Farewell to Renée

by New Worker correspondent

RENÉE SAMS, a founder member of the New Communist Party who worked for many years as the Finance Officer at the Party Centre died last October. Friends and comrades paid their last respects to Renée at her funeral in Stevenage in November. But they, and many of Renée’s London comrades, returned to the Party Centre last Saturday for a memorial social to remember Renée’s life and her life-long commitment to the communist ideal.

NCP leader Andy Brooks, who was a member of Renée’s Party branch said her dedication to the communist ideal was an example for us all.

Renée joined the movement after the Second World War and she soon threw herself into the round of struggles that the communists were leading during the height of the Cold War. Peace and the anti-fascist struggle were paramount in those early days overshadowed by the Korean War and Moselyite attempts to rebuild the fascist presence in London’s East End.

Renée also spent many years working for the Unity Theatre, which grew from the pre-war Workers Theatre Movement, and provided a stepping stone for many working class actors until it closed in 1975.

Renée joined the NCP from the start in 1977 and she helped build a strong East London branch while working as a New Worker journalist. She then worked in Party admin until she retired and later moved to East Anglia. Even then Renée carried on writing on peace, climate change and the environment until almost her last days.

Many remembered Renée as activist. Her daughter Kate remembered her as a loving mother who was an artist and musician and whose home was always filled with music and books.

Many others joined in recalling Renée’s life, like former New Worker editor Ann Rogers and her husband Alan, who was a volunteer worker at the Centre for many years. Michael Chant, the general secretary of the RCPB (ML) also spoke of his fond memories of Renée as did Neil Harris and Dermot Hudson, who sent in a written tribute as he could not join us on the day.

In her fighting fund appeal Daphne Liddle spoke about the happy events that were associated with Renée’s life in the NCP and the broad movement and the comrades responded by raising £244 for our communist weekly.

Renée will never be forgotten by her friends and comrades and her spirit lives on in the paper and the cause she dedicated her entire life to building the Party.