Happy Windrush Day, the 72nd anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush in Britain
Theirs was a response to an advertisement calling for people from the Empire to come to the Motherland .
So that they could help rebuild a country ravaged by the Second World War.
As well as a student curious for knowledge and advancement who would arrive some time later.
That young man cane from Trinidad https://www.visittrinidad.co.tt to Aberdeen University.
Inevitably he met a local, fell in love and took her back to the Caribbean.
But his greatest legacy, however, was their son Jevan.
And he became pals with a Son of Ireland.
Or at least with a lot of green blood running through him… yes, your favourite blogger ME.
I hooked up again with the legendary Jevan years later in his adopted Barbados www.vistbarbados.org.
He took me off-piste at Crop Over, or off pissed, on Foreday Morning.
And it’s the through-the-morning festival within a festival.
There was mud and paint hurled and rum thrown down the throat.
All against the background of Soca Music, steel bands and jumpin’ and chippin’.
It was the type of welcome we’d always been told we’d get.
And I’ve jumped at every chance to get back… Let’s rumba in Barbados, My kiss with Rihanna and https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/17/ready-steady-goat-racing-in-tobago/amp/. www.visittobago.gov.tt.
It would be nice to say that the same welcome was afforded the West Indians who arrived off the Windrush and the subsequent ships.
But we all know it wasn’t.
And guest houses displayed signs saying ‘No Blacks, No Irish.’
Black and Irish
It is a link that has endured over the years.
And you’ll see a healthy Irish representation at Crop Over.
And Grand Kadooment, the procession that draws the curtain down on Crop Over.
And having holidayed in Ireland as a child I was struck on arrival there as an adult for a 13-year stint https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/02/06/thirteen-years-an-irishman-my-five-irish-homes/amp/ by this poster…
‘The trouble with this country is that there aren’t enough pasty-faced white people.’
Know black, know Irish… you’ll be better for the experience.