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Year 2010 No. 1, January 5, 2010 ARCHIVE HOME JBBOOKS SUBSCRIBE

In Memoriam - Gillan McColl

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In Memoriam - Gillan McColl

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In Memoriam - Gillan McColl

Gil McColl

July 28, 1941 - January 1, 2010

RCPB(ML) is very sad to learn of the death of Gillan McColl on January 1 aged 68. He had been very ill for some time.            

Gillan, known to his friends and comrades as Gil, first met the Party in Gateshead in 1980 when he was on a tool-room grinder course at the local Skillcentre. He was a communist worker whose previous employment had been at the Jarrow Tube works and some time before that he had worked in the shipyards at Wallsend slipway. The Jarrow Tube works had closed, but the workers including Gil occupied the plant and welded up the gates.  These were the early months of Margaret Thatcher's premiership and the beginning of the anti-social offensive, with factories closing every week and hundreds of jobs being destroyed.  Gil was impressed by how the Party politicised the younger workers and its line of emphasising the necessity for revolutionary change in Britain. He became active with the Party for over ten years, and was a familiar and warm presence at national and local Party events during this period. Though he was then affected by ill health, he never gave up his communist convictions, and he would always carry a copy of the latest Workers' Weekly in his pocket.

After leaving the Skillcentre in 1980, Gil worked with the Party to form the Unemployed Workers Union in South Tyneside and worked among the unemployed fighting for their rights and interests, organising an office in South Shields and a social club and some events. Gil was elected Chair of the Unemployed Workers Union and became very skilled at representing unemployed people both with the DSS and subsequently the Job Centre and took on all kinds of appeals and tribunals.  Following the closure of the Unemployed Workers Union office in South Shields towards the end of the 1980s, he continued to represent unemployed people and anyone who was in trouble.  He in fact became very skilled in tribunals, winning cases that even trade unions had turned down, and continued to give advice to his dying day.            

Gil never lost his conviction that socialism was the future of humankind. His comrades are proud to have worked alongside him, and will never forget his contribution and his countless acts of love for the great cause of socialism, to which in his own way he dedicated his life. We send our heartfelt condolences to his family on their sad loss.

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