Morris was born on 20th May 1919. The family name of Putajevski was also the name of the baker's business started by Aubrey’s grandfather, an immigrant from
Despite this security, he had witnessed first hand the poverty of many east
The area brimmed with sweatshops and Morris recalls seeing people with missing fingers that had been sliced off by dangerous machines and streets full of destitute families and the maimed from the First World War. His first glimpse of the rising tide of fascism was in the form of two adult sons of Italian neighbours strutting along the street in full Italian fascist uniforms.
When the Second World War came, Morris was in the army for seven years in which he achieved the rank of sergeant instructor.After the war, his first job was as a long-distance lorry driver. But pay and conditions were poor, so he became a taxi cab driver in 1951. He played a role in organising tenants on the estate he lived in and stood as a local candidate in local council and London council elections and, finally, as Communist Party parliamentary candidate in May 1955 in the Stoke Newington and Hackney North constituency.
That year, he took his family abroad on holiday, using his taxi, an extraordinary thing to do and this set him off on the foreign travel bug. He set up his own company,
With the help of Joe Morrison, a former school friend who had become an accountant, Aubrey set up a company to provide cheap holidays at European resorts for working families. He launched the first air travel package company transporting football fans to
Although he left the Party in the late 1950s, by the 1980s he was returning to old themes and would go on the finance publications such as Seven Days, Red Pepper, and arange of artistic and theatrical ventures. He was supportive of the Morning Star in his last years. Perhaps most ambitious of all was his creation of the Anjou Lunch Club, named after the restaurant in north London where it was launched in 1989 before it moved to its regular haunt, the famed Soho restaurant the Gay Hussar. The Hussar was a one-time Bevanite congress point, and there Aubrey conducted monthly seminars on socialism.
In his eighties, he released his memoirs, `An Unfinished Journey’, to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the anti-fascist victory at the
Aubrey Morris died on 18th December 2008 aged 89.
Sources: Morning Star October 11th 2006; Guardian Tuesday 13th January 2009
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