2,000 purple crocus corms have been donated to be planted in the Grange Pavilion garden.

The corms are a gift from Cardiff Bay Rotary and will be planted by community volunteers on Thursday 26th November in time for a good show next spring.  The community planting event will run from 10am to 12pm at Grange Pavilion.  Free tea and coffee will be provided for volunteers!

The purple crocus – for the horticulturally minded, the species is Crocus tommasinianus, Ruby Giant – has a special significance for Rotary, and Cardiff Bay and other Rotary Clubs have been donating and planting them in lots of public areas to raise awareness of the Rotary fight for a Polio-free world.

Since 1985, Rotary International has been at the forefront of the global campaign to rid the world of this killer disease, which has been around since 1580 BC, and was a truly horrific pandemic in its heyday.  Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland has adopted the crocus as a symbol of hope, looking forward to the day when new Polio infections are no more.  And, despite the disruption which the Coronavirus pandemic has caused, progress is still being made, with the continent of Africa being declared Polio free in 2020.  Today, just two countries are endemic; Pakistan and Afghanistan.  From its peak of over 1,000 new cases a day in 1985 there were just 176 cases worldwide in 2019 and we are close to the ambition of eradicating this disease once and for all.

But why purple crocus?  Flowering early in the year, crocuses are a symbol of hope and renewal, and purple is the colour of the dye used in countries like India, where mass immunisation sessions take place, to denote children who have been given the drops which prevent the life threatening and disabling polio virus.

Steve Jenkins, Cardiff Bay Rotary President says:

“The corms will create a carpet of colour in Grange Pavilion garden next spring and new signage will explain to visitors what it symbolises.  We hope that this will give pleasure and raise spirits, as well as awareness.”

This gift of crocus corms demonstrates the ongoing close relationship between Grange Pavilion and Cardiff Bay Rotary.

Cardiff Bay Rotary is a member of Rotary International, one of the World’s leading voluntary service organisations.  Operating under the motto “Service Above Self”, Rotary is a non-sectarian, non-political voluntary association for men and women from all walks of life.

Normally meeting weekly on a Tuesday evening at the Novotel in Cardiff Bay, members currently get together using Zoom.

Rotary has many opportunities for people to become involved.  Though many individuals are happy to join existing Clubs, Rotary now caters for those with different lifestyles by developing new kinds of membership. Cardiff Bay Rotary is keen to establish new and flexible groups to encourage wider appeal.

Visit www.cardiffbayrotary.org.uk for more information.