FRIENDS and comrades said farewell to Eric Trevett at his funeral in Crawley last week, which celebrated his long and active life dedicated to the struggle for peace and socialism.
New Communist Party general secretary Andy Brooks, Alex Kempshall, Daphne Liddle and many other leading members of the Party, along with comrades from the RCPB (ML) and the Workers Party of Korea paid tribute to the memory of one of the founders of the New Communist Party of Britain who led the Party during the turbulent times of the 1980s and 90s and continued, as the Party President, to fight for the cause until his last breath.
Andy Brooks spoke of Eric’s immense contribution to the communist movement in Britain and towards building the NCP. “Eric was a teacher, a guide, a friend and a comrade. He led by example. No task was too big or too small for Eric who was always ready to help comrades in their day-to-day struggles and encourage them in their efforts to advance the communist cause within the labour and peace movement.
“Eric was a kind and considerate man who enjoyed life. He was a lover of music, books and sports who encouraged everyone around him to appreciate the history, culture and achievements of working people all around the world.
“Though Eric has gone he lives on in the memory of all those who met him. He lives on in the articles and reports that he produced during his long life and above all he lives on in the New Worker, and our Party Centre which he worked tirelessly to sustain,” the NCP leader declared.
Beside the coffin draped with the national banner of the NCP, other comrades spoke including Michael Chant of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (ML) who said: “Our experience of Eric is of a very generous, non-sectarian spirit. He also shared with our Party the concern of building a new culture which represented the new humanity on the soil of Britain…
“May the flag which Eric planted be carried forward in the joint work of NCP and RCPB (ML). There is an urgency to this work which, sadly, Eric was unable to fulfill because of his illness. But this work lives on, and the sincerity with which Eric imbued the work is an inspiration to us all.”
Thae Yong Ho from the DPR Korean embassy in London, who accompanied Eric when he went to the DPRK in the early 1990s, spoke about Eric’s meeting with great leader Kim Il Sung and the two hours that the two communists spent discussing the problems facing the movement in the aftermath of the counter-revolution in the Soviet Union and the need to rally the forces for socialism all over the world to confront imperialism and blaze the trail for the future.
In her message of condolence, Esther Armenteros, the Cuban Ambassador in London, said: “Comrade Eric will be always remembered as someone who dedicated his life to the struggle of the working class and believed that a better world is possible”.
And our comrades in the Workers League for the Restoration of the Communist Party of Germany said: “Eric was a comrade who always insisted on proletarian internationalism. We remember very well how he always told us that we must stay in contact, exchange our experiences and whenever possible fight together against imperialism and war.”
Eric battled against Parkinson’s disease for over two decades, spending his last years in a care home. There he supported local peace groups, helped build an active pensioners’ association and encouraged the care home workers to join a trade union.
Eric’s children and those he worked with during his last days spoke of his tireless work as well as his personal love and commitment to all those around him.
Eric was a jazz lover and the musical interludes reflected his love of music that meant so much to him and his generation while the Internationale played out during the committal and final farewell.
Andy Brooks said that Eric never wavered in his belief in the fundamental truths of Marxism-Leninism. Above all he lives on the fighting spirit of the New Communist Party. As Stalin said when Lenin died: “Comrades, we Communists are people of a special mould. We are made of a special stuff. We are those who form the army of the great proletarian strategist, the army of Comrade Lenin. There is nothing higher than the honour of belonging to this army. There is nothing higher than the title of member of the Party whose founder and leader was Comrade Lenin.
“It is not given to everyone to be a member of such a party. It is the sons of the working class, the sons of want and struggle, the sons of incredible privation and heroic effort who before all should be members of such a party. That is why the Party of the Leninists, the Party of the Communists, is also called the Party of the working class.”
Eric was part of that army. He gave his life to the working class. We salute him by following in his footsteps.