Our speaker on 04 August 2021 was The Worshipful, the Mayor of the London Borough of Harrow, Councillor Ghazanfar Ali, who held the Club spellbound with his talk about the effects that Harrow has experienced during the pandemic, and also how it has affected his family.
Councillor Ghazanfar had a career as an accountant, but for the past 20 years he has been serving and supporting his local community. For the past 18 months, the Civic Centre has not been in normal use, with many of the staff working from home. The experience has been salutary, not just for those working in the Civic Centre, but for the wider population in Harrow. A cultural change, with regard to office work, has affected us all.
Despite the difficulties resulting from the pandemic, the people of Harrow have come together and taken to heart the needs of their community. Particular activities mentioned by Councillor Ghazanfar included the provision of food and the development of food banks, as well as mental and physical support groups.
The Mayor’s chosen charities for the year 2021-2022 will be Harrow Mencap, and the Harrow Association for Disabled people – both of which have received support in the past from our Rotary Club. The Mayor also recognised the service given to the community by the Rotary Club of Northwick Park.
The pandemic has affected family life for all, and Councillor Ghazanfar spoke about the effect the pandemic has had on his own family. He hopes he will be able to meet up with his family very soon, and he also hopes he will be able to visit our Club once face-to-face meetings resume.