Gazette letters: Remembering Iris Roper, diversity, migrants, youth services and the Emperor’s throne

Iris Roper celebrating her 100th birthday. Picture: LORNA MARSHALL

Iris Roper celebrating her 100th birthday. Picture: LORNA MARSHALL - Credit: Lorna Marshall

I was saddened to read in the Hackney Gazette of the recent death of Iris Roper at the impressive age of 101, writes Sasha Simic, Stamford Hill, full address supplied.

I never knew Iris but she was clearly an extraordinary woman who made an enormous contribution to society.

Iris was born in Jamaica in 1918 moving to Britain as part of the Windrush generation to work as a nurse in the NHS when she was 40 years old. What an adventurous and brave spirit she must have had.

Iris worked in hospitals all over London including St Leonard's in Hackney.

Like many from the Windrush generation she helped build and maintain the NHS.

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I'd like to send my condolences to Iris's family and friends via The Hackney Gazette. Thank you Iris for coming to the UK to help the sick. Thank you Iris for making the UK a better place.

In his outburst about Ofsted's involvement in schools, which he claims "give the children ideas of atheist, gay, early childhood sex" and his assertion that God made the world 6,000 years ago (Gazette), Cllr Klein makes clear that he is neither willing nor able to represent the whole community in Stamford Hill West, writes Rosemary Sales, Stamford Hill West, full address supplied.

Our mayor, Phil Glanville, rightly condemned the bigotry which Cllr Klein expressed so blatantly. It is obvious from Cllr Klein's comments, however, that he has no interest in learning anything about the experiences of people who do not share his view of the world, and indeed is determined that children should not learn about - or, as he put it, be "mixed up" with - other ideas.

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As a resident of the Stamford Hill West, I value its diversity and inclusiveness. It is horrifying to hear our councillor boast of his ignorance of other cultures and express openly homophobic prejudice.

We congratulate Healthwatch Hackney on their recent report into Refugee and Migrant Access to Healthcare in Hackney produced in partnership with Hackney Migrant Centre, writes Marion Macalpine, Hackney KONP (Keep Our NHS Public).

We at Hackney KONP are very shocked at the impact of the government's hostile environment policy on refugees and migrants, and particularly the heartless policy to charge migrants for health care often at the most vulnerable times in their lives.

As recommended in the report, we call upon GP practices in Hackney to publicise the fact that passports and proof of address documents are not required to register at their practice, and to make translation available. We agree that hospitals have a duty of care for all patients, and that clear information and a supportive contact in the hospital must help vulnerable patients with their treatment and their case.

We are also pleased that the local clinical commissioning group is promoting patient registration without passport or proof of address. We consider potential data sharing between the NHS and the Home Office is a huge deterrent for migrants who need to access services.We urge readers to donate to Doctors of the World

Local authorities across the capital have been hit badly by austerity,writes Jennette Arnold OBE, London Assembly member for North East (Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest).

This has directly led to councils having to make difficult, but often unavoidable choices when it comes to reducing funding for certain services in order to protect child and adult social care budgets.

The government has a duty to support the most vulnerable young people in our communities and defend them from the grip of crime and gang exploitation. Youth services in all their forms play a vital part in this, but they have sadly been stripped to the bone across the capital.

To mitigate against the worst impacts of the government's cuts, City Hall has stepped in to deliver significant investment in early intervention initiatives and a public health approach to clamping down on violent crime. We now want to see the government prioritising prevention measures in the fight against violent crime and better financial support for youth services is one way they can do this.

I read the article in regarding Rastafarians and Ethiopians celebrating their Christmas on January 7 in the Gazette, writes Mr H Cogan, full address supplied.

This was accompanied with a photo of a young lady holding a photograph of the Emperor.

I wonder if they know the throne chairs for the Emperors palace were made in Hackney. In the late '40s early '50s l was a young lad working at Melson Brothers, a furniture manufacturer in Queensbridge Road, and they got the contract to make the throne chairs.

l remember the carver with his array of chisels carving rams heads with curling horns out of a block of wood to sit on the arms. Also the upholsterer creating the thrones. l was enthralled watching them.

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