Party News from the June 1963 issue of the Socialist Standard
Notes of a visit to our Companion Parties for Socialism
MELBOURNE. I met Jack Butler (Secretary) and Peter Furey. Regular monthly meetings are held in Melbourne and over twelve branch members attend each meeting. The Socialist Standard is regularly on sale at the city's Trades Hall. Although no regular public meetings are held, each member makes special efforts to put over the Socialist case, whenever and wherever possible. Comrade Charlie Saunders was contacted by ’phone. Although not meeting up with Peter O'Brien and his wife, I gather that their fourteen month old son already understands the Party case!
SYDNEY. A few members here, including Jimmie Thorburn (Secretary), Peter Bryant, Jack Taylor and Bill Clarke. The latter had previously been in Melbourne. He is a speaker and is anxious to stimulate the Sydney Comrades into organised propaganda. There are two dozen members in Sydney and up to now, when Socialist meeting have not been possible, they make a point of attending meetings of other parties and wherever possible put over our propaganda.
AUCKLAND—New Zealand. The Secretary, Trevor Gribble and his wife said that there are a dozen members who meet periodically and sell the Standard at their places of work. Ron Everson, Secretary of Wellington came to Auckland to meet me. There are over a dozen members in the Auckland Branch and they are bright and hopeful about their activities. They greatly appreciate the tape recording lectures sent over by the S.P.G.B. which they find most helpful.
VANCOUVER. Johnny and Margaret Ahrens admit that things are rather quiet there, although two shops regularly display Socialist Party literature. There are eight members in the Branch who meet periodically.
Not far away is VICTORIA where Comrade George Jenkins and branch members are able to be much more active, producing and distributing propaganda leaflets by the thousand. In general, the Socialist Party of Canada is doing quite well and is keeping an eye on all the branches including Vancouver.
LOS ANGELES. I met our comrades Smith, Miller, Jansen and their wives. Don Poirier was there in his role of general organiser of the S.P.C. and W.S.P. He broadcasts, speaks at outdoor and indoor meetings, sells literature, travels and organises. This comrade is a Socialist machine. He is having a great impact everywhere he goes. The Companion parties cannot help but do well with members such as he.
In general, much can be done to keep contact with our comrades in the West by regular correspondence and exchange of views. They have to wait a month for the Socialist Standard, but correspondence can be sent to them more frequently and much quicker by air mail.