Contemporary Artist

Celebrating 60 years Diversity in the NHS & Black History (Black History Month Oct 2008)

And of course there was food, the spicy aromas flowed endlessly around the balcony of the Town hall. "Trust T to find the food", I can hear you say.

It was a great privilege to be invited to take part in this eventful evening with the opportunity to display my black heroes collection of paintings. I must say the paintings looked really impressive on the display boards in the aesthetics of the Town Hall, which we had to promptly put back together for the following day's original display.

One of my paintings depicts Mary Seacole, who is greatly celebrated as the

black mother of the NHS. Mary a heroine of the Crimean war, whose application to join Florence Nightingale, was rejected, went on to treat wounded soldiers on the battlefield and was awarded several medals for bravery.

At the end of the evening, past and present NHS members were presented with a book entitled 'Many Rivers to Cross', charting the diverse history of the NHS, with the sound of the great Jimmy Cliff's classic track of the same name, cool and mellow in the background. I left the Town Hall feeling truly inspired.


On the evening of 2 nd October, the NHS celebrated their 60th Anniversary in conjunction with Black History Month. Black History Month has been celebrated in Peterborough every October since 1997.

The lavish evening was organised by Geeta Pankhania, Public Health Specialist (Ethnicity & Health) from the Public Health Department, NHS Peterborough. In partnership with Theresa Fyle from Peterborough Racial Equality Council and Jasmine Bennet from African Caribbean Forum. The event was held at the Town Hall in the centre of Peterborough and was aimed at celebrating the diversity of the NHS in the community, depicting the plight and struggles of its black and ethnic members over the years.

Speakers and members came from as far afield as London to share their stories in their fight to achieve their goals or to simply make the smallest of changes. There were personal stories of achievements and entertaining poems from Peggie Price. Jean Thompson spoke of her father's life, from coming to England on the 'Windrush' (the ship that brought the first settlers from the Caribbean in 1948) to his struggles and survival as a musician in Liverpool.

Excellent live entertainment, accompanied with visual projections of some historic and poignant images, were provided by the Banner Theatre Company, whose four members are from totally different backgrounds.

The Black Heroes collection of portraits can be seen in gallery 4
Click on picture to View article as published in the November issue of the Stamford Exclusive and the Peterborough Exclusive mag.
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