43rd Bangladesh Independence Day marked at the Rochdale Town Hall

43rd independence day of Bangladesh was marked at a gathering at Rochdale town hall on Wednesday 26th March 2014.

The Bangladesh flag was raised by the Mayor Cllr Peter Rush outside the town hall in the presence of of the Bangladeshi community, elected members, guests and friends. This was followed by a gathering in the town hall exchange and the Mayor’s parlour.

Keith Swift (RBPP – Chairperson) welcomed everyone to the gathering on behalf of the Rochdale Bangladeshi Partnership Project (RBPP). The event was conducted by Mohammed Dobir Miah who gave a brief history of the Bangladesh Independence and of the British Bangladeshi community in Rochdale. Dr Musharraf Hussain (RBPP – Vice Chair) talked about his recollection of the liberation and how we should all unite in peace.

Rochdale Borough Council Leader, Colin Lambert said: “We’ve introduced our new official policy on flag raisings, to help us celebrate our rich and diverse community. Bangladesh Independence Day was the third day in recent weeks to be marked by a flag-raising ceremony. It follows St Patrick’s Day & Pakistan Day, St George’s Day will be celebrated on April 23rd. It is important for us to mark events and anniversaries like these which are close to our residents’ hearts.”

Cllr Farooq Ahmed (who is one of 2 councillors of Bangladeshi heritage and an advisor to RBPP); thanked everyone for attending and talked about his experience of Bangladesh and the good work of the partnership.

Andy Kelly who is working with RBPP on the ‘Sylhet to Rochdale; a young people’s Bangladeshi heritage project’ briefly talked about the initiative and asked for volunteers to come forward “The RBPP hopes to exchange and foster mutual understanding between British Bangladeshis and indeed other communities. It hopes to showcase the history, tradition and culture to the people of Rochdale and is working with young people on a heritage project and later this year we will hold an exhibition on Bangladesh in partnership with Link4Life at Touchstones.

Mohammed Dobir Miah (RBPP Co-ordinator) said: “I pay homage to all the departed souls who have sacrificed their lives for the freedom of our beloved motherland that we know today as Bangladesh – may they rest in peace. On the occasion of the 43rd Independence Day, I wish all Bangladeshi’s in Rochdale and around the world the very best wishes on behalf of RBPP & BACP. I hope that our heritage project will help the next generation to learn and understand about their identity and roots. I’m really pleased that the local authority has put in place a policy to mark these occasions and I am equally delighted that we are attracting a diverse audience and I welcome everyone including members of the indigenous community.”

The Mayor of Rochdale – Councillor Peter Rush, the Leader of Rochdale Borough Council – Cllr Colin Lambert were the chief guests. Those present included Councillors from all three parties on Rochdale Council, Jim Taylor – Rochdale Borough Council Chief Executive, Linda Fisher – Rochdale Borough Council Deputy Chief Executive, community members, BACP Board of Directors (past and present), and members of RBPP.

Muhibur Rahman (Chairman of BACP), thanked everyone for attending the flag raising and gathering. He also expressed his appreciation on behalf of the Bangladeshi community for the support provided by Rochdale Borough Council and talked about the great diversity in our borough.

The event to mark independence day was wholly funded by the RBPP.

The RBPP work to exchange and foster mutual understanding between British Bangladeshis and indeed other communities.

The Rochdale Bangladeshi Partnership Project was established in 2008 and in the following year (2009) established the Rochdale & Sylhet Friendship Link.

It is currently working on a heritage project to showcase the history, tradition and culture to the people of Rochdale. To find out more about the work of the Rochdale Bangladeshi Partnership Project please visit: www.rbpp.org.uk