Ambassador Teferi embarks on a virtual trip to Bath

3 Feb 2021

Bath has always been the first port of call outside London for Ethiopian Ambassadors to the Court of St James, and the virtual visit of Ambassador Teferi Melesse to three institutions in the historic and spa City of Bath on 28th January was no exception.

The origin of Ethio-Bath relations is Fairfield House, the 2-acre Georgian former home of Emperor Haile Selassie I, which after his return from five years of exile in the UK, donated it to Bath and Somerset County Council as “a token of appreciation for the warmth of hospitality residents of Bath offered to us and our family.”

Fairfield House

Discussions with the directors and custodians of Fairfield House focused on the historical and cultural links between the City of Bath and Ethiopia, securing Emperor Haile Selassie’s legacy for future generations, and how to further enhance diaspora engagement with the former home of the Emperor.

On the occasion, Ambassador Teferi expressed the appreciation of the people and Government of Ethiopia to custodians of the House for keeping the Emperor’s legacy alive in Bath and for strengthening the historic bonds between Ethiopia and the UK. The Ambassador also vowed to pay a courtesy visit to the House once COVID restrictions have eased and suggested the hosting of an annual “Ethiopia Day” celebration at Fairfield House.

The next stop on Ambassador Teferi’s virtual visit was the Mayor’s Office.

In his meeting with the Mayor of Bath, Councillor Manda Rigby, and her deputy, Councillor Gerry Curran, Ambassador Teferi appreciated the shared history between the City of Bath and Ethiopia and vowed to work together with them to sustain the Emperor’s legacy, and further enhance the multi-faceted links with the City Bath.

Councillor Manda Rigby on her part said that the Council and people of Bath always have and always will be proud of the historic links between the City
and Ethiopia, and that she looks forward to strengthening the links to keep the Emperor’s legacy alive.

Emperor Haile Selassie with the Mayor of Bath in October 1954

The last stop on this trip was Bath Spa University.

The Ambassador met and held discussions with the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sue Rigby, and senior management, to hear about their already-existing partnership with Addis Ababa University in research and knowledge exchange, as well as the University’s collaborative partnership with Fairfield House.

Thanking them for their accomplishments so far, Ambassador Teferi encouraged the University to strengthen its collaborations with Addis Ababa University and explore new areas of partnerships with other universities in Ethiopia.

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