By John Mair in London
CaribWorldNews, LONDON, England, Tues. July 6, 2010: Normally it is full of the white aristocratic crème de la creme of British Society. But, on Friday, July 2nd virtually every face in the House of Lords Dining Room was black.
The British black elite were out in force to join two of their more prominent-the Baronesses Amos and Scotland-in awarding the Amos Bursaries to bright black young men on the way to or at University. The founding principle: Education is not a guarantee of great wealth or riches but is the guarantee against abject poverty.`
Lady Amos, currently High Commissioner to Australia, and previously the Labor Leader of the Lords, set up the bursary scheme a year ago in honor of her Guyanese educator parents Michael and Dolly who died within a week of each other in 2008. Money has come in from far and wide-one donation last Friday from a City of London Livery company for £10,000-meaning 13 students have been given up to £1,500 per year to help them with books, fees and living.
Students like Saed Noor, the son of Somali refugees to the UK, now a journalism student at City University London. Noor has already had his work published in the prominent football magazine `Four Four Two.` He gave a very articulate speech of thanks to the fund. In his words : `Money cannot buy me what this bursary has given me.` His fellow awardees too did their best to develop the contacts and find mentors to help them.
Lady Amos was supported in the evening (and in drawing the raffle ) by her sister Colleen, who drives the Fund day to day, and her former Cabinet colleague, Dominica-born Baroness Patricia Scotland, Attorney General until the recent General Election.
Lady Scotland saluted the Amos parents, who she said, `lit up the room when they walked in.` Other members of the Bursary organizing committee included Guyanese-born Lord Waheed Alli, who sponsored the drinks and canapés on the night and novelist Ruth Rendell. All in all a black elite, enjoying and honoring another in the making.