The District Assembly Dinner held on 7 April 2016 was the first major event of the new Rotary Year starting on 01 July 2016. Very nearly 200 Rotarians made their way to the Royal National Hotel in Central London. The event was a great success and much appreciated by those that were there. Our principal guest was Dr Jamie Moran from London’s Air Ambulance who held everyone enthralled with his description of the work he has been doing with London’s Air Ambulance.
Our current District Governor, Toni ably supported by husband Michael, presented a number of awards and prizes to Clubs and individuals in recognition of their work during 2015-2016, as shown above. Then it was the turn of the Incoming Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland President, London Rotarian Eve Conway to address the Rotarians. Eve has decided to call her Class of District Governors “The Eve-olutionaries”.
Our Incoming District Governor, Helen Antoniou, has proposed a London-wide project that will provide a support vehicle for London’s Air Ambulance service. The vehicle will provide operational support to the two helicopters, moving equipment that either is too heavy or to bulky for the helicopters. It will also act as a mobile operating theatre, and will be used for educational and promotional activities at schools and festivals. It will carry the Rotary Logo alongside the London’s Air Ambulance logo. This project has gained warm support from the London Rotarians. “A Serving Suggestion” is pictured below.
It was then Incoming District Governor’s turn to speak. Helen introduced the new Rotary Theme – “Rotary Serving Humanity”. She gave an excellent speech based on the 6 spokes of the Rotary Wheel, introducing 1) the new President of Rotary International – John F Germ – and the new RIBI President, Eve. The second spoke was for Foundation, and Helen told us about John Germ’s experience with his father’s polio. The third spoke dealt with the Public Relations activities we will see this coming year in connection with the Rotary Foundation’s Centenary. The fourth spoke was our Humanitarian Service, and the emphasis on it for the coming year. Helen talked about the connection between Service and Public Relations, and between both of those and membership. Membership is a key goal for the coming year, and featured as the fifth spoke. The last spoke was reserved for Support, supporting Rotarians, Rotaract, Interact, Rotakids and Inner Wheel – the members of the Rotary family. She concluded with a quote from John Donne’s “No man is an island”. It was a powerful and moving speech delivered in a most professional fashion.
We now look forward to an exciting and rewarding year as we work to show “Rotary Serving Humanity”.
The Rotary Club of The City and Shoreditch hosted a most successful conference on 02 February 2016 at 6 York Gate, Rotary in London’s HQ with the title, “Eradicating Polio – The Next Steps”. Four Distinguished Speakers, and our own District Governor (the 5th Star!) were introduced by Club President Vincenzo Maini – pictured above – and they illuminated the understanding of the present difficulties eradicating polio, and the many problems that will come once the disease has been eradicated.
Professor John Edmunds, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine linked the sessions, Professor Paul Fine, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, spoke about the History of the Programme, Professor Nicholas Grassly, Imperial College, dealt with the problems with vaccines over the decades, and what that meant for the Programme, and Professor David Salisbury, Associate Fellow from Chatham House, spoke about the problems yet to come.
The event was most successful, with many people staying on for informal discussion long after the Question and Answer session had finished. There is still much to do, although there was celebration that so far, there have been no recorded cases of wild polio virus anywhere in the world since 01 January 2016. Well done, the Rotary Club of The City and Shoreditch.
The Christmas Gifts and Parcels bought by the Rotary Clubs in London were collated and sorted into the two recipient charities – The West London Mission and The Marylebone Project.
Picture above is our District Governor Toni, catching her breath before loading the parcels into her car for delivery to the two organisations.
The West London Mission (WLM) is a Circuit of the Methodist Church. WLM has two city-centre churches at Hinde Street in Marylebone and King’s Cross, and three Circuit mission projects. Each of the churches engages in worship, learning and caring, service and evangelism in ways that reflect Methodist tradition and their distinctive identity, history and context. The circuit mission projects are professional Social Work, a student community at Methodist Chaplaincy House at King’s Cross and work with students and young adults based in both churches. These projects are expressions of our historic roots and the current convictions of Hinde Street and Kings Cross churches.
The Marylebone Project continues to develop and sustain its transformational work with women affected by homelessness. We have sought again to invest in the women who use our services and the themes of Hospitality, Spirituality, Empowerment and Resettlement have informed our strategy and direction. Each woman is unique and special and our ambition is to deliver outstanding services to our community, pursuing and celebrating improvement and achievements. Below you will see some of the stories of women’s transformed lives.
DG Toni said, “I am amazed at the generosity of the Rotary Clubs in London, and I know that each of these gifts will be an event in these people’s lives that will be remembered for many years to come. I thank you myself, and I thank you on behalf of all the recipients.”
See the video of DGE Helen and PDG Dick as they drive from London to the Revival Centre in Ukraine. On arriving at Kyiv in Ukraine, the partner Club on the project had organised a Media Pit-Stop, and the Revival Centre in Chernihiv had organised that a journalist and television crew were present for the donation.
