Bernard Roome's memorial meeting in Swansea 25 March 2017 photo Ross Saunders

Bernard Roome’s memorial meeting in Swansea 25 March 2017 photo Ross Saunders   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

“This memorial is to celebrate the memory of Bernard Roome, not just to mourn”, National Shop Stewards Network chair Rob Williams told 120 people from all parts of the UK at a memorial meeting on 25 March to remember Bernard who passed away in early January.

He was a longstanding member of the Militant and Socialist Party for over three decades and played a leading role in the Communication Workers Union (CWU), including on its executive council, and as part Swansea Trade Union Council.

Speakers brought Bernard’s history in the socialist, labour and trade union movement to life with emotional and inspiring speeches and contributions. Tony Kearns, CWU senior deputy general secretary, reminded the meeting that it was Bernard who moved the union’s opposition to Blair’s bloody Iraq War. Andy Kerr, the union’s telecoms deputy general secretary, also spoke.

Indispensable role

Jeff Richards and Alan Lloyd remembered his indispensable role in his CWU branch and Ronnie Job talked about his leadership of Swansea Trade Union Council.

Swansea Socialist Party organiser Alec Thraves told the meeting about Bernard’s contribution to taking on the right wing at Wales Trade Union Congress. But above all he was a revolutionary socialist. This determined his approach to trade unionism and the working class, such as in the magnificent anti-poll tax movement in which Bernard played a key role in Wales.

This was a meeting of comrades, friends and family. Bernard’s two daughters and grandson listened to the speeches. His fiancée and former CWU national officer Grace bravely ended the meeting with an emotional but funny tribute.

As others had said, he was honest, headstrong and didn’t suffer fools…but was usually right! He made many of us better trade unionists.

The financial appeal reflected this sentiment by raising over £1,200.