler for longer, the Camelback Podium Chill bottle offers clever insulation which provides chilled refreshment for up to twice as long as the average water bottle. It also boasts a self-sealing jet valve, which ensures there will be no nasty leaks or spills throughout your ride. To find out more about Rotary Ride or find your nearest event visit:


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Home is where the heart is


NEBWORTH House has been the home of the Lytton family for over 500 years and is open this year until September 24th. The Victorian Gothic exterior with its turrets, domes and gargoyles covering the red Tudor brick, owes almost everything to Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, the novelist who penned the famous line: “The pen is mightier than the sword”. Stories and heirlooms reflect the family’s contribution to literature, politics and foreign service, alongside visits by characters as diverse as Charles Dickens, Winston Churchill and Noel Gallagher. Enjoy a tour of the house and be enthralled by the history which this year includes a British Raj exhibition, featuring fascinating displays and a video presentation telling the story of the Lytton family’s connection with India. Running simultaneously this summer will be an exhibition entitled “Emily: The Life and Troubles of a Victorian Teenager”. This is being staged to coincide with a new biography by Henry Lytton Cobbold, illustrating stories from the dramatic life of Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton’s daughter, Emily, during the 19th century. 34 // ROTARY

In fact, there’s a full schedule of events lined up at Knebworth House this summer including Easter Medieval Jousting (April 16th-17th) and Father’s Day Medieval Jousting (June 18th), together with a twoday Dog Fest (June 24th-25th) featuring a fun-filled canine extravaganza for dogs and their owners. Knebworth will also be staging a Great British Food Festival between July 22nd-23rd, a Steam, Crafts & Country Life Fair from August 12th-13th, plus a Classic Motor Show from August 27th-28th. Music, literature and politics have featured throughout its history and today Knebworth is known worldwide as Britain’s largest concert venue. On August 20th, the estate will host its Great British Prom for the first time, with an orchestra paying tribute to British music from across the four nations. The 28 acres of formal gardens are filled with colour throughout the season and, for a small extra charge, groups can book a pre-arranged private tour. There have been gardens at Knebworth House since at least the 17th century, but the present layout was created by two of Britain’s most renowned landscape

designers; Sir Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll. Popular features include the maze, walled vegetable garden, formal rose garden and colourful borders. Visitors to the Hertfordshire attraction will also be able to catch a glimpse of the grazing herds of Red and Sika deer in the 250 acre landscaped parkland. It’s perfect for a stroll, dog walk or bring a picnic, and a chance to relax with friends and family. As a thank you, an organiser’s complimentary admission ticket is offered for those who are bringing 20 or more guests. House tours are guided most days, and there is free-flow on event days and Summer Sundays. Groups are welcomed on arrival by a member of the Knebworth team to familiarise guests with the amenities. Access to Knebworth House can be found directly off junction 7 of the A1M and parking is free of charge for both cars and coaches.

For more information, contact the Group Bookings Team by phoning: 01438 812661 or email:

Take action in your community

Join a winning team Join Team Rotary




2017 • “Westonbirt is the finest ensemble of Victorian architecture, landscape and gardens in the Cotswolds”. (Country Life) • Grade 1 Listed House and Gardens • Private tours of the House by arrangement – see contact details below • House tours include afternoon tea overlooking our spectacular gardens and a leisurely walk around our formal gardens and grounds • Coach parties welcome by prior arrangement • Coach parking plus driver refreshment • Gardens only open for ad hoc individual visits Tues, Weds and Thurs 2-5pm, April to October.

