When I was just a lad in the cotton mill / Paper mill town of Bolton Lancs, I am from Irish Roman Catholic decent, and my mum worked long hard shifts at a factory called Vernon`s which made disposable bed pans for hospitals, the grey ones, we have all used them in the past. In the sixties many many Indian and Pakistani people came to live in Bolton and worked alongside her, many a time she brought really tasty food home from both those counties via her workmates and even though her name was Norah Mac, many knew her as Norah Patel because of the way she integrated all, she even sometimes wore a Sari in respect of others and all respected her and loved her for doing this.
Later on when I was in secondary school one of my best friends was a lad called Dennis Barber. Dennis was Afro Caribbean and I am so proud to say we sat and ate lunch one weekend at his house with his mum and dad. The stick I got at school for this was awful but do you know, it never bothered me and even then i couldnt see the colour of the skin. In recent years i know that Dennis had become “A bit of a lad” but my schoolchild friend wasn’t like that then and we got on famously.
Going to work at sixteen in 1973 meant that all the guys from other countries had been here a while and had kids of their own, so, not only was I a 16 year old with raging hormones but all the beautiful gorgeous girls from other countries were also just staring work at 16 at the same place as me. I dont have to tell you that in those days I feared for my life as my “Then ” girlfriends dads and brothers used to chase me down the road, usually shouting at me in a language i couldnt understand (But I got the gist of it Tee Hee) lol lol because of course that kind of thing was frowned upon even more then than now.
As I got older one of my best friends I have ever worked with was a chap called Ramish Patel, we drank together we ate together and we even prayed together at one of his parties, we were very close. He used to say I have had an ENGLISH for supper tonight “!! WHATS AN ENGLISH ? I asked ?? FISH AND CHIPS he said whilst laughing so hard, well if its good enough for us to may an INDIAN or a CHINESE , then why not??
This is a little story of how I grew up in a multi racial community and how we all got on famously. It really annoys me when I hear people saying “WE have to “Bridge the divide ” INTERACT ETC
FOR GODS SAKE !! WE HAVE BEEN DOING THIS THESE LAST 50 YEARS !! Its nothing new !!!!
The MEDIA DIDN’T INVENT THIS !!
We have been living side by side with each other for generations now, and WILL CONTINUE to do so for generations to come, nothing can stop this brotherhood of cultures because we ALL NEED each other to survive.
For those of you who dont know I was myself diagnosed with dementia 9 years ago aged just 50 and believe me I dont give a RATS ASS who operates on me, who looks after me or who finds a cure for this awful disease, what colour they are , religion or where they come from.
I hope this small message helps to put recent things into perspective and I hope you share this with as many media, newspapers, friends and loved ones as you can.
May your God walk with you every step of the way .
Norrms Mc Samara