Obituaries: Harry Edwards; Phyllis Howard; Vic Berry; Neil Brodie
West London branch members were shocked by the death of Comrade Harry Edwards at their branch meeting on 1 February at the age of 67.
Harry Edwards had joined the old Paddington branch of the Party in 1947 after being demobbed from the army, later transferring to Ealing and then to West London. He worked for the old road transport division of the railways, a job which entitled him to travel cheaply all over Europe where he had many friends and contacts and from which he retired early. This gave him the time to pursue the things that really interested him, the local rowing and chess clubs (he had been a keen rower in his younger days, the captain of his club in fact) as well as socialist activity.
At the time of his death he was branch treasurer, acting Central Branch Secretary and member of the Standing Orders Committee preparing this year’s Conference at Easter. A quiet reliable man who was always prepared to take on such essential if unglamorous tasks in a revolutionary organisation, he will be missed both by the Party and his family.
Phyllis died peacefully on New Year’s Day 1990 at the age of 83.
She joined the Party in 1934, together with her future husband, Arthur George. Both were members of Bloomsbury Branch (now Camden), and were tireless workers of the Party in the 30s and the difficult period during and immediately after the war.
Phyllis served on practically every Party committee, including several years on the Executive Committee. Her last official post was that of General Secretary. In addition, she was a candidate in a local election in the 60s.
For many years she was secretary of the Editorial Committee of the Socialist Standard and the committee met regularly at her home in North London. Phyllis never really recovered from Arthur’s unexpected death in 1982, and her health deteriorated.
All who met her will remember her as a warm-hearted and gentle person. Her contribution to the SPGB will be remembered with appreciation.
We regret to have to announce the death last November of our Comrade V. J. Berry. Vic Berry first joined the old Leyton branch of the Party in 1932 and before the war was a regular speaker at the Party’s outdoor stations in Leyton, East Ham and Hackney. Like so many others, family commitments led to him dropping out of activity for a number of years, and it was only in 1963 that he rejoined, Camberwell branch. On his retirement he moved to Torquay from where he continued to propagate socialist ideas. His last article, on Robert Owen, appeared in the October Socialist Standard.
Neil Brodie, who died in early January, joined the old Chiswick Branch of the Party in 1938, and was a member of the later Ealing and West London branches, for which he was the Treasurer for 18 years. As a young man he had come to London from Scotland and worked as a civil servant at the Post Office. When the Post Office Savings Bank moved to Glasgow he took the opportunity to return to Scotland where he remained after his retirement.
We extend our sympathy to his wife and daughter.