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Band of Brothers artwork lands in the village

Published: Tue, 14 Jun 2016
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Jennifer Hawthorne at the unveiling of the new Band of Brothers artwork.
Jennifer Hawthorne
New community artwork in the Village area of Belfast recognising the sacrifice of Polish air crews in World War Two has taken flight, thanks to us.
A paramilitary mural at Benburb Street has been replaced by the Band of Brothers 300 Squadron mural on Friday, June 10, 2016.
Made up of Polish airmen who fled the Nazi invasion of their country, the mural depicts the first totally Polish RAF Bomber Command Squadron, established in 1940.
Incredibly, there is a direct link between Northern Ireland and this squadron, through Flight Sergeant Pawel Wojciechowski, who was posted at RAF Ballyhalbert, where he met and married his wife, before settling in Kircubbin, Co. Down.
Jennifer Hawthorne, our Head of Income and Communities said:
“This amazing mural is part of a series we have supported through the Band of Brothers Project, which began with a similar art installation on the mid-Shankill in September 2015.
“We are delighted to see such an impressive production and we hope the new mural will inspire learning and good relations among all in our community.”
Supported by the South Belfast Action for Community Transformation, the mural is a Greater Village Regeneration Trust initiative, facilitated by the Shared History Workshop historian Pete Bleakley, who organised a number of workshops as part of the project.
Mr Bleakley said:
“It’s great to see this former paramilitary mural being re-imaged as a positive step in our shared history.
“The Village has, perhaps, the most multi-cultural population in the city and Polish families are part of that community.
“This project provides an opportunity to thank them for the courage and sacrifice displayed during World War Two.”
Angela Johnston of the Greater Village Regeneration Trust said; “We have supported the South Belfast ACT Initiative in a positive re-imaging process and we’re delighted to see this project bear fruit.
“Encouraging historical and multi-cultural learning is a great way forward for our ever changing community and it’s very important to equip members of our community with greater knowledge of our shared histories.”
Colin Fulton of South Belfast Action for Community Transformation said:
“We have been involved in groundbreaking, transformative work recently with young people in this area regarding shared history and re-imaging.
“We are moving forward towards a shared future”.