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Letter from David Whelan to Walter Smith, Chairman Former Boys and Girls Association Quarriers, 02/07/2004

From: David W Whelan
To: Mr Walter Smith
Date: 02/07/2004

Private and Confidential

Dear Walter

In response to your letter dated the 14th May 2004, the facts that you fail to mention are the following:

  1. The FBGA has allowed some members to manipulate the association for their own aims.
  2. Mrs Porteous a committee member and supporters have questioned the veracity, integrity and the honesty of the victims in the media and at functions run by the FBGA.
  3. At the same time Mrs Porteous and some members have been allowed to continue to participate in the association.
  4. Some Committee members and some supporters have mounted a campaign to discredit witnesses after a High Court verdict
  5. The FBGA has allowed former employees and members to project their views to other members at various functions and meetings re these convictions.
  6. The FBGA has not remained impartial at all times.
  7. Some of these issues and others have been raised at previous AGMs 2002 and 2003 by members re: Mr John Porteous and Mrs Helen Porteous for no action to be taken.
  8. The FBGA has lent tacit support to Mr and Mr Porteous.
  9. The FBGA has allowed former Quarriers employees to participate at all levels in the association enabling them to influence and manipulate the Association for there own ends.
  10. Some supporters of Mr Porteous have benefited from the FBGA.
  11. The FBGA is not democratic.
  12. The current FBGA is not truly representative of all the former boys and girls of Quarriers.
  13. A democratic organisation will allow constructive criticism to be voiced and published in their newsletter and web site.
  14. A truly democratic organisation will allow other different memories re Quarriers to be published in the FBGA newsletter and web site.
  15. A truly democratic organisation allows chairmen, committee members etc only to represent for a set number of years and then they are disbarred from representation within the organisation/association so allowing for other members to become committee members so not allowing any particular committee members to form a particular power base and wield undue influence within the association.
  16. A democratic organisation does not allow itself to be used by members with different agendas and aims to the organisation thus giving individuals amplified voices.

 

Re: Your comments in the FBGA Newsletter dated June 2004

In the same way that you have these happy memories from your time in Quarriers there are other individuals who have a different type of serious memory re their time in Quarriers.

By your propaganda in the newsletter re your time in Quarriers, and this is the only way to describe it, you have as Chairman voiced an opinion and again involved the FBGA in these issues.

It is right to inform members that thinking and expressing opinions on these convictions and the issues surrounding them within the FBGA which is not knowledge based demeans the serious nature of these issues and involves the FBGA in areas which are not warranted. And it is opinions expressed by the uneducated on these issues.

Again it is after the horse has bolted it would have been better to inform the membership after the conviction of the very first perpetrator (McBearty) then Mr and Mrs Porteous and there supporters would have clearly understood the neutrality of the FBGA in these issues and not engaged in discrediting victims/witnesses through the FBGA and bringing the FBGA into disrepute or even legal action.

Again it has been left to the initiative of the victims to make your organisation aware of the serious issues involved.

The unwarranted media attention on Quarriers and the victims was fostered on both of us by the perpetrators and there families alone and there unwillingness to accept the initial court verdicts and reinforced by the appeal courts (McBearty and Porteous and others).

The fact is the victims in all these cases were given anonymity by the courts but I and my sister had no choice personally to give ours up because of the distortion of the facts and evidence re: the broadcasting of the programme "Secrets or Lies"

I reserve the right as victims' spokesperson to continue to speak to the media in any capacity until all of these issues with the FBGA and Quarriers are resolved to the satisfaction of myself and the victims.

The FBGA has no say whatsoever in these matters and that this is being properly neutral.

The people at the centre of these issues do have the right to an opinion, victims and perpetrators alike, but this should not be expressed through the FBGS or any other organisation which claims to represents former boys and girls of Quarriers.

The victims thinking is knowledge-based and when it comes to the time for Quarriers to ask us how to do things better/differently we will engage constructively with Quarriers because there is common ground and we would hope that the areas we have no common ground we will find common ground.

There is a contradiction between what you say and do between your letter dated 14th May 2004 and your Newsletter comments June 2004.

The organisation should be progressive and take into account the different circumstances of some of the former boys and girls re Quarriers and be a voice for all of these individuals as well.

Where as the role of the FBGA is to remain neutral at all times this should be stated clearly and unequivocal in your articles of association and any committee member or member who brings the association or Quarriers into disrepute by their actions should be asked to disassociate from the FBGA.

I understand that the constitution of the FBGA has in the past been amended and it may be that due to these extraordinary circumstances that which the FBGA has become part of that it may have to be amended and be up dated to take into account some of the issues raised.

I will be in contact shortly as I have some more names to register through the FBGA and would appreciate it if you could send all the new members a copy of the newsletter June 2004 and a copy of the current constitution.

I do appreciate some of your comments in the newsletter dated June 2004 but it would have been helpful if they were expressed long before now to the committee and the membership.

It is my wish that moving forward the FBGA is truly representative of all the former boys and girls and these issues are dealt with in a constructive manner it is not our wish to see the ending of the association but an association that allows itself to be hijacked by other peoples agendas and is not truly representative of all the former boys and girls does not deserve to survive.

I would like to thank you for your previous correspondence and still believe that it would be helpful to the victims for us to meet and discuss these issues in person in your capacity as Chairman of the FBGA.

Yours Sincerely

David Whelan

Cc Phil Robinson Quarriers

 
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