22 JUL 2018

Maidstone Mela 2018 remembers the passing of its founding father as MP Helen Grant calls for Borough Council support in coming years

The Maidstone Mela has been running since 2003 and was the brainchild of the late Cllr Morel D'Souza who passed away in April this year.

His legacy was remembered at the event where a commemorative plaque was presented to Mr D'Souza's wife, Karin, in front of hundreds of festival goers.

Helen Grant, local MP for Maidstone & The Weald was on stage at the presentation. She said 'The Mela is a celebration of Maidstone's considerable cultural diversity, including food, music, dance, poetry, crafts and more. We are a marvellous community all living and working harmoniously, and we send a powerful message to a country hurt by the divisions of Brexit and a world needing a counterpoint to rising nationalism and xenophobia'.

'Cllr D'Souza was a visionary and his Mela must be preserved and developed in the years to come. I will be pressing for some serious local authority re-thinking about their decision to support a separate festival at the apparent expense of our well-established Mela. I attended the Shemomedjamo Multicultural Food Festival last year in Mote Park and it escapes me why these two excellent events can't combine to be a tour-de-force for our County Town and the surrounding area.'

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