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Lucy Helen finally gets Bangladesh citizenship

  • Published at 09:08 pm March 31st, 2018
  • Last updated at 09:26 pm March 31st, 2018
Lucy Helen finally gets Bangladesh citizenship
The government honoured British woman Lucy Helen Frances with Bangladesh citizenship for her lifelong services to the people of Bangladesh over 57 years of living in the country. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina handed over the citizenship certificate to 87-year-old Lucy Helen at a function at her official residence Ganobhaban on Saturday. Lucy Helen supported the cause of Bangladesh's Liberation War by raising public awareness in favour of it in 1971. After the ceremony, prime minister's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters saying that Lucy was given Bangladesh's citizenship following her application in this regard. The prime minister thanked Lucy for her services to humanity. In reply, Lucy said she had the desire to meet Bangamata Fazilatunnesa Mujib but could not, and expressed her happiness as the dream was fulfilled today after meeting Sheikh Hasina, the daughter of Bangamata. Sheikh Rehana, the youngest daughter of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, prime minister's daughter Saima Wazed Hossain, Principal Secretary Nojibur Rahman and Secretary of the Security Services Division under the Ministry of Home Farid Uddin Ahmed were present. Lucy Helen, daughter of John Holt and Francese Holt, was born in the British town of St Helens on December 16, 1930. She first visited Bangladesh (then East Pakistan)in 1960. That same year, Lucy joined Barisal Oxford Mission and taught primary school children. She has been living in Bangladesh ever since. Lucy worked in Jessore, Khulna, Naogaon, Dhaka and Gopalganj during 57 years in Bangladesh. She retired in 2004 and came back to Barisal Oxford Mission in the same year. In her retired life, she provides English education and mental growth to distressed children. Lucy also made outstanding contributions to Bangladesh's Liberation War by taking care of the war-wounded civilians at Fatema Hospital in Jessore during the war. While the war was going on, she wrote a number of letters to her friends in Bangladesh to create public awareness, as well as a letter to her parents in the UK describing the situation during that time. After the war, Lucy Helen sent a letter along with some gifts to Bangamata Begum Fazilatunnesa Mujib in 1973. On behalf of Bangamata, the then school student Sheikh Rehana also replied expressing gratitude to Lucy at that time. During her visit to Barisal on February 8, the prime minister handed over Lucy's passport with a 15-year multiple Bangladeshi visa ending her long ordeal for visa renewal every year.