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Purple for Polio – Crocus Planting: Nov 2023

Crocus Planting 2023

In 1985 Rotary International committed to lead a worldwide campaign to eradicate polio.
At this time, Polio was endemic in 125 countries where worldwide every day over 1,000 children were paralysed!  Today almost all countries are polio-free: final eradication of the disease now centres upon immunisation programmes in Pakistan and Afghanistan where this year there have been a total of 7 (5 and 2 in the above countries.  Seven may not sound many – but  — until polio is totally eradicated another epidemic could quickly spring up and spread and so we press on seeking it’s final eradication.

This amazing progress has been made through an ambitious vaccination programme and in deveoping countries a purple dye was used to identify which children had received the vaccine.Because of this, all  publicity relating to the “End Polio Now project” has for many years used the colour purple in it’s awareness and fund-raising along with the phrase “Purple for Polio.”

Planting millions of (purple) crocuses has been part of this awareness raising and The Rotary Club of Banbury has – over many years – planted tens of thousands of crocuses across the town. We’ve also raised thousands of pounds to contribute towards the polio vaccination programme.

October 24th 2023 was world polio day: a day to raise awareness of this hugely important project. In Banbury the Town Council turned the town hall purple in recognition of the contribution Banbury Rotary Club has made to this work.

On November 1st 2023 this work continued with 16,000 crocuses (okay – croci) being planted in Banbury People’s Park where they will add a welcome dash of Spring colour.

Better still,at the same time we planted 16,000 snowdrops to produce a wave of white as winter draws to a close followed by a carpet of purple as the croci burst into bloom.

Thanks also to the a dozen or so students from Banbury and Bicester College who did a great job helping us despite the muddy conditions. With there permission we post a few photos here.

Thank you to Banbury Town Council park rangers for the significant preparatory work they carried out.

Click on photo below to expand

And so – 31, 990 bulbs later the club president empties the final 10 bulbs into their new home: 32,000 done and dusted!.

When you walk through the People’s Park in the Spring sunshine – remember those crocuses are there to remind you to suppport Rotary in it’s efforts to totally eradicate the (literally crippling) disease of polio from planet Earth!

No-one is going to miss it!

To find more about the project – click here.

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