08 Nov 2013
Stansted today (Nov 8) hosted a ceremony to mark the 40th anniversary of the arrival of Ugandan Asians in the UK who fled Uganda in the 70's.
Over 100 dignitaries, including some of those who fled Uganda 40 years ago, gathered in the terminal to unveil a plaque, inaugurated by HM Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Lord Petre, on behalf of HM the Queen, to commemorate the airport’s role in the airlift.
Praful Patel, Chair of the India Overseas Trust, which has organised the 40th Anniversary Year programme said:
"Since their arrival in Britain, the thousands of people forced to leave Uganda, with no more than £50 and one suitcase of belongings, have contributed to business, the professions, politics, arts and science. We will always be grateful to the people of Britain for their welcome and friendship in a dark hour."
Stansted Airport saw the arrival of a small group of Ugandan Asians, expelled by Idi Amin in 1972. They were the first of some 28,500 to be welcomed to Britain, and over the last year the anniversary of this event has been marked by a number of high profile events.
Marcella M’Rabety, Stansted Airport’s Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, said:
"Stansted Airport is very pleased to support the India Overseas Trust as it marks the 40th anniversary of the arrival of Ugandan Asians from Uganda. We’re also pleased be the home of the commemorative plaque that remembers this special anniversary."