In the face of the global Covid pandemic, and the increasingly bleak daily news bulletins we are offered, it may sometimes seem that the world has little good news to celebrate. However, Rotary International has been celebrating a historic landmark as Africa has become wild poliovirus-free as a result of a decades-long g effort across the 47 countries which make up the WHO’s African region. This now means that five of the six WHO regions which represent 90% of the world’s population, are now free of polio. October the 24th was Polio awareness day, which this year we celebrated virtually on our Facebook page.

A while ago the Rotary Club of Chipping Campden and District planted a host of purple crocuses around the region to raise awareness of the continuous fight against polio. In the spring you will see these little signs of hope popping their heads up at St James and Ebrington Schools, Hidcote Manor, Snowshill Manor, by the Chipping Campden War Memorial and in front of Chipping Campden School in the spring; a reminder that that we won’t be beaten by a virus.

This month we had to cancel our face to face meeting in favour of another Zoom meeting, it seemed prudent in the face of a resurgence of the Covid virus. We were disappointed, but we have much to celebrate. We welcomed a new member, Mr Geoffrey White to our group and in addition we welcomed back our dear fellow Rotarian Brian Gray who re-joined the club as a full member after battling illness for some time.

Our virtual speaker this month was Roger Gratwick who spoke about his fascinating career as a civil engineer and his most recent work at a woman’s prison in the Surrey countryside. Roger works with all types of women at the prison who have committed every type of crime. Roger gave us an interesting insight into prison life.

We are looking forward with hope, grateful for our friends and fellowship in our Rotarian community and we are this month launching our Tree of Light appeal. Let it be bigger and brighter this year, celebrating the lives of our loved ones that have passed by helping our community in 2021.