Dick Bequest Trust campaign: Send Back the Money
This page outlines the campaign initiated by David Alston and Donald Morrison to return to Jamaica the funds held by the Dick Bequest Trust, established with wealth made in the trade in enslaved Africans and still benefitting schools in the north-east of Scotland.
Our report: James Dick and the Dick Bequest: A legacy of slavery
Authors: David Alston & Donald Morrison
(Updated 25 March 2021 on the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims
of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade)
Letter to Governors of the Dick Bequest, 7 February 2021
Reply from Clerk to the Governors, 11 March 2021, claiming that the Trust is 'directed by central government' and refusing to enter into any further correspondence.
Correspondence with Scottish Government
Letter from Professor Verene Shepherd, Director, Centre for Reparation Research, The University of the West Indies to Ms Shirley-Anne Somerville, copied to First Minister, 7 June 2021 in which Professor Shepherd says she 'stands ready to engage with you, as well as with the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, in a conversation about the most effective way of directing these funds to our children in Jamaica'.
Reply from Aqeel Ahmed (Directorate for Equality, Diversity & Human Rights), 12 July 2021. Identical reply sent to Verene Shepherd
Response to Aqeel Ahmed, 2 August 2021
Letter to First Minister, 2 August 2021, asking that Ministers meet with Professor Verene Shepherd and Chair of the Governors of the Dick Bequest to find a way forward
Reply from Aqeel Ahmed, 10 September 2021 apologising for delay and indicating contact 'very shortly' to arrange a meeting with ministers
Letter to Aqeel Ahmed, 25 October 2021, pointing out delay and lack of action
Correspondence with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator
Email from OSCR 27 August 2021 outlining actions open to the Governors of the Dick Bequest in order to seek changes to the terms of the Trust
Letter to Governors of the Dick Bequest 19 September 2021 asking then to reconsider their position. No ackowledgement or reply received.