I have been reading all your comments with interest and feel that perhaps some of you need more background to help you to understand things.
Bishop Gwynne started a school in 1902 and bought the land with his own money. He gave that land to the Church. The school had 250 students in 1927 when the Church decided they didn't want it. It wasn't making much money as fees were low and over half the students were Muslim and not interested in being converted. They then SOLD Bishop Gwynne's present back to him. Gwynne tried again and opened Unity in 1928 on his own.
Whenever the school needed money they appealed for donations. Money came from ALL the communities except the Anglican Church. There were Anglicans who gave money but they gave it as individuals. When Gwynne left he had no children so he left the school in Trust. He was very careful to make the Trustees members of the business community; not church members. He left a Church based Council just for day to day affairs. That Council was supposed to be chosen by you, the parents. Slowly the Council started appointing themselves.
By the 40th anniversary of the school some Council members had managed to also become Trustees. The 40th anniversary booklet goes part way into trying to say the school was actually older and that the school of 1902 was the same one as Unity. To give you an analogy: if you open a clothes shop today in a shop that was previously owned by Marks and Spencer you cannot say you are the same shop and that you were established in 1890. Another head Miss Kilvert was worried by the Council and tried to abolish it and just have the Trustees. Her proposal was rejected and she left.
When ths school needed money in the 1970's Pat Clague, the Principal, got it from the Sudanese Government (all of whom were Muslim). Yet again the Church gave nothing. Once the school got money (from another donation) and became self financing Pat had to go. She was trying to stop the Church takng money. She had no support and no blog of course. By 1995 none of the Trustees from the past were around. The gang of five took their chance and started forging documents. Once they were the Trustees they felt free to help themselves even though the Trust Deed says very clearly that no money can go out of the school. Time passed and all was forgotten. In 2002 they held a Centenary celebration. Not just because they thought it would be nice. They wanted to forget all about Gwynne's re-purchase of the school and go back to the time when the Chuch were rightful owners. That is also why it says 1902 on the gates. When Mr Steve started working on the history of the school no one knew any of this. I knew about there being Trustees because in the Constitution it says that these are the people who legally own the land. When I asked who they were I was told it was not important. When I got sacked I asked Steve if he knew anything about Trustees and a Trust document. He found all of it amongst millions of other old documents. I knew then that this school did not belong to the Church and that I had had no right to have been giving them money. I had to clear my own name from being an accessory to theft.
Some of you may feel that the amounts taken were not huge and better to live with this amount of corruption rather than rock the boat. This crossed our minds too. Then we discovered that the Church was looking to find a financial backer for their almost ruined school in Omdurman. Unity would have been the obvious choice for that as everyone thought both schools had the same owners. The decision was therefore made for us. If they were going to escalate their theft we had to stop it. All those teachers knew that if they did this they would be losing their jobs. We also knew that it was going to be hard to destroy the Council without destroying the school. This was when we looked for parental support. It was too complex for many to understand or they did not want to be involved. Others agreed to take up the cause and we agreed to support them. We made it clear that we would not be coming back ourselves and would only do what we could from outside: such as help with recruitment, hand over planning etc. None of us are seeking revenge or our jobs back. Hopefully you will manage to form new Trustees and a Council of your own choice. The success of the school will be in your own hands. How big a success that is will result in you thanking us for what we did or blaming us.
We are all happy to see the school succeed without the Church. The church Council are the ones who stopped your school being really great earlier on. They took your history, your trophies etc as well as your money. We are all wishing for the best for you. We have moved on with our lives but we want to see the school move forward to being the greatest school in Africa. It should have been that by 1970 but get going, make up for lost time and we are with you (from a distance) all the way.
Dr. Marina Hitchen - 28th July 2011