Ladies and Gentlemen,
Can I just say that both my wife and I were so very touched and grateful to receive an invitation to come and visit this splendid centre. The Lord Lieutenant of London drew my attention to it and I'm so glad he did because I can't tell you how much we've enjoyed our visit nor how impressed we've been by what we've seen.
If I may say so, it's so encouraging that now, at last, you have a centre such as this, which allows you to develop so many opportunities but also to bring the message to so many people in this country and elsewhere about the remarkable contribution made over so long, by people of African and Caribbean descent who have contributed so much to this country. We are very lucky that you have made that contribution, particularly if I may say so, during the first and second World war. When we think of how many people were involved in that war from all around Africa and the Caribbean, their legacy is a truly remarkable one and I am so glad that you are able to ensure that story is told properly.
With so many other initiatives that you are pursuing, I was so impressed to hear about them and the fact that you are attracting so many people to this centre. I believe 50,000 and I'm sure it will grow and grow. In fact I can see a time come when even these premises will probably be too small. I just want to use this opportunity to attract those who have struggled so hard for so long to achieve this centre. I can imagine how difficult it has been. It is a great day that you have managed that. So nothing could give my wife and I great pleasure than to be with you today in the hope that you will continue to go from strength to strength.