Windrush 65th anniversary 2013

Page 1

WINDRUSH

FEATURE

JUNE 20-26, 2013 Pages 17 - 37

Special 65th Anniversary Edition

THEY CHANGED THE NATION

1948 -­ 2013

INSIDE:

Exhibition Opens At Tilbury: p18-19

Prime Minister’s Message: p25

The Passenger List: p39


18 | THE VOICE JUNE 20 - 26, 2013

WINDRUSH

Windrush exhibit opens at Tilbury By Hazelann Williams

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WEALTH of information and history marking the 65 years of the Empire Windrush is on public display at Tilbury docks. The SS Windrush left Kingston, Jamaica, on May 24, 1948, and arrived at Tilbury, in Essex, on June 21, 1948, carrying hundreds of passengers from the Caribbean and around the world to the motherland, in hope of building a new life in the UK. Having paid a fare of £28 and spending 22 days at sea, men and women from the West Indies, mainly ex-servicemen who had served during the Second World War, arrived in England to help rebuild postwar Britain by filling labour shortages in state-run services like the NHS and the London Transport system. The impact that the 493 passengers had on the country and its modern history has been profound and everlasting, as it signaled a new era in multicultural Britain. Celebrating the 65th anniversary of the arrival, Thurrock Council and its partners will host two events at the port, the first an awards ceremony, hosted by comedian Angie Le Mar, and a celebration dinner following a river cruise on Saturday, June 22, at the Port of Tilbury. The second, a family fun day filled with music, educational workshops, and a gospel choir and dance performances, is on Sunday, June 23. Already open to the public, as part of the festivities, is the exhibit on display at the docks, having been unveiled by Her Excellency Mrs. Aloun Ndombet-Assamba on June 5. The exhibition, which features a collection of photos, documents and films from the momentous disembarking at Tilbury, was attend by the Jamaican High Commissioner as well as the former mayor of Thurrock council and students from Harris Academy Chafford Hundred. The Voice spoke to all in attendance about the impact of the presentation and the upcoming 65th celebrations. Junerose Palmer – advanced skills teacher at Harris Academy, in charge of cultural diversity. I work very closely with Thurock Council. They invited me to come with a group of students as a way of promoting diversity and nationality. The students have been very interested with what they saw, they have been talking about the fact that the Windrush happened and they didn’t know about it until we started talking about it in school, in prepara-

New exhibition highlighting the importance of the SS Windrush opens at Tilbury Docks tion for coming to this exhibit. It is not only a celebration for our students with West Indian heritage; it is a celebration for all of our students. Tthis exhibit is very significant because it has come from Thurock and we are all a part of it. In another 65 years time the students will still be here and they will remember it and can say that they were here for the 65th anniversary. Samson De Alyn project director at Thurrock Council for the 65th anniversary celebrations. What this story tells is the landing of the Windrush, the history of the ship, because it wasn’t always a passenger liner. We’ve got some more information that will be built into the journey of race equality, the heritage plaque for the Windrush and we intend to build this exhibit as we go along. We also want to move it around and put it in different boroughs, take it to Lewisham, take it to Brixton and other areas and we might even take it into schools. Councillor Yash Gupta MBE – former Mayor of Thurrock Council. I came to England in 1966 on a teacher’s work permit as a psychologist. I had two masters degrees but no one recognised my degrees here, so I accepted a job as a bus conductor and then I did my masters and did my post graduate studies in psychology. At that time there were tremendous problems, you could count the amount of black families on your fingers and there was a lot of prejudice at that time. That is why I think this exhibit will help to educate our children, most of them don’t realise the circumstances for the first generation that came here and how difficult it was. It was hard to get a job, to be accepted on an equal basis and overcome all of the prejudice. I’ve always said to be accepted by the white society we had to work twice as hard, and they accepted me, you had to fight for your rights. Temi Fawehinmi - vice chair of the BME forum and diversity section of Thurrock council. The Windrush celebrations are particularly important for me and my children, I really want them to meet people from that generation, because it really puts things into perspective. It’s not just people we speak about; we are very privileged to say that we still have people

ALL SMILES: Her Excellency Mrs. Aloun Ndombet-Assamba with students from Harris Academy Chafford Hundred MODEL: The SS Empire Windrush

who experienced coming over on the Windrush, who are alive and able to talk about their experiences. This exhibition is about understanding why people come here (UK). Today there is so much negativity around immigration and believing that people come here to free load but that’s not true, it wasn’t true then either. It’s about seeing how rich the immigrants made this country. I want people to go away and understand that the Windrush generation were invited, there were advertisements all over the empire and they came over here with skills. Councillor Phil Anderson – Leader of Thurrock Conservative Group. To me the Windrush celebrations are a big deal for several reasons; you’ve got moments like this in history and they become really important to national identity, like the Mayflower in American history. They are really significant to the identity of the people as immigrants, the Windrush tells a very positive story, a slightly different story to some of the

