The Ezekiel Browne Society Welcomes Lord Dubs
‘Child refugees: Do we have an obligation?’ was the subject of CHS’s latest Ezekiel Browne Society lecture when Old Waconian (Class of 1951) and Labour peer Lord Alfred Dubs returned for a School visit.
Addressing students from Year 9 to the Upper Sixth, Lord Dubs, who has dedicated his time in parliament to supporting refugees, said that whilst he arrived in the UK in 1939 as a six-year old refugee fleeing the persecution of Jews in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia, his plight was anything but personal.
He said: “My argument is based on human justification. I’ve not said we should necessarily take all refugees into the country but should certainly take our share.”
Lord Dubs continued: “It’s a very difficult situation. All countries should support the refugees but we can do more. We’ve done it before and we can do it now.”
Speaking Ahead of CHS’s Altruism week (23rd January), Lord Dubs also spoke of his time visiting the refugee camps in Calais and Greece, and his delight at helping Father Christmas give presents to young Syrian children at a Christmas fair. “Watching the joy on their faces as they raced around on dodgem cars is something so wonderful,” he said.
During the lecture, CHS’s students heard about the value of public opinion in his recent campaign to force the government to amend the immigration bill by taking 20,000 refugees over the next 5 years and his encounter with a young Syrian who told him he wanted to commit and a make a positive contribution to the UK.
Advising the students Lord Dubs, who says he voted ‘passionately’ to remain in the EU, said just as anything in life, the key thing is that you have to work at it.
In a Q&A session Lord Dubs said he thought the media coverage to the refugee situation has been ‘very damaging’ and refugees should be entitled to privacy for their own safety.
“This country has given me so many wonderful opportunities and I’d like it to be as welcoming to all who come here,” he said. “It’s lovely being back at CHS.”
Lord Dubs is the latest guest to be invited to speak at CHS’s Ezekiel Browne Society, named after one of the School’s founders.
Recent speakers who have shared their words of wisdom include Old Waconian and former Detective Inspector for the Metropolitan Police Service, Rod Goddard’s talk ‘Making A Murder’ about his time working alongside criminals, and Professor Mary Rudolf on ‘The Galilee, its communities and their health’.