Friday, April 22, 2016

Obituaries: Renee and Harry Hamme (1986)

Obituaries from the March 1986 issue of the Socialist Standard

To record the death of one member of the SPGB is not an enviable task; to record the passing of two comrades in a short space of time leaves a gap not easy to fill. Renee and Harry Hamme were both members of North West London Branch.

Renee died last Autumn after a short illness, bringing to an end a partnership that spanned many years, not only in the SPGB but also in the World Socialist Party (US). Renee's last visit to NW London Branch was on the night Harry gave a talk on various aspects of psychoanalysis and its relevance to our case. Prior to their departure for America, they had both been members of Westminster Branch for some years. In America they settled close to San Francisco, but despite its attractions they were almost in isolation and missed the comradeship of fellow socialists. The writer, on one of his visits to the States, enjoyed not only their hospitality but hours of discussion covering many aspects of the socialist case. From time to time they attended opponents' meetings, challenging the very roots of the capitalist system and astounding the audience with some revolutionary aspects of socialism. To offset the isolation, Harry wrote a number of articles for the Western Socialist.

A longing for home and for socialist contact brought them back to England a few years ago, to join North West London Branch in January 1982. which they regularly attended.

The death of Renee was a bitter blow to Harry, who died last month. He was tenacious in argument and would never concede a point until completely convinced of its validity. He had plans for some Branch lectures that regretfully never reached fruition. A Master Baker by trade, his doughnuts were the highlight of many Conference lunches and tea sessions.

To their daughters Jane and Barbara, and to other members of the family we offer our sympathy. To the socialist movement, they gave according to their ability. We shall miss them a lot.
Cyril May
North West London Branch

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