revisionist versions of the seventies and eighties, they were people who were invited to rebuild a country shattered by war, they saw England as the motherland, as citizens of the empire and regardless of how people look back at that, that was how people identified themselves at that time. The really positive aspect of how modern immigration started tells a positive story and today people don’t pick up on that. It makes a better starting point when you tell the up and downs of the post-war immigration. Both for my politics and for the community, as someone who is active within the community, the whole concept of trust is important to me. The memories of the past that the previous generations passed onto us, as people living in this moment and likewise, we will pass in trust to future generations. I’m a conservative politician and that idea of trust is part of what it means to be a conservative, the idea that the past is not irrelevant, it’s something that people have lived, worked, struggled and died through. And if

you want to be blunt, Thurrock is a place that has suffered a lot of racial tension, since its BME population has grown rapidly, it was one of the areas where the BNP was seen to be successful a few years ago, they are very much on the decline now, but those racial tensions have existed and they are fueled by perceptions that say immigrants are here to live on welfare or are illegal. When we knock on doors that’s the stuff we have to listen to time and time again. Now, if you tell a story like this, of people who have their own identity, but saw themselves as fellow citizens as something bigger, who were invited to come here to bring skills to rebuild a country, that is a more accurate story than the ones that get branded around when you knock on doors. Councillor Tunde Ojetola – South Chafford Ward. It’s important that history is told in its entirety, that’s why I’m pleased some of the students have come here and they can take what they’ve learnt today and feed it back to oth-

ers. We’ve had challenges with discrimination and there are unfortunately still pockets where it happens but the more we tell the story and get involved in promoting history to make people see the negative side of discrimination, the better the future will be. It’s about understanding your neighbours and not allowing others to discriminate against them, that’s how it started in 1940. It is vital that all the history of Thurrock is recorded and displayed because residents of Thurrock, as in the whole of the UK have become more diverse and it’s important that we have an identity with it. Some of the problems that we have been seeing in the younger generation is because of a lack of identity, it is important that everyone has a place where they can say: ‘here is my history’ it’s also a massive milestone in Thurrock. I am a student of history, there is the obvious interest, it is also important that when I go out to speak to people in the area and as a councillor I do that a lot, it’s important to be able to inform all residents about what


WINDRUSH

goes on in our area and what it means to them. So there is a passion about it, if I wasn’t a councillor I would still be involved. Tony Fish – Mayor of Thurrock. I am very glad to welcome the celebrations of the docking of the Empire Windrush at Tilbury in 1948. Since that time there have been many physical and social changes in Thurrock, and that pace of change seems to quicken as time goes by. In that time we’ve seen the decline of the historic riverside industry and its replacement by the service industry like Lakeside. In these 65 years we’ve also witnessed the continual migration into the borough from all over the world to find work. I’m happy to be a part of an ever-increasing diverse community, I believe the more diverse the community becomes the more it is open to seeing all playing a part. Jamaican High Commissoner Her Excellency Mrs. Aloun Ndombet -Assamba. It’s really good to be here and take part in this historic recognition of an event that took place 65 years ago. As we speak about migration, I realise the same pull that existed

JUNE 20 - 26, 2013 THE VOICE | 19

65 years ago exists now. When those persons came on the Windrush they came to find a better life and more opportunities, they came from the Caribbean and they stayed here to help build the country after the war. They were invited to come here, without those persons there would be no NHS, the London transport system would not be as it is. I remember coming to the UK in the seventies and eighties and almost everybody I knew was either working at British Telecom, in a hospital or working on the transport system. Some of the things we take for granted now are here because of the people that came to the UK, many had fought in the war because they were fighting for their country and they were coming to the motherland. Many years have passed and things have changed and I have to tell people as the commissioner, when I go to Jamaica that we have a very proud history here and we must never forget that or allow people to forget that we were invited to come here. Although I didn’t have family who came on the Windrush, I certainly have family who came 10, 15, 20 years after and who did the same thing that those who came before did. I am pleased that the council has done something to recognise that event.

HAPPY: Tony Fish, Mayor of Thurrock (above left) ON VIEW: An exhibit tells the story (above) TRIBUTE: Commemorative historical Windrush plaque (above right) PATH WAY: The entrance leading to the docks (right) UNVEILING THE EXHIBIT: Her Excellency Mrs. Aloun Ndombet-Assamba, takes in the exhibition (below)

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20 | THE VOICE JUNE 20 - 26, 2013

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Windrush Day: time for a public holiday to celebrate

I

n 2008 after making my documentary A Charmed Life about the life of the Ex Serviceman Eddie Martin Noble I suggested that we should choose the day when the MV Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury in 1948 on the of 22 June as a public holiday. This is arguably the most powerful and iconic symbol of migration and the rise of modern day multicultural Britain to date. The Windrush is not simply about the 492 Caribbean men and women that arrived in Britain on that ship but everyone from the Empire and the Commonwealth who were British subjects and saw Britain as the mother country. With the success of the Olympic Games in 2012 and with the latest census which highlights the current and future demographics of this country I believe it is time to commemorate and celebrate the contributions to Britain particularly over the last 65 years of Black, Asian and other minority communities. It would also remind us that Britain has been and will always be a nation of migration and a home for political refugees and asylum seekers. The MV Empire Windrush ship itself has an interesting history. It was first a German cruise ship called the ‘Monte Rosa’ used by the elite of the Nazi Party. Then it became a German troopship during WW2 and was capture by Allied forces in May 1945 as a prize of war. The ship was subsequently used as a troop ship and renamed MV Empire Windrush after the river Windrush which is a minor tributary of the Thames that leads to Oxford and the Cotswolds. Thus the history of the ship itself has a major historical and cultural significant from being used by fascists to becoming a symbol of multiculturalism and tolerance. It is a powerful reminder of the lessons from the past. OLYMPICS Danny Boyle and Paulette Randle were aware of this history thus ensuring that the Windrush along with the creation of the NHS was part of the national narrative in the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 There is now a grow-

