Unique anthem takes centre stage in Lambeth Council’s Windrush Day celebrations

Lambeth Council will premiere its very own Windrush anthem as part of the annual Windrush Day celebrations on Tuesday.

Rush has been commissioned by Pegasus Opera and produced by Des Oliver, and will premiere at 2pm in Brixton Village and on the Pegasus YouTube channel

The song has also been distributed to all Lambeth schools for pupils to learn for future performances.  

Windrush Day on Tuesday June 22 is an annual celebration with people across the country singing songs and celebrating how Empire Windrush shaped British heritage, with Lambeth Council holding its own celebrations titled ‘I Am Here’.  

As part of those celebrations, the council has also recorded a special version of Billy Cliff’s song ‘You Can Get It If You Really Want’.

It is asking people to play it at 10.27am or sing along on Colourful Radio, with the time paying tribute to the 1027 passengers who arrived in the HMT Empire Windrush in 1948.

There will also be a new Windrush Emblem created by a local artist Seonaid Gowdie posted around the borough. 

Residents can support this by using the templates on the Lambeth Council website, created by Gowdie, to create their own artworks. 

Cllr Sonia Winifred, Lambeth’s Cabinet Member for Equalities and Culture, said: “It is important we reflect on the discrimination and challenges they faced, while also celebrating their huge contribution to all areas of British life, not least public service and the arts.”

This comes after the government gave communities across the country £500,000 to host events marking the third national Windrush Day. 

The Government and this year’s projects have a particular focus on working with schools and recording the memories and testimonies of the Windrush generation for the future. 

‘I AM HERE’: Seonaid Gowdie emblem for Windrush Day 2021

Paulette Simpson CBE and chair of the Windrush Community Funds said: “This year we have focused on schools in order to share stories about the Windrush generation and their descendants, so that children will know, and always remember, the enormous contributions the Windrush Generation made and continue to make for this country.”

Windrush Day marks the anniversary of the arrival of MV Empire Windrush at the Port of Tilbury, near London, on 22 June 1948. 

The day celebrates those who arrived on the Empire Windrush, their descendants and those who followed them, and the enormous contribution made to Britain. 

This included vital work in rebuilding the country and public services following World War Two and also enriching social, economic, cultural and religious life. 

To take part in Windrush or for more information on the work Lambeth are doing please visit their website

Featured Image Credit: Duncan C on Flickr (Empire Windrush Graffiti in Bristol)

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