13 January 2015


Dundee’s Deputy Lord Provost Christina Roberts unveiling the Commemorative Stone

As part of the Dundee Women’s Festival The Four Marys play is returning to the Verdant Works High Mill on Saturday 12th March at 7.30pm and Sunday 13th March at 2pm.

Menzieshill Community Centre - 7pm, 4th March 2016

Tickets are also available for a showing at Menzieshill Community Centre, Orleans Place, Dundee DD2 4BJ.
Tickets cost £2 and can be purchased from the Centre or by contacting annette.miller@dundeecity.gov.uk

As the dawn rises on 2016, Dundee emerges from its industrial past to a new era. Four iconic Marys - Slessor, Brooksbank, Walker and Baxter - each helped the city in their different ways, discuss the Dundee spread out before them and each other’s role in forcing change.

The good, the bad and the ugly truth is revealed in this play by Eddie Small. Q&A session afterwards. Refreshments will be served.


Unveiling of Commemorative bronze plaques and stone

On January 13th, 1915, Mary Slessor, Mother of all the Peoples, passed away. She is buried in Nigeria where she spent the majority of her life, and where she was loved by all.

In honour of the life and work of Mary Slessor, the Mary Slessor Foundation, assisted by a selection of other organisations, has commissioned a bronze plaque to be made which will be erected at the City Churches.

The plaque was revealed in an unveiling ceremony which took place 100 years to the day since Mary’s death, January 13.

Through this plaque, we hope to increase awareness of this remarkable woman, who, despite her huge acheivements, is little known of even in her own city.

Mary Slessor was an extraodinary woman. In her work as a missionary in the Calabar region of Nigeria she demonstrated a rare ability to combine steely resolve and uncompromsing strength with deep compassion and remarkable selflessness. She was both unconventional and inspirational and yet the incredible story of her life is as yet largely untold.

There is little to commemorate the phenomenal achievements of Mary Slessor, although she is one of 25 Dundonian women who feature in the Dundee Women’s Trail. Mary Slessor Square is a street found in a housing development which was part of the very successful conversion of Upper Dens Mills. This was once a Baxter Brothers’ weaving mill where she worked. However, there are no means of conveying to those who live there or visit, who Mary Slessor was or why the street has been given her name.

With the financial support of the Hillcrest Group, Dundee City Council, Dundee Civic Trust, Dundee Historic Environmental Trust and the Walter Marshall Trust, a local sculptor Roddy Mathieson was commissioned to design and manufacture a commemorative bronze plaque. This is located on the lawn at the CIty Churches, Nethergate, Dundee. Wishart Church in which Mary Slessor worshipped was in recent times, subsumed into The Steeple Church. The stone on which the plaque is mounted has been kindly donated from Craigenlow Quarry, a few miles west of Aberdeen, the city in which Mary Slessor was born.

Read about how the Commemorative Stone was made

Asteroid Slessor 4793

On September 1, 1988 Henri Debehogne discovered an unnamed asteroid in space from La Silla Observatory in Chile. For 37 years it remained there, labelled only as 4793.

In 2015, the centenary of the death of Mary Slessor, the asteroid has officially been named ‘Slessor 4793′ after a petition was established by a Belgian based twinning charity.

Centenary events

3rd March - Dundee Arts Cafe - Talk on ‘No Ordinary Missionary’ at McManus, Dundee. Ruth Kirkpatrick weaves the threads of Mary Slessor’s remarkable life into a rich tapestry of story, song and personal insight.

3rd March - Scottish Parliament - A motion was introduced by MSP Jenny Marra during a member’s debate in the Scottish Parliament discussing Mary Slessor and the Mary Slessor centenary events.
See this video of the debate:

5th March - Dundee Women’s Festival - A talk was delivered by chairman of the Mary Slessor Foundation, Doug Binnie, telling of the work of the Mary Slessor Foundation in Calabar, Nigeria, and the challenges it faces, and comparing it to the work of Mary Slessor, an extraodinary woman.

8th March - International Women’s Day 2015 - There was a "Spotlight on Mary Slessor" as part of International Women’s Day with three lectures at the National Museum, Edinburgh. Curator Sarah Worden celebrates Mary’s remarkable life, work and status following her death.

10th April - Civic Reception - Hosted by Dundee’s Lord Provost, Bob Duncan.

11th April - Launch of the Centenary Exhibition, ‘Mary Slessor, Mill Girl to Magistrate’ at Verdant Works, Dundee.
Read more about the Centenary Exhibition

11th April - Award ceremony for the centenary Photography Competition.
Read more about the Centenary competitions here

12th April - Dedication of the Commemorative Stone by the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

15th-17th April - ‘Mother of all the Peoples’ at Dundee Rep Theatre. This much acclaimed musical play tells the story of Mary Slessor’s life and work in Dundee and as a missionary in Calabar.
Read more about Mother of all the Peoples

18th April - Lecture at the University of Dundee - An illustrated talk about ‘Mary Slessor and the Scottish Mission’ by writer and broadcaster Billy Kay.

10 June - Award Ceremony for the centenary Short Story Writing Competition at Dundee City Chambers.
Read more about the Centenary competitions here

16th June - Sheila Tennant Awards in the spirit of Mary Slessor at Dundee West Church. The awards pay tribute to two enlightened and remarkable women who trusted humanity to delivery progress.

30 June - Clydesdale Bank reception - Promoting their partnership with the Mary Slessor Foundation. Held at the Steeple Church, Dundee.

18th July - African Praise and Gospel Mega Concert - Dance and drama performances by the Afro-Scottish Heritage Drama Group, Mass Choir and guest artistes at the Caird Hall, Dundee.

23rd and 25th October - Dundee Literacy Festival ‘The Four Marys’ - A play produced by the University of Dundee to celebrate Dundee’s four Marys and explore their roles in creating the Dundee of today. Performed at High Mill, Verdant Works, Dundee.
Read more about The Four Marys here


Scottish Charity No. SC032781

© Mary Slessor Foundation 2016