Obituary: George Dolphy

We were shocked to learn of the sudden death from cancer of Comrade George Dolphy in Jamaica; a sad end to a socialist campaigner not yet 60 years old. George met the SPGB during his stay in Birmingham in the late 1950s, when he attended the local Branch, and he returned home to Jamaica a convinced socialist. He formed a small group and produced the country’s first socialist journal, The Socialist Review. The following is an extract from the preamble in the first issue:

    “It is our job to bring the socialist message here and let people realise there is an alternative to the present social system. The only barrier to Socialism now is the lack of socialist knowledge among the working class. We have accepted the challenge of this barrier.”

After publishing ten issues, the group dispersed for various reasons and George, on his own, brought out the last few issues. In his own words: “I shan’t let this thing die.” His letters were always full of interesting socialist comment on the local scene, and he wrote at greater length for the Socialist Standard on a couple of occasions.

He suffered personally from the violence engendered by high unemployment and social instability in Jamaica and experienced robberies and severe disruption to his life. In spite of these difficulties he worked to spread socialist understanding to the end of his days. His death is a sad loss to the socialist movement and we must hope that at least some of the seed he sowed during the last 20 years will bear fruit. We have news of socialists in Trinidad and Martinique; we wish them success, following in the footsteps of George Dolphy.

G R Russell

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