Arnold Posner, who died last month aged 93, was a lifelong Communist Party activist in Stepney in the East End of London.
He was a councillor for the party on Stepney Borough Council in the 1950s during a period when Communist influence in the borough was substantial, being reflected in the number of CP councillors at one time reaching an all-time high of 12.
Born to Polish Jewish immigrants in Mile End in 1919, he grew up in poverty.
His father, an unemployed tailor, died when he was a child and his mother kept the family on the takings from the tick shop she ran.
At the time it was not unusual for some families to convert their front room into a shop, taking orders for clothing from neighbours that would be bought wholesale and then paid off at a few coppers a week.
Young Posner would help his mother in the shop while still at school before working at the British Laundry Research Association from the mid-1930s to 1941.
In later years, his mother would reciprocate, being a prodigious collector of signatures on protest petitions to be presented to the local council.
His wife Mona, whom he met in 1949, marrying her in 1952, believes that he worked for some time in a chemistry laboratory in the early 1940s but cannot be sure, since, to the frustration of her children and grandchildren who wanted to know more, "we never discussed it."
She explains: "When I met him, he was so active in the party that I assumed in my naive youthfulness that he always had been.
"I knew about the laundry, but I didn't know what else he'd done and never thought to question him.
"I just assumed that once the Soviet Union had been dragged into the war in 1941, he'd been so active politically that he'd never got on with a proper job."
Posner was certainly a key element in the largely Jewish mobilisation for the Communist Party in Stepney in support of its leader Phil Piratin, who was to be elected MP for Mile End in the 1945 general election.
During the war Posner served in the Home Guard in a unit responsible for an artillery piece, but his main motivation was politics, working unpaid but virtually full-time, initially for the Young Communist League and then the party.
He took over as Stepney borough secretary of the party, having previously been chairman, and was elected to the council in 1951 or '52 just before his marriage.
After losing his seat, he set up a short-lived printing operation with Jack Sutherland and then started work as advertising manager for the Daily Worker in the late 1950s, succeeding David Ainley as company secretary for the PPPS, the co-operative society that owns our paper, in 1972.
Replaced as secretary in 1976 by Mary Rosser, he remained as Morning Star business manager until he retired.
It was only after retirement that he finally got what his wife would describe as a "proper job," working for the London-based Cuban import-export company Etco to bypass the criminal US blockade of the socialist island.
Even after beginning full-time work at the paper, Posner remained politically active in his locality, being commended by the Communist Party national leadership in 1961, along with his close comrade Max Levitas, for their record of work in Whitechapel branch, including Morning Star sales, recruitment and strengthening of party branch life.
"Arnold played a really good part in helping me to develop work for tenants and also for the Morning Star," says Levitas, who recalls his role in helping to organise a number of rent strikes that brought victory to the tenants.
Shortly after, Posner switched to Spitalfields branch and served on the London district and East London area committees of the party.
At the same time, he became enthusiastically involved in the Woodcraft Folk, the co-operative movement's organisation for children and youth.
Levitas, who remained in touch with him after the Posner family moved to Marylebone in 1999, recalls a "very good hard-working comrade who always had a soft spot for Stepney" and asked frequently for news of his home borough.
Arnold Posner is survived by his wife Mona and their children David, Vivian, Kathlyn and Michael.
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