|South Thames College Graduation|
|Wednesday, 18 July 2007 16:41|
On Tuesday I undertook Ministerial duties on a Statutory Instrument dealing with the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. In the afternoon I met Tooting residents of Sri Lankan origin and Muslim faith who belong to the Campaign for Peace and Unity in Sri Lanka. They updated me on the unfolding crisis in Sri Lanka. It is a real tragedy what is going on in that beautiful island and I shall continue to work with colleagues in Government to do what we can to help the people of Sri Lanka. I have raised this matter on the floor of the House of Commons as well as with Foreign Office Ministers.
I also hosted an event for new members of Tooting Labour Party. The last few weeks has seen record numbers of local residents joining or rejoining the Labour Party. If you are interested in joining Tooting Labour Party, you can download a membership form by clicking HERE.
Finally on Tuesday, a group of Tooting residents came to Parliament to meet me and discuss the local campaigns I have been running. As it was a nice evening (and good weather!) I took them out onto the Terrace of the House of Commons. To see a picture, click HERE.
On Wednesday I took part in the Public Bill of the Crown Employment (Nationality) Bill which is a Private Members Bill proposed by backbencher Andrew Dismore MP. After an excellent performance by the new Prime Minister Gordon Brown MP, I was a Whip on a Statutory Instrument dealing with Community Orders.
The highlight of my week, was without doubt, Thursday. In the morning I was the Chief Guest at South Thames College in Tooting at the graduation of students studying Child Care and Learning as well as Early Years Childcare and Learning. More than a hundred students and their families and lecturers attended the ceremony where we celebrated the achievements of the students. All, but one, of the students was female which was an extra reason to celebrate. Further details of the excellent work South Thames do can be found by clicking HERE. You can see a photo of me with a graduate by clicking HERE.
In the afternoon, I attended the Ismaili Centre in South Kensington for the opening of the "Spirit and Life" exhibition by HRH the Prince of Wales and the Aga Khan. The exhibition is amazing as it contains masterpieces of Islamic Art from the Aga Khan Museum Collection. The Aga Khan Trust for Culture deserves huge credit for the work they are doing in revitalising culture. For more details follow this LINK.
Later on that afternoon I attended the inaugural Balham and Tooting Community Association (BACTA) Community Awards. BACTA's current members are local faith bodies, community and business organisations, the Metropolitan Police and others. The Award Ceremony was a fantastic opportunity to pay tribute to many of the unsung local heroes who help make our community so wonderful. As a judge I found it extremely hard to limit the number of awards to be given out. Everyone deserved an award. I was privileged to be able to present an award to my good friend from Age Activity Centre, Celeste Nri.
On Friday, My children and I had the joy of attending St Boniface (RC) Primary School schools presentation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, performed by Year 6. The pupils, staff and helpers put on a great show which all of us in the audience thoroughly enjoyed.
On Saturday and Sunday, in addition to campaigning in Ealing Southall I attended the presentation of trophies to footballers at Doverhouse Lions FC. The Lions are an under-14s community football academy for children based in Wandsworth and two of their teams, the under 9s and the under 10s won their respective leagues this season.
I also attended the 37th Anniversary Thanksgiving Celebration of the United Amalgamated Fraternal Association at Holy Trinity Church. The UAFA were established in 1970 and is a friendly, social, charitable and benevolent organisation which does a huge amount of excellent work in Wandsworth. Reverend Hugh Greer delivered the Church Sermon and was his usual witty and inspiring self.
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