Friday, April 23, 2010

St George's Day celebrations

I have just got home from a fabulous St George's Day celebration in Liverpool Town Hall. Brainchild of the Lord Mayor, Mike Storey, the event highlighted Liverpool's history as a multi-cultural city, with the oldest Chinese population in Europe and a black community dating back to 1750. Joined by Liverpool residents who orginally hailed from all round the world, and many of them now living in Kensington, we were delighted to witness the signing of the Liverpool Charter of Mutual Respect. A cross party charter first suggested by Councillor Anna Rothery a year ago, if memory serves me correctly.

We were then entertained by Polish children singing, Ghanian girls dancing, an African drumming band and a wonderful rendition of Jerusalem from Danielle, a local opera singer. I didn't write her surname down, but those who know about such things will know who she is.

And we had a bowl of halal scouse, very thoughtful planning by the organisers.

It was a good evening, well done to the Lord Mayor for coming up with the idea of celebrating being English and St George by embracing new British Citizens and community leaders from other countries.

I met a lovely Kenyan couple living in Norris Green who are working closely with the community in Kensington, I have promised to come and spend some time with them and their members. It was also good to welcome many friends from Kensington and Fairfield's community groups - Cameroons, Congolese, Polish, Indian Christians etc.

And I had a good chat with the Arch Deacon about ongoing plans for St John's, St Mary's and St Cyprians - once I had recognised him in his civvies.

Everyone had a fabulous time and there were flash bulbs going off all night as people had themselves photographed in their cultural dress against the wonderful backdrop of the Large Ballroom.

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