Wheelchairs Presented to Citizens of the North

Rotary Club of Portsmouth held a special meeting, Thursday, 13th February 2014, at Indian River Tourism Center Conference Room to present wheelchairs to seven recipients.


The meeting started with President Dan Hopkins welcoming the recipients, guests, fellow Rotarians and the media. This was followed by Rotarian John Hawley giving the invocation.

Rotarian Gregor Nassief then outlined 3 of the many projects Rotary Club Portsmouth is working on.
First mentioned was the bus shelter to be built at Salybia to protect persons visiting the health clinic there from the weather.
Rotarian Gregor then gave details of the project, which has received the approval of the Ministry of Health, involving the renovation of the Emergency Room wing at Portsmouth Hospital which will provide 2 additional beds, bathroom facilities as well as specialized E.R. equipment.
The third project reported on, which is currently in progress, is the installation of 50 toilets with septic tanks in 50 homes in Calibishie.

ImageOur guest speaker, Mrs. Natalie Murphy, Executive Director of the Dominica Association of Persons with Disabilities, (DAPD), spoke of the tremendous need in Dominica for wheelchairs and thanked Rotary Club Portsmouth for supplying these to disabled citizens in the north. Mrs. Murphy expressed her concern about Dominica not being “disability friendly”, thus not allowing the disabled to get around with ease in their wheelchairs, and emphasized that Dominica needs to become an environment that is friendly to all disabilities.

President Dan explained to the audience that the wheelchairs were given to us by Rotary Club Dominica who received a large donation of wheelchairs from Wheelchair International. Rotarian Sammy of Rotary Club Dominica was present representing his club.

Rotarian Annick Giraud introduced the recipients, or their representatives:

·         Claudia George au Dain representing Mr. Lynn George of Vieille Case;

·         Charlotte Joseph representing Mrs. Alexina Williams of Vieille Case;

·         Delanie Joseph representing Leela Charles of Dos d’Ane;

·         Melanese George representing Levie Celestine of Calabishi;

·         John Peters representing Calibishi Health Center;

·         Margaretha Douglas of Toucarie;

·         Cecil Douglas prepresenting Gerald Vital of Calabishie and

·         Rotarian Dan Hopkins receiving 3 wheelchairs for the Salybia community.

President Dan then introduced the “U.K. Soccer Development”, group from Boston, Massachusetts, USA, a surprise attendance at the meeting. The founder, Lee Docherty, who is originally from the UK, moved to Boston 9 years ago and started the youth club 4 years later. They are a nonprofit soccer company that provides free of charge soccer coaching clinics and leagues to young people throughout their local community.  They use their clinics as a way to educate about real world issues such as, homelessness, hunger, substance abuse and living a healthy lifestyle.


Their mission is to not only teach the youth to play soccer but also to get them involved in group activities and to learn leadership skills. Mr. Docherty is visiting Dominica together with some of the youth from the Boston club. “U.K. Soccer Development” is in Dominica to donate 3 barrels full of soccer equipment to various schools and also CALLS Center in Portsmouth.

On Monday, the group from Boston will be assisting Rotary Club Portsmouth dig the foundation, lay steel, and mix and pour the concrete for the bus shelter in Salybia. To learn more about this organization visit: http://www.uksd.org

140213 Wheel Chair Presentation mix w Photos from Rotary Club of Portsmouth, DM on Vimeo.