I received very sad news this morning from Emily Johns saying her father John Rety died of a heart attack last Wednesday:
I have been trying to find your e-mail and hope this gets to you. I wanted to let you know that my father John died very suddenly from a heart attack on Wednesday. He knew so many people and I am not sure how to contact them. If you could let anarchist circles know that would be very kind. We haven’t sorted a funeral yet, but will put details on the Torriano Meeting House website. I’m sure that many people would like to hear the lovely interview you did with John on Resonance.
John Rety was the first anarchist I ever met and therefor directly responsible for everything! I loved John – he had that same twinkle in his eye and that same proper East European anarchist accent at last year’s anarchist bookfair as he did when I first met him on an Aldermaston march 46 years ago.He edited Freedom, he was THE TORRIANNO POET, he played chess, he laughed and when I interviewed him on Resonance FM last year he expressed himself so beautifully by shrugs and eyebrows and body language that I had to remind him he was on the radio! For me he was the best editor of Freedom and his passing leaves hardly anyone – apart fromthe similarly indefatigable Donald Rooum – left of that generation of anarchists who were the backbone of Freedom in the 50s and 60s like Philip Sansom, Alan Albon, Arthur Moyse and all. When I first met him he was racing around Trafalgar square with a very jaunty silk red and black neckerhief around his neck and John always had style – and my partner Jane shouts out ‘ He was courteous’ which is a rare complement to an anarchist. During the Resonance interview I asked him when he first became an anarchist? ‘During the war in Budapest’ he said after many minutes of expressive thought ‘I think I was part of the resistence( aged 9!). I pressed him further ‘ Didn’t you know if you were part of the resistence?’ ‘Well’ he said ‘ I was running around delivering packages to people hiding in ruined buildings so i think i must have been’. Our movement has suffered a sad loss – a very fine, honest,funny, steadfast human being has died. JOHN RETY.
If you click on Resonancefm on the side panel you can hear John’s interview – it’s No. 2