Out in all kinds of weather – Getting ready for the big day – the London Marathon 2013 – Eve Conway-Ghazi, District Governor of Rotary in London (District 1130) with trainer Harmander Singh, coach of the oldest marathon runner 101-year-old Fauja Singh from Ilford. The first woman District Governor of Rotary in London in its 101-year-history, Eve is taking part in the Marathon to raise awareness about Rotary and funds for the Rotary Wheel Appeal, involving Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland and the charity WheelPower, to provide specialist sports wheelchairs to enable people with disabilities to take part in sport and even become future Paralympians. She will be doing the Marathon with fellow District Governor for District 1140 Mike Thorn. Harmander is an honorary member of the Rotary Club of Gants Hill.
View DG Eve’s New Years Newsletter… DG Newsletter
If you have not ordered already, the deadline for ordering Crocus Buttonholes for Rotary Week leading up to Rotary’s 107th Birthday on 23rd February, 2013, when the District will be part of a major Rotary End Polio Now campaign has been extended to 20th November, 2012. If each Rotary Club in Britain and Ireland bought just one box of 500 (cost of each crocus is 25p but they can be sold at £2 each), we would raise in excess of £!.5million for Rotary’s campaign to eradicate polio worldwide. There are unmanned boxes of Crocus Buttonholes that can be left in shops, offices, doctors’ surgeries, etc. and also manned boxes for street collections. This offers great potential return for minimum effort. Please contact the District End Polio Now Officer Rotarian Leonard Specterman to place your order.
The District is part of an End Polio Now Multi-District RI Grant Application and Clubs will be receiving PR materials, including banners, pull ups, posters and newspapers to celebrate Rotary Week leading up to Rotary’s 107th Birthday on 23rd February, 2013 – all free of charge to Clubs. More details will follow about how Clubs can use this to raise awareness about Rotary and funds for End Polio Now and also help increase membership – involving community events, schools, etc. There will aso be an End Polio Now District Event. We plan to publicise our District and Club End Polio Now events in the newspaper to mark Rotary Week, so if you have plans already, please let me know.
LORD MAYOR’S SHOW
Thank you for all who participated in the Rotary in London/WheelPower entry to the Lord Mayor’s Show. Rotary Young Citizen Award winner inspirational fundraiser and double amputee 11-year-old Lydia Cross, recipient of the first sports wheelchair through the Rotary Wheel Appeal, was interviewed live on the BBC1 “Lord Mayor’s Show” programme with us all shown on TV during the broadcast. You can watch it on the BBC I-player.
There will be a special District Council meeting to vote on the third and final RIBI Re-districting Proposal at International Students House, Great Portland Street, on 28th November at 6.30pm. It is essential that all Clubs send representatives to vote on this proposal. DG Eve will receive the final plan on or before all 29 DGs in Britain and Ireland meet for their RIBI General Council meeting on 26th November and shall make sure it is distributed to Clubs.
RIBI PRESIDENT JOHN MINHINICK’S VISIT TO DISTRICT 1130
The RIBI President John Minhinick is making his official visit to District 1130 from 19th to 21st October. DG Eve will be accompanying him and his wife Sheila to the Rotary Club of London for the Stanley Leverton lunch and then to the Rotary Club of Putney in the evening of Monday, 19th October, he will visit Epping Rotary Club, Chigwell Riding Trust for the Disabled and be hosted by Redbridge Rotary Club on 20th November and he will visit Edgware and Stanmore Rotary Club at lunchtime on 21st November.
GOING FOR AND GETTING GOLD
Most of us have heard of Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, but what about Alphonso Cunningham – well, he won a Gold Medal for Jamaica in the Paralympics in javelin – and I was thrilled and honoured when Alphonso arrived at Rotary in London Headquarters in Regent’s Park for our Paralympic Celebration along with the rest of Jamaica’s Paralympic team, proudly carrying his Gold Medal.
I am certain this is the first time that a Gold Medallist has been to York Gate.
Even more relevant to Rotary is that the Jamaica Paralympic Team who competed in their wheelchairs are polio sufferers – and the head of the Team Christopher Samuda said they simply had to accept my invitation to come to the Rotary in London event because of the work that Rotary has done to rid the world of polio and they wanted to pay tribute to Rotarians. He said Rotary had also helped them in their long journey to be able to compete in the Paralympics.
British sprint champion Anne Wafula Strike, who was struck with polio at the age of two in her native Kenya, also joined us for the event. She too paid tribute to Rotary for our work to rid the world of polio and described how Rotary had helped her.
This was Rotary in action – seeing how we really do make a difference to the world around us and showing just how important the battle against polio is and how we must continue the fight until we rid the world of this crippling disease.
We were also joined by the Chief Executive Officer and families of the UK Goalball Team who had been helped by local Rotarians in Winchester and they spoke about their struggles and how Rotarians helped make it possible for them to compete in the Paralympics.
And the Paralympics were so inspirational. I was a volunteer performer/in the Opening and Closing Ceremony of the Paralympics and what an amazing experience it was. In the Opening Ceremony, I was an audience leader –literally dancing in the aisles and getting the audience to participate in the Ceremony – and for the Closing Ceremony, I marshalled and looked after the athletes, including three Silver medallists from the Australian team and double gold medallist Hannah Cockroft from ParalympicsGB.
I also saw Oscar Pistorius – known as “The Blade Runner”- win the Gold medal in the last event in the Olympic stadium and the amazing atmosphere and the warmth and support for the Paralympic athletes was electrifying.
And the legacy of the Paralympics – hopefully, a sea change in attitudes towards disability. And one of Rotary’s London 2012 legacy projects is the Rotary Wheel Appeal to provide sports wheelchairs to young people with disabilities who may become future Paralympians. Rotary Young Citizen Award winner 11-year-old Lydia Cross is the first recipient – a truly inspirational youngster who has raised more than £70,000 for Help for Heroes and the Royal British Legion and who is a speaker at our District Conference.
I was delighted that Clubs also supported the Rotary in London plan of KidsOut to the Paralympics buying group tickets for children with special needs so they could attend the Games.
We opened up York Gate to welcome visitors to the Games during the Olympics and Paralympics and I would like to thank PDG John Lee, DGE Dick Nathan and all the Clubs and Inner Wheel who staffed our headquarters. And of course, my thanks also to the District’s Olympic and Paralympic Committee led by PDG Clive Amos.
The year has kicked off with an amazing time for London with the Games and I look forward to the Rotary year ahead. One of the many highlights is that Rotary in London is in the Lord Mayor’s Show with WheelPower and will feature young people in sports wheelchairs, some playing basketball, as we parade along the route.
Download it here:
District Governor David’s speech is available to read here:
District Governor David Storrie has published his latest newsletter “The David Digest” – download the Sep 2010 edition.
District Governor David Storrie has published his first newsletter “The David Digest” – download the Jul/Aug 2010 edition.