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EULOGY – Collecting family keepsakes

Late 1950’s shot of popular Jamaica Society member Chryssandra Louise Reid, who was born in Jamaica in 1922 and came to Leeds in 1954. Known as Mrs Reid, she was a talented seamstress, baker and fundraiser who we lost in 2015 aged 92.

Our first Eulogy collection event in March was a truly uplifting day.

Members of the public came along to share precious keepsakes of their loved ones and contribute to our celebration of the lives of that first pioneering generation of Jamaicans in Leeds, who are no longer with us. There was inspirational reminiscing and we collected some wonderful photos and other keepsakes.

Typical colourised studio portrait of Elmus Franklin Dennis taken in the early 1960’s.

How can you get involved?

Do drop in to Jamaica House, 277 Chapeltown Road, Leeds LS7 3HA on Saturday 13th April, anytime between 11:00am and 4:00pm to share the following items connected with your first-generation Jamaican loved ones;

  • Their funeral programmes/orders of service.
  • Original copies of the photos included in their funeral programme, taken just before or soon after arrival in Leeds. If you don’t have the originals of those in the programme, or you don’t have a funeral programme, we will accept original photos taken around that time.
  • A copy of the eulogy read at their funeral. Failing that some basic details about their lives e.g. date and place of birth, when they came to the UK, where they worked etc
  • Any other historical keepsakes – e.g. original arrival passports and tickets, photos, uniforms from the early days in Leeds, wedding invitations, event programmes, early letters to/from home etc

What will happen to your keepsakes?

With your written permission, your items will feature across some or all of the following platforms;

  • The Eulogy Exhibition at Room 700 in Leeds Central Library from August 1st – September 1st, and mini exhibitions in community locations.
  • In print – including the Eulogy book, publicity materials
  • Digital platforms – our website, partner archives, social media and in the press.

After the Eulogy project they will be returned to you.

Our heritage-trained Eulogy volunteers will gather your family keepsakes with the great care and respect they deserve.

To find out more about Eulogy and how you can contribute, please get in touch or email Eulogy Programme Director Susan Pitter on eulogy@jamaicasocietyleeds.co.uk.

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