Ansar Ahmed Ullah:
The Conservative Friends of Bangladesh (CFoB) held its Annual Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony on 23rd March 2022 at the Copthorne Tara Hotel in Kensington, London, to celebrate Bangladesh Golden Jubilee and recognise some of their members who supported their local community during the pandemic.
Guest speakers who attended the event were Chief Guest Rt Hon Oliver Dowden CBE MP for Hertsmere, Co-Chairman of the Conservative Party & Minister with Portfolio, Paul Scully MP, Business & London Minister, Lord Rami Ranger of Mayfair, Jane Hunt MP for Loughborough & PPS to Cabinet Office, Shaun Bailey MP for West Bromwich, Mark Logan MP for Bolton North East and H.E Saida Muna Tasneem, Bangladesh High Commissioner.
Raffles prizes were handed by Richard Mills, Boris Johnson’s political agent. The event was conducted by Abdus Hamid, Deputy Chairman and Shahamima Khan. The Chairman, Mehfuz Ahmed, delivered the opening speech where he highlighted the work CFoB members were doing in their community. Recognition was given to members who went above and beyond in supporting the local community during the pandemic. He also acknowledged CFoB losing Enam Hoque Choudhury to Covid and Sir David Amess, a great friend of the British Bangladeshi community who sadly was stabbed during a constituency surgery.
He said, ‘We lost so many people in the coronavirus pandemic; however, it has brought communities together and made Great Britain more cohesive. Our CFoB members stepped up during the outbreak, despite being most at risk, they provided support in many ways, such as fundraising for their local charities; providing professionals free financial advice to businesses/individuals and charities, setting up food banks; volunteering, becoming NHS responders, providing free meals to front line workers and care homes, promoting the vaccine uptake in their communities and helping vulnerable people get to the vaccine centres to name a few.’
In his speech, the President, Muquim Ahmed, outlined the superb work CFoB has been doing since it was founded in 2006. He acknowledged that we are still behind in having a parliamentarian but hopes the new Chairman Rt Hon Oliver Dowden MP will take this new initiative going forward.
The Rt Hon Oliver Dowden MP delivered his keynote speech thanking CFoB members for campaigning for the party since 2006 and for supporting the communities during the pandemic in many ways. He heard the audience loud and clear the Party does not have a British Bangladeshi parliamentarian and gave assurance that he will work to ensure there will be a British Bangladeshi in Parliament very soon.
The Bangladesh High Commissioner H.E Saida Muna Tasneem spoke about the deep relationship between the UK and Bangladeshi since 1971 and how the 700,000 British
Bangladeshi’s contributing to the British economy and society.
Dignitaries in attendance were Bajloor Rashid MBE, CFoB Vice President, Iqbal Ahmed OBE, Yawar Khan, Rafat Khan, Anjenarra Huque, Vice Chair Fajli Bibi, Vice Chair Sujit Sen, Treasurer; Rab Hashem, Advisory Hussain Rahim, Advisory Cllr Mohammed Aziz Rahman, Mahbub Khan, Mohammed Nazimuddin, London Regional Chair The Hon Clare Humbro, Steve Woods, and Aliur Rahman, CEO of London Tea Exchange, who was one of the sponsors for the event. The catering partner was Grand Rasoi,
The award recipients were the following, supporting their local community during covid,Ranjita Sen, Cllr Shamsul Islam Shelim, Abdul Mubin, Fajli Bibi, Salim Chowdhury, Shasta Miah, Mas Choudhury, Cllr Atiqul Hoque, Motin Miah, Sumon Roy, Mohammed Siddiqur Rahman, Late Enamul Hoque Choudhury, Toffozul Miah, Ali Haydor and Jom Jom Rashid.
The following received awards as best campaigners where they supported candidates in several seats across the country, Roy Miah, Mohammed Waseemuzaman and Islam Uddin.