Ian Murphy died suddenly last weekend aged 65. Ian was a longtime labour movement activist who had worked closely with the SWP in Newham, where he was a teacher.
He joined us in 1991, in south London, where he lived. As a member, Ian took a leading role when Streatham branch was formed. After taking early retirement, Ian devoted himself to trying to build a better world.
Ian seemed to want to be on every Socialist Worker sale, and whenever anything was organised, his was the first name on the list! He was always active in party debates, and loved speaking at branch meetings and forums.
There was more to Ian than politics. He was a lover of theatre, opera, murder-mystery books, and bizarrely Doctor Who and the Eurovision Song Contest.
Ian was a good friend and comrade, and he will be sorely missed.
Ian’s funeral is on 4 February, at 2pm, Lambeth Crematorium.
Frank Satterthwaite, a member of York SWP, sadly died on 28 December. Although Frank was unable to attend many events due to ill health, he always took a keen interest in the SWP.
Pete Turner died on Christmas Day 2003, aged 68, from asbestosis which he must have contracted during his work in the building trades.
He was a keen trade unionist, member of the GMB union, and secretary of Hammersmith and Fulham Trades Council. He supported trade unionists at home and abroad, and was particularly active in support of the 1984-5 miners’ strike.
At his funeral there was standing room only.
A miner’s lamp and a piece of coal were placed on his coffin. That marked the occasion when Pete went with others to then Tory minister Michael Heseltine’s house and dug up his lawn as a protest at pit closures.
Pete, who was a member of the SWP’s forerunner the International Socialists in the 1960s, will be sorely missed by relatives, friends and comrades.
Anwar Ditta, a heroic anti-racist campaigner, died last week.