Islington refugee who fled Nazis celebrated in portrait

15:00 22 June 2014

Victor de Waal by Bill Knight

Victor de Waal by Bill Knight


Islington refugee worker Victor de Waal has become the subject of a portrait featured in a photo exhibition celebrating those who have fled persecution.

Mr de Waal, who escaped Nazi Germany and came to the UK with his family in 1939, appears alongside 39 other photographs highlighting the contributions refugees have made to the UK.

After arriving in the UK, Mr de Waal went to Cambridge University and in 1976 became Dean of Canterbury Cathedral. Today he works at the Islington Refugee Centre in Cross Street.

He said: “Thankfully, few people in the UK would have thought of turning their back on those of us escaping the horrors of Nazi rule many years ago.

“It’s equally important today that we continue to keep up the great British tradition of continuing to offer protection to those in need.

“Atrocities may not be happening as close to home as they were over 70 years ago, but that is not to say they are no longer happening.” Journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, who came to the UK from Uganda in 1972, and Sri Lankan refugee Paul Sathianesan, now a Newham councillor, also feature in the exhibition at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square.

Refugee Council chief executive Maurice Wren said everyone photographed for the exhibition had “benefited from Britain’s long and proud tradition of providing protection to refugees”.

n The exhibition, marking Refugee Week, runs until Friday and admission is free.

Latest Stories

Yesterday, 17:05
Year 6 pupils interview the school's Site Manager, Robbie Robinson, about his memories of the Apollo missions

Pupils at Vittoria Primary School, Islington, are keen to talk to people who remember the Apollo space missions and Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon for a history project.

Yesterday, 14:28
Prince Philip presents Dr Alasdair Harris with the Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Award

The founder of an Islington-based charity was this week presented with the 2015 Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Award for contributions to marine conservation.

Yesterday, 12:30
Former Dragons' Den star Doug Richard arrives at the Old Bailey, London, for a plea and case management hearing after he was accused of child sex charges. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

A former Dragons’ Den star from Islington this morning denied paying a 13-year-old girl for sex after meeting her on a “Sugar Daddy” website.

Yesterday, 12:00
Lydia Leonard in Little Eyolf. Picture: Hugo Glendinning

Are women becoming better depicted on stage? At the very least, the career of Lydia Leonard shows signs of progress, finds Alex Bellotti.

Yesterday, 11:30
Handing in the petition against the closure of Caledonian Road Station: Cllr Paul Convery, Cllr Claudia Webbe, Jennette Arnold AM, Cllr Rakhia Ismail, Cllr Paul Smith, Cllr Una O’'Halloran, and Cllr Diarmaid Ward

The fight to keep Caledonian Road Station open continues on Thursday.

Yesterday, 10:51
Arsenal fans show their colours and support in the stands. Picture: Nick Potts/PA

In our weekly Arsenal fan column, Alex Bellotti suggests the sanctity of match-going is being replaced by passionate fan communities online.

Yesterday, 09:33
London Ambulance Service has been recommended for special measures following a CQC report

A damning report by health inspectors has revealed a culture of “harassment and bullying” in London’s ambulance service and called for it to be placed into special measures.

Yesterday, 07:00
Cllr Andy Hull

Jobs will be lost as a result of the budget cuts announced in Wednesday’s Spending Review, a councillor has said.

Most read


MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!


You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Digital Edition

Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder