Getting to know the locals
Graham Weeks is a 68 year old, retired pharmacist.
He's active in his local church, and also a volunteer helper of the chaplaincy at Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre where he preaches to Christians among the detainees. He's also involved in the Ealing University of the Third Age as convenor of the U3A current affairs and world religions groups.
He's been married to former Falcons music teacher, Katy, for 45 years and has four children, three of whom were born in Nigeria during their time there from 1970 to 1982. They have six grandchildren.
Where do you live in Ealing - how long have you been there?
We have lived in Perivale since 1984, though we first came to West Ealing as newly weds in 1969 for my wife to study at the former Mount Hermon Ladies Missionary College in Mount Park Avenue. I then managed a pharmacy in The Avenue. We are in Perivale because when searching for a first home in England for six of us, Perivale was the nearest place to our church which we could afford.
What are the best bits of Ealing?
I was a councillor from 1990 to 1984 and in contrast to some local authorities we have had peaceful, respectful. government whichever party is in power. Yes I know about the Southall riots but I was in Nigeria at that time and I think that those disturbances and the more recent trouble were largely the work of outsiders. I enjoy the diversity of the borough. Whatever cuisine you fancy you can find it here, with the exception of Korean food which I love.
Where are your favourite restaurants?
Lisa's on Pitshager Lane for a French treat and Silom Village on The Broadway for great Thai food and the best value eating I have found in Ealing.
Do you have any hidden gems?
The canal towpath throughout the borough is great for walking cycling and a different quiet perspective on the borough. The borough's art collection seems to be a much too obscurely hidden gem. I particularly like the painting of the late king and queen inspecting the wartime bomb damage at Hodder Drive, Perivale.
What's not so great about Ealing?
The proliferation of CPZs, road humps and high charges for parking. £1.25 an hour in Ealing, 20p in Hatch End, Harrow. Lack of disabled access at tube stations.
How could it be improved do you think?
The disabled one is obvious and has been done in Greenford. Parking should not be considered a council or hospital cash cow.
Do you have a favourite book/film?
The book has to be The Bible. Film is harder as I only tend to watch any film once. But the one where I see something new each time is Devil's Advocate.
Tell us about your religion and your blog.
I was brought up in a Methodist family in North Yorkshire. After some years of teenage rebellion I came back to faith in 1964 when a student in London. After qualifying as a pharmacist I had two years of theological study and a year after marriage we were in Nigeria with the Church of Christ among the Nations. I worked as a pharmacist in their hospital. Then I was teaching theology, ordained in the church there too. I finished up translating books and teaching the Hausa language.On return to Ealing I was appointed as an elder in The International Presbyterian Church, Drayton Green.
I have a quotations web site which has not been updated for a long while. My blog, Christian Quoter I subtitle, English Christian male who is not backward in coming forward with opinions. I have ranged far and wide I now concentrate on news from Nigeria for it is the parts where we lived peacefully that are now suffering from many Islamist attacks.
Do you feel religion is still relevant?
I reject the predominant secularist thinking which would confine religion to the private sphere of personal opinion. In this, just as the Muslim would say Islam is more than religion, I contend that the Christian should apply his or her faith in every sphere of life.
How do you convince young people?
Well I think that is actually God's work but my part is to be in a church community that seeks to speak the truth and show loving care for all.
What motto would you live you life by?
Jesus is Lord
What motto/slogan would you use for Ealing?
I searched in vain on the council's website for our present motto which is 'Progress with Unity'. I would change it to,'Unity from Diversity'. The history of the last century does not endear me to the idea of progress.
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22nd July 2014