JIS News

Black history campaigner in the United Kingdom (UK) Councillor Patrick Vernon is advocating for a Windrush Day to commemorate and celebrate the contributions of Black, Asian and other minority communities to British society.
June 22, 2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the arrival in Britain of the ship, the Empire Windrush, which signalled the start of mass migration from the Caribbean to Britain.
According to Councillor Vernon, this date would be the ideal day for the proposed public holiday.
“A Windrush Day is important if we want a tolerant, respectful society that would tackle all forms of political extremism and terrorism. I believe that we need to have a public holiday to commemorate and celebrate the black and minority ethnic communities, who have made a major contribution to Britain over the last 70 years. It would also remind us all that Britain has been and will always be a nation of migration and cultural diversity,” Councillor Vernon told JIS News.
He has launched an online petition seeking support for the Windrush Day campaign and an article recently appeared in the Guardian newspaper on the initiative.
The Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury in Essex (Eastern England) on June 22, 1948 with 492 Caribbean nationals, the majority from Jamaica, who answered the call for workers to help with the rebuilding of Britain following World War II.
According to Councillor Vernon, the arrival of the Empire Windrush is “arguably the most powerful and iconic symbol of migration and the rise of modern day multicultural Britain. The Windrush is not simply about the 492 Caribbean men and women that arrived in Britain on that ship but everyone who came from the Empire who were British subjects and saw Britain as their Mother country.”
While many of the Windrush pioneers have passed away, others suffer from chronic health conditions, or are in residential or nursing homes, while some have returned to their countries of birth.
Councillor Vernon is chief executive of Afiya Trust and he recently launched the Charmed Life Campaign, which aims to encourage people to learn, share and document the legacy and achievements of Caribbean and African elders. Information on the Windrush Day petition can be found at: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/charmed-life-campaign.html

Skip to content