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    WEEK AHEAD

    Recalling the flu pandemic of 1918

    The flu pandemic of 1918 killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide.
    Library of Congress
    The flu pandemic of 1918 killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide.

    Some anniversaries remind us why it’s better to be alive now than 100 years ago.

    As World War I began to wane, another scourge spread across the globe. The influenza pandemic of 1918 killed an estimated 50 million people around the world, including tens of thousands in Massachusetts.

    On Wednesday , the Public Health Museum in Massachusetts will sponsor two presentations: “World War I & The Great Influenza Pandemic in Massachusetts” by Dr. Marian Moser Jones and “Clara Barton & The Founding of the American Red Cross” by Emily Thomas. The talks will begin at 7 p.m. at the Tewksbury Public Library, 300 Chandler St.

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    A big crowd is expected Saturday when Rockport’s Town Meeting votes on a zoning measure that could clear the way for the sale of recreational marijuana in parts of town. Two members of the Board of Health are expected to speak on either side of the issue.

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    Plymouth has already decided to regulate rather than to ban the sale of recreational marijuana, voting last year to limit the number and location of retail shops. A proposal to adopt a 3 percent local sales tax on recreational pot will be on the agenda when Town Meeting convenes Saturday .

    Even more fleeting than spring are the vernal pools it brings. Naturalist Doug Lowry will lead an outing Saturday to the spots where amphibians breed at North River Wildlife Sanctuary, 2000 Main St., Marshfield from 9 a.m. to noon. Register at www.massaudubon.org/northriverprograms.

    Finally, here’s a happy centennial to celebrate. On Wednesday , the Brockton High School concert band will perform the world debut of “Brockton,” a piece commissioned for the 100th anniversary of the city’s Rotary Club.

    The 12-minute piece is in three movements: “Shoe Town,” a tribute to the immigrants who worked in local factories; “City of Champions,” dedicated to all the champions who have made Brockton great, including heavyweight boxing champion Rocky Marciano; and “A New Diversity,” which celebrates the city’s diverse population.

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    Vincent Macrina, director of the high school’s music department, will conduct “Brockton” during the school’s spring concert at 7 p.m. He is celebrating his 45th year in the system.

    Rocky Marciano (above) is memorialized in Brockton with a statue near the entrance of the city’s high school.
    Debee Tlumacki for The Boston Globe/File
    Rocky Marciano (above) is memorialized in Brockton with a statue near the entrance of the city’s high school.

    Leslie Anderson can be reached at leslie.anderson@globe.com.