Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Letter from Dr. Marina Hitchen to the Unity High School Community - 16th September 2014

Hi

One of your students joined my school in Jeddah today which brought back memories. Good to see all the pictures on this site and if you have any new ones please get them up here. Not so good to hear that the school is once again facing some problems. This was sadly inevitable and such a pity parents did not act sooner to take back the school for the rightful owners. We also have some more documents about the sale of the school to Bishop Gwynne (receipts and such like) and his transference to the Trustees. I am sure many of you would find them interesting and hopefully we can post them up soon. There are also some nice photos including one of Clergy House. Please work to try to bring justice to Bishop Gwynne and all those missionaries and teachers who built your school into the best school in Africa. Do not let them down. They and your children deserve so much more.

I have to say that I do miss Khartoum and there are so very few schools with the history that Unity has. I will be visiting soon and hope to catch up with some of you then. Good Luck.

Dr. Marina Hitchen 

An Exchange of Emails between Dr Marina Hitchen and Mr Richard Wood - October 2013

on Oct 12, 2013, Marina wrote:
This is an enquiry e-mail via http://www.unityhighschool.org/ from :
Marina

Hi
I got the offer of an all paid trip to go and testify against your boss. I am not looking to get at Robbie personally so I guess I won't take up the offer. What you have to understand is that you don't actually have a boss. If you can in all honesty buy into that corruption then there is nothing to say. If you just want the job at the price you have to pay then there is also not much to say apart from what your conscience must be telling you. I am out now so the truth lays with you. It is your own choice. Believe it or not it was never about a job. I am earning a lot more in Saudi. It is simply about right and wrong. It just came to my mind today because of this court order. Up to you. You are the one living with this. I did what I believe to be right and still believe to be right. if anyone tells you otherwise then read the proof. If you need the job so be it but never ever believe that you are doing what is correct. Any idiot can see that would not be true. Good luck.
Marina
Sorry about the spelling. Too emotional.

On Friday, October 25, 2013 11:46 AM, "principal@unityhighschool.org" wrote:

Dear Marina,

Thank you for the two emails you sent last week. I regret the delay in responding. I was away for Eid and I promised myself I would not access my school email account during that time. On my return the Internet here failed, and then I went back to work.Today is really the first chance I have had to respond properly. 

Regarding your allegations about the ownership or otherwise of the school, and about my continuing role at the school, I should like to clarify a few points with you. First, you have never raised your allegations directly with me, nor provided any evidence, so I have had no opportunity to evaluate them. I am not inviting you to do so now, because the second point makes them irrelevant.  As I understand it, the people you accuse of having “stolen” the school have been vindicated by the authorities here and the matter has been closed without any stain on anyone’s name. Frankly, that is good enough for me. Third, the children in the school still need to be educated and that is my primary purpose as Principal. Please understand that I am not answerable to you for my actions or my conscience, so please do not be offended if I say that your judgement of me and my motives has not had, and will never have, the slightest impact on me.

I am assuming you want me to read the blog that purports to be in the name of the school I lead, and to accept without question what is asserted there. I have looked at the blog but as you can imagine, as the head of a school I am much more influenced by my own observations and experiences than by anything else. I have to say that I enjoy working with those people who have been routinely vilified by Steve Gooch and by you, and I fundamentally disagree with your negative assessment of them. I myself have nothing but respect for their work, for their integrity and for their dedication to the school. When placing that against the incautious public utterances of embittered ex-employees of the school who have been abusing their privileged positions of trust in order to cast aspersions on their former employers and colleagues, I am sure you can see that my decision to continue to work on behalf of the children, parents, staff and Council of Unity High School is an entirely principled one.

