Duggie’s Ramblings – January 2023
This year 2023, there is a Diamond Jubilee celebration-in June (early notification!) What is the reason? It is the 75th anniversary of the first arrival of the Windrush generation from the West Indies; so named because the first newcomers travelled to the United Kingdom by sea aboard HMT (His Majesty’s Transport) Windrush; they were invited to come and settle, by the then Labour government, for there were many employment vacancies. The year was 1948; they continued to come under this government scheme until 1951. To meet the requirements of the post war recovery, particularly, the needs of the newly created NHS adults and children travelled on one passport. The Second World War in Europe had only ended in May 1945.
1948 was also a year for an English national disaster, Australia, fielding one of their best ever sides had thrashed England at cricket. The Australians were led by one of the greatest ever cricketers Donald Bradman -later knighted (in his final test at the Kennington Oval) the crowd stood as Donald Bradman -‘The Don’ -came out to bat for the last time before retiring. He was bowled by Hollies for 0- his Test average 99.9! So, when the recently arrived Windrush families saw the hoardings on the newspaper stands announcing ‘England collapses’, they wondered if they had made the right decision! Fortunately, they soon realised that sport is part of the warp and weft of English life.
So, this year is a time to celebrate the multi national and racial nature of our society and the vital contribution made by people from countries around the world who arrived to make their home here, particularly those from the West Indies whose descendants are now fourth generation from the first arrivals in 1948. My own family is not untypical of the times in which we now live; they come from the Middle East (India) and Near East (Palestine) New Zealand, Spain and Italy, regrettably no one from Wales. Though we do have a Jones!
There was recently a census 2021 voluntary answers to a question about religion were puzzling. Perhaps it was a lack of definition of the word religion. Included in the religious believed category section one answer was ‘Satanists’-there are apparently 5,000 in the UK ha! ha! In the no religion section, at least 15% believed in an after life. The word religion, Christianity inherited from the Roman culture where it consisted of rights and duties under the pantheon of gods and Fate-the purpose was to bind the people together. Christianity inherited the idea of binding people together into a community, they used the word Body-still used today in corporate and corporation, but Christianity rejected Fate, So, hospitals for the sick and universities where all could learn.to were fostered as part of Christian caritas- people were not fated to be ill or poor or ignorant. Christianity spelt out that individual’s life mattered, they were not destined to live in a miserable state of poverty as Fate dictated.
Recently, an advert held my attention – not the sugar coated television adverts – this was for an Anglican priest to serve the Anglican community in Kyiv (40% are Ukranians) and the services are in English. House (if it is still there!) provided!