“I believe

it is time to commemorate and celebrate the contributions to Britain of black, Asian and other minority communities”

ing demand from faith leaders, equality campaigners, politicians and high profile personalities who think that we should have public recognition of multicultural Britain using the Windrush as a powerful symbol around an annual programme of events or a public holiday. Sadly the constant drip drip references to the failure of multiculturalism and the loss of ‘Britishness’ as an inclusive concept creates much uncertainty and lack of confidence for young people and the most recent migrants to Britain, apart from the super-rich, who now feel under constant attack and scapegoating. A Windrush Day is important if we want a tolerant, respectful society especially if want to tackle all forms of political extremism and terrorism. Also the day could also be considered as an opportunity to celebrate our diversity and our shared history of struggle and achievement. Such a day would prevent political parties from using the race card and immigration card to appease certain white

voters and now a growing established Black and Asian middle class. Windrush Day would be different from celebrating Commonwealth Day which not many people are aware of. It would be similar but not the same as Holocaust Day which takes place on the January 27 every year to commemorate the victims and families of Jewish and other people affected by the Holocaust but also modern genocide and extermination of ethnic groups globally. This adds to the importance of teaching about the Windrush as part of the national curriculum for a generation of young people who can learn the history, survival techniques and strategies which can help them to influence the world they live in today. Windrush Day would further add value to events such as Black History Month /African History Month, Notting Hill Carnival, Diwali and Eid which have now been embraced by central and local government, education with inclusion in the national curriculum, museums and the arts. The Windrush Generation is now disappearing as many of these pioneers have passed away, suffering from long term health conditions or languishing in residential or nursing homes. A number have immigrated back to their countries of birth. Many of those born between 1910-1940 may not be around at the next Windrush celebrations in 2018. The question we need to ask ourselves is why wait either every 5 or 10 years to celebrate this achievement. We will regret as a country if we fail to take individual and collective responsibility for systematically documenting their history and contribution to Britain and beyond, as a legacy for young people of all ethnicities and nationalities.

Patrick Vernon is a councillor at the London Borough of Hackney, a founder of Every Generation Media and creator of 100 Great Black Britons

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lucidum. A Chinese herb which has been used by the Chinese for over 4000 years, known as the “King of Herbs” although the company is careful not to make any medical claims, it has helped many people achieve more health and vitality, oxygenate their blood, and even alleviate chronic conditions. Mr Dhani states “this is a great opportunity to develop a risk free business alongside other commitments and create generational income”. For Saifur Valli it has “helped to alleviate the worries of losing my job in a tough job market”. Mr Valli is a wheelchair user and has faced discrimination for most of his life, but he feels at home with this home based part-time business. For Haq Ismail it has been a god send “I accumulated a lot of personal debt and had nowhere to turn and was looking for an opportunity to help with the money worries. Organo Gold has represented the light at the end of the tunnel for me”. For these 3 chaps and many other franchisees, Organo Gold is representing a serious, viable and lucrative chance to earn extra money from home. For more information, please contact: Tel: 0800 228 9180, Email: info@coffeecashcraze.co.uk or visit: www.coffeecashcraze.co.uk (Quote REF: VOICE)


22 | THE VOICE JUNE 20 - 26, 2013

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The Empire Windrush:

Jamaica sails into British history O

The 1948 Nationality Act A number of Caribbean nationals had fought for Britain in World War 2 and several of those veterans chose to return to England on the Windrush. However, it was the 1948 Nationality Act that encouraged the migration, allowing Commonwealth citizens – British subjects – the right of entry to England as citizens of ‘the United Kingdom and Colonies’. Upon arrival in England, the immigrants found that conditions were not what they might have been expecting. The country was just beginning to recover from the ravages of war, so housing was a major issue and continued to be a problem for a number of years. To compound the short-

Louise Bennett-Coverly

History Today

n May 27, 1948, the Empire Windrush sailed from Jamaica for Trinidad before setting its sights on England, the colonial ‘motherland.’ Almost a month later, on June 22, the former troop-carrying steamship made its way up the Thames and docked at Tilbury in London. Four hundred and ninety-two official passengers (and several stowaways) disembarked, taking their first steps towards what they hoped would be a brighter future. The Windrush was not the only ship to arrive in Britain with Caribbean immigrants after the Second World War, but being the first, it was given the lion’s share of the publicity at the time. Not a bed of roses The arrival of this first wave of West Indian immigrants marked the first wave of largescale immigration in Britain’s post-war drive to recruit labour from the Commonwealth to cover employment shortages in state-run services. Hundreds of Jamaicans responded to newspaper advertisements for available berths aboard the Windrush to sail to England, but the colonial administration at the time tried to warn them that Britain was unlikely to be the bed of roses they perhaps envisioned. A government statement, published in The Gleaner on May, 1948, warned that ‘the prospects of employment in England for unskilled labourers are very slight.’ Yet, undaunted, nearly 400 people paid their £28 for the passage and made their way into the unknown.

