1980s >> 1982 >> no-931-march-1982

Obituary: Bill Pritchard

When Bill Pritchard died last October at the fine age of 93 the socialist movement in America lost one of its Old Timers, for Bill had been active in Canada during the first World War. He played an active part in the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 when he was arrested, made his own defence speech and received a year’s gaol. Part of his speech appeared in a paperback, Winnipeg 1919.

Bill arrived in Vancouver in 1911 and immediately joined the early Socialist Party of Canada. He became the editor of their journal the Western Clarion. He joined forces with Charlie Lestor in speaking and writing activities. Charlie edited the OBU Bulletin in which he wrote a column headed “Lestor’s Corner”, a title taken from his speaker’s site in Vancouver. An interesting item in one of Bill’s letters was that his Father, at the age of 9, worked in Erman & Engel’s mill in Manchester. Along with Charlie Lestor, Bill was well known for his articles in the Western Socialist over many years. At the age of 91 he travelled by air, coast to coast, from Los Angeles to Boston to attend a WSP Conference. In co-operation with local Comrade W. Z. Miller, he produced and distributed several Marxian socialist leaflets. I’d like to conclude this tribute to Bill with one of his poetic endings to a letter:

When the Frost is on the Pumpkin
And it’s cooler in the Fall,
I may be in better spirits
And in better shape to call.

Our sincere condolences to his son, Arthur, and relatives.

G. R. Russell