Jane Kellock

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Biographical Information

Jane Kellock (1925 - 2012)

"As secretary of the Africa Bureau which she had joined in March 1952, she was closely involved with the various African freedom movements which had been springing up in London. In that position, along with her colleagues Mary Benson and the Rev Michael Scott, she was on first-name terms with the leaders of these movements, soon to be their presidents, such as Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya and Hastings Banda of Malawi. At that time it was to her that they sought support, and sometimes guidance, for information, facts and figures, that they needed in their lobbying of successive UK governments, some sympathetic and others not... She became interested at an early date in the freedom movements arising in Africa before she joined the Africa Bureau, and became its secretary in 1957... She continued to work for the bureau, and its successor organisations for more than 23 years. She also worked closely with Rev Michael Scott on his many visits to the United Nations, endeavouring on behalf of the South West African people to stop the efforts of the South African government incorporating that country, now know as Namibia, into the republic. Despite these commitments she found time to go on the Aldermaston marches, and became interested in Liberal politics... After the state of emergency was declared in Malawi on 3 March, 1959, Dingle Foot QC was briefed to defend the interests of Dr Banda and his three senior colleagues then detained in Gwelo Prison, Zimbabwe, formerly Southern Rhodesia. Along with Dingle Foot was another younger barrister, Tom Kellock. They put their clients’ case to Lord Devlin and his colleagues on the Devlin Commission.

"Jane became involved with some of the administration of this in London, and there she met Tom Kellock. Their friendship blossomed and they were married at the Temple Church in London on 18 March 1967. She was given away by Dingle Foot. In 1965 she had already become the first women to sit on the board of the Commonwealth Development Corporation, and also found time to become a magistrate in Westminster, and to join the South Westminster Conciliation Committee, established under the Race Relations Board. After leaving the bureau Jane Kellock, as she was then known, continued to take an active interest with her husband in African affairs, and particularly his keen personal interest in the Bugunda people of the newly independent Uganda."[1]


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