Home African Caribbean The Windrush Day Memorial 2022: A Day Many School Children Will Never Forget

The Windrush Day Memorial 2022: A Day Many School Children Will Never Forget

by caribdirect
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Organising large events are by their very nature very complex activities to coordinate and pull off successfully. So, the organisation, planning and delivery of a multi-activity event such as the National Windrush Memorial Day recently held on Wednesday 22nd June, must have been particularly challenging.

The formal part of the event involved the unveiling of an enormous and spectacularly crafted bronze statue of a man, his wife and daughter holding hands presumably at Waterloo Station in 1948 created by the super talented Jamaican sculptor Basil Watson.

Photo of Basil Watson sculpture courtesy CaribDirect

Several distinguished guests from around the UK Caribbean community across a variety of fields were present at the official unveiling ceremony. Noticeable attendees included serial entrepreneur Levi Roots, actor Rudolph Walker, Baroness Doreen Lawrence to name but a few.

But the most honourable guest was HRH Prince William and his wife HRH Princess Kate. In his message Prince William stressed how important the statue is both to the United Kingdom as a whole and to the UK Caribbean community, particularly. He expressed pride at being asked to officiate at the ceremony on behalf of his grandmother HRH Queen Elizabeth ll.

HRH Prince William and HRH Princess Kate at the National Windrush Day Memorial. Photo courtesy CaribDirect

The formal ceremony culminated by the official unveiling was followed by an afternoon of outstanding cultural and theatrical performances undertaken by talented children from St Antony’s Catholic Primary School, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Lambeth Corpus Christi and Haberdashers’ Hatcham Temple Grove Free School. A Carnival Costume Show was delivered by Clary Designs and an accompanying three-piece band entitled Tomorrow’s Warriors took care of the backing music.

BBC Brenda Emmanus, MC at National Windrush Memorial Day 2022. Photo courtesy CaribDirect

Keeping it all together was the fabulous and consummate professional Brenda Emmanus who served as MC. Brenda did an amazing job at streamlining the acts and keeping the audience suitable informed and hyped up for all the performances.

Lambeth Corpus Christi School. Photo courtesy CaribDirect

The children’s performances were excellent demonstrating hours of preparatory work including singing dancing and recitations. They were a huge credit to their respective schools and made the audience proud and fortunate to have witnessed their renderings.

St Antony’s Catholic School. Photo courtesy CaribDirect

The prolific showman Levi Roots did not disappoint with his reggae renderings and captivating stage presence that had the audience chiming in at times to his familiar covers supported by the usual rhythmic gyrations.

Levi Roots performing at National Windrush Memorial Day. Photo courtesy CaribDirect

From all appearances the audience fully appreciated all of the acts but the ones who without doubt had the most fun were the children. The looks on their faces, the smiles, the occasional glances they made to each other to reinforce their confidence was evident and touching. In a time when the news is littered with gruesome accounts of children being abducted or being strip searched or worse, stabbing each other, this was most refreshing and a fitting escape.

Royal Festival Hall building

In the author’s view any activity that allows children to be children and come away with a positive learning experience is a win. These children were elated to have taken part in something historic, something they are unlikely to forget and that could positively impact not only their relationship with each other but with Caribbean people for the rest of their lives. This may be a gentle reminder that, “There will be Black people in their future.” Well done Windrush Commemorative Committee!



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