Kingston, 23 June 2021 — Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, yesterday, June 22, delivered a Statement in Parliament to mark the 73rd Anniversary of the arrival of the ship, MV Empire Windrush, in the United Kingdom on June 22, 1948.
The ship transported Jamaican and Caribbean migrants to the United Kingdom to fill demand for labour after World War Two.
Minister Grange’s Statement followed a display of the Windrush Flag by a bi-partisan group of Parliamentarians at the front of Gordon House. The group included the Honourable Dr. Horace Chang, Deputy Prime Minister; the Culture Minister; the Leader of Opposition Business, Mr. Anthony Hilton; and Dr. Morais Guy, Opposition Spokesman on Health.
The Windrush Flag was donated by Dr. Guy’s brother, who is a Director of Windrush Generations UK. The Minister announced that it will be passed on to the National Library of Jamaica, so that it can form part of the National Collection, “and be a source of inspiration for generations yet unborn.”
The importance of the Windrush Generation was previously highlighted by the Ministry of Culture in August 2019.
Minister Grange said:
“At that time, I unveiled a mural exhibition at the departure lounge at the Norman Manley International Airport, in collaboration with the British Council, to pay tribute to the Windrush Generation.
“I wanted us to always remember the harsh transatlantic journey, the dramatic change in weather conditions from a tropical climate, and the battle with racism that our migrants had to endure. We should all honour them, as they faced these challenges head-on, and in true Jamaican and Caribbean style they overcame them.”
That exhibition of painted panels, which can be moved from place to place, featured works by both British and Jamaican artists. The Minister said that included in the exhibition were works of art by Honey Williams from the United Kingdom, and Jamaicans Rosemarie Chung, Sheldon Blake, Tiana Anglin, Kirk Cockburn and Jamila Cooper.
“This was my strategy to highlight the creative genius of our people, which has been passed on down through to the descendants of the Windrush migrants. Honey Williams is a Briton whose roots are in the Windrush generation.”
The events at Gordon House complemented those staged at town halls throughout England, the Headquarters of the UK Home Office, the Network Rail in 20 stations across the UK, and the Houses of Parliament at Westminster Palace, in either displaying or unfurling the Windrush Flag.