The late Cy Grant

Film Producer Patrick Vernon gives a personal account on meeting the late Cy Grant, who was credited for his work as an actor, singer, writer and who served in the Royal Air Force during the 1940s:

“It was with deep shock to hear of the death of Cy Grant. I only had the chance to get to know him during his twilight years but it was a real honour and pleasure to learn from such a distinguished elder.

I was only in correspondence with him for about six months past when I was hoping he would be involved with this project [The Charmed Life Campaign], so that young people from Haringey would interview veterans and ex service men and women. He however, declined the offer due to ill health at the time. We spoke on a number of occasions and although he never saw my film, A Charmed Life, he received positive feedback which he kindly shared. I can even remember him sending a signed autographed copy of memoirs as a thank you in recording the life of an ex service man Eddie Martin Noble.

This makes me feel more determined to continue this oral history work and to encourage others to do the same. There are not many Cy Grants left and we need take action now to capture their stories before it’s too late.

Also, I am still pushing the idea of a Windrush Day so please sign the petition so we acknowledge the lives of people like Grant who are still unsung heroes: Windrush Petition


Generation to Generation – Free Seminar

Patrick Vernon, Director of Afiya Trust will host a free seminar on Generation to Generation: family history, cultural identity and mental well being.

Patrick will look at how heritage affects personal identity among Britain’s many diverse communities. Is the UK’s health and social care system equipped to deal with the issues surrounding cultural identity? How should heritage shape the delivery of services? On the cusp of a new decade, he asks, is it time for Britain to take radical new approach to health and well being, improving the delivery of services for everyone?

The seminar will take place on Wednesday 3rd March, 3.00pm- 5.00pm in Room B202, the Brunei Gallery, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG. (Nearest tube: Russell Square/ Goodge Street).

For further information and to book a place:

Please email to reserve your place at one of CEMVO’s Anniversary Seminars.

Haiti Relief Fundraiser

The Haiti Relief Fundraiser raised £300 towards the relief effort. The money raised will be shared with the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) and United Haitians in the UK (UHUK).

Guests at the fundraiser included Diane Abbott MP, Judith Craig (UHUK), Patrick Vernon (Cllr), Sen. Allyson Maynard-Gibson, Ngoma (BEMA) and Eileen Busby Keith.

Haiti Disaster Relief: A Fundraiser @ The Rio Cinema 6th February

Please join us for a special screening of A Charmed Life to help raise money for the Haiti Disaster Relief Fund.

The documentary will be followed by a discussion with guest speaker Diane Abbott MP on the issues raised and how we can best aid the current situation in Haiti. By joining us you will help us raise money for Haiti Disaster Relief.

This event is organised by Every Generation, Rio Cinema and supported by BEMA Network and Artists in Support of Haiti. Further information contact BEMA Arts:

email: or
Tel: Cllr Patrick Vernon – 07976 731 539
Date: Saturday 6th February Time: 1.30pm – 3pm
Venue: The Rio Cinema, Dalston
Booking: Contact the Rio box office on 0207 241 9410 or

Hackney Roots

Hackney Routes is a family history project with the aim to support local people to record and document their ancestors and descendants from African and the Caribbean by exploring the inter connection between Hackney and the international dimension which have shaped family history and cultural identity locally.

The project will work with individuals and family members who live or have strong family connections with the borough. Participants must be willing to develop a case study based on interviews and research on an aspect of their family history which can be shared with others in the borough.

We are looking for people who will have an interest in family history, commitment to write or be interviewed as part of a case study and to attend sessions from November 2009 to March 2010. Course orientation 26th of November at 6pm Hackney Museum 1 Reading Lane London E8 1GQ.

To register for the family history course please email Patrick Vernon or call 0845 260 5565 or Cheryl Bowen at Hackney Museum or telephone 0208 356 3500.
Partners: Hackney Museum, Hackney Archives and Every Generation supported by Discover Hackney

BFI Film Screening

Film screening of Eddie Noble at the British Film Institute with panel guests MP Diane Abbott, Erica Myers-Davis, Patrick Vernon and others.