Peggy Little

Rotary Club chips in for the fight to eradicate polio once and for all

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Rotary Club of Amherstburg marked World Polio Day last Wednesday night with a presentation and some music.

The service club’s regular meeting featured a presentation from Peggy Little, a Harrow Rotarian and also the assistant district governor. Little travelled with a group of other Rotarians in Pakistan and India earlier this year and plans to return to help conduct more polio immunization clinics in January 2019.

“I’m a student of polio,” said Little. “I’m learning all the time.”

The Rotary Club of Amherstburg accepts a $300 cheque from Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 Oct. 24. Legion Br. 157 president Laurie Cavanaugh made the presentation to the Rotary Club.

Little noted the Global Polio Eradication Initiative was celebrating its 30th anniversary and that countries impacted by the disease have dramatically decreased in the last three decades, though it was still a problem in countries in Asia and Africa. According to Little, who obtained much of her statistics from The Rotarian magazine, 17.4 million who are currently healthy would have been paralyzed by polio without Rotary’s eradication efforts since 1988. She noted that Rotary and its partners worked to reach 430 million children in 39 countries during polio immunization days in 2017.

Little said if a football stadium were filled with 100,000 people infected with polio, 90,000 of them would not suffer any symptoms. Another 5,000-10,000 people would suffer from mild symptoms while 0.5 per cent would experience muscle weakness, atrophy, loss of muscle tone and muscle twitching.

There is no cure for polio, said Little, but there are “safe and effective” vaccines. Those few nations where polio is still problematic are also difficult to get to, she indicated.

“It’s a long road to get to that one per cent in the world,” she said.

Peggy Little, assistant district governor, shows an article on polio in a recent issue of The Rotarian magazine. Little, who is a member of the Harrow Rotary Club, was part of a group of Rotarians that went to India and Pakistan in an attempt to immunize citizens there.

Little said that the group flew into Karachi, Pakistan and stated that country has made it their mission to eradicate polio. She said the Rotarians visited community centres where volunteers work to gain trust of the citizens before they immunize the people in the village. Little noted that families are “very mobile” and the clinics are busy.

The group also went to Lahore, Pakistan and, like in Karachi, visited schools where they also distributed materials to the students.

“They were so happy with everything we gave them,” she said.

Some of the schools were directly adjacent to slums that the children were living in.

“When we saw that, tears came to our eyes,” said Little. “These children try so hard.”

The group also travelled to Chennai, India where they visited maternity wards and made donations there.

Little noted she met Rotarians from around the world and found they share the same goals.

Members of the Amherstburg Rotary Club sing “We Are The Champions” during a karaoke fundraiser Oct. 24.

“We are trying to improve the lives of others,” she said.

Following the meeting, the Rotary Club of Amherstburg held a karaoke fundraiser at the Legion to raise money for the fight against polio. Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 also presented the Rotary Club a cheque for $300.

For more information on the Rotary Club of Amherstburg, visit www.amherstburgrotary.com, “Like” their page on Facebook by searching “Rotary Club of Amherstburg” or follow them on Twitter by searching for their Twitter handle @RAmherstburg.

Hazen Price recognized for his 95th birthday, seven decades in Rotary

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Rotary Club of Amherstburg paid tribute to its longest-serving member last week though he was a little taken aback at being the centre of attention.

“I don’t think I’m going to live long enough to live up to the expectations,” quipped Hazen Price, as he addressed fellow Rotarians and guests last Wednesday night at Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157.

The Rotary Club of Amherstburg presented a special celebration in Price’s honour as Price has now been a Rotarian for 70 years. He also was honoured for his 95th birthday, which actually arrived last Saturday.

Despite honours from dignitaries and fellow Rotarians, Price remained humble and said after the celebration that he was “very embarrassed to say the least.” He said he has always enjoyed the fellowship within the club.

“I’ve always enjoyed the Rotary Club and I probably wouldn’t be here as long if I didn’t,” he said.

Councillor Leo Meloche (right) presents Hazen Price with recognition on behalf of the Town of Amherstburg. Price has been in the Rotary Club 70 years and just turned 95-years-old.

Price pointed out the saving of the Park House Museum as one of his major accomplishments, though his name has also been attached to the Gibson Gallery, Gibb House, John R. Park Homestead and a second pensioner’s cottage. The progress made to eradicate polio is another accomplishment Price has seen in his years in Rotary.

There have been changes to the club itself in his seven decades, Price noted. When he started, women were not allowed to be members. Attendance was also important early on, as regular meeting attendance was required but that has since been relaxed.

Price said he was the young member of the Rotary Club of Amherstburg when he first joined.

“Ol’ Doc Hutchinson Sr. came to the farm and asked if I would consider joining,” he recalled. “I was 20 years younger than everyone else.”