This video only tells the story of the journey. Clubs in District 1130 requesting Dick and Helen to speak to them get the full story, and some background about life in the Ukraine today.
By kind permission of Rotary International in Great Britain and IrelandOn Monday 13 January 2014, a significant milestone in the worldwide effort to eradicate polio was reached when India celebrated three years since its last new case of the disease. Official certification of the country as polio free will take place in March and a celebration is planned in February.
Long considered the hardest place in the world from which to eradicate polio, India is now a case study for mounting a successful disease response effort under complex circumstances.
In 2009, India was home to almost half of the world’s polio cases. The country then launched a comprehensive polio eradication effort to create a health infrastructure to eliminate the disease. This included a surveillance network of more than 33,000 sites, an army of 2.3 million vaccinators deployed during national immunisation days and strategies to reach children in the country’s hardest to reach areas. This resulted in the delivery of 900 million doses of polio vaccine in 2011 alone.
President of Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland, Nan McCreadie said: “Rotary has worked tirelessly for many years to eradicate polio and we congratulate India on this tremendous achievement. It is a significant milestone in the history of public health and will have a lasting impact on the health of the country’s children. The lessons learned from India’s success can now be replicated in other countries in order to further eliminate the disease.”
Rotary has been at the forefront of the fight to end polio since it helped launch the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in the 1980’s. This year, every dollar raised for the End Polio Now campaign will be match funded 2:1 by the Make History Today campaign, which will match funds to a total of US$35 million per year until 2018.
Friday, 10 January 2014
– See more at: http://www.ribi.org/news/ribi-news/india-celebrates-three-years-polio-free
Despite pouring rain, the contingent of Rotarians supporting Rotary in London made their way to Green Park to join the London Borough of Harrow’s entry in the London New Year’s Day Parade. The theme was Gerry Anderson’s Thunderbirds – here we are with Thunderbird 3 ready to start the parade.
In addition to Thunderbird 3, we had Lady Penelope’s Rolls Royce (converted from a mini-bus) with the registration number “HARROW 1”.
The float was supported by a team of dancers from Flash Dance in Harrow, who carried on with the ponchos provided by Rotary despite the pouring rain. But all their hard work, and the crew that built the float had their just desserts when the London Borough of Harrow was awarded 3rd Prize for the entry, as you can see at this location.
The morning started with a visit to the Christmas Lunch organised for people in Barnet by the Rotary Club of Barnet. The Club brings the guests to the United Reform Church in Barnet where they enjoy entertainment and a Christmas lunch organised by the Rotarians and their helpers.
Then it was off to Battersea to attend the Christmas lunch organised by the Rotary Club of Battersea Park. This is an enormous enterprise, with some 400 guests brought to a specially constructed building in Battersea Park resulting in a car park full of mini-buses. The meal is served by 200 volunteers, ably supported by the staff of Smart Catering. There is an entertainer to keep the guests active and involved whilst the superb meal is served.
Both are wonderful examples of the dedicated service that Rotarians give in London, and are worthy of much wider publicity than they are currently given.
A change of job for the District Governor today as the parcels generously donated by the Rotary Clubs in London during the District Carol Service were delivered to children in the Paediatric Section of St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington.
Presenting the gifts to the children in the hospital was a deeply moving experience, and in every single case, the children were delighted with the presents they received from Rotary in London.
The staff at the hospital, both medical and support, asked that all the Rotarians were personally thanked for their acts of generosity. The gifts made a real difference to the atmosphere in the wards and there was a buzz amongst the children as word spread from ward to ward.
So thank you – all of you that supported and took part. Your generosity was really appreciated.
On Saturday the 28th of October 2013 a 12 hour radio marathon to raise awareness about MS was kindly broadcast by The Jumbo Sound Radio Station from, Goodmayes hospital, London. The radio show had an action packed programme written by Rotarian Kaz Aston to deliver a variety of helpful, educational features along with fun topics for listeners to enjoy on line, supported by six London rotary clubs.
On Thursday 19th September, a substantial event was organised at the Landmark London Hotel in Marylebone Road, London, UK. The Hotel was hosting the media launch of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative being taken by Rotary in London and the specially made video for the initiative. The event was well attended by the Landmark London Hotel management, by the Rotary Club of St Marylebone, both feature in a CSR video, and by the local charities who had been helped and supported by the partnership between the Rotary Club and the Landmark London Hotel. Also invited were Councillors from City of Westminster, management from the Lancaster London Hotel (sister hotel of the Landmark), local business associations and educational establishments. Also recognised were the team from Minamonfilm, who had gone the extra mile in so many ways to produce the video.
There were a number of speakers at the event, including many of those appearing in the video, and it was left to our District Governor Dick Nathan to place the CSR initiative into the bigger picture of Rotary Service in our communities, our city, our country and the world at large. Special mention was given to the Peace Day Project – a joint endeavour by Rotarians in London, New York and Ankara for the refugees able to leave Syria for Turkey.
The event was judged a major success, and the ‘shop’ is now open for further CSR initiatives.