Saturday, April 3, 2021

Obituary: Gladys Marie Catt (2008)

Obituary from the April 2008 issue of the Socialist Standard

Gladys Marie Catt 1918-2008

Marie joined the SPGB in the spring of 1941. The outbreak of war had profoundly disturbed her, along with her family and friends. Her two brothers and her future husband had become conscientious objectors and she became engaged in their struggles to win conscientious objector status. Marie was persuaded about the necessity of socialism partly by the Party’s stand against working-class participation in the war, but also by the forcefulness and clarity of the Party’s speakers at the outdoor meetings held at Lincoln’s Inn Fields and she joined the Palmers Green Branch where she met Sid Catt, her future husband.

In 1957, she, Sid and daughter Jean emigrated to Canada and settled in Toronto. After settling in, they became a contact and propaganda centre for the Socialist Party of Canada. They set about recruiting members, holding discussion forums in their home and speaking at Allen Gardens. By 1964 they had organized the first Party Local east of Winnipeg.

Marie continued her activities for many years. She always spoke forthrightly and passionately in favour of socialism in whatever circumstances she found herself. Her grasp of the meaning of the object and declaration of Principles was thorough. She once wrote of the significance of these Principles to members of the Party:
 “These have remained the sheet anchor for their understanding, proved the strength of their case and their integrity, making it impossible to confuse them with any reformist organization. This Object and Declaration of Principles are as valid today as they were at the time of the inception in 1904 of this unique political party.” 
B.S. (Canada)

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