For information on opening times visit: For bookings contact Jo Baker Tel: 01666 881 373 Email:

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Special feature




f there’s a problem, there’s a solution. That has been the mindset of Rotarians for 112 years. Today, the ingenuity, dedication and sheer tenacity of Rotary is tested to the limit with more conflict, disasters and increasing hardship, all of which offer greater opportunities to serve and this is where Rotarians step up to the plate. Now in its fourth year, the Champions

of Change Awards are all about celebrating the humanitarian service of Rotary members, both in this country and abroad. In addition, non-Rotarians have been recognised this year through the Community Champion Award. These members of the public will have led and inspired others in their community, with their efforts recognised by their local Rotary club. On 26 April, the House of Lords will

host the presentation of these awards at a glittering ceremony designed to honour these previously unsung heroes. They will receive their award at a formal evening hosted by Baroness Harris of Richmond (North Yorkshire), with the presentations made by Lord William Hague, formerly Leader of the Conservative Party and a former Foreign Secretary.



any will be familiar with the proverb: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him how to fish, give him the tackle and you feed him for a lifetime.” This may not have been in the mind of the President of the Rotary Club of Workington, Patricia Vytialingam Hoggarth, days after the super typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines in November 2013. With winds reaching 195mph, Haiyan was one of the most powerful tropical cyclones recorded. In its path, it killed more than 6,000 people, devastated a million homes and caused widespread destruction. It’s at times like this that Rotarians rally, and four years ago Patricia set up a meeting with the Rotary Club of Workington Derwent to organise a street collection which raised a staggering £5,049. But this is a story of how a street collection in one seafaring area of Cumbria turned into a regeneration of a whole fishing community thousands of miles away thanks to the imagination of one woman and the dedication of Rotarians around her. Patricia quickly decided the fundraising should not stop and arranged a further meeting to discuss the possibility of converting that into something much more

meaningful with the help of a Rotary Global Grant. Working in tandem with District 1190 clubs and two Inner Wheel clubs, a further £4,650 was swiftly raised. Barely three months after the disaster, Patricia and her husband, Alan, travelled to Manila to meet with members of the Rotary Club of Makati Edsa to discuss a project on which to spend the money. The focus of their efforts were the Bantayan Islands, located on the Visayan Sea and almost 500 miles south of the Philippines’ capital and located in Cebu province. Fishing is the main livelihood on Bantayan where an estimated 200,000 boats had been destroyed by the ferocious storm and, with it, the locals only source of income. So a plan was hatched between the Rotary Clubs from Workington and the Philippines to build 80 new fibre-glass

motorised fishing boats for the fishermen of the Bantayan Islands. With their initial £5,000 being turned into £44,000 thanks to hard work and a Global Grant, it was April last year when Patricia and six Cumbrian Rotarians joined their Filipino counterparts for the presentation of 80 boats on the island of Kinatarcan. Each of the boats carries the Rotary logo and they have been named after the clubs involved in the project. Not only did the building of the boats generate economic activity in the community for boat builders and material suppliers, it has helped restore the livelihoods of the fishermen. These boats are now being used to transport between the islands, including taking the children to school. Patricia told Rotary magazine: “I’m very humbled by the level of support that the Rotary Clubs of Workington received from the town and Rotary International. “Workington was not on their map in Cebu, but it is certainly in their hearts now; the project that involved local and district clubs has transformed the islands and created a bond for life.” x


More Champions of Change awardwinners – see pages 38 & 39 ROTARY // 37



t’s been about going above and beyond, as Rotary will be honouring community champions who have made a real difference in their own communities.


NOMINATED BY DISTRICT 1100 Horticulturalist Chris stumbled into his initiative when six autistic children visited the nursery he ran to find out about gardening. Out of that evolved The Butterfly Garden at Dundry Nurseries in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, an educational, therapeutic and recreational scheme for people of all disabilities. It is run entirely by volunteers. More than 200 students — many referred by local schools, NHS Trusts, Social Services and other professionals — use the facility which provides activities as varied as cooking, drama and art recycling.


A palliative care nurse, Peju has a heart for charity and the community – both in Basildon, Essex, and abroad. Her commitment to the elderly is unstinting, both in fund-raising and using her professional skills. Abroad, she has championed a home for underprivileged children in Uganda, set up free health screening and treatment for thousands in Zimbabwe, and improved infrastructure and facilities in Sri Lanka with project partnership.


