June 1995 was the month that first saw Sam King and Arthur Torrington (co-founders) working to establish a CHARITY which delivered heritage and community services, helping to create an identity for Caribbean people, especially the youth, in Britain. ‘Windrush’, ‘Empire Windrush’ and ‘Windrush Generation’ have always been key words in our operations. Both men developed the idea, but Sam was the one to have led the first Windrush
commemorative event (40th anniversary) in 1988, hosted by Lambeth Council. He was a passenger on the Empire Windrush, an RAF WWII serviceman and the first Black Mayor of Southwark, London. He was first to have coined the term, ‘Windrush Generation’, decades ago.
We requested but received no support from any Local Authority, except Lambeth, in 1998, when we celebrated the 50th anniversary. Arthur has been the Director responsible for publicity from June 1995. Sam brought together in 1988, 1998 and 2003 dozens of his fellow Windrush passengers to celebrate their arrival and as the years went by, most of them are no longer with us. With their support, Windrush Foundation built the platform on which all other Windrush organisations or projects now operate. We were first to have promoted ‘Empire Windrush’ as an ‘iconic’ image of the Caribbean presence in the UK. We have set the standard from June 1995 and established what can be termed ‘Windrush goodwill’ that determines how other Windrush organisations or projects function today. In 2018 the British Media (including the BBC), the British Government, and all other organisations also adopted the term, ‘Windrush Generation.
Below are some major WINDRUSH events, and associated activities over the past 25 years:
22.10.97: House of Commons Reception hosted by (the late) Bernie Grant MP
30.05.98: WINDRUSH – four-part series of one-hour documentaries on BBC2 TV
18.06.98: Windrush Reception at Foreign & Commonwealth Office hosted by Robin Cook MP,
and attended by Tony Blair MP, Prime Minister
22.06.98: University of London, Logan Hall: Participants included: Bill Morris, Baroness
Valerie Amos, Paul Boateng MP, Peter Bottomley MP, Professor Lola Young,
Simon Hughes MP, Trevor Phillips, Oona King MP, and others.
21.01.99: Windrush Exhibition – Hammersmith & West London College, with Connie Mark (ATS)
21.06.99: Windrush Reception – House of Commons, hosted by Paul Boateng MP.
25.06.99: Windrush Lecture – at Mander Hall, London, by Richard Hart (Historian/Solicitor)
19.06.00: Windrush Reception – House of Lords, hosted by Baroness Howells of St David’s
22.06.00: Windrush Celebration – Lambeth Town Hall, hosted by the Mayor of Lambeth
21.06.01: Windrush Celebration – HMS President, hosted by the Mayor of London (Ken
June 2008 to April 2010: Contributed to the Imperial War Museum’s Exhibition: From WAR TO WINDRUSH
2018: The HOME OFFICE created what became known as the ‘WINDRUSH SCANDAL’
2018: Prime Minister TERESA MAY MP forced to meet Commonwealth Leaders about the SCANDAL.
2018: MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT debate the SCANDAL after a major campaign led by PATRICK VERNON
2018: The BRITISH Media adopts the term ‘WINDRUSH GENERATION’ when sharing information about the
2018: The BRITISH GOVERNMENT apologies, also adopts the term, which is used in all their schemes and
projects that address the injustices inflicted on the ‘WINDRUSH GENERATION’
2018: THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT created a national WINDRUSH DAY and provided £500m annual funding
to community organisation and Local Authorities in the UK
22 June 2018: WINDRUSH SERVICE at WESTMINSTER ABBEY, attended by Teresa May MP, Prime Minister
22 June 2018: WINDRUSH’70 RECEPTION at No 10 DOWNING STREET, hosted by Teresa May MP, Prime
30 June 2018: WINDRUSH’70 event, CITY HALL, hosted by MAYOR OF LONDON, SADIQ KHAN
19 October 2018: 7th International Biennial Steelpan, Calypso & Mas Conference, The Tabernacle
All Windrush Foundation projects were funded by Heritage Lottery.