Maritime Union supports UK Award-Winning Play About Paul Robeson at Fringe NZ

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2 Responses

  1. In 1976 and 1977, as a newly minted history graduate of the University of Canterbury, I was asked through a faculty contact if I would conduct some primary research on Paul Robeson’s visit to New Zealand and Australia in 1960. I was fortunate to be able to interview many people who had met Paul Robeson during his time here, including Janetta McStay, his piano accompanist. My strongest memory, however, is talking with Jack Locke of the NZ Communist Party about his experience of meeting with the visiting singer, intellectual and activist. We sat in Jack’s small and rather untidy Christchurch study, listening to the 78 recording of Ol’ Man River that he had been given by the great man himself, and talking about the impact Paul Robeson had made in his addresses to New Zealand workers and unionists. Great to see his contribution being discussed again in New Zealand.

  2. As a 15 year old I met and chatted with Paul Robeson in London in 1949,and as a result of that and seeing the show here in London in October Tayo Aluko and I became friends. Paul has been in my life from birth and now, at 81, a Jamaican friend has asked me to sing ‘Old Man River ‘ at an event she is organizing next month and she reckons it will be awesome! Wouldn’t have had the bottle to do it 4 Months ago and could never have sung in public so I hope she’s right! But what the heck? – I’m ready to give it a go and actually looking forward to it!

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