NOMINATED BY DISTRICT 1230 Supported by a band of happy volunteers, Betty has been the mainstay of Broomlands and Bourtreehill Age Concern at Irvine in Ayrshire, for just over 40 years. The Drop-in Centre provides morning coffee and lunch five days a week. They also organise a range

of activities and outings for the elderly. Betty has earned a reputation for her fearless dedication to her local community, fighting causes such as vandalism and disorder and also challenging the local authority over funding issues for voluntary groups, frequently using the local media to publicise her case.


From small beginnings, Katie set up Malawi Foster Care to support orphaned boys. This ran alongside an outreach programme helping the elderly in outlying villages who also care for the orphaned, while struggling to survive themselves. These partnerships bring together the local community in Liverpool, particularly schools, by fostering goodwill and providing an opportunity to learn about different cultures. Local Rotarians in Malawi support Katie and monitor the project.


ROTARY CLUB OF BLYTHE BRIDGE & DISTRICT Ex-Royal Marine Martin from Cheadle in Staffordshire, has been wheelchair-bound since a catastrophic training accident 34 years ago. Since then, he has worked tirelessly to improve the way disabled people are treated both by authorities and the public. In addition to supporting limbless veterans with their rehabilitation and reintegration into society, Martin visits schools where he speaks about his life demonstrating that, despite apparent disadvantages, young people can and do achieve.


ROTARY CLUB OF PETERBOROUGH ORTONS In addition to working with Riding for the Disabled, setting up a lunch club for the elderly and acting as a presenter for ShelterBox in Cambridgeshire, Janet

38 // ROTARY

is committed to helping those living with dementia. She has not only raised the profile of dementia locally, but helped set up the Peterborough Dementia Action Alliance (she is currently Vice-Chairman) and started up Crocus Cafe (Peterborough's Rotary Memory Cafe), while always keeping Rotary at the forefront of this vital work. Janet has also written a weekly article on Rotary for the Peterborough Telegraph for the past six years.


ROTARY CLUB OF TAVISTOCK Through her vision, creativity and novel methods, Geri has championed the change in perceptions and attitudes towards dementia. This dementiafriendly community project has resulted in more than 500 people in Tavistock, Devon, receiving accredited dementia-friendly training and over 30 businesses and social groups are recognised as being dementiafriendly within the national scheme criteria.


When the third flood hit Keswick within 10 years in December 2015, the man best placed to lead the relief efforts was the former Chairman of the town’s Flood Action Group. With this knowledge Graham, together with wife, Carol, worked with key agencies at the height of the emergency and for the following 10 days. As Rotary Club President, Graham initiated a joint Rotary and Lions flood appeal which generated over £250,000, valuable money which was handed to individuals and community groups, and which also enabled Fitz Park in Keswick to be restored.

FOR MORE INFORMATION To find out more about the Champions of Change Awards, and to read about the International Category winners visit:




EE BURKE is a man on a mission. His leadership and drive enhances the lives of all of the young people using the facilities at Petty Pool Centre in Northwich. As business manager of this South Cheshire-based Outdoor Centre, Lee is tireless in his pursuit of fine-tuning existing projects and introducing new themes to encourage kids to ‘go beyond’ their capabilities. Climbing and abseiling, canoeing and zip wiring are among the activities on offer, while nature and stream walks, den building, and orienteering are also available. The project, part of an Education Centre set in 40 acres of woodland, invigorates, educates and challenges participants, increasing their self-confidence and feelgood factor.

