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  • May 5, 1941, which marks Ethiopia Patriots’ Victory day was celebrated in Fairfield House Bath. Posted on 06 May 2015

    Photo of Prince Michael Mekonnen

     

    Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia made a grand entrance into the capital city, Addis Ababa, on May 5, 1941, to date every year worldwide May 5 which marks the end of the Italian occupation is celebrated by Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia as Ethiopia Patriot’s Day.

     

    In Addis Ababa, government leaders, diplomats, patriot associations, and city residents turn out to honour veterans who fought in the resistance movement between 1935 and 1941. A dignitary often lays a wreath before one of the city's monuments commemorating Ethiopia's various military victories. Army brass bands also perform to mark the occasion.

     

    This year, in United Kingdom Ethiopia Patriots' Victory Day was celebrated on Saturday 02 May 2015. The celebration was in Fairfield House, Bath which was the residence of Haile Selassie I Emperor of Ethiopia at the time, which he was using as his official residency during the five years he spent in exile (1936–41). Dignitaries, local officials and representatives of the Ethiopians and Rastafarian communities across the United Kingdom were also gathered to celebrate the day. Amongst the dignitaries the grandson of the emperor Prince Michael Mekonnen, Prince of Montenegro Milan G. Petrovic-Njegos and Philip Bonn who is an envoy from Prince Ermias were present to glorify the day.

    Philip Bonn who is an envoy from Prince Ermias Ras Bandeli 

    The Ethiopian Orthodox Church priest’s and members of the Rastafarian Church have blessed the day with special rites. Rastafarian Musicians and Ethiopian traditionalist band have also played songs and praise to mark the day.

     

    The organiser of the event Addishiwot Asfawosen have captured the moment with photographs of her guests.

       

      

     

    Fairfield house was built around 1840, which has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade II listed building. Following the return of the emperor to Ethiopia, Fairfield was donated to the city of Bath in 1958 as a residence for the local elderly people. The local authority used Fairfield House as a care home up until 1993, due to new room size requirements Fairfield House was deemed unsuitable as Care Home. Ever Since then it has been used as a day centre by a number of groups including the Bath Ethnic Minority Senior Citizens' Association, Age Concern, the Ethiopian Tewahido Orthodox Church and a Rastafari church. In 2014 a community group, Friends of Fairfield House, were negotiating a Community Asset Transfer in order to preserve and develop the House of significance to the UK Rastafari movement and to the Ethiopian Tewhido Orthodox Church.

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