A Life Dedicated to the Rotary's Service to Humanity
Herb Brown, Past President of Rotary International 1995-96, speaking to the Rotary Club of Clearwater about Rotary's Service To Humanity, worldwide.
Herb Brown, Past President of Rotary International in 1995-96, spoke recently to members and guests at his Rotary Club, the Rotary Club of Clearwater, at a Wednesday noon meeting at the Belleair Country Club. Jared Brown gave an emotional introduction of his father. Herb Brown traveled the world while President of Rotary International. He met many heads of State, and noted the effects of so many people, being poor, hungry, diseased and homeless, and sleeping on the streets while surrounded by luxurious world-class hotels and office buildings. Brown stated that we are fortunate to live in America, the greatest country in the world.
Brown related his experience in meeting with Pope John Paul, who cancelled all appointments for the day, due to illness, but still chose to meet with Rotary International President Brown. The Pope extensively questioned Brown about Rotary's activities worldwide, in providing humanitarian services and especially the ongoing project to eliminate polio. Upon ending the visit, Pope John said, "God Bless Rotary, for saving the children of the world."
Since 1985, Rotary has been involved in immunizing children worldwide to eliminate Polio in the entire world. Many countries are now polio-free, but Africa and India remain in need of continued immunizations. In Africa, many countries were blocking Rotary from providing the single drop to the child's tongue, because of some religions not understanding the need or the benefits. Then President Brown met with South-African President Nelson Mandela and, after explaining the problem; President Mandela opened the door to the next room where many representatives of the media were waiting. President Mandela used the media exposure to speak to all the African Kings, Presidents, and leaders of their countries, to request that they open their doors to immunizations by Rotary. Millions of immunizations were then provided in a short period of time, using local Rotarians and volunteers in the various countries in Africa.
Nearly the same procedure worked in India. Rotary President Brown called upon India President Sharma, who was appalled to hear that India had more children with Polio than in all other countries combined. He understood when he saw statistics from UNICEF and the World Center for Disease Control. Now over 500 million children in India have been immunized, and the immunizations continue. Brown said that Polio spreads rapidly and the goal is to eliminate it entirely. Brown said, "India and Africa are very close to being Polio-free."
Brown related how a volcano erupted in Columbia and buried a town and most of the 30,000 inhabitants. Rotary helped in building homes for survivors. Hundreds of other Rotary sponsored humanitarian projects are conducted every year by Rotarians worldwide. Service to Humanity is also an ongoing Rotary project.
Return to Current Edition