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Degree of success! University honour for Leeds West Indian Carnival founder

Arthur France at the Leeds West Indian Carnival in 2016.
Arthur France at the Leeds West Indian Carnival in 2016.

He has been spreading a message of harmony and happiness since founding the Leeds West Indian Carnival back in the late 1960s.

And now Arthur France’s contribution to life in the city is set to be recognised by Leeds Beckett University.

Arthur, 82, was today confirmed as one of five people receiving honorary degrees from the university this year.

His fellow honorary degree recipients are sound recordist Chris Watson, former Paralympic athlete Victoria Aggar, penal reform campaigner Frances Crook and Supreme Court judge Lady Black of Derwent.

All five will receive their degrees alongside graduating students in ceremonies next week at Leeds Town Hall.

Leeds Beckett vice chancellor, Prof Peter Slee, said: “We are celebrating the graduation of 5,500 students from more than 100 countries.

“We wish them all every success as they leave us to take up roles in business, finance, law, clinical and health sciences, social work, computing, journalism, education, sport and leisure, tourism and hospitality, creative and performing arts, architecture and design, the built environment, politics and entertainment.

“Our honorary graduates are leaders in their fields and an inspiration to our graduating students.

“Their work has had a positive impact on the lives of others and it is an honour to acknowledge their contributions through these awards.”

Founded in 1967 as Arthur tried to shake off a bout of homesickness after leaving his native St Kitts and Nevis for the UK, the Leeds West Indian Carnival is the oldest event of its kind in Europe.

It will take place as usual this year on August Bank Holiday Monday.