National Service Commemorating Windrush 75

A National Service commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the departure of The Empire Windrush for Britain in 1948 will be held at the Kingston Parish Church, South Parade, on Wednesday, May 24 at 10.00 am. The Service at which the Archbishop of the West Indies and Bishop of Jamaica and The Cayman Islands, The Most Rev. Howard Gregory, will be the Celebrant and Preacher, is among several activities being coordinated by the National Library of Jamaica to highlight this milestone event.

Other clergy officiating with Archbishop Gregory will be the Rt. Rev. Garth Minott, Suffragan Bishop of Kingston, and The Rev. Father Louis Hurst, Rector of The Kingston Parish Church.

The HMT Empire Windrush is best remembered for transporting one of the first large groups of Jamaican and Caribbean nationals to the United Kingdom to help rebuild that country following the Second World War. Many of them had served during the War and were highly skilled.

The Bishop of Kingston, The Rt. Rev. Garth Minott, notes that the Commemorative Service provides “an opportunity to thank God for these pioneers and other migrants who subsequently became known as the Windrush Generation. Despite racism and the many other challenges which they experienced, they also contributed to the development of Jamaica through remittances and the sharing of skills which they acquired in England.” 

A rich suite of hymns by Jamaican and Caribbean composers is included on the programme, with the singing being led by The National Chorale of Jamaica, directed by Mr. Winston Ewart. Other musical offerings will be presented by noted organist, Mr. Dwight McBean, and The Alpharians, an ensemble of seasoned musicians, several of whom have been associated with the legendary Alpha Band.     

Bishops from the Province of the West Indies have also been invited to participate in a similar Service organized by the Church of England at the Southwark Cathedral in London on June 22, the date on which the Empire Windrush docked in Tilbury, Essex 75 years ago.   

Other local activities spearheaded by the National Library of Jamaica, in partnership with sister agencies, include a Panel Discussion at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on May 25 and a Travelling Exhibition at Parish Libraries island-wide from May 29 – June 22.

Please click here for the link to the Service on May 24.

The Calendar of Activities may be accessed on our Social Media platforms.