News: Tribute paid to Fellow in the House of Commons
Published: 3 Jul 2020
Patrick Vernon (CF 2018) was commended in a House of Commons debate last week for his work leading the campaign for Windrush Day for many years. Windrush Day was introduced in June 2018 on the 70th anniversary of the Windrush migration, following a successful campaign led by Patrick, to recognise the migrant contribution to UK society.
“I believe this could be a source of inspiration for generations of black, brown and white people in Britain.” - Patrick Vernon, Fellow
Dulwich and West Norwood MP Helen Hayes paid tribute to Patrick and said: "I want to start by paying tribute to Patrick Vernon who led the campaign for Windrush Day for many years. I am proud to represent a consistency with one of the strongest connections to the Windrush."
Helen added: “It is easy for celebration of the Windrush Generation to become sentimental, commemorating the positive story of people who came at the invitation of the British government and helped to rebuild a country decimated by the second world war and to establish the NHS.”
This year, Patrick once again was at the forefront of the campaign calling for the anchor of the Empire Windrush ship, which brought some of the first migrants from the Caribbean to the UK in 1948, to be salvaged from underwater wreckage and turned into a public monument.
He said: “I believe this monument featuring the anchor of the Empire Windrush could be a source of inspiration for generations of black, brown and white people in Britain seeking to understand racism, white privilege, and trying to establish a society where citizenship and belonging is for all.”
The ship sunk in 1954 when a fire started on board and the wreckage is currently located under the Western Mediterranean Sea, about 23 nautical miles off the coast of Algeria. The campaign led by Patrick aims to raise £500,000 to be able to recover the iconic anchor which will symbolise the vital role the Windrush Generation, their children and grandchildren have played in creating a prosperous, multicultural British society.