Son of campaigner honoured in Newcastle says it is 'one of the most proudest days of his life'

The late Wahiduddin Ahmed Kutub. Credit: Family photo.

A Bangladeshi community leader and campaigner for social justice and racial equality has been honoured in Newcastle today (26 March).

A blue plaque had been unveiled for the late Wahiduddin Ahmed Kutub at the Newcastle Bangladeshi Association premises in Elswick Road.

His daugher and son, Aafreen Kutub and Mehtab Kutub where at the event. Mehtab said today marked "one of the most proudest days of his life."

Newcastle Lord Mayor Habib Rahman had performed the plaque unveiling event and said how Mr Kutub had championed "equality for all of us regardless of our age, our gender, our ability or sexuality."

Mahtab Miah, Chairman of Newcastle Bangladeshi Association said: "We are thrilled about Newcastle City Council's decision to honour our great leader for his community work and his contribution to the race relations of this City and beyond. 

"He helped make Newcastle a better place."

Mr Kutub was the first minority ethnic and Muslim to be elected as a Newcastle city councillor when he represented the Fenham Ward for Labour in 1986.

He also established the Tyne Wear Community Relations Council and served as chairman from 1975-83.

Other roles he played was chairman of the Northumbria Police Communities Group, a governor of three schools, and a member of the city council's housing and economic development committees.

He also served on the Northern Regional Health Authority and was an executive committee member of the Newcastle Council for Voluntary Services.

In 1978 he was appointed to the Home Secretary's Council on Racial Relations and was a founder and first chairman of the Greater Sylhet Council, a charity set up in 1993 to work for the welfare of the Bangladeshi community countrywide. 

Mr Kutub was also the owner of the Rajah restaurant, which he opened in the Cloth Market in Newcastle in 1965. It is thought to be Newcastle’s first curry restaurant.

Wahiduddin Ahmed Kutub was born in 1932 and died in 2007.