Raising the Flag for World Polio Day

Members of the Rotary Club of Oshawa and Rotary Club of Oshawa-Parkwood, along with members of the Oshawa City Council, participated in a recent flag raising at Oshawa Prefecture in honor of World Polio Day on October 24. (Photo by Randy Nickerson)

In honor of World Polio Day 2020, widely recognized on October 24, the Rotary clubs of Oshawa and Oshawa-Parkwood are organizing and broadcasting a World Polio Day event, live and direct in their homes, in the new Global Classroom at the new Center for Collaborative Education at Durham College.

Recently announced by Peter Hernandez, incoming president of the Rotary Club of Oshawa and David Andrews, former president of the Rotary Club of Oshawa-Parkwood, the event will be broadcast online on Thursday, October 22, starting at 7 pm.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event will be seen this year from home by Rotarians from 10 Rotary clubs in the Durham region and by many civic officials, as we broadcast the event live from the new Global Classroom at Durham College to Durham College’s network of colleges worldwide, and for Rotarians and the public worldwide, ”said Andrews.

“After greeting from Durham College and Rotary International, we will watch the proclamations, indicating October 24 as World Polio Day, being introduced to 10 Rotary clubs in the Durham region by Durham regional president John Henry (a Rotarian ), and the Mayors of the eight counties in the Durham Region. They all thank the Rotary clubs in the Durham region for their efforts to raise funds and raise awareness of Rotary’s efforts to eradicate polio from the face of the Earth, ”he adds.

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“We will also see the Eliminate Polio Now flag flying high over many cities in the Durham region,” adds Hernandez of the Oshawa Rotary Club.

“This year, we are excited to be able to see and hear Dr. Bob Scott, former vice president of Rotary International, former chairman of the Rotary Foundation board of trustees, and former chairman of Rotary International’s PolioPlus Committee, who will be a worldwide audience update on Rotary’s latest efforts to eradicate polio. He will also speak LIVE with former Rotary International President Ian Riseley, from his home in Australia, as they discuss what Rotary has been doing and continues to do to free polio from the world, ”continues Hernandez.

Andrews says the live broadcast format will allow questions to be taken from the audience and directed LIVE to Scott and Riseley.

Those interested in participating in the live event can access https://durhamcollege.ca/globalclass/class/rotary-international-world-polio-day-2/ or search on Google “World Polio Day 2020 Global Classroom”. This will be a link to the class “Rotary International – World Polio Day”.

“I am very proud of my Rotary Club of Oshawa and the other nine Rotary clubs here in the Durham region for their efforts in Rotary’s 35-year mission to eradicate disabling childhood illness, polio,” said Henry.

On October 19, Henry helped the 10 Rotary clubs to raise the End Polio Now flag at Durham Regional Headquarters.

Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter recently joined two Rotary clubs in Oshawa and Oshawa-Parkwoood to raise the End Polio Now flag in Oshawa Prefecture.

The world is about to eliminate one of the most feared diseases of the 20th century – polio. During the first half of the 20th century, polio disabled more than half a million people every year. Even today, children in some developing countries continue to be victims of the disease.

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However, largely thanks to Rotary International and 1.2 million Rotarians worldwide, including the 10 Rotary clubs in the Durham region, the disease will soon cease to be a memory.

As World Polio Day approaches, the world is 99.9% polio free. However, the struggle to eradicate polio is not yet over and Rotary clubs around the world continue to raise funds to meet the challenge.

Since 1985, Rotary has contributed $ 1.9 billion, and its members have volunteered countless hours to help immunize more than three billion children. 19 million people who are walking on earth would have been paralyzed. It is estimated that 650,000 cases are prevented each year. In 2019, more than 430 million children in more than 40 countries were vaccinated with 1.2 billion doses of oral polio vaccine.

“If polio is not stopped now, the disease could reoccur, affecting around 200,000 children every year. To support this progress and protect all children from polio, Rotary has pledged to raise $ 50 million a year in support of global polio eradication efforts. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will fulfill Rotary’s 2: 1 commitment, ”said Hernandez.

“Events like this are happening around the world on October 24th and throughout this week. Right here in our own Rotary district in southern Ontario, Canada, flag-raising ceremonies will be held in Markham, Richmond Hill, Oshawa, Ajax and other cities in southern Ontario. There will be a flag-raising ceremony at Toronto City Hall, right in the city center, at 11am on October 24th.

On the night of World Polio Day, we will also light up the CN Tower, the “Toronto” sign at Nathan Phillips Square in downtown Toronto, and even Niagara Falls will be red, white and yellow, the colors of Rotary’s End Polio campaign to raise awareness of our cause and efforts to eradicate this disease ”, he adds.

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