A Bradford community leader Zulfi Karim says he feels privileged to make history after taking up a prestigious role. Zulfi Karim DL, of Saltaire, has been appointed as the High Sheriff of West Yorkshire, a post he will hold for the next 12 months. He was officially appointed in a ceremony held at Leeds Combined Court on Monday, April 3.
He is the first member of the Black and Minority Ethnic Community (BAME) in its more than 1,000-year history to take up the non-political post, which he was nominated for. The role has a focus on law and order and Mr Karim will assist the police in the county during his year.
The High Sheriff of West Yorkshire is a current High Sheriff title which has existed since 1974, the holder is changed annually every March. For around 1,000 years the entire area of Yorkshire was covered by a single Sheriff of Yorkshire. After the Local Government Act 1972 the office of Sheriff was changed to High Sheriff and was split to cover several newly created counties, including West Yorkshire.
Businessman Mr Karim, 56, said: “It’s very, very special to me, I feel blessed. I feel privileged to be chosen.
“I just want to support people and do what I can to help in my term of office.
“It was a wonderful ceremony. It was an honour and a privilege to have my father there, he was a first generation who came to Bradford in 1959 as an immigrant to work in textiles in then mills of Bradford.
“Almost 60 years later, his son gets appointed to such a prestigious role.
“I’m the first in the county as somebody of colour in then 1,000-year history of the office.