In Memoriam

Ernie Hunt

April 9, 1931 – June 14, 2019

It is with deep sadness that our Party announces the death of its veteran comrade Ernie Hunt on June 14 at the age of 88, after a lengthy illness. We send our heartfelt condolences in particular to his devoted nephews Paul and David, to his step-daughter Angela, and to all the family members, as well as to his many comrades and friends in the communist and workers' movement across the country and abroad.

Ernest Stewart Macdonald Hunt, known as Ernie or Stewart Mac, was born in Montreal on April 9, 1931. In 2007, on a Party delegation to Canada, he was greatly pleased to be taken by Quebec comrades to the house, still standing, in which he first lived, in the working class district of Lachine. His mother was a Scot from Glasgow; his father had been a farm worker from Kent, who emigrated with his brothers and their families to Canada, finding work in various factories in Montreal. With the Depression his parents moved back to England when he was still a baby, where he survived the Blitz on the Isle of Sheppey, and was briefly evacuated to South Wales. From school he worked in chemical and cider-making factories in Kent, later becoming a horticultural worker, and through self-study and attendance at colleges in Kent and West London, became an expert in horticultural science, employed by various local authorities in their parks and gardens, including at Hampton Court.

From his youth Ernie was a trade union activist and lifelong communist. He campaigned tirelessly for the rights and interests of the working class and people, for peace, and against racism and fascism. As a teenager, with the encouragement of his communist brother-in-law John, he joined the Young Communist League, and in 1957
Ernie Hunt (with glasses and beard) in Tirana, 1964, for the celebrations marking the 20th Anniversary of the liberation of Albania and the establishment of people's power. Standing on his left-hand side is Michael McCreery.
attended a World Festival of Youth in Moscow. In the 1960s, he became concerned that the Communist Party was abandoning its principles, left the CPGB, and joined with Michael McCreery in the Committee to Defeat Revisionism and for Communist Unity. In 1964 he was honoured to accompany McCreery to Socialist Albania, being greeted by Enver Hoxha himself and meeting personally with the famous communist partisan leader Hysni Kapo. Sadly McCreery was to die the following year and the organisation disintegrated. Ernie continued to militate in the ranks of the workers, maintained his contacts, and in the early 1990s learnt of our Party and took up work with us, remaining a loyal member and activist until the end of his days, famously selling Workers' Weekly at Brixton Underground and Clapham Junction for some years with his great comrade “Old John” Maharg, both needing specially adapted walking sticks to prop themselves up! He and Old John also worked closely for some time with Jeremy Corbyn in London opposing war and attacks on workers’ rights. In his last years he was very active organising the pensioners in the Richmond and Twickenham area, and in fact in his very last days in the care home was still making plans for future meetings! One of the last things he said was: “I’ve got to get out of here; I have things to do!”

A man of great good humour and humanity, a staunch defender of the unity of the communists and the class, stubborn yet steadfast, he will be greatly missed. He will forever remain an inspiration as an unwavering fighter for the working class and communism.

Ernie’s long-term partner, Hildegarde, predeceased him by a number of years.


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