They are values which coincide with the Rotary values of problem-solving, resilience, leadership and teamwork. Many of the visitors come through the education system, but its courses cater for the likes of Urban Kids Go Outdoors, Rotary Youth Leadership Award summer camp, plus visitors from Malta and China who are visiting through Rotary sponsorship. New RotaKids and Interact Clubs have been formed and the use of social media has helped enormously for Petty Pool to connect and engage with its young audience. Practical projects are encouraged to benefit the community such as a sensory garden in a nearby park, a walkway and flower beds at a nearby school. According to Lee, it’s all about turning learning into fun, and for the centre to go that extra mile to get the best out of each

group of visitors. Lee expressed his surprise at the nomination and confirmed his delight at an opportunity to visit the House of Lords Awards evening. He said: “There are few times in my life when I am speechless and this is one of them. I would like to thank everyone for their kindness and support and to say what a pleasure it is to do what I am doing and to have the opportunity to promote the family of Rotary. I look forward to attending.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION If you would like to know more about the activities at Petty Pool Outdoor Centre visit their website: or call them on: 01606 889097

ROTARY // 39



HE Rotary Club of Basingstoke Deane is proud to have been signed up as one of the sponsors of a unique public art project that will celebrate a milestone Jane Austen anniversary and make a big difference to a local cancer charity. 'Sitting With Jane' will be one of the showcase events in Hampshire as the county marks the 200th anniversary of the death of the world-famous author, who spent the first 25 years of her life in Steventon near Basingstoke. The ‘Wild in Art’ event, being delivered by Destination Basingstoke and in association with Festival Place, 'Sitting With Jane' is

a public art trail featuring 24 speciallydesigned sponsored bookbenches which will be on display during the summer. The bookbenches will eventually be auctioned off and 75 per cent of the proceeds will go to Ark Cancer Centre Charity – one of the local charities that is supported by the Rotary Club of Basingstoke Deane. In 2015-16, with the help of matchfunding through the Greenham Common Trust-backed The Good Exchange, the club donated £30,000 to the charity. Basingstoke Deane Rotary Club President, Alan Gibson, said: “The Basingstoke Deane Rotarians have a proud

track record of supporting local good causes and important projects, and 'Sitting With Jane' ticks both of those boxes. It is an exciting cultural, educational and legacy initiative that will ultimately benefit Ark Cancer Centre Charity. “It is also a great opportunity to raise wider public awareness of what the Rotary club does, and to show potential members how Rotarians have fun and make a positive difference.” Alan and some of his fellow Basingstoke Deane Rotarians chose the Club’s bookbench design at a special event for sponsors at Oakley Hall in January – and they are now keen to see the selected artist get to work on creating it. Ark Cancer Centre Charity’s £5m appeal will ensure a range of support services and complementary therapies are available alongside chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments in a calm and uplifting environment in the cancer treatment centre. Largely being funded by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT), the new centre is earmarked for a location in the Basingstoke and Deane area, and if the preferred site near to Junction 7 of the M3 is approved, it will be easily accessible to everyone in the HHFT region.



he Seapatrick Parish Centre was packed to the rafters for an Evening with Daniel O’Donnell with three charities set to benefit from the proceeds. The event was organised by the Rotary Club of Banbridge and the Irish singing sensation was wowing the 450 strong audience long into the night. Daniel and his wife Majella were recently made Honorary Members of the club and were keen to show their support for Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign. One of the charities benefitting from some of the £15,000 the night raised was

40 // ROTARY

one close to the O’Donnell family’s heart as it was actually established by Majella. Donegal Mind Wellness offers support to those people suffering from stress, anxiety and depression. The charity sadly finds that help with these conditions is needed even more frequently, particularly for those people who are isolated or live alone. Southern Area Hospice, which provides palliative care for the terminally ill and support for their families, as well as Tiny Life, Northern Ireland’s only premature and vulnerable baby charity also received some of the evening’s proceeds.



