RESPECTED: Taiyabur Chowdhury passed away on 17th November at the age of 73
RESPECTED: Taiyabur Chowdhury passed away on 17th November at the age of 73

A former adoption social worker from Shipley, who had been named on this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List, has been called a ‘true gentleman’ by his son, after sadly passing away prior to receiving his MBE.

Taiyabur Rahman Chowdhury was due to travel to Buckingham Palace to collect his award for services to children and families later this month.

He tragically died after a short illness on 17th November – at the age of 73 – just one year after retiring from ‘the job he loved’.

His son, Ashfaq Chowdhury, paid tribute to his father.  

“He was a very pleasant, very polite gentleman,” Ashfaq said. “That is how everyone described him – a ‘gentleman’ in every sense of the word.

“He always went out of his way to help others, especially with his work; working weekends and completing documents and forms in his own time.

“I think that is what distinguished him from my generation. He was in it purely for the satisfaction of the work. He was very selfless in the way he went about things.

“Since his death we have been overwhelmed by the support we have received from so many communities. Families who he helped put together have even tracked my mum down to say thank you and pay their respects to him.”

Mr Chowdhury first arrived in the UK at the age of 20 in 1963 after completing a degree at the University of Dhaka, in Bangladesh.

After running a restaurant in Bradford, he took the decision to return to higher education and graduated from the University of Bradford at the age of 50, with a degree in social care.

A short time later he began working for Bradford Adoption and Fostering Services, helping more than 50 couples adopt a child and building families across the city for more than 20 years.

His wife, Zinnat, and two of his daughters, are now hoping to collect the MBE on their father’s behalf, with Ashfaq adding that it would be a great honour for his family.

“He was absolutely delighted when he was told about the MBE,” Ashfaq added.

“He was a man born in colonial India and grew up only seeing the MBE presented to the elite of the British. For a ‘boy from Bangladesh’, to receive such an honour was a privilege for him.

“As soon as he arrived here in Britain, he saw himself as a British man. He invested all his time here and in his children.”