Despite being in an uncomfortable position as the guest of honour, Price said he was grateful for the kind thoughts and gifts.

“I appreciate their thoughts about the work I’ve done,” he said. “It’s really nice to be appreciated.”

Patti Hayes, outreach and community assistant with Essex MPP Taras Natyshak’s office, represented both Natyshak and Essex MP Tracey Ramsey.

“Your volunteerism is an inspiration to everyone,” said Hayes.

Rotary Club of Amherstburg president Dan Hunt (right) bestows praise on Hazen Price April 25. Price just turned 95-years-old and has been a Rotarian for 70 years.

Councillor Leo Meloche, representing the Town of Amherstburg, said he researched what it means to be a Rotarian, with his research concluding that “being a Rotarian is a way of life and can be a satisfying lifelong adventure for those who are willing to give of themselves to enjoy and benefit from all that Rotary has to offer.”

Meloche added that “Hazen Price truly exemplifies what a Rotarian is.”

Police chief Tim Berthiaume thanked Price “for all that you do” and said many don’t realize how much the Rotary Club accomplishes in the community. Price was presented a “Chief’s Award of Excellence” with Berthiaume stating that Price would have earned such recognition 50 years ago.

Assistant Rotary District Governor Peggy Little also thanked Price for his accomplishments and for his dedication with past District Governor Neil McBeth pointing out Price was one of the first people he met in Rotary.

“It is because of dedicated members like you that we are Rotarians making a difference,” said McBeth.

Laura George, a past president of the Rotary Club of Amherstburg, pointed out that a $100 donation was made to the Park House in Price’s honour. She called Price her biggest supporter and that when she was deciding whether or not Rotary was for her, Price gave her helpful advice.

“You have a very special place in my heart,” George told Price.

Rotary Club of Amherstburg president Dan Hunt also had kind words for Price.

“He is a very special man,” said Hunt.

Current district governor encourages fellow Rotarians to “go bold”

By Jolene Perron

 

During their regular meeting, which is now at Shooter’s Roadhouse, the Amherstburg Rotary Club had a chance to meet their new district governor for the current year.

“I have found that Rick is a person of action,” explained assistant governor Peggy Little. “You’ll find, as I have found, Rick’s commitment to Rotary, but I think what really shows through is Rick’s passion. His passion for Rotary, his passion for his work, his passion for helping people and his passion for the district and coming around and talking with everybody.”

Members of the Rotary Club of Amherstburg gather with their district governor Rick Caron for a group photo after last Wednesday night’s meeting at Shooter’s Roadhouse in Amherstburg.

Rick Caron explained his commitment to Rotary, and how everyone who knows him knows that he is a part of Rotary. He proudly wears his pins, displays his mugs with the Rotary logo, and much more. But for many years it wasn’t that way.

“I would hesitate wearing a Rotary shirt if it was not a Rotary function, I wouldn’t always have my membership pin on,” explained Caron. “But then I started to become committed to the ideals of Rotary and I thought, if I don’t tell people about Rotary, they don’t get to join. Why would I want to rob them of that opportunity of being a Rotarian?”

Caron posed the question “What is Rotary?” He explained, that’s a hard question to answer, and as the district governor, he should know, but because Rotary is so much in so many ways, it becomes difficult to pinpoint what Rotary is exactly.

“Is Rotary building the Miracle League Park? Is Rotary doing Ribfest? Is Rotary committing to your community, dedication and hours and service and money and fundraising, is that what Rotary is? Well yes, it is. Rotary builds communities, that’s part of what we do,” explained Caron. “But that’s not all of what we do, we do more than that.”

Rotary solves problems, Caron continued.

The Rotary Club of Amherstburg gave district governor Rick Caron a tin lantern from the Park House Museum during their meeting at Shooter’s Roadhouse Oct. 18. Making the presentation is Rotary Club of Amherstburg president Laura George.

“It is everyone in our local club, all of the clubs in the district, all of the districts in the zone and all the zones in the world working together, networking, and making the world a better place,” he said.

He added there are 1.2 million Rotarians and 35,000 clubs around the world.

“I say “Go Bold” and that means I want everyone here to do something a little bit more,” said Caron. “I learned this from my grandfather. You don’t have to be retired to die in place. Anyone at any age can stop living by not having any ambition. If you don’t want to be more than what you are you stagnate. That’s why you need to go beyond what you normally do. You need to give back and do something meaningful. You need to be a part of Rotary and you need to share that Rotary story with other people.”
For more information on the Rotary Club of Amherstburg call 519-982-2684 or e-mail rotary.amherstburg@gmail.com. People can also visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/amherstburgrotary.