Two commemorative plaques are to be erected after committee approval (Tuesday 21 June) – one to mark a woman who was a doctor, social welfare pioneer and politician and the other one to acknowledge the history of a structure in Old Aberdeen.
Aberdeen City Council’s City Growth and Resources committee agreed to the move which will see the commemorative markers at 22 Waverley Place commemorating Dr Laura Sandeman and another on the Powis Gateway.
Dr Laura Sandeman (1862-1929), a doctor, social welfare pioneer and politician who lived and worked in Aberdeen from 1903 until her death in 1929.
She came to Aberdeen to set up a practice in 1903 and took an active role in social welfare and helping the plight of the poor, particularly in the east end of the city and Torry.
The Aberdeen Women’s Alliance (AWA) applied for the commemorative People Plaque to commemorate the life and work of Dr Sandeman at 22 Waverley Place.
The University of Aberdeen applied for the erection of a commemorative Place plaque on the Powis Gateway which will be fixed to the wall alongside the structure.
The plaque will acknowledge the history of the Powis gateway, which was built in the early 1830s by the Leslie family, using profits from slavery.
As the promoters for the plaque, The University of Aberdeen will be responsible for obtaining all necessary statutory and other third party consents to allow the commemorative plaque to be erected.
The University of Aberdeen is separately seeking relevant planning permissions for an accompanying interpretation panel to be sited on the grass within the Gateway to provide further information. The University hopes to erect both this year.
The report to committee said the City Council’s Planning Service and the building owners have approved this location for the plaque. The proposed location of the plaque requires the public to enter private property to view, however officers have secured written consent for this from current property owners and tenants.
Councillor Alexander McLellan, convener of the City Growth and Resources committee, said: “Both of these plaques commemorate important parts of Aberdeen’s history – for better and for worse.
“I believe we need to do more to highlight how people who have lived in Aberdeen have shaped the world as we know it today and this is a welcome step towards that.
Council Co-Leader Councillor Ian Yuill said: “I am particularly pleased to see the Powis Gateway’s links to historic slavery being recognised. It is important that this part of our local history is not overlooked.”
The report to committee said will be no direct financial implications to Aberdeen City Council as all financial costs will be covered by the nominating bodies.