Fonds RBSC-ARC-1478 - Maurice Rush fonds

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Maurice Rush fonds

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45 cm of textual records and other material.

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Biographical history

Maurice Rush was born in Toronto in 1915. After he and his family moved to Vancouver in the late 1920s, Rush left school at the age of fifteen to find work in the midst of the Depression. In 1934 he worked in a cannery and helped to organize British Columbia. Rush also joined the Canadian Communist Party (CCP) in 1934, and was elected as the secretary of the Young Communist League in 1935. Rush helped to organize unemployed workers and was involved in the famous post-office sit-down strike by unemployed workers in Vancouver in 1938.
When the CCP changed its position to support of the Second World War, Rush joined the Canadian Army and served as an artillery instructor from 1942-1944. Following this he was sent to Europe and fought in Holland and Germany. He was taken prisoner in February of 1945, and later liberated by British forces.
Upon his return to Canada in 1945, Rush became provincial organizer for the CCP in British Columbia. Following this, he also served as the partys labour secretary, its Vancouver regional organizer and the national education director. In 1960, Rush was appointed as an associate editor of the partys west-coast newspaper the Pacific Tribune. In 1977, Rush became provincial leader and the secretary of the CCP. During this time, the party campaigned against the arms race and was active in various labour struggles, but also became involved in Vancouver civic politics and Rush helped to organize what would later become the Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE).
Also during this post-war period, Rush made a number of overseas trips to various socialist countries for Pacific Tribune and as part of his duties within the CCP. The countries he travelled to the USSR, East Germany, North Vietnam, and China. Despite the declining fortunes of communist parties worldwide, Rush continued as an activist, writer and leader of the Communist Party in the 1980s and 1990s. In 1995, Rush published his political memoir We Have a Glowing Dream.

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Scope and content

Fonds consists primarily of material related to Rush's activities as a leader of the CCP, political activist and writer in Vancouver from 1935 to 1996. There is also a personal/biographical series of records which detail the events of Rush's life. Other textual series in this fonds contain drafts of Rush's writings and public speeches, his correspondence, his reports and speeches to party conventions, and his published materials. There is a photographs series which details Rush's various editorial political trips to socialist countries during the Cold War. The memorabilia series also contains material related to Rush's trips abroad. There are pins, medals and commemorative coins from China, Vietnam and the Soviet Union. Finally, an audiocassette series contains recordings of some of Rush's speeches during the 1970s and 1980s.

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Inventory available. PDF document attached.

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Physical description

Fonds includes 7 audiocassettes, 2 videocassettes, 56 photographs and approximately 40 memorabilia objects.

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