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Two Blue Plaques to be unveiled on the same day, fit for an Emperor

9th September 2019

Categories: Latest News

Weston-super-Mare Town Council have teamed up with Fairfield House in Bath, to remember Haile Selassie, the Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974.

When Mussolini’s Italian fascist regime invaded Ethiopia in 1935, the Royal Navy sent HMS Capetown to rescue the royal family and they settled in Britain for the duration of World War Two. The family’s home during his time in exile from 1936-41 was Fairfield House, in Bath, a Grade II listed building. When the war ended he returned home and reigned for another 30 years until he was deposed in the 1974 Soviet-backed revolution and died the following year. Today he is worshipped as God incarnate by the Rastafari movement which has its origins in 1930’s Jamaica.

During his time living in Bath Emperor Haile Selassie regularly visited Weston where he enjoyed swimming in the open air pool. Although invited to, he never jumped the queue and would happily chat with other visitors. It was rumoured that he was even contemplating buying a house in Weston.

Now in a double celebration on Sunday 22nd September, at 10.00am a Blue Plaque which is part funded by Weston super Mare Civic Society, will be unveiled on the Tropicana building in Weston by his grandson Prince Micheal Mekonnen, who will then travel to Bath to unveil a blue plaque at Fairfield House at 2.00pm, the same day.

Malcolm Nicholson, Town Clerk, said: “We are honoured to have this association of our town with the royal family of Ethiopia, and grateful to Dr. Sobers and the trustees of Fairfield House for linking up with Weston Town Council to recall this important time in history.”

Dr Shawn Sobers, Trustee of Fairfield House, said, "This is a significant day for both Bath and Weston Super Mare, and a long overdue acknowledgement that an important world leader made then west country his home.  We look looking to continuing this partnership with Weston, and other sites in the UK that the Emperor had connections with."

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