Friday, September 29, 2017

Stuart Monro – film-maker and communist

Musical tribute from old comrades in the chapel
By New Worker correspondent
NCP leader Andy Brooks and other comrades, including Theo Russell and Dermot Hudson, paid their last respects to Stuart Monro, a leading member of the RCPB(ML), at his funeral in East London last week. The packed hour-long ceremony was attended by more than 200 people, many of whom had to stand. As well as friends and family, they included life-long comrades from the RCPB(ML) and people who had worked with Stuart on the many projects and campaigns in which he had been involved in over the years.
            Throughout his life Stuart had been a local historian, film-maker, union activist and militant communist, and this was reflected in the tributes from the rostrum and the labour movement banners draped inside the South Chapel of the City of London cemetery in Manor Park on Friday.
 Stuart Monro studied drama in Bristol and film at the London School of Film. During the height of the Cultural Revolution in China, Stuart joined the forerunners of the RCPB(ML) and plunged straight into the struggle on the street.
An active communist, Stuart and his wife, Charlotte, were jailed on trumped-up charges in the early 1970s. Stuart later helped Charlotte regain her job at Whipps Cross Hospital, Leytonstone, after a two-year fight against victimisation.
Stuart Monro was a supporter of Democratic Korea, which he visited as part of a RCPB(ML) delegation in 2013. He later made a short film of the visit that is freely available on YouTube. Other recent videos focused on the fight to save Lewisham hospital and safeguard the future of the health service. And only last year, a one-day festival of his films was staged at Morley College in London.
After the ceremony, the party adjourned to Wanstead Park, where they gathered in the evening sunlight in front of the tea hut, one of Stuart’s favourite places, and then on to his home to recall fond memories of a man who dedicated his whole life to the progress of humanity and a new world.

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