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Issue #1497      13 April 2011

Memories of the Domain

I was very pleased to read about the Commemorative Plaque in the Sydney Domain. I often feel nostalgic for the Domain myself, and have some very fond memories of speaking there.

As one of the younger generation of speakers, I never saw Stan Moran in action, but I remember some other comrades who have long since passed on like Bill White and Adrian Lubbe. I started speaking regularly in 1967. At that time the Party had two stumps. One started at 2pm and was usually chaired by a comrade named Bernie Rosen. The main meeting started at 3pm and usually featured leading party functionaries or party trade union officials like the late Ray Clarke and Wal Buckley.

I remember the first time I spoke, Bernie was anxious that I might lose the crowd, but I held them on that occasion and he was quite impressed.

I soon got used to being called an “F…. Commo B….” and told to go back to Russia. I began to speak with more conviction and gained more confidence. Speaking helped me to develop both politically and personally.

I suppose that period could be called the good old days before the tragedy that befell the old CPA. But we battled on when the SPA was formed with one stump chaired by Adrian Lubbe.

I remember some of the regular hecklers like Fat George who got very annoyed when I called him “Slim”. I also remember putting on a very dignified voice and saying “Yes I have been to Russia” when someone yelled asking if I’d been. But it wasn’t all heckling. I’m sure we managed to influence many genuine people.

Gradually crowds started to diminish, especially after cinemas began to open on Sundays. The Sydney District Committee decided to close the stump in the early 1980s.

It occurs to me that there is a little known aspect of dialectics that allows for a process of reaching back, to take something positive from the past and adapting to the present.

I wonder if this could be applied to the Domain. I’m a bit past mounting the stump myself now, but I wonder if some of our younger comrades could consider revamping it, so that the Communist Party has a presence down the Dom once more.  

Next article – Qantas: “immoral and un-Australian”

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