'Dedicated' Northants deputy lieutenant bows out

A member of the Windrush Generation is stepping down from her role representing the Royal Family.

Morcea Walker, who came to the UK from Jamaica in 1958, has been a Deputy Lieutenant of Northamptonshire for the last seven years.

She has reached the mandatory retirement age of 75.

The Lord-Lieutenant of Northamptonshire, James Saunders Watson, praised her "unwavering dedication to community service"

Deputy lieutenants are appointed by a county's lord-lieutenant, subject to the "non-disapproval" of the King or Queen.

They assist the lord-lieutenant in looking after visiting members of the Royal Family and acting on behalf of the monarch at military and civil occasions.

Ms Walker was chosen for the role after years of involvement in community groups in Northamptonshire.

Morcea Walker in black and white photo
Ms Walker was a teacher after she came over from Jamaica [BBC]

She came to the UK 10 years after HMT Empire Windrush arrived in the UK carrying 492 passengers from the Caribbean.

She told the BBC: "I never saw my grandparents again and that is painful, even now."

Lowdown float in Northampton Carnival
Ms Walker has been one of the main organisers of the Northampton Carnival [Pete Cooper/BBC]

Ms Walker has played a key role in organising the Northampton Carnival for several years, and has worked with the county's African and Caribbean community.

She is a trustee of the Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust and of the Community Law Service.

She said: "When I received a letter inviting me to become a deputy lieutenant, I did ignore it believing it was 'not real', but a follow-up request meant I had to take the matter a bit more seriously."

She added that she had had a "wonderful time" in the role: "I never anticipated the privilege of serving as Vice Lord-Lieutenant, but it has been a journey filled with both challenges and triumphs.

"From chairing meetings to engaging with communities and hosting royal visits, every moment has been both frightening and inspiring."

Mr Saunders Watson said: "Morcea's departure leaves behind a legacy of excellence, compassion, and unwavering dedication to community service.

"Her commitment to inclusivity and community involvement has left an indelible mark on the area. Her impact will be felt for years to come, serving as an inspiration for all those who follow in her steps."

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