The Lieutenant-Governor of Guernsey, Vice Admiral Sir Ian Corder, an honorary member of the Rotary Club of Guernsey, commented: 'We wanted to highlight the important part that Guernsey is playing in the fight to eradicate polio, for which there is still no cure but which is preventable by immunisation droplet.' Why purple? Because when children have received immunisation against the disease their little finger is marked with a purple dye.
His Excellency said that a pioneering purple partnership between two islanders led to the Royal Horticultural Society joining forces with the Rotary Club of Great Britain and Ireland, to give a nationwide fundraising boost to the fight against polio. Local Rotarian Mrs Jannine Birtwistle is Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland Polio Champion.
The Lieutenant-Governor explained: 'Jannine joined forces with Pat Johnson, of Floral Guernsey, and together they enlisted the support of the RHS, which resulted in almost 7 million purple crocuses being planted across Britain in 2016 in support of the fight against polio.'
His Excellency added: 'We have planted 20,000 purple crocuses at Government House this year, which are emerging just in time for Purple Pinkie Day. The purple illumination is another way to raise awareness of this year's Purple4Polio campaign.'
President Designate of the Rotary Club of Guernsey Mr Simon Milsted paid tribute to the contribution made by Government House: 'On behalf of both local Rotary Clubs, I'd like to thank Sir Ian and Lady Corder for their enthusiastic support of Rotary's charitable endeavours. It's very much appreciated and makes such a difference in helping us to gain public recognition and support for the work of the two clubs.'
Mr Milsted added: 'Our thanks also go to the entire team at Government House, who clearly threw all their energy into this particular task.' The 'Purple-isation' project was masterminded by Government House's House Manager and Head Butler, Mrs Vanessa Wakeford, with help from States' Property Services' Colin Robert and the team at Castle Cornet.