Tolbooth will be lit up to highlight Rotary Club’s worldwide campaign against polio

The Tolbooth will be shrouded in purple light this weekend to mark World Polio Day as part of a collaboration with the Forres Heritage Trust.

The prominent landmark dominates the skyline in the daytime, but only has a little light coming from the clock and street lights from below to illuminate it at night.

The trust agreed to help the Rotary Club mark the day by putting up lights that will be visible from all over the town.

It is hoped that the event will raise awareness of polio and the Rotary Club’s 36-year campaign against the disease. Rotarians will be in the town centre over the weekend to provide more information.

Purple signifies the colour of dye used on the little finger of a child who has received their life-saving polio drops on mass immunisation days in many countries.

Rotary Clubs across the world have been campaigning since 1985 when there were 125 polio endemic countries. The campaign aims to completely eradicate the disease which is now only endemic in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.

Doreen McCaig, International/Foundation Convener with the Forres Rotary Club said the Tolbooth will join hundreds of other buildings across the country making the same statement.

She said: “We are very pleased that the Forres Heritage Trust has agreed to help us promote and help make people aware of this significant campaign. All over the world, buildings will be getting lit up in purple and it is tremendous that we will also be doing our bit in Forres.

Tolbooth is the perfect building

The Tolbooth is the perfect building as it is so central, so we are hoping that lots of people will see it over the weekend. We will have Rotary members on the High Street to explain what is happening and make people aware. We are really looking forward to it.”

The Tolbooth will be lit up on 23 and 24 October. The Rotary Club will also be at Tesco in Forres on Saturday to collect money for the cause too.

Doreen added: “We have had huge support from across the town and whilst we appreciate there are many local charities, it is encouraging to see that the people of Forres are always willing to help further afield as well. The Rotary Clubs across the world have worked tirelessly to eradicate polio and since the campaign began and it’s now 99 per cent eradicated.”

Bob James, a trustee with the Forres Heritage Trust and a member of the Rotary Club said: “It’s a great example of two organisations working together and helping each other, something which the people of Forres are very good at.

“The request has also come at a perfect time as renovations on the Tolbooth, and in particular around the clocktower which is the area which will be lit up, have just been completed, so the Tolbooth will be looking splendid for the occasion.”

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