Launch of Friends of the Trust in 2001. L to R – Robert Davidson, Ann Yule, Dorothy Haldane, Katharine Stewart, Alison Wilkie, Kerr Yule & Allan Haldane.
The idea to set-up ‘Friends of the Trust’ was initiated by Allan Haldane, one of the Founder Trustees of the Neil Gunn Trust. Allan was the Trust’s sculptor, who carved each alternate Caithness slab of the Monument to represent quotes from Neil Gunn’s writing. Friends of the Neil Gunn Trust was launched in 2001.
Over the years since the Neil Gunn Monument was unveiled in 1987, the Trustees have been involved in many projects. The three most important and continuing of these are detailed below:
1. The Trustees organise the Neil Gunn Writing Competition every second year in partnership with High Life Highland. The competition is open to school children in Highland Council primary and secondary schools and to adult writers worldwide. The lead judge is always a leading figure chosen from the Scottish literary scene.
2. We organise the Neil Gunn Lectures, which present a wide variety of speakers from many walks of life. The choice of subject matter is left entirely to the Lecturer, though most do mention Neil Gunn and his writing at some stage in the Lecture. The lectures give local people the opportunity to listen to and talk to some of the most gifted literary people in Scotland.
3. We maintain and enhance the Neil Gunn Monument and Viewpoint, situated on the Heights of Brae above Dingwall. When living at Brae Farm House, Neil walked up through the fields behind the house, crossing over the Heights Road at the exact spot where the Monument was situated. The Monument was erected as a tribute to Neil’s gifted writing ability.
We hope you agree that these are all worthwhile projects. However they all require funds, for which we are entirely dependent on grants, sponsorship and donations. Our Friends scheme invites you to donate a small sum annually – we ask for a minimum of £7 but you can of course choose to give more! Alternatively you can become a Life Member by making a one-off donation of £70. In return we will send you a beautiful Christmas card with a newsletter to update you on the work your donation is helping to support.
Almost all our Friends who pay annually choose to do so through a bank standing order – you can find the standing order form below and also a Gift Aid form which would increase the value of your donation to the Trust if you are a UK taxpayer. Or you can send a cheque or postal order made out to ‘The Neil Gunn Trust’ to The Treasurer, The Neil Gunn Trust, 1 Mannfield Place, Carrbridge, PH23 3BB. Please don’t forget to include your contact details.