Prince Philip visits Z-Community
Photographs taken by an inhouse photographer. You will need to copy and paste the below link and double click to enlarge. There were other official photographers, also from the media and BBC did the video
Dear Members and wellwishers
ZTFE Trustees, committee and I would like to congratulate and thank all those who helped yesterday’s historic visit by HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh to the Zartoshty Brothers Hall, Zoroastrian Centre for Europe in London such a great success. All feedback from the over 400 attendees was extremely positive with most describing it as an Outstanding Success. May I also say that we all, as an audience and as participants put up exemplary behaviour. Our guests from inter faith organisations, from academia and from political and social arenas were also very impressed.
I am pleased to re-produce what the local press are saying this morning. The words of Prince Philip reflect his own impressions about our community and our contribution. In due course, the speeches made by Lord Bilimoria as well as by Mr F Kavarana of Tatas will also be made available. Some photographs of this historic event can be seen on the ZTFE website: ztfe.com
May Ahura Mazda always Bless our Royal Family and our small but wonderful community
Malcolm M Deboo
President – ZTFE Inc
Prince Philip ‘delighted’ to attend Harrow Zoroastrian association’s 150th anniversary
October 6, 2011
PRINCE Philip was wrapped in a shawl – the highest honour for a guest – while celebrating 150 years of the South Harrow-based Zoroastrian association.
By Ian Proctor | Harrow Observer
The Duke of Edinburgh was treated to a traditional welcome at 11am at the Zoroastrian Centre in Alexandra Avenue when Parsi and Iranian women in brightly coloured dress traced seven circles in the air in front of him with auspicious objects of prosperity – a coconut and an almond wrapped in a paan leaf.
He was given a garland of flowers then met the ervas, or white-robed priests, before being led into the hall for a Thanksgiving ceremony to mark the founding a century and a half ago of what would become the Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe (ZTFE).
The Prince said: “I’m delighted to join you in this celebration of 150 years of this organisation. I have heard what a tremendous contribution the Zoroastrians have made to this country, even before 150 years ago. It’s a remarkable record.”
He joked: “Nowadays, we are all for religious freedom but it helps a lot if they are peaceful as well!”
The royal, who arrived in a Landrover – a model now manufactured by the Indian firm Tata that was founded by believers of this ancient religion – continued: “The community has made a huge contribution to the British Isles and it is very much appreciated. It occured to me that I arrived in a Zoroastrian car.
“I do congratulate you on what you have achieved over the last 150 years. One hundred and fifty years is peanuts: I hope you’re still here in 2000 years’ time.”
Zoroastrianism, whose founder Zoroaster was ancient Iranian poet, has 65,000 followers worldwide who worship a holy fire as a symbol of God.
ZTFE president Malcom Deboo said: “We can rightly claim to that we are the oldest religious voluntary organisation in the UK of South Asian origin.
“From humble beginnings, the ZTFE has grown as an organisation. It was not until 1923 that we acquired our first house, and then we nearly went bankrupt. But we’re still here today because Zoroastrians believe in self-help.
“Most Zoroastrians are Royalists and they have an affection for the Royal Family since the reign of Queen Victoria.
“Zoroastrians have a regard of the monarchy, the government and the judiciary because historically they have allowed Zoroastrians to practise their religion feely.”
Mr Deboo explained that in the late 19th and early 20th Century Britain was a haven for Zoroastrians fleeing persecution in their native Iran and that the association had never forgotten the welcome this country had given them and had flourished during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.