Speech

Today, 22nd June 2021 marks the 3rd Anniversary of the commemoration of the annual Windrush Day and the 73rd Anniversary of the arrival of the MV Empire Windrush at Tilbury docks, which was a defining moment in British history.

Windrush Day provides us with an opportunity to recognize, highlight and celebrate the rich legacy and remarkable achievements of our pioneering Jamaicans and their invaluable contribution to the development of a progressive and multicultural Britain. It is also a time of reflection on the many injustices suffered by the Windrush generation and their descendants, to assess the effectiveness of actions taken so far to bring redress to those affected, and to chart the way forward in the best interest of the victims and future generations.

It is well known that this unique group of Jamaicans made their indelible mark in various fields, including education, science and research, business, sports and the arts, as well as in community development. Of significance, was their immeasurable contribution to the National Health Service (NHS), which quite coincidentally has come to rely on many of the descendants of the Windrush generation. They are now themselves competent frontline workers providing much needed support during this challenging ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

It is pleasing to note the various events being undertaken today at all levels, both in person and virtually across the UK, to acknowledge and celebrate the Windrush generation. It may also be noted that earlier this year, the Windrush Commemoration Committee revealed the four artists, three of whom are Jamaicans or of Jamaican heritage, who are being considered to design a national Windrush Monument at the historic Waterloo Station. This Monument is expected to be installed by June 2022.

The Government of Jamaica, through its High Commission and the Caucus of Jamaican High Commissioners in London and other stakeholders, remain actively engaged in dialogue on Windrush matters, and we are happy that recent changes have been made by the Home Office in relation to the Windrush Compensation Scheme.

 

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