Moreover, in my estimation, your approach to dealing with the issues you have with the school has been below what I would expect from a professional. I cannot believe the amount of time and effort you continue to expend on an issue which has now been closed by the authorities. I do not know what your ultimate aim is and I suspect that might make two of us. However your continuing pursuit of something that is to all intents and purposes a dead issue, particularly when done in public, is surely not doing you any good and is certainly not doing the children any good.  The blog seems to have become a bizarre set of unrelated pages of whatever Steve Gooch happens to have in his possession at any time. I have to say I am unhappy about him posting photographs of children from the school on it. I recognize he has not named them, but I am sure you will appreciate that it is still not wise to place such materials on a public area. I said as much to him when he handed over the logbook he had in his possession to me last year, and this brings me to my final point.

The only reason I could imagine that I would wish to meet with you, would be for you finally to return the Principals' logbooks in your possession. They are valuable to the school and to the history of Khartoum – I doubt there are too many extant documents with a continuous narrative going back to the start of the last century in Khartoum, or indeed elsewhere in the world.  They belong at the school. Whilst I suspect you would hope your reputation as leader of Unity High School will in due time be based on your fearlessness and investigative skills, you have to be aware that the courts have ruled in favour of the school, so all your allegations remain in doubt. You have therefore to accept that not everyone might see your campaign in the same light that you and Steve Gooch do. You would then have further to accept that what is not in doubt is that you are at present solely and personally responsible for the deliberate removal and potential loss of a large and important part of the school and the country’s history. I imagine people would not find it that difficult to make their own assessment of your actions in respect of the logbooks.

I should further say that I see no reason for us to meet in person for the necessary action to be effected to put this right. All you need to do is to call a courier and despatch the logbooks to the school for my attention. Posterity can then have the chance to judge you on your years of service to the school rather than on one spiteful act of cultural vandalism which benefits no-one but which negatively affects many.

With all best wishes,

Richard

Richard Woods
Principal,
Unity High School
Khartoum
Sudan

On Friday, October 25, 2013 6:50 PM, marina hitchen wrote:

My Dear Richard

I think you completely misunderstand the situation. I was called to witnss in the case so it is clearly not over. I am not coming because I feel I cannot win now despite having all the evidence. You must be able to see from the documents that what has happened in that school was totally illegal and immoral. My only aim was to restore Bishop Gwynne as the sole owner and adhere to his wishes. Anyway I can see that you will believe whatever you choose to believe and have already judged me as you believe I have judged you.

At the end of the day I know what is right and if you knew me you would see that I am not at all a vengeful person and in no way vindictive. The log books belong to the Principal of Bishop Gwynne's school and Unity is no longer that school. They certainly do not belong to either me or you. I however am in posession and do not know what to do with them. I am certainly not passing them to you.

All I asked of you was to believe the evidence. Quite frankly it is impossible not to believe it. It is possible to lack understanding and certainly it takes time and effort to work your way through that documentation. Your Council are playing with you and you are exactly the person they wanted.

Barry Birch also fitted their profile as he knew nothing and did not choose to know. The Council were in dispute at the time of the illegal takeover and gave in as I have given in as the continued education of the children cannot be allowed to suffer. Honestly I am trying to escape from all that but it keeps coming back to haunt me. I did not expect that subpoena to Sudan and the anger all came back.

If you believe that forging staff signatures on powers of attorney letters without their knowledge is normal behaviour then I am horrified. The proof is there, Read Pat Clague's resignation letter from the 80's. They were doing similar stuff even then.

You have no wish to meet me nor I you. Your mind is closed and when you open it in future years you will see I am right. In the meantime I wish you every success with regards to the academic side of things. As for the rest you can remain blind. It is your conscience. Where I come from doing nothing is almost as bad as joining in the crime. We need have no further correspondence as it achieves nothing. I will not turn against you because of your naivity and I hope that you reconsider your opinion of me. It is not that important to me now. I did my best and lost. Its not the first time and probably won't be the last. Good does not win in the end every time.

