Sally Bowen, 1918-1999

Issue 

Sally Bowen, 1918-1999

Sally Bowen — Communist, peace activist, environmentalist, health worker, feminist and life-long fighter for social justice and working people's rights — passed away in Wollongong on February 25.

A former farmhand, steelworker, union activist and Communist Party official, Sally also found time to record a vast array of experiences in poetry through in her book A Garland of Poetry.

The Wollongong Women's Centre was named after Sally, and the miners' women's auxiliary, which she was involved with since the 1950s, is a monument to her. She also worked for peace since the 1950s in the Association for International Cooperation and Disarmament and the Save our Sons movement during the Vietnam War.

At her funeral, her love for others was best expressed in the words of Eugene Debs: "While there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."

Sally's death is a loss to all humanity.

[Kemira — Diary of a Strike, the story of the Kemira mine sit-in which featured Sally, will be screened as a tribute on March 28, 1pm, at the Migrant Resource Centre.]