Mirror Desk : The long wait of British woman Lucy Helen Frances Holt ended on Saturday as the government honoured her with Bangladesh citizenship for her lifelong love and services to the people of Bangladesh by living here for the last 57 years.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina handed over the citizenship certificate to 87-year-old Lucy Helen at a function at her official residence Ganobhaban.
Helen Lucy also contributed a lot to Bangladesh’s Liberation War by creating public opinions in favour it in 1971.
After the ceremony, PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters saying that Lucy was given Bangladesh’s citizenship following her application in this regard.
The Prime Minister thanked Lucy for her services to humanity.
In reply, Lucy said she had the desire to meet Bangamata Fazilatunnesa Mujib but could not, and expressed her happiness as the dream was fulfilled today after meeting Sheikh Hasina, the daughter of Bangamata.
Sheikh Rehana, the youngest daughter of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Prime Minister’s Daughter Saima Wazed Hossain, Principal Secretary Nojibur Rahman and Secretary of the Security Services Division under the Ministry of Home Farid Uddin Ahmed were present.
Lucy Helen, daughter of John Holt and Francese Holt, was born in the British town of St Helens on December 16 in 1930. On completion of her 12th grade, she first visited Bangladesh in 1960.
In that year, Lucy joined Barisal Oxford Mission and taught primary school children. Since then, she has been staying in Bangladesh as she fell in love for the soil and people of this country.
Lucy had worked in Jessore, Khulna, Naogaon, Dhaka and Gopalganj for 57 years.
She went on retirement in 2004 and came back to Barisal Oxford Mission on that year.
In her retired life, she is providing English education and mental growth to distressed children.
Lucy also made outstanding contributions to Bangladesh’s Liberation War by taking care of the war-wounded civilians at Fatema Hospital in Jessore during the war.
During the war, she wrote a number of letters to her friends in Bangladesh to create public opinion during the war as well as a letter to her parent in the UK describing the situation during that time.
After the war, Lucy Helen sent a letter along with some gifts to Bangamata Begum Fazilatunnesa Mujib in 1973. On behalf of Bangamata, the then school student Sheikh Rehana also replied expressing gratitude to Lucy at that time.
During her visit to Barisal on February 8 last, the Prime Minister handed over Lucy’s passport with a 15-year multiple Bangladeshi visa ending her long ordeal for visa renewal every year.