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Honour for Leeds West Indian Carnival founder

The founder of the Leeds West Indian Carnival has been awarded an honorary degree from Leeds Beckett University. 

Arthur France

Arthur France was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts on 16 July.

Speaking about the award, Arthur said: “I would like to thank Leeds Beckett University for recognising my contribution to my community and the city of Leeds. But first and foremost I must pay homage to my forefathers because it's under their guidance and blessings I am here today.  I must also thank the people whom have championed carnival for the past 50 years and will continue to do so as an integral part our West Indian heritage.”

Coming to Leeds from Nevis in the Caribbean in 1957, Arthur established the Carnival after feeling isolated and missing the culture of his home country. The Leeds West Indian Carnival was a hit - and has just celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Around 150,000 people attend the Leeds West Indian Carnival each year, making it an integral part of the city’s cultural calendar.

Arthur continues to chair the Leeds Carnival Committee. Arthur has also worked with our university on the International Carnival Cultures conference.

Sir Bob Murray CBE, Chancellor of Leeds Beckett University, said: “Arthur’s desire to bring people together and celebrate his country’s culture is admirable. He has been a champion of the West Indian people of Leeds for many years and I’m delighted the university is able to recognise his service to the community with this honorary award.”


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