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Jamaica 50 banner stolen by thieves

STOLEN: The 36ft long sign was taken from Birmingham’s Handsworth Library

A GIANT banner created and paid for by local people to celebrate Jamaica’s golden anniversary of independence has been ripped down and stolen by thieves in Birmingham.

The 36ft long sign has taken centre stage outside Handsworth Library in Soho Road since Handsworth held its first official flag raising ceremony to celebrate Jamaica 50 in August.

Community activists Del Pinkney, her brother Hector and Desmond Jaddoo rallied businesses and local people to help finance the celebrations, collecting £500 to pay for the banner and a flagpole.

“The banner was a real community effort as we asked businesses to help us and they were very supportive,” said Jaddoo, of Birmingham Empowerment Forum.

“It had quite a few designs on it too such as the Doctor Bird and Jamaica’s coat of arms which would have made it a worthwhile education resource for use in schools when it was taken down.”

Del Pinkney added: “So many people had commented on the banner and said how much they liked it. Sadly, there are always one or two selfish people who decide to spoil things for everyone else.

SADDENED: Councillors Sybil Spence, Waseem Zaffer, Hector Pinkney, Councillor Yvonne Mosquito and Desmond Jaddoo at Handsworth's flag raising ceremony in August

“But it certainly hasn’t dimmed the wonderful celebrations we’ve had in Handsworth over the summer.”

Businesses who contributed to buying the flagpole and banner included Firm Security Services, Davis West Indian Bakery, Marks Pharmacy and Balu Travel.

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