Oct 312020

To mark World Polio Day on the 24th October, Gravesend’s clocktower was floodlit in purple – the signature colour of the campaign.

The rain was pouring down but the purple was bright as we remembered the millions of children who have not had polio and the millions still to be immunised.

Brian Portway

More about End Polio Now: End Polio Now

Oct 302020

Michael Saunders

On Tuesday 27th October 2020 Gravesend Rotary held the latest in its series of business networking sessions. The meeting was opened by Gravesend Rotary president Brian Portway and he introduced the speaker Michael Saunders, Member of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee.

Michael gave a talk entitled “An off the record look at the UK economy, drawing on the most recent Bank of England Monetary Policy Report”. He provided insights into the evolution of the UK economy through the Covid-19 pandemic period to date and future possible projections, also with due consideration of the playout of BREXIT. The previous presentation in June 2020 by Phil Eckersley, the Bank of England Agent for the South East and East Anglia, under the same title, took place during the first phase of the pandemic whereas Michael Saunders extended his review in to the unfolding phase 2 of the emergency.

Following  Michael’s talk there was a Q&A session when the many of those attending asked wide-ranging questions, some specific to the conditions in Gravesham and peripheral areas.

The session was highly appreciated as indicated by comments subsequently received from attendees including:

What a fantastic meeting. A quality speaker on an incredibly difficult subject that dealt calmly and comprehensibly with everyone’s question in a professionally managed Zoom meeting.”, and

“Michael had a fantastic way of explaining things thoroughly and at a steady pace and returning to key points to highlight them – a very good speaker indeed.”

On behalf of the participants and Gravesend Rotary Tony Muckley, Gravesend Rotary Business Networking Leader, thanked Michael for his interesting and insightful talk. Further, that it had by far exceeded being timely, relevant, and providing takeaways for the participants. Tony also recognised high interest in the event from local enterprise, organisations and government and thanked the participants. He noted and welcomed the first-time attendance of students from several local schools. His suggestion that the Bank provide an update in a few months’ time was concurred by Michael and Phil.

Cllr Brian Sangha, GBC Cabinet Member for Strategic Environment, and Keith Grimley, GBC Senior Economic Development Officer, spoke briefly about local projects and needs including skills and youth development in employment. They highlighted the role of Rotary in the community and sought its involvement in strategic activities.

The session was drawn to a close by president Brian.

TM 30.10.2020

Oct 192020

Gravesend’s famous Clock Tower will shine purple from sunset to midnight on Saturday, 24 October, 2020, joining thousands of buildings around the globe for World Polio Day.

Polio now seems a distant memory in the UK although our children are still routinely vaccinated against it. Gravesend Rotary is supporting the global campaign to see the end of the disease once and for all. This time using the tower’s unique floodlighting scheme.

Purple comes from the colour of the ink marking the little finger of every child receiving the polio vaccine drops in the End Polio Now campaign.

Thanks to Rotary, and the support of partners WHO, Unicef, CDC and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, there are now just two countries still classed as endemic: Pakistan and Afghanistan. There have been less than 80 cases so far this year.

Gravesend Rotary President Brian Portway highlighted that the countries might seem distant but Covid has shown it could arrive back.

“The End Polio laboratories and teams world-wide have been switched to reporting on and battling Covid but are now coming back to giving those vital drops to each child.

“Over two billion doses of oral polio vaccine have to be administered each and every year in over 60 countries to hold that line.”

Gravesend Rotary has also helped fund the campaign by buying 4,000 purple crocus bulbs to be planted in Woodlands Park this month.

More information:  Brian Portway   01634 891708  07711 830377   onebarpinuk@gmail.com

More about End Polio Now: End Polio Now