n the February/March edition of the Rotary magazine we brought you an interview from Virginia McKenna OBE and Will Travers OBE about the work they are doing to help save endangered species. In the story we mentioned a Rotary-led project, Elephantastic, which saw tremendous success. The Elephantastic project, organised and run by the Rotary Club of Horsham, brought safari to the town’s streets back in August 2015, and the campaign is now in its final push to auction off the remaining elephant figures. The Rotary Club of Horsham worked with a number of partners to put on the Elephantastic trail through the summer and nearly 200 uniquely painted elephants were placed at different locations around the town. Plain model elephants were sold to over 130 companies who each added their personal design. Three safari trails of the elephants were then available to follow and the campaign caught the attention of celebrities such as Julie Walters CBE and Amanda Holden. In total, 65 charities and community groups have begun to benefit from the money raised through online bids and the sale of the elephants. However, there are still some beautiful models left for purchase. To purchase one of the elephants visit:



ood Hope Hospital has a new piece of equipment that supports people with bowel cancer, thanks to a number of local organisations operating together, including the Rotary Club of Wylde Green. Around 3,300 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year in the West Midlands, something The Holly Trust is looking to fight. By working with the club, £9,000 was collected through a number of fundraising events and as one of the hospital’s consultants and surgeons Haney Youseff explains, the equipment will have significant impact, “It will allow us to deal with a greater number of cases, particularly on consecutive days, which means we can treat more people

with metastatic bowel cancer from all over Sutton Coldfield and the wider region.” The Holly Trust is run by volunteers so it is often reliant on fundraising efforts and donations from other local organisations. Elizabeth Philip, Chair of The Holly Trust, added, “We were thrilled to know that the Rotary Club of Wylde Green raised funds for The Holly Trust. It has been very important in achieving our aim in supporting the treatment of bowel cancer patients and their families at Good Hope Hospital. Bowel cancer affects so many families in Sutton Coldfield and surrounding areas and we are grateful to be able to help with both the awareness and treatment of the conditions.”

seeing a benefit, as teacher Dan Howard commented, “The app is useful as a teaching aid, but more importantly will inspire students to access financial information outside the classroom.” The app is available in two levels, a free download triggers a 10p donation and a paid version triggers a 30p donation. Tim is delighted to use the app to not only teach important business skills, but also benefit hundreds of life changing projects The Rotary Foundation facilitates every year, “I am so pleased to be partnering with Rotary in a way that helps to promote the app to potential customers while raising funds for The Rotary Foundation.” “Everyone recognises that there is a dramatic lack of financial awareness, not only

in the younger generation but among employees and managers. These fundamentals should be a life skill for everyone.” “My goal in creating this app is to help strengthen the capacity of communities to support basic education and increase adult literacy. This fits so well with Rotary’s ambitions to support education for children and literacy for children and adults.”



he Rotary Foundation is to benefit from a new educational game that teaches financial literacy. The Financial Game, which covers topics like income and expenditure, construction of balance sheets and financial ratios, will receive its worldwide launch at the Rotary Conference in Manchester, 7th-9th April. Developed by chartered accountant Tim Hill, the app has been warmly received by pupils in trials at The Coleshill School, Warwickshire. One pupil said, “The variety of activities kept each section interesting” while another added, “anyone doing A Level in Business Studies would benefit from this.” It wasn’t just the pupils who were

FOR MORE INFORMATION If you would like to know more about the financial game app visit:

ROTARY // 41


©Brora Primary School

Children at the Goedgedacht Project preschool in South Africa have had their play space transformed by a donation from the Rotary Club of Ipswich Wolsey, which has paid for the installation of artificial grass and carpet. The children there have all been born with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), which starts in the womb from their mothers' drinking. The new flooring means their orthopaedic cushions, which help the children sit up and breathe correctly won’t be damaged.

ISLE OF MAN’S GOT TALENT Talented youngsters from the Isle of Man put their skills on show at a recent variety show hosted by the Rotary Clubs of Ramsey and Rushen and Western Mann benefitting two local charities. A mix of music, dance and drama wowed the evening's audience and raised £4,000 for Rebecca House Children’s Hospice, a purpose built facility providing palliative care for children and the Pahar Trust Nepal.

UP AND DOWN It was an up and down evening at the Rotary Club of St Ives’ recent fundraiser with a difference, as competitors went head to head in a Pink Yo-Yo’Athon. During the night £1,600 was raised for the Primary Breast Cancer Support Group at Hinchingbrooke Hospital. Replacing your traditional pub quiz, ten pubs competed for the top prize of most yo-yos completed in a minute.

