Welcome to Harpenden Village Rotary Club

ZOOM KEEPS CLUB IN BUSINESS

Since April last year our club members have attended their weekly meetings via Zoom.

Break-out sessions, where groups of four or five members are placed in ‘rooms,’ are proving popular as they enhance the social side of meetings.

We’ve had the usual measure of speaker meetings with some speakers showing videos supporting their talks.

We’re not sitting on our hands, either. Committees and other groups are meeting via Zoom so it’s almost ‘business as usual.’ But what we’ll be able to tackle and achieve in 2020-21 is still difficult to assess in these uncertain times.

As our immediate past-president commented when the impact of the pandemic first hit us:  ‘Rotarians are positive people. They see problems as obstacles to overcome – and usually succeed.’

AFRICA FREE OF POLIO – But Campaign Continues

Rotary’s campaign to rid the world of the debilitating disease polio reached another milestone last year when the World Health Organisation certified Africa as wild-polio free.

Rotary clubs and volunteers around the world have fundraised, campaigned and worked tirelessly for more than 30 years to reach this landmark.

Our club has contributed every year since we were chartered in 1988. In the past five years alone our donations to the End Polio Now campaign have totalled more than £10,000. Our contribution in 2019 earned us a Rotary award. But the task of achieving a polio-free world goes on, as the virus still circulates in parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

A FUTURE IN OUR HANDS

The talk given by Professor Ed Hill, chief executive of the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), was enlightening.

He spoke not of the five named oceans but of the single ocean, constantly snaking its way through five basins with climes from hot to cold, covering 71% of our planet’s surface and circulating 97% of its water.

The ocean is the largest reservoir of CO2 while half the oxygen we breath is produced by marine plankton. 91% of world trade travels by water. Evidence enough of the ocean’s importance to life and livelihoods.

With mankind and global warming putting pressure on the ocean we need organisations like the NOC, using the latest technology – like the deep-water AI explorer pictured here – to assess the threats and hopefully find solutions.

Professor Hill was far from despondent. He saw the international action now being taken as crucial: it should ensure there was enough time in which to understand the problems and manage the ocean’s future.