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At the School Council meeting of 24th November 1998, Principal William Strath produced this set of notes relating to issues surrounding the Board of Trustees that had arisen at the meeting of 30th March 1997 - one and a half years earlier.
Strath notes that the School Council confirmed the appointment of the 'new Trustees' of 7th June 1995 in their meeting of 14th August 1995 (Administration Report to the School Council - 14th August 1995) and goes on to note that he can find no evidence to support the notion that the School Council have the authority to elect or appoint Trustees. However it was those same supposedly new Trustees from the letter of 7th June 1995 that (in their role as School Councillors) had asked the Council to do so in the first instance.
By the time of this meeting it seems that considerable problems had continued to arise in the School Council over the supposed appointment of the 7th June 1995 Trustees. Strath emphasises quite strongly in his notes that Councillors cannot question the appointment of Trustees (leading one to assume that this was happening) and states quite unequivocally "It is my contention that ANY discussion of the appointment of Trustees can only be carried out by THEM." Strath quotes from the schools 1945 Trust Deed in support of his argument, a copy of which was taken to the meeting and appears above. Strath of course is quite correct in his assertion. Presumably, in spite of the School Council's earlier ratification of the June 1995 Trustees, the members of the School Council continued to be unhappy about what appeared to them to be a hijacking of the Board of Trustees.
In his notes, Strath goes on to refer to Rev. Reuben Makoi (one of the schools legitimate Trustees) and supposed author of the 7th June 1995 letter, as the "...sole remaining Trustee..." and goes on to state that the new 1995 Trustees "...are the only legal Trustees..." How is this so? Already, only a sentence later, he has dismissed Makoi as a Trustee by stating that they new 1995 Trustees are the only legal Trustees. Where is Makoi's resignation letter? It does not appear as if Makoi at any time resigned his post as Trustee of Unity High School.
Strath also notes that it is the responsibility of the Trustees "...to veto any act done or contemplated by the Council or any member or officer thereof which is in the opinion of the Trustees inconsistent with the general policy of the school or is undesirable." It is very clear that the appointment of Council members to the Board of Trustees is 'inconsistent with the general policy of the school' and is undesirable. This point seems not to have been raised at the meeting.
It would appear that the position of the Archbishop as a Trustee of the school was something that also concerned members of the Council who were contesting the legitimacy of the 1995 Trustees. Strath used the 1945 Trust Deed in an attempt to negate this issue. He quoted: "The Right Reverend the Anglican Bishop in Egypt and the Sudan for the time being shall be Trustee so long as he continue to hold that office or until he resigns and on ceasing to hold the office aforesaid he shall be eligible for appointment as an ordinary Trustee." This clause clearly stipulated that the Bishop of Egypt and the Sudan would automatically be a Trustee and would only cease to be a Trustee if he did not continue to hold that office, or until he resigned as a Trustee. If he did not continue to hold the office of Bishop of Egypt and Sudan, he could apply to be an ordinary Trustee if he wished. It is very true that there was no longer a 'Bishop of Egypt and the Sudan' who would automatically be a Trustee, however, earlier in the same document there is the stipulation that "Trustees...shall also include the successors in office of the Right Reverend Bishop in Egypt and Sudan." Both the Archbishops of Sudan and of Egypt are successors in office to the Bishop of Egypt and Sudan and are therefore legally Trustees of Unity High School, as are all future holders of these posts. It should be noted that even if the Archbishop were to resign his position as Trustee, he would be resigning only for the duration of his tenure as the Archbishop, as according to the Trust Deed, all successors in office are Trustees. It is not possible to resign this position and would require a re-write of the Trust Deed itself by a legitimate body of Trustees to remove this stipulation. It seems as if Strath deliberately left this point out of his presentation.
Strath ends his notes with "It is my contention, therefore, that this issue is not a matter for discussion either by the Executive Committee or by the School Council and should therefore be dropped from discussions." It seems that he achieved his aim as no mention of the Trustees appears in school documentation again. At least not until April 2011 with this Archive.
There is the question of the enlargements made of Rev. Reuben Makoi's signature. These were prepared by Strath and could have been used to cast doubt over the authenticity of the undated letter by Makoi that suggests a list of Trustees other than those given in the 7th June 1995 letter. The signatures come from these two letters and are clearly different. It is highly unlikely that given Strath's support of David Treagust's witnessing of the 1995 letter in the early part of his report to the Council, that he is going to have tried to suggest that the 1995 letter is a forgery.
Alternatively, if Strath produced the signature enlargements to cast doubt over the 1995 letter (given the nature of the letter, it is understandable why anyone would cast doubt over it's authenticity), then at what point and why did he change his mind over the issues relating to the legal standing of the supposed Trustees?
In 2011, a lawyer, familiar with Makoi's signature stated that the undated letter was definitely signed by Makoi - casting even more doubt over the authenticity of the 7th June 1995 letter.
Also in 2011, Bishop Kondo claimed to have never seen a copy of the school's Trust Deed. How can this be so? Strath was clearly quoting from it at this Council meeting and in fact had prepared photocopies of the Trust Deed itself for Council members to read at the meeting.
Strath began his search for information relating to the Trustees quite some time prior to this meeting. You can find some notes prepared by him in March of 1998 here: Notes By William Strath Over His Support for the Illegal Trustees - 30th March 1998.