The Windrush service at Westminster Abbey
Are we celebrating generation’s contribution to Britain?
Are we acknowledging the difficulties Caribbean migrants went through?
I was there, and it was all smiles and laughter, but was it?
What are your views?
This was the nation’s first official WindrushDay at Westminster Abbey. This day not only belongs to the Windrush pioneers and their descendants but to the whole country.
The Guardian newspaper wrote:
Westminster Abbey filled with music, laughter and solemn reflection as 2,000 people gathered to celebrate the contribution of the Windrush generation and their descendants.
On Friday, 70 years after the MV Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury in Essex in 1948, carrying about 500 hopeful migrants, a service was held to recognise the contribution of the Windrush generation to British society – and acknowledge the difficulties they had overcome.
Steel drums rang out the hymn Amazing Grace as guests entered, and a joyous rendition of Jesus, hold my hand by the Windrush 70th Anniversary Choir, had the congregation clapping along.
Many Windrush settlers applied to job adverts with the hope of finding long-term employment in the UK, having gained a type of citizenship under the British Nationality Act of 1948, but faced racism, discrimination and distrust.
The congregation heard original testimonies. Some made them laugh (“Why is it so cold? Why is everything in tins?”), others were met in solemn silence as they heard of people being told “Blackies should be seen and not heard” and of the hurt caused by signs saying: “No dogs, no Irish, no blacks.” Under her breath, a guest said: “I remember that. It was awful.”
Read more – The Guardian newspaper