Altab Ali Park
Altab Ali Park is a small park on Adler Street, White Church Lane and Whitechapel Road, London E1. Formerly known as St. Mary's Park, it is the site of the old 14th-century white church, St. Mary Matfelon, from which the area of Whitechapel gets its name. St Mary's was heavily bombed during The Blitz in 1940, all that remains of the old church is the floor plan and a few graves. Included among those buried on the site are Richard Parker, Richard Brandon, Sir John Cass, and "Sir" Jeffrey Dunstan, "Mayor of Garratt".
The park was renamed Altab Ali Park in 1998 in memory of Altab Ali, a 25-year-old British Bangladeshi clothing worker, who was murdered on 4 May 1978 in Adler Street by three teenage boys as he walked home from work. Ali's murder was one of the many racist attacks that came to characterise the East End at that time. At the entrance to the park is an arch created by David Petersen, developed as a memorial to Altab Ali and other victims of racist attacks. The arch incorporates a complex Bengali-style pattern, meant to show the merging of different cultures in East London.
Along the path down the centre of the park are letters spelling out "The shade of my tree is offered to those who come and go fleetingly" – a fragment of a poem by Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore.
The Shaheed Minar, which commemorates the Bengali Language Movement, stands in the southwest corner of Altab Ali Park. The monument is a smaller replica of the one in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and symbolises a mother and her martyred sons.
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