Banbury town hall goes purple

This Thursday, October 24, a purple glow will light up Banbury Town Hall for the second year running to mark World Polio Day.

Tuesday, 22nd October 2019, 4:34 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd October 2019, 5:34 pm
The town hall was recently lit blue for dementia week
The town hall was recently lit blue for dementia week

Rotary Clubs across the world have been raising awareness and funds since 1985 to make polio the second disease to be totally eradicated from the world. (Smallpox was the first.) Both of local Rotary Clubs (Banbury and Cherwell) have been actively promoting the cause in recent years.

Over the past six years local schoolchildren and senior citizens have partnered Rotarians under the guidance of council gardeners to carpet Banbury with drifts of purple crocuses and stage concerts each spring to celebrate the new year’s growth and raise funds tor vaccinations.

Over the past five years the local Rotary Club Crocus Projects Partnership involved 43 schools. Planting this autumn will bring the total number of ruby giant crocus corms planted to over 125,000.

Both Cherwell District and Banbury Town Council have supported the schools and Rotary in this contribution to the worldwide effort. Bloxham Parish Council has added its support this year so that another 24,000 corms will be planted in various sites this autumn.

Banburyshire churches, businesses, community groups and individuals have backed the associated events and a certificate to commemorate the achievements of the five-year project from 2013-2018 was sent to all involved last year.

The purple lighting of Banbury town hall last year and this year celebrates the whole community’s participation and commitment to continue the battle until the disease is finally defeated.

The extension of the crocus concerts initiative through a challenge to adult choirs to match the efforts of primary school and secondary school choirs by staging a concert came to fuition last month.

“Local choirs responded brilliantly to our invitation,” said Maurice Humphris, one of the organisers.

“The secondary schools concerts took place in March and June – then the adult choirs concert on September 28. Total proceeds of over £6000 were shared between Polio

Eradication and Helen and Douglas House Hospice.

"The Club’s heartfelt thanks goes to every choir involved in all four concerts.”