January 16, 2023

George Bryant

From his early 20s, to his death on Dec. 26 at 91 years old in a Wallaceburg, Ontario, nursing home, George Bryant was a supporter of the international communist movement and the Cuban Revolution.

In the late 1950s, George joined the Socialist Educational League in Toronto (later the League for Socialist Action, a predecessor organization of today’s Communist League in Canada). One of his tasks was to collaborate with other party members who were truck drivers in work to strengthen the Teamsters union and to build a revolutionary working-class party rooted in the labor movement.

Like many other workers and youth of his generation, George was inspired by the 1959 Cuban Revolution and the renewal of communist leadership it generated.

In 1961, he and his lifelong companion, Bea Bryant, traveled to Cuba for six weeks to learn about the revolution and bring back accurate information about it to working people and youth in Canada. They were founding members of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, which organized to get out the truth about socialist Cuba and build protests challenging Washington and Ottawa’s efforts to destroy the revolution.

Bea, also a lifelong supporter of the Communist movement, died in 2016 at the age of 93.

George became a highly skilled carpenter and construction worker. In addition to using his skills to earn a living, he used them to help build the communist movement not only in Canada, but internationally.

In Toronto, Montreal, New York and other U.S. cities, he trained and helped lead teams of volunteers to build and make renovations of party headquarters and book centers, professionally, safely and within budget. When the Socialist Workers Party moved its national headquarters to the Garment District in New York in 2003, George joined the construction brigade. He and his son, Dave, did the entire kitchen and book center cabinetry for the national offices and branch hall.

In 1986 George and Bea moved to Blenheim, Ontario. They often welcomed visiting members of the communist movement who needed bed and breakfast on their political travels, or simply a few days of relaxation in a beautiful setting.

In addition to good food and drink, such visits always included discussion of articles in the Militant or Pathfinder books. George loved to talk about his experiences in the class struggle over the years, and in particular his experiences in Cuba.

John Steele
Montreal, Quebec