Obituaries: Thomas D’Arcy, Henrietta Vallar

It is with regret that I have to record the death of a favourite old friend and comrade of mine Tommy D’Arcy. The first time I met Tom would be about 1957. At that time he was the secretary of the Glasgow Kelvingrove Branch of the Socialist Party of Great Britain. I used to go along to their weekly meetings in a comrade’s house and over the weeks of discussion I became convinced I should join the SPGB. During the questioning of applicants to the SPGB which every member has to endure Tom asked me this question: what in the applicant’s view is the difference between absolute and relative surplus value? Fortunately another member interjected and asked what is the questioners view? Tommy laughed. The rest of the branch laughed and I managed to join the Party. Years later he would laugh about his question on that day and say perhaps I wanted you all to be Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. Tom has gone now and we must build on the foundation that he and his fellows built. A great guy, we miss him.
Glasgow Branch are saddened to report the death of long serving member Henrietta Vallar. Henrietta, or Hetty as she was known, came from a socialist family. Her father and both her brothers were Party members and she herself joined the Party in 1953. Up until 2009 when she was overtaken by illness Hetty was a regular attender at branch meetings and was for many years the branch treasurer. She was a regular attender at the Party’s annual conferences and Autumn Delegate Meetings where she often served in the chair on those occasions. Hetty was never a public speaker or debater but she was a hard working regular attending member. It would be impossible to have a political party such as the Socialist Party of Great Britain without stalwart members such as Hetty. She will be sadly missed by all her comrades in Glasgow and elsewhere.

Leave a Reply