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Sunday 18 March 2012

ST Patricks Day barbecue a great success despite the climate!

To celebrate Climate Change Week and St Patrick's Day the British Pakistani Christian Association teamed up with the East Ilford Betterment Partnership, Redbridge Recycling Team and the Prince of Wales Pub to hold a free community barbecue on 17th March 2012.  The event was really popular despite the rain and literally hundreds came to eat free burgers and hot dogs while learning how to preserve the environment and a short history of St Patrick's day.  

Read yellow advertiser press release here:

Saint Patrick's Day (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig, "the Day of the Festival of Patrick") is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated on 17th March. It commemorates Saint Patrick (c. AD 387–461), the most commonly recognised of the patron saints of Ireland and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. It is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland), the Eastern Orthodox Church  and Lutheran Church. 

Our event was attended by a real diverse mix of people and we were thrilled when a young girl performed Irish dancing to visitors of the event. A dancing competition saw many children and adults win large St Patrick's day hats which they all donned with pride, sharing in the ambience of the day.   Habiba Ahmed of Redbridge  Recycling taught children how to make jewellery from paper, how to plant cress seeds and other activities. Our motto for the day:

We are to be good stewards of the earth and it's resources; not because it is ours, but because it is HIS!

 "The highest heavens belong to the LORD, but the earth he has given to man". Psalm 115:16

A local face-painter  created wonderful works of art on smiling children's faces free of charge in a day that brought joy to many.  

A number of homeless people joined us and it was remarkable to see how they were treated with great respect by all the visitors.  It was heart arming to see how people could put aside differences and overcome stereotypes when placed in a atmosphere promoting unity.  

Isaiah 58:7 ESV 

Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?

A local homeless man talks to visitors to the event.
There was literally hundreds that joined the event throughout the day.
Winning dancers wore their St Patrick's day hats with pride.
Even the DJ wore a hat!
Volunteers numbered 15 and covered all the main faiths  we had Sikh, Christian, Hindu and Muslim volunteers working together in a spirit of community cohesion.
All day people dropped by to eat our tasty food, learn about the environment and enjoy each others company.

All day Redbridge Recycling provided free information on how to preserve the environment, and children workshops to facilitate green learning.

The face painting was a real treat for youngsters.

Children making paper jewellery with Habiba.
My daughters posing..
With a hug this time..
DJ play the track again..
Misconceptions of the homeless were driven away through engagement with them.  One of the local homeless showed us all how to dance and enjoy yourself despite difficulties..

Hair braiding and face-painting were very popular.

If you needed to learn about local eco-services this was the event to join.

A smaller barbecue served Halal food so all visitors could enjoy a meal. Led by Muhammed Shoaib a local businessman.
The hats were awesome.

Seasoned chicken was a sizzling treat.
The Prince of Wales Pub Car park was a busy place.

Throughout the day news visitors joined us.
Young and old had a great time.
Many families from the newly migrated Eastern European community joined us and it was great to be able to enjoy time with them and learn more about their culture.

Food was being eaten at a faster rate and we had to purchase more to sustain demand.

Local residents spent time getting to know each other.

DJ Wizard entertained visitors with Irish, Punjabi and pop music.
A short blast of wind almost blew the gazebos away.

People really enjoyed and appreciated  the party atmosphere and open invite.

Music requests were met where possible.
Dancing with joy people really enjoyed themselves.
Team London funded the community barbecue.
Volunteers represented the European, Asian, African and American continents.

A very talented Irish Dancer impressed all with her dancing.
A duo performed on a larger stage.
Much fun was had by all.

Volunteers really enjoyed getting involved.  Community feedback was positive!

Food and drinks were served for the entirety of the event.
Young people queued for the Children's workshops.
No that was not a smoke machine.

Getting busy on the dance floor..

Life is good..

Face-painting was artfully applied!

Wow fun and learning combined, the green stickers were given to those successfully completing the Eco-workshops!

A large leprechaun played music!

Busy, busy, busy but worth the effort!

Chairs were provided to tired individuals.

Hannah painted some children.

Queues asked for Hannah's great designs..
We thought we would run out of food.

Children let their inhibitions go as they danced to the varied music.

Dancing was a popular theme.

Joy all around...

Children became works of art.

Ahh... a butterfly!

A loving team served people all day.

The last face-painting of the day!

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