Our District Governor's September Message

The most significant announcement from Rotary International in recent times is that Africa has been declared Polio Free by the World Health Organisation. Nigeria, the last polio endemic country recorded it’s final case of wild polio virus four years ago. As Rotarians we can be proud to have been part of this milestone, having contributed nearly US$900 million to eliminate polio on the African continent. Polio vaccinations in the region will continue in order to prevent wild polio virus returning and of course this terrible disease is still prevalent  in Pakistan and Afghanistan, placing millions of children at risk.
Over the coming months a fresh appeal to raise money for Polio eradication will be underway in honour of Sir Clem Renouf, who recently passed away. Sir Clem, a Past Rotary International President from Queensland, Australia, played a pivotal role by initiating the fight to eradicate polio in the late 1970s. Over the coming weeks, Michelle Tanner, our District Polio Chair and myself will be asking Clubs to dedicate their Polio fundraising to the Sir Clem Renouf Polio Appeal. This will include promotional material and banking instructions for Clubs to donate by bank transfer. There are several District events planned including Polio Movie Nights, featuring the movie “I Am Woman” the life story of Australian singer Helen Reddy. Let’s have fun and raise money for End Polio Now at the same time.
September is Basic Education and Literacy Month. So what better time for me to tell you about an initiative to help New Zealand children learn to read. The Bill and Lorna Boyd Charitable Trust, well known for sponsoring the Usborne Dictionary project, in mainly low decile schools, have a new publication, “Rhyming the Alphabet”.  The book and accompanying alphabet cards are aimed at Year 1 students and preschoolers to further the Trust’s goal to improve the literacy of our young people in New Zealand. Along with my fellow District Governors, I fully endorse this project to complement Dictionaries in Schools. Only Clubs can purchase and further information is available from the website www.boydtrust.org or contact our District Coordinator Lyn Fraser-Jones fraserjones@xtra.co.nz