Dalston memorial service for influential racial equality campaigner

The late Ralph Straker

The late Ralph Straker - Credit: Archant

The man who arranged the twinning of Hackney with Barbados will be buried in Dalston this Saturday.

Ralph Adolphus Straker OBE was born 76 years ago on the Caribbean island and was an influential figure campaigning for racial equality.

He moved to London aged 20 where he worked as a TfL conductor for nine years, and met his wife-to-be, Monica, on duty aboard a bus.

Throughout this time helped fellow Caribbeans who were in difficulties with the SUS laws through the North London West Indian Association.

He also helped reverse the educationally “sub-normal” classification of many black children at the time.

He then worked as a race relations officer for Hackney Council for 14 years until 1987.

His interest in black people’s history and culture led him to become a founder member of the Sam Uriah Morris Society, an exhibition centre in Lower Clapton Road.

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Mr Straker served as a Justice of the Peace since 1982 and was a member of Holloway Prison’s Board of Visitors.

He passed away on October 12 after suffering from Parkinson’s Disease for the past four years. He leaves behind his wife, three daughters, Carol, Diana and Jean, and two granddaughters, Jessica and Kanika.

The funeral will be held on Saturday November 9 at St Mark’s Church, St Mark’s Rise, Dalston, with viewing from 11am and a memorial service at noon.