Master of Ceremonies with ceremony speakers and Anchor Hanover staff
News 21/12/2018 Equality & diversity

Tribute at Mary Seacole House to Connie Mark

On 20 December 2018, Anchor Hanover’s Mary Seacole House in Hammersmith hosted a special tribute to Connie Mark, WWII, NHS and Windrush pioneer.

Connie lived at Mary Seacole House from 2005 to 2007. Today would have been her 95th birthday and tributes to her achievements have been published in leading newspapers. Google have made Connie's life and legacy the subject of today's Google Doodle.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1923, Connie was recruited to the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) in her late teens, where she served as a medical secretary. She came to Britain in the 1950s as part of the Windrush generation and became a leading community activist and equality and diversity campaigner.

Connie was awarded the British Empire Medal in 1992 and the Order of the British Empire (OBE) medal in 2001.

In 2008, the Nubian Jak Community Trust installed a blue plaque at Mary Seacole House in honour of Connie’s life and work. Sadly, the plaque was damaged a few years later when vandals tried to remove it. So it was cause for celebration when the Trust stepped in again to fund a brand new plaque, helped along by a donation from Google.

Master of Ceremonies Dr Jak Beula of Nubian Jak welcomed residents, ceremony speakers and Anchor Hanover staff to the event. After the speeches, the plaque was proudly unveiled and the day ended with a festive Christmas party for all to enjoy.

These kind of events are significant because they are the kind of milestones we have met to remind us not only of the service of the person that we honour, but also ourselves as a community.

H.E. Seth George Ramocan, Jamaica High Commission

Ceremony speakers

  • H.E. The Right Reverend Dr Michael Steele, CDKA (Ceremony Prayer)
  • H.E. Seth George Ramocan, Jamaica High Commission (National Tribute)
  • Goodridge Representative (Special Family Tribute)
  • Dr Margaret Busby, author of Connie Mark’s obituary (Cultural Tribute)
  • Professor Doirean Wilson, Middlesex University (Windrush and Diversity Tribute)
  • Eileen Walkin MBE, Veteran Parliamentary Staff (Personal Tribute)
  • Enid Gayle, Estate Manager at Mary Seacole House (Tribute)
  • Glenda Forde, Mary Seacole Statue Appeal & Jamaica Nurses UK (Closing Address)

Anchor Hanover's Area Manager Tracy Burgess and Estate Manager Enid Gayle thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere of this special celebration. Enid said: 'I was in awe of all the speakers and felt really inspired by the love for Connie Mark and Mary Seacole at this event.'