Leeds mourns the loss of first black Magistrate

The Yorkshire Evening Post  reported that Mrs. Phillip migrated to Leeds from the West Indian island of St. Kitts in the 1950s and soon became a pillar of the community in Chapeltown taking a leading role in many organisations including the Citizens Advice Bureau, Mayflower Children Club, Leeds Afro-West Indian Self-Help Association and Leeds Playhouse.

Mrs. Diana Phillip was a teacher by profession, who taught in several local primary schools. She also played an active role in the British Labour Party following a family trait in St Kitts and Nevis. In the late 1960s she made history when she was appointed the first black Magistrate in Leeds.

Dr. Hewell, Bench chairwoman stated, “We were privileged to have a person of her calibre contributing to the multi-cultural diversity of the bench and it is a bench which reflects the cultural mix of the city”.

Michael McGowan the former Leeds Labour Euro MP, and a founding journalist with BBC Radio Leeds in 1968 explained that the late Diana became a member of the BBC Education Advisory in Leeds when the radio first launched its programs for the Caribbean community and the special series ‘The Black Rose’ which highlighted the benefits of Immigration into the county of Yorkshire in response to the Rivers of Blood speech by Enoch Powell in 1968.

Mrs. Phillip played an a significant role in Chapeltown since she arrived from St. Kitts in the 1950s and contributed a great deal to making Chapeltown such an important and vibrant community which has enriched the city of Leeds over the years.

Many persons in Leeds paid tribute to a strong woman the late, Mrs. Diana Phillip.

Mrs. Phillip died on Saturday 16th, July after a long illness. She is survived by her daughter Jane and four sons Canitz, Addison, James and Joseph. She was the cousin of Sir Robert Llewellyn and St Kitts-Nevis’ Prime Minister Dr. Denzil L. Douglas.



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