‘Wat a joyful news, Miss Mattie, I feel like me heart gwine burs Jamaica people colonizin Englan’ in reverse’

FIRST STEPS TO A NEW LIFE: Children of the Windrush Generation

JAMAICA BORN LEGEND: Linford Christie age, the immigrants also faced racism and other discrimination challenges. At one point, the Colonial Office opened the deep air-raid shelter under Clapham Common, which would become a temporary home to about 230 of the new arrivals. The facility had been used as a bomb shelter and to house prisoners of war. Brixton was the nearest place for work and socialising, and the Mayor was welcoming of the new immigrants. Although many of the Windrush’s passengers eventually found employment elsewhere in the country, many also remained in London, settling in Brixton, which is now home to one of Britain’s largest West Indian communities. The beginnings of a new British identity Excluded from much of the social and economic life around them, the immigrants began to recreate the institutions they were used to back home, including churches, and actively participated in the few organisations that opened their doors to them, such as trade unions, local councils and professional and staff associations. By the 1970s, West Indians had become an integral part of the fabric of British society, influencing and impacting on everything from culture to politics. Culturally, few things

bring the people of London together like the Notting Hill Carnival, which was the brainchild of Trinidadian activist and journalist, Claudia Jones. She envisioned a community Mardi Gras as a unifying force and it was first staged in January 1959, in response to the vicious North London race riots that had taken place throughout the summer of 1958. Politically, names like Sam King, Dawn Butler and Dianne Abbott evoke a feeling of pride amongst Britons of Jamaican descent. King, a World War 2 veteran, Windrush passenger and founding member of the Windrush Foundation, became Southwark’s first black mayor in 1983. Years later, Butler and Abbott raised the bar as the only two black female members of the British Parliament. Additionally, numerous athletes of Jamaican heritage have represented the UK on the international stage. Among them are Olympic and world sprint legend Linford Christie and current darling of the heptathlon, Jessica Ennis. Q Other sources: BBC History Exploring 20th Century London

Granddaughter of the Windrush By Barbara Maria Nnaemeka

A fascinating memoir of a young Barbadian’s determination to make a new life. Granddaughter of the Windrush charts the experiences of an idealistic teenage West Indian woman who arrives in Yorkshire in 1996, full of enthusiasm to study nursing. Barbara Maria Nnaemeka had no idea what was in store, but cold weather, racism, and a longing for home caused her to wonder if her dream was actually a nightmare. This positive and heart-warming biography explains Barbara’s determined attitude to immigrant workers and the dramatic changes in the British health care system over recent decades, offering a pragmatic yet inspiring view of a profession that promises both highs and lows but also a huge sense of personal satisfaction.

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JUNE 20 - 26, 2013 THE VOICE | 23

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24 | THE VOICE JUNE 20 - 26, 2013

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Windrush 65th celebrations:

A once in a lifetime event By Samson DeAlyn

T

he history of modern Britain is an interesting story which involves culturally diverse groups, from all parts of the world arriving on these shores. The migration of groups from Africa, Asia and the Caribbean has an important place in the story of modern Britain. This story is one which deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated. The landing of the Empire Windrush at Tilbury docks in 1948 is now iconic in terms of marking a defining moment in time, when following the Second World War many from the Caribbean came to Britain to help with the economic recovery, following the devastation caused by the war. This contribution was pivotal in creating an economic, social, cultural and sporting legacy which can be seen today. The 22nd of June is the 65th Anniversary of the landing of the Empire Windrush in Tilbury in Essex. This important date is being marked with a month

Tessa Sanderson

Dalton Grant

Singer Omar Lye-Fook with his parents Sonia and Byron

Angie Le Mar

Misha B

long celebration which began the 5th of June with the opening of a Windrush exhibition at the cruise terminal in Tilbury, Essex where the Windrush docked. An education project will be launched in partnership with schools and groups, which will celebrate the legacy of the Windrush generation. There has also been other events taking place through partner agencies. These activities will culminate in a special Windrush Celebration Dinner at the London Cruise Terminal hosted by

a number of national and local organisations on the 22nd June 2013. This special event will include a cruise inspired by the Windrush which will depart from St. Katherine’s Pier in London. The cruise will bring celebrities and guests from around the country to the port where the Windrush landed. Guests will walk in the footsteps of those that came here some 65 years ago. The Windrush Celebration dinner will mark an extraordinary moment in British history with visually stunning presentations which

