BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2022
Black History Month 2022 was about building blocks and breaking barriers to inclusion through educational events. It's been a busy month as usual where the demand for storytelling increases for both adult and children/young people's workshops. However schools and institutions are beginning to recognise the inclusion of Black History throughout the year. The highlight of my Black History Month activities was the event at RAF Marham - Aviation Heritage Centre - on Wednesday 19th October, this day was dedicated with a tribute to Justice Philip Ulric Cross. The day witnessed the unveiling of a plaque and a seminar celebrating his life in the conference room named after him. This event is an example of the building blocks to inclusion of people of colour, as Black, Asian and other minority groups have always been hidden in history.
Ulric Cross DSO, DFC was one of the most decorated West Indian Service Men of World War II, he joined the Royal Air Force and became a navigator. In June 1944 he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and in January 1945 the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in recognition of his bravery, flying over 80 sorties. Post war, Cross read law and was called to the Bar in 1949, following this he spent 16 years in Africa. He was well travelled first practicing in Ghana, then Cameroon and later became a High Court Judge in Tanzania. The plaque was unveiled by his daughter Lady Hollick OBE and GP Capt Frederick Wigglesworth. Wigglesworth Station Commander who is of African heritage felt pumped and super proud to unveil the plaque and award two veterans their WWII medals, Ralph Ottey, aged 98 and Alford Gardener aged 96 both from Jamaica.
PO Joe Joseph RN the master of ceremonies organised a wonderful and memorable event with sounds of sweetin sounds steel pan, and assisted by Warrant Officer Donald Campbell (The Forgotten Generations) the medals were officially awarded to Ottey and Gardener for the first time as well as signing of The Log Book.
This event was the cherry on the cake, but equally as sweet at the end of the month was being honoured as Best Writer 2022 in the BLAC Award RAF sponsored ceremony at Grand Sapphire Hotel on 30th October. I guess I'm going to keep writing!
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