New city organisation goes back to the future
A NEW ORGANISATION set up in Dundee to promote civic pride, relieve hardship and advance education has dipped into the past to resurrect a long defunct civic office.
The City of Dundee Burgess Charity will only be open to those willing to become a Burgess of the city, an ancient office that invited freemen to trade freely in Dundee.
Almost 370 years since Charles I reconfirmed the city's status as a Royal Burgh in the Great Charter on 14 September 1641, a number of Dundee's prominent citizens, including Lord Provost John Letford, have got together for the launch.
The seven trustees, Lord Provost Letford, Bill Spence, Alison Henderson, Prudence Watson, Robert Burns, Margaret Hutton, and Charles Scott, and secretary Scott Williamson wanted to create a vehicle for doing good and promoting the city.
Scott Williamson, the organisation's secretary, said: "Through the enrolment as Burgesses individuals will be able to promote the City of Dundee and pride in its people past, present and in the future through supporting charitable and social activities in the city.
"We are proud of our past and proud of our future and this new organisation draws on our rich heritage.
"The City of Dundee Burgesses will enhance everyday life for those that we can help and encourage a wide spectrum of interest in strengthening community involvement in aspects of importance to Dundonians.
"Dundee is on the verge of a new and exciting future with among other things the V&A@Dundee, and the resultant rise in visitors it will bring, so this is an exciting time to be a Dundonian."
Anyone who wants to become a member, and therefore a Burgess, must live or work in the city or have significant family or historical links with it; be involved in charitable works, businesses and the professions or community or civil life of the city and have demonstrated through such involvement a commitment to equality and diversity in the promotion of civic pride in or contribution to the community spirit of the City of Dundee.
All members will have to required to declare that they will promote the interests of Dundee and its citizens; observe the principles of fairness, equality of opportunity and non-discrimination characteristic of those who have these interests at heart and deal justly with the citizens of Dundee and fellow Burgesses.
Individual membership fee will be £50 and will be valid for five years.