We need a commemorative stamp to celebrate 70th anniversary of The Windrush

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The 70th anniversary of the arrival of the MV Empire Windrush at Tilbury Docks in June 2018 is a chance to reach across our many different ethnic, faith and family heritages, to reject prejudice and intolerance, and to shape a fair and inclusive future that we all want to share. This and every year, Windrush Day should be an inclusive celebration of the Britain that we are proud to call home. Windrush Day is an opportunity to give thanks for the positive contributions made by those who have come from overseas to Britain to our common home.

All of us – whether we are immigrants ourselves, the children and grandchildren of immigrants, or able to trace our family histories back to much earlier arrivals to Britain – have a responsibility to uphold a positive vision of multi-ethnic and multi-faith Britain as a shared society which is welcoming, just and fair to all.

The image of the Windrush ship was voted by the public as one of the 100 most iconic symbols of British history in 2011.  Also the ship was used as part of the opening Ceremony of Olympic Games and Cultural Olympiad in 2012. There has also been a growing campaign to promote the idea of a Windrush Day as national holiday to celebrate the contribution of migrant communities and cultural diversity.

Many aspects of British society today would be unrecognisable without the contributions which immigration and integration have made to our society over the generations: from the NHS to the monarchy, our language, literature, enterprise, public life, fashion, music, politics, science, our culture and food, even humour

That is why it is disappointing that the Royal Mail will not recognise 70th anniversary of the Windrush and the Windrush legacy to issue a commemorative stamp. The main reason is that there current policy only recognises anniversaries which are 50, 100 or 150 years. Although the Royal Mail have issues stamps around the 50th anniversary of Notting Hill Carnival and notable individuals. This means that this policy will deny the recognition and contribution and achievement of living migrants for another 30 years.  Why should we wait until 2048 as part of the 100th anniversary of the Windrush especially as there was not commemorative stamp in 1998 to recognise the 50th anniversary?

 



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