Jamaican-Born Mayor to Receive Blue Plaque


Southwark Council, in South London, United Kingdon (UK), has voted veteran Jamaican-born community campaigner and the borough’s first black Mayor, Sam King, among 10 persons and institutions to be honoured with a commemorative Blue Plaque.
Mr. King was born in Portland, in 1926, and first lived in England when he volunteered to join the Royal Air Force during World War 2 and was on active service in 1944.
He returned to Britain on the Empire Windrush in 1948. He became a Councillor in 1982 and was Southwark’s first black mayor in 1983. At that time, he was also the only black Mayor in Britain.
Mr. King was a founding member of the Windrush Foundation and was one of the driving forces behind the first Notting Hill Carnival and the first black newspaper, the West Indian Gazette. In 1998, he received a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) award, for his outstanding services to the community.
Jamaican High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Burchell Whiteman, said the Blue Plaque was a well deserved recognition for Mr. King who, thoroughout the years, has been a well respected and exceptional community activist and advocate for the rights of ethnic minorities and ordinary citizens in Southwark and the wider United Kingdom. “His autobiography is a truly inspirational work, both in content and in style,” Mr. Whiteman said.
The Blue Plaque scheme in Southwark was started in 2002 by the Council and it allows residents and visitors to the borough to select persons and institutions they feel are local icons.

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