Letters - 30 June 2017

From building links with students to recycling and balloons

Building links with students

Dundee has two universities, yet our Meeting has not been successful in building links with the student community.

We would like this situation to change. As our elders and overseers sat pondering this question it dawned on us that there are many towns and cities in the UK that have both universities and Quaker Meetings.

Please share with us through the columns of the Friend: how has your Meeting engaged successfully with your local student population?

Andrew Phin

Equality and education

In recent weeks there has been a lot of discussion in the Friend, following the news that Walden School, formerly Friends’ School Saffron Walden (FSSW), plans to close and an article from Quakers in Yorkshire entitled ‘Equality and education’ (19 May).

There were three letters, one of which, from Robert Campbell (16 June), was about the closure of Great Ayton Friends’ School twenty years ago. It seems that the problems Great Ayton faced then are very similar to those of FSSW now.

While I appreciate that times have changed, and Friends’ attitudes have also changed, I wish to express my deep sorrow at the closure of FSSW, of which I was a pupil from 1944 to 1951.

The innuendo that Quaker schools are only for the rich, and ape the grandest public schools, is absurd.

I am, of course, biased. My family were extremely lucky to be able to come to the UK in 1935, years before the worst atrocities of the Nazi regime had started.

FSSW accepted dozens of children, orphaned or not, from many countries, including Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Italy.

I am ashamed that I had thought this concern related only to Nazi-occupied nations. The same response occurred in the 1930s with Spanish children who were victims of the civil war then raging.

Friends should be proud, not ashamed, of their contribution to education.

Paul Honigmann

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