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US ambassador gets stuck in to paint East End centre

PUBLISHED: 08:01 19 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:29 05 October 2010

US Ambassador... painted in a corner?

US Ambassador... painted in a corner?

THE American ambassador works in one the most heavily fortified buildings in London, has Gordon Brown’s number on speed-dial and was sworn into his job by Hillary Clinton. But Louis B Susman took the day off from all that to do a spot of wall painting in London’s East End

By Johnny McDevitt

THE American ambassador works in one the most heavily fortified buildings in London, has Gordon Brown’s number on speed-dial and was sworn into his job by Hillary Clinton.

But Louis B Susman took the day off from all that to do a spot of wall painting in London’s East End.

He and some of his embassy staff were giving a lick of fresh paint to the charity Neighbours in Poplar’s St Matthias community centre yesterday.

The makeover included painting the interior walls and garden benches before Sister Christine Frost and her team, who run the centre in Poplar High Street, were invited back to the US embassy in Grosvenor Square for tea to mark the birthday of Martin Luther King, celebrated as a US national holiday.

London and New York have a 62-year mutual volunteering exchange programme organised through the Winant Clayton foundation which arranged Mr Susman’s East End trip.

The foundation, which has its UK headquarters at Bethnal Green in East London, was set up in 1948 by The Rev Tubby’ Clayton and America’s wartime ambassador in London John Winant, to promote cultural understanding between Britain and the US.

The charity is now accepting applications for the 2010 exchange programme to New York, with bursaries available to qualifying candidates living or working in Tower Hamlets and Southwark.


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