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A Scot, Supporter of the Palestinian Cause First Donor of the Paths of Exile Website
Born on 4th January 1934 in Ayr, where he was educated as well as in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, Gerald Joseph James Quin was hired, aged 16, for his shorthand and typing skills by the Carrick Herald at Girvan as a junior reporter. After his two-year national service wholly in the UK (much to his chagrin) at the time of the Korean War, he returned in May 1954 to the Carrick Herald, but soon after took up a post of reporter for the Ayshire Post, for which he had already worked as local correspondent for Girvan to supplement his income.
A hard worker and shrewd "businessman", he bought in 1957 the assets and building of a local weekly newspaper in Lytham St. Annes, Lancashire, which had gone into liquidation. Drawing on his knowledge of hot metal printing acquired at the Carrick Herald, he resumed publication, achieving modest profits under the cloud of a land lease running only another 19 years. He therefore soon sold the building and moved the press to Preswick, where he launched the Preswick Standard in 1958, the burgh’s last local paper. In 1959, he closed down and joined the Lancashire Evening Post in Preston, as reporter, graduating to features writer and finally sub-editor. In 1961, at a time of fierce competition between Scottish dailies, he was lured as sub-editor to the old Scottish Express, Scotland’s largest daily newspaper.
His lifelong interest in local transport led him to launch in 1963 Quin’s coaches in Ayr, which combined public service and private hire, the latter carrying passengers to Aberdeen, Birmingham, London, Kent, Susses and Essex. Breaking new ground, he developed excursions and package holidays to the West of Scotland, as well as cruises to the islands of Mull, Staff and Iona. In 1979, on the eve of de-regulation, he closed down business.
His prose had never ceased flowing. From 1970 to 2000, he published articles in The Scotsman and The Glasgow Herald, predominantly on public transport, which was also the subject of contributions to numerous "studies" and "consultations". Well-travelled in Continental Europe, Canada and the USA, he drew from his visit in 2008 to post-apartheid South Africa the conclusion that the only just long term solution in Palestine was one state with equal civil and religious rights for Muslims, Jews and Christians.
A lifelong supporter of the Palestinian cause with a particular interest in the negative results of the Balfour Declaration for the Arab population of Palestine, Gerry Quin submitted in 2008 a petition to the Scottish Parliament, forcefully arguing for an apology to the Palestinian people from Scotland, Balfour’s country and home. The petition got nowhere, but he had made a strong point. Despite his disinclination to join organisations, following the death of his sister who had been a member of the Scottish Friends of Palestine, he made an exception for SFoP, attending AGMs and supporting events.
In view of Gerald Quin’s career as a journalist, of his prolific letter-writing with a socio-political edge (particularly in defence of the Palestinians) until his death on 24th February 2012, in view too of his passion for public transport which he served as an innovator, it was deemed fitting by the SFoP Executive Board to fund, thanks to a small legacy he had made to SFoP, the "Paths of Exile Project", for the creation of a website hosted by SFoP. Reaching out to the wider world through the Internet, the association in "Paths of Exile" of filmed oral interviews, historical analysis and the powerful, innovative tool, Geographical Information Service, for the management of environmental and historical databases, as well as for the mapping of the enforced flight from their Land and compelled "travel" to the neighbouring Arab countries, of a sample of victims of the Nakhba - the 1948 Palestinian Catastrophe -, hopefully fulfills the expectations of their children and grandchildren and contributes to the prevailing of Truth.
Thanks to a vocal Scot battling for Justice - Gerry Quin. We are indebted.
who writes: "A contribution to the fight for justice for the Palestinian people"
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