May 10, 2018

Minutes of the May 10, 2018, Meeting
The Rotary Club of Mobile

Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by John Dukes at 12:15 PM. Ken Niemeyer offered the invocation and Larry Sindel led the club in song accompanied by Les Greer on the piano. Jeff Zoghby welcomed visiting Rotarians and members’ guests.

Announcements:
• John Dukes announced that the Rotary District Conference will be held at the Beau Rivage in Biloxi on June 7th through the 10th.
• John reminded the club that next week(May 17th) has been designated Graduate Day when we invite our members to bring seniors and other students to the meeting to hear an inspirational talk by Mark Foley.
• A board meeting will follow next week’s meeting on May 17th.
• The history of the Rotary Clock on the corner of Dauphin and Royal streets was discussed. Tom McGehee relayed its installation dating back to at least 1891 when a clock was placed there by Zadek Jewelry Co. In 1920, after the Zadek firm had closed, the City Commission agreed to let the Rotary Club take over its care and that is when the Rotary symbol was added. In 2000, long after the original clock had been destroyed in an auto accident, the current clock was installed with funds raised by local Rotary clubs. John Dukes noted that the clock has been restored with new lighting and is once again telling the proper time.

• Program: Leon Hirsch: Rotary’s Role in Eradicating Polio

Tom McGehee introduced Leon Hirsch, a member of the Pensacola Rotary Club who gave a history of Rotary’s part in ending the threat of polio around the world.

He stated how important it is for younger members who have little knowledge of polio to learn how dangerous it was and the tremendous role that Rotary clubs have taken in its near elimination.

Leon said that two American men with similar Eastern European backgrounds discovered cures for polio. Jonas Salk developed a vaccination which was believed to inactivate the virus in children. Albert Sabin on the other hand, came up with an orally administered version which would kill 100% of the virus.

The U.S. government chose Salk’s vaccine with disastrous results. In 1955 after some 200,000 children had received the injection, 10 children died and 200 more suffered from some form of paralysis. Meanwhile Dr. Salk who had been forbidden to administer his oral form in the U.S. took it around the world regardless of political barriers and had incredible results.

The Salk method was soon being administered throughout the U.S. and the polio virus vanished. In 1985 Rotary International began its work to eradicate it worldwide and today the number of polio sufferers is estimated to be 33.

John thanked Leon for his program and presented him with a certificate noting that in his honor a donation has been made to Rotary’s Polio Plus Program.

The meeting adjourned at 1:00 PM.

Tom McGehee