By Greg Dawson
Last Saturday the Caribbean Culture Club held its inaugural meet-up at Rawthorpe Community Centre, bringing together local members of the African Caribbean British descent community.
The small event in Rawthorpe gathered together residents from across the Caribbean community in celebration of their heritage, organised by Pat Lewis, Natalie Pinnock-Hamilton, Mycil Muhammad and Louise Muhammad.
The meet up focused on the two cultural pillars of Caribbean cuisine and traditional music including reggae, ska and blue beat. Interactive activities where held teaching the history of Caribbean food, flags of the Caribbean and national dishes.
Traditional colours of green yellow and blue adorned the community hall along with traditional flags, showing unity between the Caribbean islands.
Founding member, Louise Muhammad told us about the event’s beginnings:
“I and two other members of the community [Phil James and Barrington Douglas] had discussed a couple of years before to establish a ‘Caribbean Day’ in Huddersfield as we felt beside the Deighton Carnival and Black History Month there was little else that brought the community together in significant numbers.
“We recognised that The Jo Cox Great Get Together model was a good place to start. This is a national initiative that started shortly after the murder of Batley/Birstall MP as she famously said with regards to communities ‘there are more things we have in common than divide us’.
“Really it’s about creating community cohesion and getting to know your neighbours better.”
“We decided that we could actually create an event that, at its heart, brought members of our own community together in a cohesive spirit. The reality is becoming that the only time many of us see each other now is sadly at funerals.”
The group is set to grow as more events are planned to bring together more of the community and breach the generational gap between youngster and elders.
Louise told us: “this is our first event, and the main focus of the club is to bring Caribbean people and their culture into the mainstream.
“This will consist of organising community events but also trips to other events such as cinemas, theatres and restaurants that have a link to Black or Caribbean-ness.
“It will also include making sure we are part of any major consultations and development plans in Kirklees.
“The Team would like to thank the funders, caterers, DJ 45, donators (Verna for sewing the tablecloths and runners), and volunteers for all their contributions in making today possible. If we come together we can achieve amazing things in our community.”
Check some more photos from the event below.
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