VIP for Finzean book launch

Sir Geoff Palmer with Finzean pupils at the book launch
Sir Geoff Palmer with Finzean pupils at the book launch

Birse Community Trust and Finzean Primary School welcomed a special visitor to Finzean last week for the launch of a new book.

Professor Sir Geoff Palmer joined pupils, staff and guests on Tuesday for the launch of ‘Aye, it wis aabody’, a graphic novel that tells the story of Scotland’s role in the Caribbean slave trade.

Sir Geoff is widely recognised for his human rights work, as well as being Jamaica’s Honorary Consul in Scotland, and Professor Emeritus in the School of Life Sciences at Heriot-Watt University.

The book is the culmination of a year-long community heritage project that explored the links between Birse and chattel slavery in the Caribbean.

The project focused on the establishment of Finzean Primary School (then Bankhead Endowed School) in 1732, with funds from the sale of enslaved people in Barbados.

With the help of the community heritage group, Finzean pupils explored the history of the school, the lives of past pupils and links with the Caribbean over the centuries.

They also studied the slave trade and its legacies and are partnering Sir Geoff’s former primary school in Kingston to learn more about their shared history with Jamaica.

The novel will be distributed to every primary school in Aberdeenshire, each pupil at a partner school in Jamaica and will be available online.

Following the launch, Sir Geoff gave a talk in the evening at Birse and Feughside Parish Church on Scotland’s history on slavery.