will celebrate the legacy of the Windrush generation. This special event on the 22nd June will be hosted by Angie LeMar and speical guests signed up for this once in a lifetime event include Tessa Sanderson Dalton Grant, Brenda Emmanus (BBC TV presenter) Ronke Phillips (ITV news reporter), Ellen Thomas (actress), Dona Croll (Actress). Dame Betty Asafu-Adjaye, Dawn Butler (former MP), Judith Jacobs (Actress) Chizzy Akudolu, Patrick Augustus, renowned R&B vocalist Omar, Wayne Marshall

and Carl McIntosh to name a few. This once in a lifetime event is an opportunity to show appreciation to the generation that helped lay the foundations of the modern and diverse Britian of today, overcoming many challenges to create new opportunities and open doors for the current generation. On the 23rd of June visitors from across the country are invited to join the family celebrations at the London Cruise Terminal, Tilbury in Essex, for a day of Caribbean cuisine and a variety of family fun inspired

by the legacy of the Windrush generation. This will include calypso music, steel drum workshops and much more. National organisations are invited to contact the information line on 07766 725 173 to get involved or to partner with these national celebrations on June 22 - 23. Q For tickets contact Ticket line or 07766 725 173 but hurry there are limited spaces for this once in a lifetime celebration.


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JUNE 20 - 26, 2013 THE VOICE | 25

Message from Prime Minister David Cameron:

P

rime Minister David Cameron said: “The 65th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush at Tilbury Dock on 22 June 1948 marks a truly historical moment for modern day Britain. Nearly 500 people arrived from the Caribbean that day to find work or a new life, and it led to the transformation of this country into the richly diverse nation it now is. “The early arrivals from the Caribbean came to help rebuild our country after the Second World War. They brought with them the skills and resolve to help get Britain back on her feet and to make a better life for themselves and their families. But as history has shown many of them suffered unjust hardships and barriers – from social exclusion and prejudice to discrimination and racism. “I pay tribute to the Windrush generation and praise their fortitude and determination in overcoming those difficult challenges. Younger gen-

A historical moment

erations are rightly very proud of those early pioneers, and while some social issues still need to be tackled, I strongly believe that our country today is an overwhelmingly fair and tolerant one. And this is in part down to the people from the Caribbean and around the world who settled here. “Those early migrants did so much for our country, and paved the way for their children and subsequent generations to make enormous contributions to Britain in the 21st century. Whether this is in the field of public service, business, culture or the arts, the children of the Windrush generation have given so much. “Whenever I meet people from Britain’s African-Caribbean community, I’m always struck by the stories I hear. Stories of guts, determination and sheer hard work. Our island is richer in every sense of the word for your contribution.”

The Maroons

VIEWS: Prime Minister Cameron has paid a personal tribute to the Windrush Generation (right)

The Maroons Restaurant and Coffee Lounge The Maroons is a traditional Caribbean restaurant and coffee lounge located in Limehouse, London, just a few minutes’ walk from Limehouse DLR on the edge of Wapping, Docklands and the City. The restaurant opened in 2012 and is the newest African-Caribbean restaurant in the neighbourhood. The Maroons presents an exceptional and wide selection of Caribbean and African dishes that provides diners with an exotic experience and a grasp of traditional African-Caribbean cuisine. Since we use ingredients that draw influence from the Maroons of Jamaica who originated the world famous jerk tradition. Our coffee lounge has a delightful selection of mouth-watering Caribbean fruit and sponge cakes which we team with Jamaica’s finest Blue Mountain coffee or our specialty Kenyan or herbal teas. On Fridays and Saturdays you can enjoy your food while listening to smooth jazz.

www.themaroonsrestaurant.co.uk

Tel: 020 7790 5132 Email: Info@themaroonsrestaurant.co.uk Web: www.themaroonsrestaurant.co.uk The Maroons , 514 Commercial Road, Limehouse, London, E1 0HY


26 | THE VOICE JUNE 20 - 26, 2013

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How could this affect you?

Payment of various Govt duties which will depend on the value of the Estate and land.

1) ARE YOU THINKING OF BUYING LAND OR A PROPERTY IN JAMAICA? As of 1 January this year the Jamaican Government requires all overseas purchasers to hold a Taxpayer Registration Number (TRN) before you can buy the property. This will be necessary for all contact with the Revenue Dept and payment of your tax liabilities. We can assist you to apply and successfully register your TRN so you can buy the property of your dreams. 2) PROPERTY TAXES

Although you may believe you are the owner, without Title you

For example, in Jamaica these have DOUBLED since April

may not be able to get a mortgage, sell the land or sub-divide

YOU MAY THINK YOU OWN YOUR LAND, BUT HAVE

it. It will make it difficult to evict tenants who don’t pay rent,

YOU CHECKED LATELY?

squatters or even relatives who won’t go.

i

It is recommended you check the Title regularly.

interest and penalty charges. Austerity is biting throughout the

What can you do?

i

Who knows if your family have tried to register the land in

as it can.

Firstly you will need to find out who is registered with the Land

their name or the Government has placed charges against

Registry as the owner. If it’s you, then you can breathe a sigh

the Land.

of relief and rest content. i

If the land is not registered in your name, we can help.

