London police are hosting a ceremony on Tuesday to honour the force’s first Black officer with the renaming of the community room at police headquarters.
Lewis (Bud) Coray served on the force for 30 years after becoming London’s first Black cop in 1951.
On Tuesday, the community room at police headquarters was renamed the Lewis ‘Bud’ Coray Community Room. Coray was on hand for the ceremony, and says he was honoured to be recognized in this way.
“When I applied I didn’t think I had a chance because of being coloured. Little did I know that I would become a role model to the younger generation of minority officers,” Coray said.
“I cannot express in words the joy and pride I feel. I am truly honoured.”
The room is frequently used by different community groups to meet, to learn and to celebrate achievements. The room now features photos from Coray’s 30 years of service, along with ones reflecting diversity within the LPS.
“It is fitting that this room, representative of the community and located in the heart of headquarters, becomes known as the Lewis ‘Bud’ Coray Community Room,” said Chief Steve Williams.
“Bud remains a positive role model for everyone with a dream, regardless of race, ethnicity or heritage.”
The ceremony took place during Black History Month.
Tuesday’s ceremony follows the creation of the Lewis Coray Trailblazer Award for Youth, which offers opportunities for growth and success to youth from the African, Caribbean and Black Canadian communities.
The award was created in 2012, annually celebrating youth in recognition of Black History Month. This year, the award winner will be announced Feb. 27 during an evening of inspiration with London Majors infielder Cleveland Brownlee.