AN ELDERLY man with health problems has organised a large scale jubilee party to thank the country that he “owes everything to”.
Shantilal Popat, 76, of Northolt Road in Harrow, has organised the invite-only bash on June 5 to mark the big day that is being celebrated up and down the country.
He has invited the new mayor Councillor Michael Adeyeye along with a host of local dignitaries and stalwarts to the Tithe Farm Social Club from 2pm onwards.
His granddaughter Sonali Samani, 23, of Northwood, contacted the Harrow Observer to praise his efforts.
She said: “I am so proud of him. He has various ailments and has renal dialysis three times a week (due to kidney failure). Six months ago he proudly announced his decision to organise a celebration for ‘Her Majesty’s wonderful reign as Queen’.
“When I asked, why... his response was humbling and inspiring.”
Mr Popat explained to Miss Samani that in 1972 when he was driven out of Uganda, his whole life was disrupted.
A lot of Mr Popat’s family held British passports, but he did not, so the Red Cross supported him through a process that resulted in him moving to Australia as a refugee. He deeply missed his family.
About six months later the UK government announced that estranged husbands of British passports holders could enter the UK.
She added: “It was true lifeline for my grandparents. My grandad, holds strong principles, and for the past 10 years has dedicated himself to charity work, to ‘repay the favour’. His desire to give back to the community, and indeed country, that helps him is unrelenting, and has shaped his actions throughout his life. I am truly inspired by him and enormously proud that he is my grandad.”
Mr Popat has maintained four voluntary positions during his retirement, including working at Northwick Park Hospital, a branch of the British Heart Foundation, St Luke’s Hospice, Save the Children, as well as helping at a temple in Greenford.
Due to the onset of health problems, he can only continue his work at the hospital.
Mr Popat said: “I owe everything to this country, I wanted to do something. I haven’t been to school or had a proper education but the things I have been able to do in this country... I had to do something.”
The party will start with speeches from dignitaries. There will be refreshments, dancing and singing.