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Mary Baird interviewed by Wendy Lowenstein in the Communists and the Left in the arts and community oral history project [sound recording]
Bib ID 2244515
Format AudioAudio [sound recording]
Author
Baird, Mary Jean, 1921-2002, Interviewee
 
Access Conditions Access open for research, personal copies and public use. 
Description 1995 
2 digital audio tapes (125 min.) 
Series

Communists and the Left in the arts and community oral history project.

Summary

Baird speaks about joining the Communist Party of Australia in the late 1940s in Malvern, Vic.; how she was caught in the post-war housing shortage; eviction from her rented house because an ex-serviceman bought it; an offer of emergency accommodation at the Watsonia Army Camp; her refusal to accept the living conditions which were dreadful; how she lobbied John Cain, Senior Leader of the Opposition and this got her into an emergency housing settlement at Camp Pell established at Royal Park; how the other occupants were primarily Roman Catholic unlike her family; how her family was terrorised and the role played by the police; how Phyllis and Ken Ophel as the communist activists in the camp but were discriminated against over obtaining a Housing Commission home; Gerald O'Day, the local communist doctor, answering calls at Camp Pell; how tenants had no rights against the power of the officials; the sabotaging of tenants attempts to provide sports for their children. Baird concludes by explaining that her husband eventually left the CPA over their tactics in union elections.

Notes

Recorded on 9 May 1995 at Eltham, Vic.

Digital master available National Library of Australia;

Subjects Baird, Mary Jean, 1921-2002 -- Interviews.  |  Communist Party of Australia.  |  Clerks -- Victoria -- Interviews.  |  Public housing -- Victoria.  |  Communists -- Victoria -- Interviews.  |  Housing -- Victoria.
Other authors/contributors Lowenstein, Wendy, 1927-2006, Interviewer

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    Members of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Maori communities are advised that this catalogue contains names and images of deceased people. All users of the catalogue should also be aware that certain words, terms or descriptions may be culturally sensitive and may be considered inappropriate today, but may have reflected the author's/creator's attitude or that of the period in which they were written.