Ride The Train - A Campaign By End Polio Now
With World Polio Day occurring on 24 October 2020 the Clubs throughout District 9940 took the opportunity to hold events to raise funds for the cause and also publicise End Polio and the work of Rotary in helping to eliminate the virus. This culminated in Ride the Train on 23 October, where Rotary Members visited all 62 stations on the rail network in the Lower North Island during the day, followed by an End Polio luncheon at the James Cook Hotel.
While on Friday 23 October the Dannevirke Rotary were not able to participate in Ride the Train, as it was Hawkes Bay Anniversary and there was a market in the town which the club took part in with a stall, and included publicising End Polio.
On World Polio Day, 24 October, the Rotary Club of Kapiti held a sausage sizzle at Mite 10 Mega Kapiti, thanks to owners and Rotary members Vince and Trish Indo, in allowing the club to fund raise at their store, and also publicise the progress made towards eliminating Polio.
But the main focus for District 9940 in October was Ride the Train, held on Friday 23 October, with Rotary members from throughout the District riding on the Capital Connection, The Wairarapa Line, and the four Metlink lines in Wellington and visiting all 62 stations in the Lower North Island.
The day started at approximately 615am with Rotary Members from Manawatu and Wairarapa boarding the trains bound for Wellington in Palmerston North and Masterton respectively, and picking up others at various stations along the route. The team on the Capital Connection from Palmerston North included members of the newly formed UCOL Rotoract Club.
At the same time as the trains were departing to the Capital the focal point in Wellington at the Railway Station, was being set up, having been organised by AG David Shackleton and Linda Wellington. Under the District gazebo BBQ’s were installed, and Teams were rostered on throughout the day from the Port Nicholson, Wellington South, Courtenay Place, Wellington, Karori, Wellington North, Wellington Rotoract, and Kapiti Clubs, selling Bacon Butties and rattling the collection buckets.
While all this was going some Clubs manned the platforms at various stations on the Metlink network, and collected from commuters as the caught trains to work
(Left: Ramola Ladge and two interact students from Otaki College at Paremata Station; Centre: Presdient Shirley Stratton, Marilyn Stevens and members of Rotary Club of Kapiti doing a Sausage Sizzle fundraiser; Right: Part of the train crew at the gazebo in front of the Wellington Railway Station
Once the travellers from Manawatu and the Wairarapa had refuelled on bacon butties, they joined other Wellington Rotarians to ride the four Metlink lines, beginning with the Melling line, there was a slight hiccup with this, the train had been replaced with a bus.
As different stations were reached new participants joined the ride, while at some others left to take a break and refresh. At each station two Interact members from Otaki College, and Ramola Ladge, President of Awapuni, leapt off the trains, and to be photographed in front of the station signs.
At 2.20pm the ride on all four Metlink lines was completed, and the last rides were left for the members from the Wairarapa and Manawatu to catch the evening trains back to their home locations.
However the day was not yet complete, and an End Polio lunch was held at the James Cook Hotel, where the guest speaker was Dr Helen Battles who zoomed inform Auckland, after initially being booked to speak in person, Dr Battles developed sore throat and thought it better not to travel in the current climate.
On the day Ride the Train is an event where we have large numbers of Rotary members, who easily stand out wearing red End Polio Now T-shirts, and publicising the work that we do.
(Left: Rotary Members on the Train publicising the End of Polio Now Campaign).
Thanks to all the Rotary Clubs of District 9940 for fund raising for End Polio, promoting awareness of Polio, and those that participated in Ride the Train, and a special thanks to the organising committee, AG David Shackleton, AG Michael Fagg, AG Venky Kannan, Linda Wellington, Geoff Eades, Rod O’Leary, Robert Nugent and support from The DG Train and PDG Martin Garcia, and special thanks to Marion Eades for help organising the End Polio Luncheon.
Hoping off the first train win Wellington, which turned out to be a bus
Elsewhere in the country MPs and the Auckland Mayor did there bit to End Polio Now.
Across the ditch our friends in Lane Cove (Sydney) Rode the Train to End Poilio too