Two doctorates for Rugby's longest-serving councillor after decades of work to promote intercultural harmony

Cllr Shera made history when he became Rugby's first Pakistani mayor in 1988

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 8:19 pm
Cllr Dr James Shera. Photo: Rugby Borough Council.

Rugby's longest-serving councillor has received two honorary doctorates as a thank-you for decades of work to promote interfaith harmony and multicultural education.

Cllr James Shera came to the UK in 1971 from Pakistan and began his career as a teacher in Rugby.

He worked hard to build multicultural and multi-faith links in the borough and across the UK.

He first won his seat on the Benn Ward in 1981 - a seat he still holds today, 40 years later.

In 1988 he made history when he became our borough's first Pakistani mayor - and the second Pakistani man to become a mayor in the UK.

Since then Cllr Shera has worked to build worked hard to build multicultural and multi-faith links in the borough and across the UK.

Through his extensive connections in Pakistan, he soon established a platform for multicultural and multifaith dialogue for peace and prosperity between the UK and Pakistan.

For his work in this field, Cllr Shera has won many awards over the years, including the Star of Pakistan in 1992 for services to community and interfaith relations and an MBE in 2007.

He was also made an Honorary Freeman of Rugby Borough in 2017 - the highest award the borough can grant.

And recently Cllr Shera was awarded with two doctorates, one from Coventry University in recognition of James’ contribution to intercultural and interfaith harmony and multicultural education.

The other was in Arts and Letters, from the Forman Christian College, University of the Punjab in Lahore.

The Equality and Inclusion Partnership (EQuIP) is delighted with the news that its chair Cllr Shera has received the honours.

Junaid Hussain, Chief Executive of EQuIP, said: "We are absolutely delighted for James and are so proud of his recent award from Coventry University and all of his achievements over the years.

"It is an honour to have James as chair of our countywide organisation, which has benefited from his experience and knowledge from interfaith, multicultural education and developing good relations between different communities and faith groups from around the world.’

"We have all had our recent challenges and after a devasting year, we will certainly be celebrating James’ enormous achievements, when we are able to resume face to face contact."