Bangladeshi community enjoys first visit to the Council House
MEMBERS of Plymouth's Bangladeshi community made their first visit to the Council House for a tour with the deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Chaz Singh.
Among them was entrepreneur and restaurant owner Syed Wahid, who was celebrating 50 years in the city.
Mr Wahid, who owns the Jaipur Palace restaurant on the Barbican, was one of the first Bangladeshis to settle in Plymouth. Born in East Pakistan – now Bangladesh – he came to Britain in 1963 and arrived in Plymouth on February 6 of that year.
He had followed his cousin Latif, who had established the first curry house in the city and gave Mr Wahid a job.
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In 1971 Mr Wahid opened Plymouth's first ethnic grocery store, in the independent quarter, which he and his wife Asma later expanded into a mini-supermarket.
With the growth of the Muslim community in the city – about 3,000 at the last census – Mr Wahid helped to lobby for and establish a new and larger Islamic Centre in 1993.
Cllr Singh said there were at least 40 Bangladeshi-run restaurants in Plymouth. "They add to the vibrant social, economic and financial life of the city on a daily basis."