Take Care

Marina

On Friday, October 25, 2013 7:04 PM, marina hitchen wrote:

Oh I forgot to add that what a Sudanese court decides is not infallible. They do not understand the paperwork and there were deliberate mis-translations done (I believe) which muddied the water. I don't care a jot about how I am remembered. I am answerable to myself only. THE LOG BOOKS DO NOT BELONG TO YOU. Yes they are important and I am planning the best place for them to go. It would not be your Church people. Look at what they already 'lost' from the church and the school. Invaluable gifts were given to them and where are they now??? Ask yourself why they removed their history. Ask why they changed the date of the school inception from 1928 back to 1902. The answers are all there.

M

Saturday, May 24, 2014

An Exchange of Emails Between Steve Gooch and Hafiz Kheir - March and April 2013

From: Steve Gooch
To:
Sent: Monday, 1 April 2013, 16:05
Subject: Sudan Embassy

Hi Hafiz,

 I thought I would drop you a line. We met outside the Sudanese Embassy having a smoke on Sunday. Hope you remember me. I hope your family wedding went ok!

I am interested in your area of work and what it is you actually do in the media. I think you might be interested in my story from Sudan of Unity High School and how it was stolen by the Bishop of Khartoum on the back of the disappearance of a donation to the church by the British Royal Family back in the 70's...there is plenty of info and documentation here if you want to take a look:
http://unitykhartoum.blogspot.com/search/label/Corruption%20in%20the%20School If you follow that 'corruption in the school' tag you will find a lot of very interesting info that is all pretty much cross-referenced. The Director of the school has already been in jail twice over this but seems to have been let out on both occasions. It would be interesting to know what the school has done with the $4,000,000 that it had in its bank accounts at the end of the tenure of Principal Dr Marina Hitchen also.

 Anyway, I thought you might be interested in that story. I am working on turning it into a novel right now.
 But that aside, it is always good to connect up with other writers and creative people. My link below will give you a bit more about me. One book under my belt, editing a journal on Reiki and working on a novel right now. Be in touch.

 Regards,
  
 Steve Gooch

From: Hafiz Kheir
Sent: 05 April 2013 16:10
To: Steve Gooch
Subject: Re: Sudan Embassy

Hi Steve, and thank you so much for your email...

Hope all went well with your embassy papers(!)...

Sorry for the delay responding; I don't have a reliable net connection here...

The wedding went good, am enjoying a lazy Cairo time with family...

the Story of the Unity School is very interesting indeed, and I can clearly see a documentary there!
I am reading the background and documents in the link you sent, but lets talk a little bit more, when
I get back to my base in Virginia, to see what we can do together...

If you're still in Cairo, maybe we can meet for Coffee and chat one evening, before I travel back on the 10th (of April..)

You can call me on my cousin's mobile number: xxxxxxxxxxx Cairo

All the best and let's keep it up!

Hafiz Kerr

Fri 05/04/2013 20:06

Hi Hafiz,

Glad that the wedding went fine and you are now chilling out. Yes, got my papers sorted at the embassy eventually.

Yes, you are right, there is definitely potential for a documentary  in all that material for sure. I think it goes deeper than we were able to investigate fully. Almost certainly - but without any substantive evidence right now, there is another school: KIPS (Khartoum International Preparatory School) involved in this in the early days too - also 'stolen' it seems: not BY the church, but FROM the church (the last I heard they are still fighting this in the courts and have been for over 40 years now): maybe it was this that gave them the idea to take Unity - an eye for an eye maybe? But KIPS is involved in this somehow. My ex boss would possibly know a little more on that as she saw documents on a visit there once that were swiftly removed from her sight by a lawyer at the school I think...

And if KIPS IS involved - and for sure it would seem to be - then a royal donation made by the British Monarchy in the 70's (which paid for the building of KIPS I think) is also implicated. That donation - made by Princess Ann seems to have largely gone missing also.

Oddly, even though we did not get a chance to search ALL the documents held at the school, it does seem to be the case that the entire file of minutes of various meetings in the school has disappeared - possibly now held in the Sudan Archive at the university of Durham in the UK. That file would cover the royal donation - possibly the argument between the Principal of Unity at the time over monies expected to be paid or given back to her 'associate' (lover? friend? colleague?) by the school council on receipt of the royal donation - this money was denied by the council and not long after, KIPS was taken by someone who walked in with some documents and claimed the school as his (forged Trust Deeds maybe?).

