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Born in 1932, Symons was made branch secretary of the
A gardener with the local Parks Dept, in an interview with the Party weekly, Symons noted the strengths and weakness of the district. Plymouth had a membership of 29, with about twelve fairly regularly attending the monthly branch meeting, and the bulk of the activity being carried out by some half-a-dozen cadres.
In his first six months as district secretary, and despite having no independent transport, Symons had been to Party meetings at
Symons first crack at changing all this had not been successful, mainly due to an ageing membership. Two or three younger recruits were made which, coupled with an influx of a few young party students into the university, enabled another meeting to be called to properly constitute a branch.