I was born in 1934, in the Parish of St Georges at 61 Cable Street a Cockney, ' into a strict Muslim family of three children. My birth caused disunity and life changing relationships within the family and to the extended family members. Our family witnessed ‘The 1936 Battle of Cable Street’ that took place almost on the doorstep of 61, Cable Street. My hope is that my experience will unite people in similar circumstances, the book I am currently writing will give much more details It was soon after the Battle of Cable Street that we moved to large idyllic house in Wellclose Square, just outside The City of London, a short distance from the Tower of London. This lovely house had all the material things that a family could wish for. ‘Goodies’ the sweet shop (now a supermarket) a few minutes walk away. St Paul's Nursery across the road, Miss Naylor my nursery teacher, and the memory of her giving me my first taste of coconut cake, kicking my new leather foot ball in the cul-de-sac where our home was located, I can still smell the new leather football. Riding my new three wheeled tricycle around the square.
The 1939 WW11 brought an abrupt end to my paradise. Our evacuation to Cornwall meant leaving our Mother and Father There followed three attempts of living with foster parents, those trauma’s caused me to ‘wet the bed’ till my early teens. The authorities then reunited us with our Mother in Cornwall, with seven children, in a one bedroomed Bungalow in Hayle. The birth of my younger brother in Cornwall made the Cornish authorities to make the decision to move our family to an even more remote location, a cottage in 'Wheal Alfred'.
Our family's isolation continued from the community and separation from our father, who was only able to visit us once in almost five years. He spent the whole of the war in the East of London. The lack of interaction with school education or the community caused us, as children to be independent, adventurous and proactive, having no restraints. Our Mother on the other hand was not able to control us, without a father figure. Psychiatrists would be able to foresee the consequences and the effect on members of our family.It was In desperation our Mother brought us all back to London, in spite of the continuing war. Our return to London in 1944 was during the London ‘Black out’ .
Our lovely home had been bombed, so we were forced to live in a typical East End slum. The out-side ‘flush toilet’ was a little better than the ‘pit toilet’ that we used in Cornwall. But now we experienced the drone of flying bombs, fleeing in panic to the air raid shelter at the end of the road in Philpot Street. It has been recorded that up to 2000 V1s and V2s Flying bombs began to fall on London till the end of the war in 1945. Fenton Street was situated in Stepney, in the dock area, a prime target for the Luftwaffe, enemy bombers. It was a miracle that we survived.
On one occasion, my father with my baby brother in his arms, were refused entry to Philpot Street shelter, because it was claimed to be full up! This meant running to the larger Tilbury shelter in Aldgate over a mile away !
The jubilations at the end of the war were short lived, in our family by the death of our father Christian Wilson 1887-1945. My Mother blamed the war. The fact that he worked at the Beckton Gas Works. The largest Gas Works in Europe, one of his jobs was to clean out gas ovens for making coke was partly to blame. Mother now a widow with nine children, now and having to work early mornings as a ‘(Char Lady) before we left for school. Later on my Mother, with a new partner, had two more children, thus making a total of eleven children. The children raised in different social climates in our family has given me at the age of eighty six, a good insight to how children raised before war conditions, during war conditions, and post war austerity conditions. The effect of coming from those extreme social conditions from then to now. They have affected many children’s personalities growing up, and can cause, in many instances, communication problems. My recollection of telling my late brother. the conditions we lived in Cornwall as children. He would not believe the reality, how he could just born, and I being seven years of age at the time. The extreme chaos of war and the extreme frustration of unemployment coupled with immaturity can cause some people to commit criminal acts. In my case, my criminal act led to a period of rehabilitation in a HM Borstal Institution. The time I spent in that establishment honed my boxing skills and entrenched my ‘might was right’ mentality. Then followed a two year Army National Service commitment. This led me to become a boxing representative for Bicester Garrison, this gave me privileges enjoyed by most sports representatives. The Army did not teach me any real values, except that the establishment was right, so do as you are told. During the last months of my service whilst on a weekend leave I was knocked out, metaphorically, the affect love had on me and still not fully recovered. Meeting a girl and falling in love had an extreme effect on me, it was a pivotal turning point in my life. Twenty many years later, through both our hard work and good fortune, and nineteen years of driving a London Taxi cab at night, open to temptations, invitations by people partying and nightclubbing etc. The realization came after those years of extremities and much contemplation. My feelings were we had all the necessary material things. My lifestyle I knew had become extremely hedonistic. My campaigning activities in the Anti Apartheid Movement and the stance our government had taken, over South Africa. A recollection of speaking to my late younger brother and saying to him ‘ I am on the wrong side ’ I was unable to accept the status quo. Life to me then, had no meaning.My Brother-in-law Bishara Muradadeen, an Imam, knew that I had a spiritual problem, and he was right in one sense. Bishara gave me The Holy Koran and arranged for me to have a private meeting with the late ‘ The Greatest boxer ’ Muhammad Ali at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane London in 1986. A highlight and great privilege in my life was listening and speaking to him for over over an hour. In spite of these two great leaders of faith, combined, they were unable to halt my spiritual journey, I now believe I was destined to fulfil it was in my fate from birth. See the obituary of Bishara Muradadeen in the UK Muslim News 2007. Prior to meeting with Muhammad Ali, my plan was to uproot from our home in the UK with a reluctant dear wife, and to live in Ghana West Africa, the birth place of both our late fathers. A real cry from my soul. The two years of living in Ghana were very difficult at times, our venture, going into business was a disaster, because I chose the wrong business partner or maybe vice versa. The fact that the business had failed, Theresa had returned to the UK, and suddenly I was taken ill, fortunately the hospital The Sunkwa Mills Clinic was owned and run by a relative of Therese’s, I spent two weeks in hospital. I believe Dr Joe Sunkwa-Mills saved my life. It was during my convalescence, walking in Asylum Down in Accra, I passed a low level building that I had not noticed before. The sign on the building said ‘Oneness of God’ Oneness of Mankind’ ‘Oneness of Religion’ , little did I know then that my soul was about to be saved new My first attempt to enter the building was unsuccessful. The door was closed however the following day I made another attempt, this was successful. It was there I met and was made very welcome, by some Ghanaian people, who |I learnt were Bahai’s Beattie Casely Hayford, a Baha’i gave me the book called Thief in the night by William Sears, after reading this book I had found the answers to all my questions. It was a Eureka moment for me and has completely changed my life. The Teachings of Baha'u'llah , has given my life. a purpose for me and for millions of followers. In spite of these chaotic time's people all over the world are embracing this new revelation. It is uniting people in every country in the world, by the statement “ The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens” Baha’u’llah 1017-1892, and His most Wondrous System the likes of which mortal eye’s, hath ever witnessed ’’ This ‘System ‘ is the ‘‘Administrative arm of the Baha’i Revelation’’ which believe will be eventually judged by all of mankind.