Obituary: Jack Hughes

Jack Hughes, a long-standing member of Swansea Branch, has died at the age of 86. Jack joined the Socialist Party of Great Britain in 1964 and was an active member of Swansea Branch till 1970 when he left over a disagreement about the use of parliament as an instrument for establishing the classless, stateless, moneyless society of free access advocated by the SPGB. He nevertheless retained his association with the Party and 10 years later rejoined having concluded that there was, as he put it, ‘nowhere else to go’. He resumed his socialist activity and continued to be involved until recent times when his health no longer allowed it.

Many people remarked of Jack that he was a ‘one-off’. What they meant was that he had a rare combination of attributes. He was as outspoken as they come and was never afraid to be the odd man out in an argument. He was a highly self-sufficient, independent, very ‘private’ individual loving his own company and making demands on no one. He loved walking and went everywhere on foot, considering Shanks’ pony to be the best way of engaging with life and nature. He read widely and was a keen linguist teaching himself several foreign languages and becoming quite an expert in Esperanto. His keenest passion was music and in particular the accordion. Again self-taught, he became an expert accordionist and found himself in demand professionally around local venues.    

It was always good to see Jack when he came to meetings. You always felt he would make a contribution that was unconventional, even unique – and you looked forward to it. He has left his mark on Swansea Branch and will be much missed by its members.


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