Concert held as Ilford peace monument unveiled

Hundreds of people came to Ilford Town Centre on Saturday to be a part of an “emotional and moving” event which saw the inauguration of a new monument.

Redbridge Peace Concert aimed to bring people of all diversities together for an afternoon of entertainment provided by talented performers from across the borough.

The acts which lit up the stage, set up outside the former Harrison Gibson building in High Road, included teenage singers Ryan Green and Kamara Fearon and Punjabi artist Shin Cobra who showcased a song about peace.

There was also a street dance performance and a display from Angel Dance Academy.

Half way through the event Redbridge Mayor Cllr Chris Cummins led a procession to a memorial called Redbridge Peace Monument, which stands on the junction of Riches Road and Winston Way.

The �12,000 statue is designed to commemorate the lives of people who have died due to violent crime and was an idea of Parvin Mahmood, mother of Kashif, 16, who was stabbed to death during a brawl near the location in September 2005.

She was joined by campaigners and guests for the official inauguration including Iffat Rizvi, from Mothers Against Guns, Det Supt John Sweeney, Bushra Tahir from community group AWAAZ and Ann Oakes-Odger whose son Westley was fatally stabbed at an ATM in Colchester in 2005.

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A one minute silence was observed before a series of talks were given.

Event organiser Wilson Chowdhry said: “This is the first time there has been such a big concert for peace and to be able to get these people to attend shows there is a passion to see an end to end to violent crimes.”

He added: “The memorial is shaped like a pencil and hopefully it can be used to write a more positive future for Redbridge.”

The monument features symbols and words which support its theme of peace and unity, mosaics which have cultural influences and a cone which represents life and new hope.

Schools have been invited to contribute to the design and have been encouraged to come up with drawings and paintings based on the theme.

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