LOUD AND CLEAR Hi Kent, using the facilities of Age Concern in Cheriton, run a monthly “Repairing and Maintaining Hearing Aids” clinic for elderly people within the area, free of charge. The work is carried out entirely by volunteers and the generous donations of the Rotary Club of Folkestone over the last three years. It has enabled Hi Kent to help over 350 senior members of the community to enjoy a better quality of life through the simple fact that they are able to hear.

42 // ROTARY



rora Primary School headteacher Dawn Mackenzie had a significant birthday in February, and while the shy lassie was being coy about her age, she may have given the RotaKids club a wee clue! The Highlands head challenged them to get 50 school pupils and parents to take part in the Polio Swimarathon event at Golspie Pool in February. So successful was the call that a separate Polio Swimarathon was staged with parents and other swimmers from primary schools from Dornoch to Helmsdale.

Over the past eight years, the local Rotary, RotaKids and Interact clubs have raised over £15,000 through the annual Polio Swim. Rotary and the Gates Foundation have made this up to over £50,000. The primary school-age RotaKids from Brora managed to swim well over 900 lengths raising almost £500. And the Dornoch RotaKids plus Interact clubs students, together with adults aged from 18 to 80, broke the 2,000 length challenge during their 90 minute session, helping to take the total money raised beyond £2,000.



t's full speed ahead for the Rotary Club of Sheffield Vulcan who is gearing up for its prestigious Sheffield Motor Show.This is the third year the city club has run this event and the second time the showpiece automobile event has been held in the centre. It takes place on 3rd & 4th June. According to Roger Hart, who co-organises the motor show with Tony Cosens, the event has proved to be a major logistical exercise for the Rotary Club which has cars valued up to £150,000. “Dealers pay a fee for each car to be displayed for two days,” he explained. “The club pays for the hire of the sites - discounted as we are a charity - security, for overnight parking of some very expensive cars, a stilt walker/balloon modeller, advertising and

promotional material. “Planning starts immediately after the last show. The logistics of getting 72 cars into measured spaces, plus gazebos, at set times, to avoid pedestrian traffic, and one-way systems, can be a challenge, especially as some of them did not follow very detailed instructions.” Local charities benefited to the tune of several thousands of pounds, and £1,600 was invested into the club’s charity fund. “The event is big, classed as prestigious by the council, and takes time and effort to stage,” added Roger, who said that this June they will have a presence from the fire brigade with a chip pan fire demonstration, and from a mountain rescue team.



mergency healthcare will be hitting the waterways in Northern Ghana thanks to the efforts of Rotary Clubs in Hull and East Yorkshire. Thanks to £5,000 worth of donations and a £20,000 grant from The Rotary Foundation, clubs have worked with a number of organisations to provide a river ambulance, which will travel the River Volta. With very little in the way of road networks, locals previously were faced with either having no access to healthcare, or travelling the crocodile infested river in hollowed out tree trunks. The boat was inspired by the work of And Albert Foundation, was built by Seahorse Marine and will be shipped to Ghana by Jacob’s Well, all of whom operate out of the Yorkshire area. The boat will serve as many as 40 villages along the river and will transport nurses, midwives and doctors to those who need them most. Rev Beynon, whose charity supports medical provision in the area explains, “The boat will be a game-changer for local medical professionals, allowing them to reach many villages that were otherwise out of their reach. “It will carry out tasks like antenatal clinics, preventing new-borns getting HIV, immunising children against deadly diseases such as polio, hepatitis, meningitis, and tetanus, and soon, hopefully with the newly developed vaccine for malaria.” The boat has been named Wilbaforce One, after slavery abolitionist William Wilberforce who was born in Hull, where the boat has been constructed.



