These latest pictures were taken on March 9th 2017, more than six years after their planting. A great achievement by Rotarians of Sussex Vale, and many thanks to the Parish of Keymer for nurturing them so well.

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Photos (2017) submitted by the President, Duncan Honeyman

Sussex Vale Rotary Club planted 1,000 purple crocuses at Adastra Park on 2nd October 2010 so they would flower in Rotary Week 2011 to publicise the campaign to eradicate polio round the world. Purple was chosen because that is the colour of the ink used to mark the fingers of children in countries like India to show they have been given the vaccine. Millions of children have been spared from the curse of this crippling and potentially fatal disease thanks to Rotary working alongside Unicef, the World Heath Organisation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. About 30 years ago there were 129 endemic countries with 350,000 children being infected every year. Today because of international dedicated efforts there are very few new cases of polio anywhere in the world.

Crocus

Thanks to the efforts of Rotary International Clubs all over the world, and strongly supported by The Gates Foundation, together with the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, the fight is being won.

Mr Gates has suggested polio could be eradicated in as little as three years time. He said that the last case of polio in India – where it was prevalent in the past – was in 2011, while Africa had not had a case in the last twenty months.

“The only cases we have right now are in Pakistan and Afghanistan,” he said.