Free Portland News entry by Keith Barnard Jones

November 2017

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FPN End November 2017

Today is a good day – my grandson has just become this year’s Champion in his Go-Karting class at the Clay Pigeon Club – so life is good.  Hopefully you will forgive a little grandparental pride!!

 In case you had missed it, Christmas is coming – in just a few weeks’ time - and the Rotary club members have been busy organising Santa and his sleigh.

Thanks to the good offices of the management of Tesco in Easton, the sleigh will be outside Tesco on Sunday 10th. December and Tuesday 12th. December.   Santa will be on board, but not the reindeer who will be busy training and getting fit for their exertions two weeks later.   And the sleigh will also be at the Christmas Promise in Easton on Friday 15th. December.

The Rotarians and helpers will be travelling round the island with Santa in his sleigh, as usual, on the evenings of 13th., 14th., 20th. and 21st. – hopefully.   I say that because you will know as well as I that the weather at this time of year is unpredictable and, while we hope to have four routes – a different one on each of the four nights listed, that may not be possible.  So please look at the Rotary Club Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/islandofportlandrotaryclub/ to see exactly where we will be on which night.   Hopefully this will avoid any disappointment if we should have to cancel a trip one evening.

Our thanks, as always, to the many people who supported our last Table Top Sale in October – in aid of the Easton Community Group.   I hope you bought lots of cards and presents.    Our final Sale, yesterday was in aid of Julia’s House and our thanks to all those who came along to support that great charity, in spite of the inclement weather.

The list of dates for the Table Top Sales 2018 is now available on our club website under “What we do”.  The first one will be on 10th. February.   I was going to list them all here, but you can easily read it for yourselves on the web.

If anyone is interested in finding out more about our club, then why not look on our club website? There is a lot of information there as well as some pretty pictures, and much of the success of the site is thanks largely to Mark Townsend’s sterling efforts – our webmaster.  We are not a secret society nor a society with secrets.   If you want to know something, just look us up, or ask one of us.

I have just returned from a very happy hour spent with the Easton Community Group in Easton Gardens where we planted 2000 purple crocus bulbs.  Hopefully this will produce a purple carpet in February – the 112th.  anniversary of the founding of Rotary International.  Why purple I hear you ask?  Well, when we give the oral polio drops to the children in the Third World, we mark their little fingers with a purple market pen so that we know who has (and who has not) had the drops.  The croci will serve to remind us that polio could be just a plane-ride away if we let the immunity drop – still only 12 cases in the whole world so far this year – 12 too many, but we are getting there.  Once we have had no case for three years, we will start the process of stopping polio vaccination completely.

And finally, Remembrance Day.  Our President Ian McPheat duly laid a wreath at the Cenotaph today on behalf of the club in gratitude to those who gave their all so that we can enjoy Rotary and life in general.   He also laid a wreath on our behalf at the American memorial in Victoria Gardens.

Keith