Impressed by his compassion

I much appreciated Peter Chowney’s article (The Borough Leader, September 25).

At this critical juncture we are fortunate to have someone of his calibre as leader of our council.

I am impressed by his compassion for those fleeing from the civil war in Syria and by his determination to help them in their plight.

I am sure his sentiments will be shared by all people of goodwill in Hastings and St Leonards.

There are some who may, as he puts it, be ‘uncomfortable’ with his proposal to accept 100 refugees, but of what significance is their discomfort when compared with that of people who have been forced to leave their homes?

The word ‘refugee’ came into the English language in 1685, when thousands of persecuted Protestants fled from France and arrived in Kent and Sussex.

Local people gave a warm welcome to these homeless Huguenots, who went on to repay their generosity by contributing substantially to the economic and social life of this country.

Your correspondent Ray Walter complains that those who welcome refugees are ‘letting their hearts rule their heads’. Does he have any knowledge of our history?

Jeremy Goring

West Hill Road

St Leonards

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