he Rotary Club of Uppingham is coming to the end of an 18-month project to support the Mango Tree Trust’s Kasirawa Fishpond Project. Kasirawa village lies near Lake Victoria in western Kenya in a very deprived area with an HIV/AIDs infection rate close to 35%. Here, the Mango Tree Trust supports AIDS orphans by placing them with foster families and supporting their education through to graduation. Fishing on Lake Victoria was once the mainstay of the economy in the area. However, overfishing and an infestation of water hyacinth have led to a steady decline. The cultural traditions of the fishing industry were also costing lives. Men were traditionally the fishermen and the women were the fishmongers who made the money by marketing the fish. However, this was an exploitative relationship since the women did not get access to quality fish unless they had a sexual relationship with the fishermen. To break free of this, the communities where the Mango Tree Trust works have empowered the women so that they do not have to rely on this relationship. Their solution is sustainable aqua culture. The communities have to construct the fishponds, feed and protect the fish then

when the fish are mature, harvest them and take them to the market. The Mango Tree Trust only facilitates the initial inputs that they cannot afford. This is where the Rotary club in Leicestershire comes in since everything else must be the responsibility of the community. The Rotary Club of Uppingham has funded the construction of five fishponds, the first of which are now stocked with maturing fish. The results are starting to transform the communities along the lakeshore who are much better able to support the orphans. One important aspect of this livelihoods project is that it creates a beneficial use of land which had been rendered useless for agriculture due to sand harvesting – an environmentally damaging activity that is desperately poorly paid and totally unsustainable.


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Whether you have a desire to make a difference within your local community or on an international scale, Rotary gives you the platform to make it possible. 44 // ROTARY


It's Gone Viral



What is being watched, posted, liked, shared and tweeted around Rotary in the world of social media including Rotary Day and International Women’s Day.

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GOING SOCIAL AT #ROTARYCONF2017 ON YOUR MARKS, GET SET, BAKE! BEING BOLD FOR CHANGE To mark International Women’s Day and the 2017 theme of #BeBoldForChange, Rotary hosted a #purple4polio tea party with a number of celebrity guest speakers. If you couldn’t join the hundreds who tuned in live to hear Woman’s Hour presenter Jane Garvey, former BBC correspondent Emily Buchanan and polio survivor Julia Roberts, you can catch up with the stream on the Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland Facebook page.

Great British Bake Off star and former Rotary Young Chef contestant, Martha Collison baked a special #purple4polio cake, using Tiptree jam specially donated to mark the campaign. We’re sure it tasted as good as it looked! You can visit @ marthacollison on Instagram to see more of her tasty treats.

Whether you’re joining us at the Manchester Conference 7th-9th April or not, there are plenty of ways to get involved and follow the weekend’s events. You can follow @RotaryGBI on Twitter and use the hashtag #RotaryConf2017 to keep upto-date with all the behind-thescenes action from our speakers, the Community Showcase and entertainment!

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LIVE FROM THE LORDS ROTARY TURNS 112 INSPIRED BY ROTARY Bill and Melinda Gates recently reflected on 10 years of their Foundation and how they remain determined and inspired by Rotary’s commitment to end polio across the world. Visit Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland Facebook page or to check out some of the fascinating facts behind fighting disease.




In February, Rotary celebrated 112 years of making a difference in communities, and clubs across the world did what they do best - bringing people together to mark #RotaryDay. Visit RotaryDay2017 or check out the Rotary International Facebook page to see pictures from the events throughout the globe. Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland

On Wednesday 26th April 6pm, we will be live tweeting from the House of Lords for the Champions of Change Awards 2017! You can follow the action on Twitter @ RotaryGBI and use the hashtag #RotaryCofC to get involved. This year, we will be honouring new outstanding members of the public as Community Champions, as well as our Rotarian Champions of Change.

Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland

ROTARY // 45

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ROTARY // 49

Editor's letter

and finally... with Managing Editor Dave King


o, my first edition as Managing Editor and a challenge which I am looking forward to. Allan Berry has done a tremendous job at the helm these past few years. That’s why it is important to continue his approach of producing a page-turning, outward-facing magazine which strikes a chord with Rotarians, as well as those looking at us from the outside. The theme I am adopting is greater reader engagement. This is your magazine, your Rotary, so I want to encourage more contributions from Rotarians reflecting what is happening in their communities, and with more debate too. Rotary Effect is a fantastic platform for clubs to share their news. So don’t send in your weekly club meeting reports, don’t send me dull cheque presentation pictures or firing squad photos, but do send me stories about the impact you are having in your communities, with interesting images which convey that work. If you’ve got a human interest story, news of a project which your club is involved with or a simple tale of achievement, then please share. You live in the communities you serve, so how is your club making a difference? And yes, I am re-introducing a letters page to reflect those issues which are affecting you and your clubs – good or bad. Mind you, there’s a balance to be struck to avoid the page being dominated

by a bunch of mealy-mouthed Victor and Victoria Meldrews. Hopefully, they might spark some discussion. If you want to get in touch, then I’d love to hear from you at: l IT was fascinating delving into the archives at the Rotary Support Centre in Alcester recently, to discover old magazines and conference brochures. Even 30 years ago, the magazine featured articles about tackling polio and driving membership – how nothing changes. For the next issue of Rotary, we’ll be featuring a nostalgia corner. So, if you have any old photographs from yesteryear which tell a tale, or maybe some crusty black and white images which need identification, then please email them and share. I dusted off Rotary Wheel from January 1927, to discover one article which tried to explain Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland. “The peculiarity of the Rotary club is its ‘limited, classified membership’,” says the editorial from 90 years ago. “A man is a member of the club not in his personal capacity, but in the classification of trade or profession to which he belongs. Thus, in a Rotary club, at luncheon, you may be seated between a gentleman on the one side wearing a circular badge on which the prominent

lettering is ‘Building Materials’, and on the other one who is described as ‘Penal Institutions’. “In actual fact, the one is Mr. Brown and the other Mr. Smith; but in the Rotary club it is the occupation that matters first, the man second. “Had there been a Rotary club in ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’, Shakespeare would not have spoken of ‘Bottom the Weaver’ or ‘Snug the Joiner’ but of ‘Weaving-Bottom and ‘Joinery-Snug’.” l STORM Doris caused havoc in February. President Eve Conway’s bid to fly to the Isle of Man as part of Rotary’s 112th birthday celebrations was blown off course. And pity the intrepid Rotary walkers who had planned to walk to the top of the O2 that same day, only for Doris to devastate the Dome climb. Isle of Wight-based Rotarian, Adrian Brewer, who is the brains behind the inspirational charity The Roll Out The Barrel Trust, tells me the climb has now been postponed to May 23rd – he’s hoping those who couldn’t make it in February will have a free diary in May. This annual Rotary event has raised £66,000 for End Polio Now, plus £22,000 for water and malaria projects across Africa. Interested in taking part, then email Adrian at or you can register direct at: – it’s a great day out. l

Editorial material and opinion expressed in Rotary do not necessarily reflect the views of Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland or the publisher. Every effort is made to ensure that the magazine’s content is accurate. Information is published in good faith, but no liability can be accepted for loss or inconvenience arising from error or omission. The editor welcomes contributions of articles, news items, photographs and letters, but is under no obligation to publish unsolicited material. The editor reserves the right to edit for clarity or length. Contributors must ensure that all material submitted is not in breach of copyright or that they have obtained any necessary permission, in writing, for its reproduction. While every care will be taken with material submitted to Rotary magazine, no responsibility can be accepted for loss or damage. Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland believes in the highest standards journalistic integrity. Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland and the publisher do not accept responsibility for advertising and insert content. Advertisements are accepted at face value and no liability can be accepted for the actions of advertisers.

50 // ROTARY

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ROTARY // 51

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Rotary Magazine April - May 2017  

This issue we meet 10-year-old Megan Sadler, a young girl who suffers from debilitating curvature of the spine. Life-changing surgery in Ame...

Rotary Magazine April - May 2017  

This issue we meet 10-year-old Megan Sadler, a young girl who suffers from debilitating curvature of the spine. Life-changing surgery in Ame...