workers organisations. Within MSS and Archives A- 139 there are several distinct sets of papers which fall into this category including the personal papers of Oliver Bennett Young Gregory (1909 – 1974), an active member of the Gisborne and North Shore branches of the CPNZ and a prominent member of the Workers Unemployed Workers Movement (NUWM) during the Depression. With the exception of the NUWM papers which form Series 9 of this collection, Gregory’s papers are spread through the collection but are easily identified by the fact that he wrote his name and address or initials on many items. Where it is clear that material originated with Gregory this has been noted in the item description.
Since the basic elements in the collection were official and semi- official circulars, minutes, publicity material etc. of registered unions and societies they were most simply classified under organisations with the exception of Series 1: the McAra mementoes. The existing parcels that had been given titles by McAra or Michael Coleman already carried labels; CPNZ, FOL and NZLP which set the pattern for the rest of the material.
The work of arrangement involved rationalisation i.e. the bringing together of all material about a particular organisation or subject. Where possible the items were then collated in either chronological or alphabetical order which ever seemed appropriate, e.g. chronological for elections, alphabetical for subjects.
At times this focus on arranging material by organisation has been at the expense of other relationships between items, and has resulted in items with the same provenance being split into different parts of the collection.
2.5 metres (24 boxes + outsize)
the special dedication of Communists to [the] workers cause, McAra joined the Wellington Branch of the New Zealand Communist Party of New Zealand (CPNZ). Through the early years of the Second World War, McAra, like many members of the CPNZ, opposed New Zealand’s involvement in the War. During this period McAra was the president of the Wellington Peace and Anti–Conscription Council. However, from June 1941 when the Soviet Union joined the Allies, the CPNZ’s resistance changed to active and enthusiastic support; McAra agitated for the construction of air raid shelters, organised a Victory March and served in the Home Guard. He also continued his work as an organiser for the Carpenters Union, visiting the construction site for the Waiouru army camp and reporting on the abysmal working conditions.
retiredto Whangamata and concentrated his energy on disseminating Marxist/ Leninist ideas. He wrote a book, Laws of the New Zealand Revolution and various pamphlets, publishing them with Diana Wilsie as Pioneer Publishing, Waihi.
Part of the Special Collections, The University of Auckland Repository