By special correspondent
It was a wonderful event organized in Our Lady of Dolours’s Church Hall at the Egerton Gardens, Hendon by the Labour Party colleagues of Cllr. Zakia Zubairi to celebrate her 80th Birthday.
Zakia Zubairi has been a committed member of the Labour Party for around a quarter of a century. She has won five elections as Councillor from Colindale in Barnet. The variety of guests who filled the hall were proof of Zakia Zubairi’s popularity in the Community.
The party was a surprise one for Zakia and when she entered the hall, she was almost in tears of joy! She had never imagined that so many of her friends had turned up to cheer her up on her special day.
Mr. Virendra Sharma MP was the Chief Guest while former MP and Zakia’s mentor in the Labour Party Mr. Andrew Dismore was the guest of honour.
Among the speakers were Mr. Barry Rawlings (The Leader of Opposition in Barnet Council), Mrs. Agnes Slocombe (former Mayor of Barnet), Barnet’s MP Candidate David Pinto, Senior Urdu poets Aqil Danish and Rifat Shamim, and Zakia’s relative Shehzad.
The celebration started with Buddhist Monk Venerable Uttara blessing Zakia with health and long life. Zakia Zubairi, as a Councillor, has had a strong relationship with all the communities of Colindale – be it Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhist, Sikhs or Muslims. That’s why the Birthday Celebrations in a Church; blessings by Buddhist Monk and people of all colours, creed and religion to celebrate.
Tejinder Sharma MBE was the master of ceremonies for the event. He introduced all the speakers and thanked Ernest for his involvement and contribution in holding such a wonderful event for Zakia Zubairi. Tejinder created an atmosphere of laughter when he sang ‘Ba ba black sheep’ on an Indian Classical tune.
Andrew Dismore fondly recollected the formative days of Zakia Zubairi in the Labour Party and praised her commitment for her residents. Virendra Sharma MP remembered how Zakia actively participated in his first election as an MP. Barry Rawlings admired the fact that even at 80 Zakia carries herself so gracefully and young looks. David Pinto was all praise for Zakia’s personality.
Rifat Shamim and Aqil Danish recited poems in the honour of Zakia Zubairi while Shehzad remembered how Zakia ji helped him during his struggling days in London.
Those who came to congratulate Zakia Zubairi on her 80th birthday was her grandson Fahad, Nitin Parekh (former Mayor of Harrow), Councillors Alison More, Jill Sargent, K.C. Mohan (a known Punjabi writer), Mira Kaushik OBE, Dr. Aruna Ajitsaria MBE, Dr. Achala Sharma (former Head BBC Hindi), Pervaiz Alam (media personality), Dr. May Erskin, and many candidates for the forthcoming local elections in Barnet.