If not, then you will need to find out:

We specialise in helping people in the UK who have

If the land was left to you by a relative with a Will, why hasn’t

property – related issues and through our offices in the UK

i

2013 and must be paid on time to avoid vigorously enforced Caribbean as the Government tries to collect as much revenue We can assist and advise you with all of these matters.

For advice and information, please do not hesitate to contact us. Tel: 020 8655 4466

www.cookpartners.com Authorised and regulated by Solicitors Regulation Authority no 45440


WINDRUSH

JUNE 20 - 26, 2013 THE VOICE | 31

Cook & Partners

Solicitors

Congratulations

&

To all

On the occasion of the 65th Anniversary of the Windrush

Who we are and what we do

i

We are a team of lawyers experienced in both England, Jamaica and the Caribbean. We are at home in any of these jurisdictions. We specialise in helping people in the UK who have property-related legal business in the Caribbean. As well as our office in London we have a base in Kingston, better to serve customers in both countries.

i Buying and Selling i Surveys and Valuations i Land Registration i Realtors (Estate Agents) i Property Management i Making a Will i Inheritance and Probate i Family Land i Birth/Marriage/Death documentation

i

If you would like to email us an outline of your problem, we will try to respond within 48 hours, Monday to Friday. We also offer

COMPLETELY FREE

advice on any matter relating to Caribbean property law up to 45 minutes per visit. Call or email us to arrange this. We may need to see documents you have, or copies of them, before we can help. 241 Lower Addiscombe Road Croydon Surrey CR0 6RD UK Tel: 020 8655 4466 Fax: 020 8656 7755 lawyers@itjamaica.com www.cookpartners.com

www.cookpartners.com Authorised and regulated by Solicitors Regulation Authority no 45440


32 | THE VOICE JUNE 20 - 26, 2013

WINDRUSH

Coverage of the T

HE WINDRUSH sinking in the ocean en-route to the UK, British parliamentary cabinet meetings and a ‘welcoming reception’ on a ‘military scale’ were all reported by the Jamaican newspaper The Daily Gleaner leading up to the docking of the ship in June 1948. According to published reports from 65 years ago the 14,400-ton ex-troopship anchored off the Thames estuary harbour with 492 West Indians aboard, who were welcomed by government welfare officers and press officers. The broadsheet also reported that the first stop for the job-

seekers was an air-raid shelter in Clapham south London, which had been used by Londoners during the Blitz. A British correspondent for the paper quoted a Ministry of Labour official giving his assurance that the men, ‘being British subjects,’ would be given the fullest assistance to obtain jobs. The paper also reported on speculation of the apparent demise of the ship. News ‘swept Kingston like a forest fire’ ten days before the Windrush was due in the UK after it was rumoured that the ship had sunk in the ocean.


WINDRUSH

JUNE 20 - 26, 2013 THE VOICE | 33

Windrush as it was We look at how The Gleaner, 65 years ago, covered this momentous event in history

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34 | THE VOICE JUNE 20 - 26, 2013

WINDRUSH

ADVERTORIAL

INTERNATIONAL SUCCESSION:

UK-JAMAICA Windrush , expert opinion by Alimi Banjoko, International Lawyer

W

ills, probate, intestacy, administration, trust, settlement, and succession are inter-related and important terms that everyone needs to become familiar with when dealing with rights and entitlement to property across generations.

WORKING DEFINITIONS ARE:

Will: instructions, usually a document, detailing the distribution of assets. Probate: settling an estate after filing will with the court. Administration: settling an estate without instructions in a will or with an imperfect will. Intestacy: being deceased without a valid will. Settlement: transfer of property over multiple generations.

Trust: legal ownership and management of property for the benefit of others. The mass migration from Jamaica to the UK set in motion an intricate relationship of the law succession between the two countries. Fortunately, the legal systems are nearly identical with minor changes or divergences as one would expect with constitutional independence and the passage of time. The early migrants of fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters invariably

had ties to property in Jamaica in their own right and as descendants. Overtime, these migrants, our elders, bought and acquired property in the UK. In the same vein, they bought property in Jamaica and other countries. The ensuing descendant generations now find themselves in the fortunate position of being successors to property in the UK, Jamaica and elsewhere. The elements of succession and the related legal issues between the two coun-

tries are widespread. In some instances, proper legal counsel is sought and their advice implemented. On the other hand some ascendants failed to seek counsel resulting administration having to be followed. A valid will by a UK domiciliary, contested or uncontested, that covers property in the UK and Jamaica must first be probated in the UK. To transfer the property located in Jamaica, the will must be presented or re-sealed by the court in Jamaica. The process is reversed

if the testator is domiciled in Jamaica. In the event that there is no will, intestacy, then the process of administration is followed with application for Letters of Administration. Administration invariably involves succession rights or entitlement to property that are controlled by statutory provisions of the country in with the person died. Further, they are legally entitled regardless of citizenship, nationality, domicile or residence. Hence, an elaborate process of discovery or location must be followed. This seek, find, and transfer endeavor can be very expensive and time consuming. Finally, property can be distributed with the use of voluntary trusts in the will. In the event of minors and certain

protected class of individuals the administration process mandates the use of statutory trusts until emancipation and other conditions are met. This brief outline of the succession process between Jamaica and the UK shows that planning is vital and age old myths must be buried. Besides, the route chosen or allowed to happen will dictate the cost and time involved and how much is ultimately passed on to the beneficiaries or heirs. ‘Let thy will be done and or thy property be trusted in good hands!’