Anyway, the rabbit hole is deep and what you see on the archive is the tip of the iceberg. And all of this going on in the school that was at the centre of the international news in 2007 over the Teddy bear that was named Mohamed. It is a MASSIVE story when you factor that into the equation along with the royal donation and the head of the Anglican community in Khartoum being a suspected thief!

Sadly I am not in Cairo now. I live in Alex at the moment and am back here now. For sure get in touch any time and if you think there is mileage in this, lets work on something. I am keen for the school to be returned to a legal body of Trustees and for sure you could count on the support and active participation of the Principal at the time we discovered all this corruption: Dr Marina Hitchen.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Steve


(Note: So far this story has not been taken up by Hafez - 3rd November 2013)

Friday, February 7, 2014

An Exchange of Emails between Dr Marina Hitchen and Len Whittaker of the Sudan Church Association - October 2013

On ١٣‏/٠٨‏/٢٠١١, at ٢:١٧ م, L WHITTAKER wrote:
--- On Sat, 13/8/11, L WHITTAKER wrote:
From: L WHITTAKER
Subject: Corruption
To: "Marina Hitchen"

All of your web sites have gone since you left the school. I have "hit" the chairman of the SCA with everything I have found and all the information you have alerted me to. Is there any more up to date news other tham Boulas being arrested that i can use.  A number of the SCA members are asking for more information.ض.   Dd

Regards

Len Whittaker.

 From: Marina 
Sent: 12 October 2013 20:56
To: L WHITTAKER
Subject: Re: Corruption

 Hi

I never did get to the bottom of all that corruption in Sudan. I got called to court today to fight yet another case against the church. I just cannot do it. I have other battles to fight and maybe even win. It is just so sad that I was never really taken seriously and that Bishop Gwynne had so little of what he wanted for all that he put in. One consolation is that he expected it and would not be so surprised.  As a non Christian I seem to be the most shocked.

Marina

From: "L WHITTAKER" 
Date: ١٣ أكتوبر، ٢٠١٣ ١:٥٣:٢٨ م جرينتش+٠٢:٠٠
To: "'Marina'" 
Subject: RE: Corruption

Interesting to hear from you, even more so as I didn’t send you that email. If it had been dated 2012 it may have been correct, but certainly not from me recently. 
Investigations were carried out by both the SCA and the Diocese of Bradford, but neither found any “wrong doing” (surprise, surprise). Its all now in the past.

 Regards

Len Whittaker

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Graduation - 23rd April 2013

Click on an image to enlarge it in your browser window.

Lamees Mohamed

Lamees Mohamed and friend


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Staff Socialising - 21st August 2008

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Bertram Williams-Taylor and Gurschon Le Roe

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Staff Party - 31st August 2009

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Gill Williams-Taylor, Justyna Sikora and Samantha Le Roe

Justyna Sikora and Gurschon Le Roe

Justyna Sikora and Hossam

More Photos from the School Bazaar - February 2010

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Danya Hussein, Tasneem Elghazali Bakhiet, Bebe Ogeil, Noorah Mahmoud and Mayada Usama 

Enas Shulgami 

Fathelrahman Mekki and Shatha Elhassan

Mayada Usama, Shahd Dwayne, Lamees Mohamed, Fathelrahman Mekki and Enas Shulgami

Omnia Mohamed, Ola Abdulrahman, Shahd Dwayne, Abram Rajai Edward and Fathelrahman Mekki

Shahd Dwayne, Abram Rajai Edward, Tasneem Elghazali Bakhiet, Enas Shulgami and Marilyn Ehab

Shahd Dwayne, Tasneem Elghazali Bakhiet, Enas Shulgami, Marilyn Ehab and Bebe Ogeil

Friday, November 29, 2013