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Chair of Harlow Council launches Black History Month

Lifestyle / Sun 12th Oct 2014 pm31 08:11pm

BeckettBlack HistTHE CHAIR of Harlow Council launched Black History Month in Harlow last week.

It is only fair, as cllr Ian Beckett puts so much hard work into everything he does, that we reproduce his speech in full.

Cllr Beckett said: “It gives me great pleasure as Chairman of Harlow Council to say a few words at this wonderful Multicultural Festival.

“No-one will deny that our once vibrant Market Square is looking a bit tired and neglected. But today it will once again spring back to life with energy and vivacity.

“There will be music and dancing and community creativity as we unlock our imaginations and celebrate how wonderful life here in Harlow can be when we move away from thinking about ourselves as individuals and share the richness of our heritage and culture openly with everyone.

“And lest we forget. We will also take time to reflect on those who gave up their lives one hundred years ago during world war one. They gave up their lives so that we as a town and as a country might live in peace and safety. They expected the war to last months not years. And they expected it to be a war to end all wars and sadly they we wrong. Lest we forget those who continue to put their lives on the line so that we might live in peace and safety.

“When we look at the names of our war dead on the towns memorials they are comparatively few in number. But we forget that in 1914 what we now call “Old Harlow” was a small market town surrounded by the villages of Churchgate, Latton, Netteswell, Great and Little Parndon, Potter Street, and Tye Green. The loss of the lives, of those thirty or forty brave men, would have been devastating to that small rural community.

“I believe we have a duty to remember those who gave up their lives for our town. In both world wars and subsequent wars near and far. We have a duty to educate our young people about both the necessity and the futility of war. We need to demonstrate to them how quickly divisions within society can become venomous and hateful and fuel the conditions that can lead to war. Lest we forget that if we work together as a community we can lay and maintain the foundations for peace.

“So yes, we must look back in order to look forward. War will always be futile if we do not learn from it.

“But allow me to return to today’s festivities. There is a wonderful programme ahead of you. Boogieing and Belly Dancing, the phenomenal voice of Lady Saffron, and African Dance and Drumming from Efua Say Cultural Academy.

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