Chairman of Notting Hill Carnival, Former Diplomat, Oswald Gibb Dies
LONDON (AP) _ Oswald Gibbs, a former ambassador, leading member of Britain’s black community and organizer of one of the world’s largest street parties, has died of a stroke. He was 67.
Gibbs died Friday in a London hospital where he had a hip replacement operation on Monday, his family said today.
Gibbs was born on the Caribbean island of Grenada and moved to Britain in 1957, working first as a guard on London’s subway and later as a mailman. After earning an economics degree from the City of London College, Gibbs worked as a civil servant and oil refinery operator.
He was appointed Grenada’s high commissioner, or ambassador, to Britain in 1974, but resigned in 1978 after a difference of opinion with the island’s prime minister, Sir Eric Gairy.
He returned to the job in 1984, a year after the U.S. invasion of Grenada ousted a Marxist government.
In 1981, he was appointed chairman of the committee that organizes the annual Notting Hill Carnival in west London, one of the world’s largest street parties.
The festival features parades, colorful costumes, street performers and a jubilant Afro-Caribbean atmosphere that has become a cultural focal point for London’s black community.
Riots, muggings and other violence, including a fatal 1987 stabbing, have marred past carnivals and there were calls a few years ago for it to be banned. In recent years it has been heavily policed and has been largely peaceful.
Gibbs is survived by his five children. His wife Agatha died in 1989.
Funeral details were not immediately available.