ALIMI BANJOKO Foreign Legal Consultant and Attorney-at-law (Jamaica) Banjoko McGlashan Wieslaw E: www.banjokomcglashanlaw.com W: ab@banjokomcglashanlaw.com


WINDRUSH

JUNE 20 - 26, 2013 THE VOICE | 35

DID YOU KNOW…?

Jermaine Haughton trawls through the rich history surrounding the Windrush 1. Before 1948, the ship, named Monte Rosa was used for cruises in pre-war Germany, and then as a German troopship and prisoner transport ship, before being captured by the British and taken as a war prize.

rope via Empire Windrush. 5. On the 50th anniversary of the arrival of West Indians to Britain, a public open space in Brixton was renamed Windrush Square.

2. Once under British control, the ship was renamed Empire Windrush, after a river in a minor tributary of the Thames, running between the Cotswold hills and Oxford.

6. Also, in 1998 BBC2 made and broadcast a four-part series of one hour television documentaries called Windrush, celebrating the ship which brought the first wave of postwar West Indian immigrants.

3. Calypso musicians Lord Kitchener, Lord Beginner, Lord Woodbine and Mona Baptiste were all aboard the first group of West Indian migrants on Empire Windrush.

7. Empire Windrush’s last voyage was in February 1954 from Yokohama and Kure, Japan to the UK carrying wounded soldiers and military families from the Korean War.

4. Sixty Polish women who were displaced during the Second World War re-entered Eu-

8. To welcome West Indian workers, the 1948 British Nationality Act gave British citi-

HISTORY: Former Mayor of Southwark, Sam King (above), was aboard the Windrush. ARRIVALS: 492 immingrants were taken to Tilbury Dock (above right). BIG SHOW: The London 2012 Olympic Games paid recognition of the effect of the Windrush on British society (right)

zenship to all people living in Commonwealth countries, and full rights of entry and settlement in Britain.

which cost £28.10s (around £600 today).

9. On the vessel, 492 immigrants were taken to Tilbury near London on 22 June 1948 and were temporarily housed in the Clapham South deep shelter in southwest London.

11. Before the Empire Windrush arrived, Caribbean people had been coming to the UK from the 17th century, mainly as slaves in the domestic service of planter families returning to Britain from the Caribbean.

10. Future Mayor of Southwark, Sam King was aboard the vessel, after his family sold three cows to buy his ticket

12. Empire Windrush was the first of a large scale migration which had bought 18,000 Jamaicans to Britain by 1955.

13. The Evening Standard newspaper had paid for an aeroplane to greet Empire Windrush as it reached Britain. 14. The early West Indian Empire Windrush arrivals were notable for implementing systems that they were familiar with from back home, such as the “pardner”. 15. Part of the London 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony recognised the effect of the Windrush on British

society. 16. Enoch Powell, famous for his controversial 1968 “The Rivers Of Blood” speech, invited women from the Caribbean to Britain to train as nurses, while he was Health Minister from 1960 to 1963. 17. An advert had appeared in Jamaica’s Daily Gleaner newspaper on April 13, 1948 offering low cost transport on the ship for those wanting to come and work in the UK.

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36 | THE VOICE JUNE 20 - 26, 2013

WINDRUSH

The legacy lives on We look at how the arrival of the Windrush has been portrayed throughout the years The 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony THE 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony was one of the most watched and best-loved events of 2012. Recapturing thousands of years of British history and everything considered quintessentially English in nearly four hours was no easy feat, however the docking of the Empire Windrush at Tilbury was a big part of the celebrations.

THE WINDRUSH has been depicted by a variety of mediums throughout the years, in films, books, plays and even public ceremonies. Here we look at some of the most memorable re-enactments of the docking at Tilbury on June 22, 1948.

Small Island by Andrea Levy THIS fictional tale focuses on the personal effects of the Windrush crossing and brilliantly captures the excitement and anxiety of the time. Protagonist Hortense leaves her small island behind for a new life in the mother country, however, her introduction to Britain though welcoming was not as warm as expected. For her depiction of this pivotal time in history, author Levy won the 2004 Orange Prize for Fiction and Whitbread Book of the Year. The novel was also made into a 2009 mini-series for BBC, starring Naomie Harris and Ashley Walters.

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Book today at: www.ice.cam.ac.uk/caribbean or call +44 (0)1223 746262


WINDRUSH

JUNE 20 - 26, 2013 THE VOICE | 37

Windrush Child by John Agard GUYANESE-BORN poet John Agard cemented the emotions of the younger Windrush travellers in his generation defining poem Windrush Child. The poem focuses on the difficulty of leaving behind a home, family, Caribbean climate and stepping on a big ship and into history.

Windrush television series MARKING THE 50th anniversary of Windrush, director David Upshall produced an award-winning four-part documentary for the BBC. Using footage shot at the time, combined with contributions from great black Brits like Lenny Henry, Diane Abbott and Carroll Thompson, the documentary recapped the far-reaching effects of the Windrush from 1948 to the present day.

