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Issue #1632      March 26, 2014

Celebrate 70 years of struggle

The Sydney’s Inner West Branch of the CPA is celebrating life of veteran communist Tom Costa. Guardian readers are invited to join Tom and his Comrades as many historic events are retold.

Tom Costa centre.

Tom worked for an end to British colonial rule in Cyprus, an end to Turkish military occupation and division of the island, for the building of progressive Cypriot and Greek organisations in Sydney and for the rights of the working class in Australia and around the world.

He was born in 1927 in Akaki, Cyprus, a small village of peasant farmers. At a young age he became conscious of the need to struggle for an improvement in the conditions of life of the people and against the oppression of British colonial rule. In 1943 he joined the Communist Party of Cyprus, AKEL.

In 1951 he migrated to Australia with his wife, Phroso, and young daughter, Mary. His other children – Con, Andrew and Dorothy – were born in Australia. From those early days, his wife Phroso became a tireless supporter and fellow traveller in a lifetime of progressive struggle.

Tom did not hesitate to join the Communist Party of Australia and became active in the communist movement, the trade union movement and in the organisations of Cypriot and Greek immigrants in Sydney.

He became a wharfie. In the Waterside Workers’ Federation he struggled to overcome the harsh exploitation of waterside workers and took strong action against the war policies of the Menzies government.

He devoted much time to the plight of his fellow immigrants from Cyprus and also from Greece. He fought for the right of immigrants – who performed the most laborious jobs in Australian industries – to be politically active. He fought against political discrimination by the government in denying citizenship to activists.

He played a significant role in the establishment of the Greek Atlas League. He has and continues to be an active participant in the Greek Orthodox Community.

Tom is highly regarded for his many years of involvement in the Cyprus Community and has contributed greatly to its strength and viability to the organisation and the Friends of AKEL. He has been at the forefront of solidarity with the people of Cyprus who strive for an end to Turkish military occupation and unification of the island in the interest of Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

Tom has always valued his membership of the Communist Party of Australia and he continues to be an active member of the Inner West branch of the CPA.

So, please join us on this rare opportunity to be part of history as we celebrate the life and struggles of an Australian immigrant communist.

Details below.

Join Tom Costa & Comrades –70 years of struggle

Sunday April 27 at 2pm
636 New Canterbury Rd Hurlstone Park (enter from rear)

Historical photos and oral history film

Cypriot food and drinks

Donations on the day will be accepted by the Inner West Branch of the CPA towards ongoing struggle of the working class and oppressed peoples in Australia and around the world.

Next article – Bob Crow

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