Letters to the Editors from the September 2016 issue of the Socialist Standard
To add to the notice in the August Socialist Standard, Alan Coombes (born 31 January 1927, passed away 6 June), originally from Highworth (UK), joined the merchant navy in 1946 with voyages all over the world, and finally settled in New Zealand in 1950.
Alan joined the World Socialist Party (New Zealand) in the late 1970’s, and soon became an active member in both the Executive Committee and Auckland Branch.
At the same time Alan was also active within other organizations such as: Rationalist Society, book binding at the Museum of Transport & Technology (MOTAT), chairman of Friends of Sherwood, U3A, Grey Power, and NZCTU (NZ Council of Trade Unions).
He was well known within the WSPNZ, at local and central government elections, to voluntarily take more than his allocated quota of printed leaflets, which were targeted for letterboxes and handouts in his local area. He would tirelessly spend his spare time promoting the idea of ‘A World of Free Access’.
During the early 2000s Alan was General Secretary of the WSPNZ – he offered his home in Kingsland (Auckland) as a venue for the monthly EC meetings – this locality was a central meeting point and was appreciated by the other EC members who attended.
After relinquishing his position of General Secretary, Alan still managed to attend both EC and Auckland Branch meetings on a regular basis at the WSPNZ’s new HQ in Manurewa, Auckland.
In later years, as Alan’s health interfered with his many interests. He found it more difficult to be actively involved with the day to day issues within the WSPNZ, but he still subscribed to the Socialist Standard, which he enjoyed reading – he then passed copies of the journal onto anyone remotely interested in the Socialist case.
Alan will be sadly missed by all who had the privilege of being associated with him – a staunch relentless advocate for the need for World Socialism.