News

16th July 2014
Mayor of Bath launches Fairfield House Schools Education Project at Ralph Allen School, Bath.
 

The Mayor of Bath, Caroline Roberts & Loraine with Ralph Allen Pupils and Rastafari Heritagey
The Mayor of Bath, Caroline Roberts & Loraine with Ralph Allen Pupils and Rastafari Heritagey

Fairfield House in Newbridge, Bath was given to the City of Bath in the late 1950’s having been the home of HIM Emperor Haile Selassie I who was exiled from his home country of Ethiopia after the Italian invasion of 1936 and he made Bath his home for several years until he returned to Ethiopia in 1941. In 1954 His Imperial Majesty revisited Bath during a State Visit to the UK and while in Bath he was bestowed by the Mayor the honour of being made a Freeman of the City of Bath. When he left the City he gave his Bath home to the council and his wish was for Fairfield house to be used by the elderly which Bath City Council and more recently Bath & North East Somerset have continued to honour. In more recent years the house has been the base for Action for Pensioners, BEMSCA and various other local organisations.

2014 is the 60th anniversary since His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie 1 was made a Freeman of the City and the Friends of Fairfield House are planning many events including a schools education project. The project has been successful in receiving a grant from the Mayor of Bath’s Education Fund along with money donated from Newbridge Councillor Initiative Fund. The project organisers Conation wrote to Bath schools offering them the opportunity to take part by creating pictures and research about Haile Selassie, the Freedom Award and the Mayoralty. Ralph Allen School and St Mary’s RC School have enthusiastically agreed to take part.

Loraine Morgan-Brinkhurst MBE who created the schools project said "When I heard that it was the 60th anniversary this year of HIM Haile Selassie receiving the Freedom of the City of Bath I thought it would be wonderful to involve local Bath students. Haile Selassie staying in Bath when he was in exile from Ethiopia is an important part of 20th century history but possibly not so well known by the present generation. I am pleased to have created this project and delighted at the enthusiasm from the local schools, history groupsand their students."

The participating schools were offered the opportunity to have presentation workshops facilitated by Habte Wold and Moqapi Selassie from Rastafari Heritage who recently visited Ralph Allen School. The students had a day of Ethiopian activities. The children and young people’s work will be exhibited at the Guildhall, Bath over the 60th Anniversary weekend of the 17th & 18th October and following the exhibition it will then form part of the permanent exhibition in the new museum at Fairfield House.

Ralph Allen School teacher Victoria Perry said “The project has been a fantastic opportunity for our students to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Haile Selassie's honour of being given the Freedom of the City of Bath. The students really enjoyed the day and cooked some Ethiopian food, had a workshop delivered by Rastafari Heritage, produced research projects on Haile Selassie and completed some art work - a brilliant cross curricular event at Ralph Allen School. We were really pleased to welcome the Mayor of Bath Cllr. Cherry Beath, Cllr Roberts and Cllr Brinkhurst to our presentation event. We look forward to seeing our students work exhibited later this year at the 60th anniversary events.”

Mayor of Bath Cllr. Beath said “I was so delighted to visit Ralph Allen School to see how the Mayors education fund can contribute and give the opportunity for students to experience and learn more about their home City through innovative projects such as the Haile Selassie Schools Project. I am looking forward to visiting more of the participating schools and groups during their project creation and then officially opening the exhibition later this year and seeing the work created by our local Bath schools.”

Photo details:
L-R (front row with drums): Moqapi Selassie, Mayor of Bath Cllr. Cherry Beath and Habte Wold
L-R (back row) Mrs. Susan Room (Mayors Guest), Emily Howard, Jacob Cross, Cllrs Caroline Roberts, Loraine Morgan-Brinkhurst MBE, Patrick Fountain and Renee Jelf.

More information on Fairfield House can be found at www.houseofhismajesty.com

 

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