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E.S.P.A.L. Society


administrative history

The name "ESPAL" is an acronym for Economic, Social, Political and Literary Society. This society was registered in June 1964 by Wilfred "Bill" McAra, Diana Wilsie and other members of the Communist Party of New Zealand as an independent organisation, partly in response to the Communist Party losing out on a number of bequests from supporters. It was felt a donation to the ESPAL society would be less likely to be contested than a bequest to the Communist Party of New Zealand (see MSS & Archives 89/25, item 2/25). It was to the ESPAL Society that McAra transferred the ownership of his Hayden Street House in 1965 as part of the process of gifting the property to the CPNZ.

Found in 3 Collections and/or Records:

Communist Party of New Zealand records.

Identifier: MSS &-Archives-A-9
Scope and Contents The papers which make up the core of this collection were donated to The University of Auckland by Wilfred (Bill) McAra a prominent member of Communist Party of New Zealand (CPNZ) on behalf of the ESPAL Society. The papers document the activities of the CPNZ from the 1920s until the early 1970s at both the national and local level. The collection includes papers relating to National and District Conferences, general and local body election campaigns, Communist Party study courses, the...

Wilfred (Bill) McAra and Diana Wilsie papers.

Identifier: MSS &-Archives-89/25
Scope and Contents This collection was embargoed for 20 years until 1998. While still under embargo the five boxes of material received by the library were repackaged into archival boxes in 1989 and accessioned as MSS & Archives 89/25, however the collection remained unlisted until 2009.At the time of donation McAra provided the following description of the sealed material:2 boxes wooden…contain(ing) materials previously held by H. Roth. Plus some additional reports, etc....

Wilfred (Bill) McAra papers.

Identifier: MSS &-Archives-94/4
Scope and Contents The papers in this collection cover McAra’s years of study and research into Marxist-Leninist ideology and the problems of the working class. They document his membership of the Communist Party of New Zealand and expulsion from the Party; his activities as a pamphleteer; and aspects of his personal and family life. From the early 1960s the papers and records of Diana Miriam Wilsie, are inextricably mixed with those of McAra. The papers were received by the Library in twenty four...