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Southwark News: Well Deserved Sam

Sam King Freedom of the Borough (featured)

I wish to offer my congratulations to Sam King MBE, World War II veteran and Southwark’s first black Mayor, who was awarded the Freedom of the Borough last week.

Prior to being elected as Mayor of Southwark in 1983, the only serving black Mayor in London at the time, Sam made many invaluable contributions to our borough and country. He served in the Royal Air Force for seven years from 1944 to 1951 and was one of the driving forces behind the emergence of the first Notting Hill Carnival.

We have been campaigning for Mr King to be recognised with the Freedom of the Borough for the last three years, so I wish to extend my thanks to Cllr Peter John, former Southwark Mayor Cllr Dora Dixon-Fyle and Southwark Council for bestowing Sam with the recognition he deserves.

I encourage Southwark Council not to rest on its laurels and continue to recognise those individuals of the same calibre as Mr King from across the whole borough and all communities in Southwark. The Council should go one step further by publishing their criteria for a Freedom of the Borough Award on their website so more residents can nominate worthy individuals like Sam King for the borough’s highest civil honour.

Prem Goyal OBE JP

Written by Prem Goyal

Prem is a City entrepreneur, political activist and community organiser. He is a Magistrate, charity Trustee and active Patron to a number of community organisations in Southwark.