Fifty years ago, on 4th August 1972, the Ugandan dictator, General Idi Amin, had served 90 days’ notice to around 70,000 Asians to leave the country. Of these, 28,200 held British passports and were admitted to the UK. On 18th September 1972, the first evacuation flight of Asians fleeing from Uganda landed at London’s Stansted Airport. Each family was permitted to take only £55 and one suitcase per individual.
Edward Heath’s government set up the Uganda Resettlement Board to find accommodation for those unable to make private arrangements, and to assist the expellees to find permanent homes, jobs and school places. Sixteen temporary resettlement camps around the country were set up and staffed in just six weeks. This imperfect yet extraordinary feat of cooperation between central and local government, the uniformed services, 63 voluntary sector organisations and private volunteers has strong contemporary relevance, at a time when migrants from Syria, Afghanistan and Ukraine are seeking safety in Britain.
The British Ugandan Asians at 50 (BUA@50) is a programme that highlights the experience of British Ugandan Asians in and after 1972, and the many volunteers who helped them.
Visit BUA@50 for more information
Commemoration of 50th anniversary of expulsion
Britain commemorates the arrival of the first flight to land at Stansted airport in England 50 years ago with a panel discussion to reflect on the experiences of the expelled British Ugandans.
The Ugandan resettlement provides a major learning experience for other such situations according to the British Ugandan Asians @50 operating under the Overseas India Trust who received a grant from the National Lottery Fund to commemorate this epochal event.
Events marking this historical year will form part of the educational materials for today’s younger generation to acquire greater understanding of global migrations and how to view them with greater empathy and compassion.
Date: Saturday 17th September 2022
Venue: National Archives in Kew Gardens, London
Time: Reception and View Exhibition – 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Panel Discussion: 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Visit BUA@50 click on ‘History’ tab for timeline of events, photographs, and additional information.