A Dream Across The Ocean THERE HAVE been a few plays about the Windrush but none quite like A Dream Across The Ocean. Directed by actor and author Ray Shell, the production follows the struggles of Winston Morgan, as he tries to adapt to life away from his home and the love of his life. This musical celebrates the faith and determination of the West Indian Pentecostal community who left the Caribbean to become a part of British society. Setting the story of the Windrush to music allowed this play to incorporate the powerful musical heritage of reggae, calypso and soul music brought from the collective islands.

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38 | THE VOICE JUNE 20 - 26, 2013

WINDRUSH

By Royal appointment By Mary Isokariari

T

HE ROYAL family threw open the doors of St James’s Palace to celebrate the contribution of British Caribbean communities recently. Hosted by The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, the reception on May 7 was attended by more than 200 guests of Caribbean descent from the worlds of business, politics, sport, entertainment, charity and the media. Alongside famous faces like celebrity chef Levi Roots and actor Rudolph Walker OBE were recipients of the Queen’s Honours and the High Commissioners of the Caribbean countries, who played a role in selecting the guest list. Roots, an entrepreneur who found fame on BBC’s Dragon Den, told The Voice: “I think the Prince is fantastic, I think he is misunderstood by people, perhaps even myself would have thought he was more standoffish. “Actually he is a very warm type of fellow I’ve worked

closely with him for the past three years. “As a Rasta man from Brixton to say you have friends like the next King of England is inspiring,” he added. The evening opened with music from the Pimlico Academy Steel Band who Prince Charles had first met during a visit of the secondary school in December 2012. Comedian Lenny Henry told The Voice: “My mum would have been very proud of this. It’s a really lovely thing for all these people here to celebrate the achievements of people like her in this country, as some of us have found it very hard. “If we thought we hadn’t come from anywhere this is proof that we have…and now we’ve got to take advantage of that.” The actor’s mother Winifred had moved to the UK from Jamaica in the 1950s as part of one of the early waves of Caribbean migration. This year also marks the 65th anniversary of the arrival of the SS Windrush in Tilbury in 1948, which brought West Indian workers to help rejuvenate post-war Britain. Singer Beverley Knight echoed Henry in paying tribute to

her parents. “Being here with my mum is very special because the whole path to this point started with my parents,” she said. “Looking around the room and seeing so many people of Caribbean origin it’s like, wow, we’ve come a long way. “I’ve been to the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool, the contrast of the images of our ancestors in chains enslaved – their blood helped to build places like this – and now here we are, their sons and daughters, in this palatial building meeting the future heir to the throne. “It’s an affirmation of who we are, where we’ve come and our place in British society. It’s a positive statement to say thank you for your contribution.” Actress, presenter and broadcaster Baroness Floella Benjamin described the evening as “overwhelming”. “The amount of diversity we have in this room is just incredible…it’s taken a long time and we have a long way to go, but we can show our communities and ancestors after all the things they have been through that we are survivors. We can succeed and we will

succeed if we keep on going and that’s what tonight has shown me,” she added. “I feel rejuvenated. We can’t let our colour hold us back. We must believe in ourselves, and feel worthy, and tell our children, ‘yes we can’.”

Caribbean community celebrated by Prince of Wales

EYE TO EYE: His Royal Highness with Reggae Reggae sauce entrepreneur Levi Roots

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WINDRUSH

JUNE 20 - 26, 2013 THE VOICE | 39

Passage to the Mother Country IN THIS segment of the official copy of the Windrush passenger list we get an in-depth look into the lives and careers of the men and women who came to Britain to help re-build the country. The register records not only the names and ages but also the skills and careers of the passengers, many of whom were machinists, nurses, accountants, clerks and schoolteachers.

Some of the names of the men and women who changed the face of Britain forever


40 | THE VOICE JUNE 20 - 26, 2013

WINDRUSH

Cook & Partners

Solicitors

Congratulations

&

To all

On the occasion of the 65th Anniversary of the Windrush

Who we are and what we do

i

We are a team of lawyers experienced in both England, Jamaica and the Caribbean. We are at home in any of these jurisdictions. We specialise in helping people in the UK who have property-related legal business in the Caribbean. As well as our office in London we have a base in Kingston, better to serve customers in both countries.

i Buying and Selling i Surveys and Valuations i Land Registration i Realtors (Estate Agents) i Property Management i Making a Will i Inheritance and Probate i Family Land i Birth/Marriage/Death documentation

i

If you would like to email us an outline of your problem, we will try to respond within 48 hours, Monday to Friday. We also offer

COMPLETELY FREE

advice on any matter relating to Caribbean property law up to 45 minutes per visit. Call or email us to arrange this. We may need to see documents you have, or copies of them, before we can help. 241 Lower Addiscombe Road Croydon Surrey CR0 6RD UK Tel: 020 8655 4466 Fax: 020 8656 7755 lawyers@itjamaica.com www.cookpartners.com

www.cookpartners.com Authorised and regulated by Solicitors Regulation Authority no 45440