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Posts Tagged ‘Bob Tizard’

Jack Lyon – soldier, democrat, internationalist

Posted by on July 11th, 2009


On the eve of Anzac Day the North Shore committee of the Labour Party held a dinner in memory of Jack Lyon. Lyon was the MP for Waitemata in the first Labour Government. He volunteered in the Second World War and died in action in Crete. His is a remarkable story of sacrifice, and dedication to internationalism, socialism and  democracy.

The dinner is planned as an annual event to reflect on New Zealand in war and peace, on internationalism and on national identity. The first one was a cracker, featuring a brilliant 25 minute speech by the Hon Bob Tizard ranging over decades of politics and history, delivered without notes. I got to introduce the evening. Local historian David Verran spoke about Jack Lyon’s time on the Shore. And Lyon’s granddaughter Sophie Tomlinson shared memories of her grandfather and his legacy. (Click on the links to hear audio.)

Special thanks to Mark Derby of the Labour History Project for this essay on Lyon’s life, and to the volunteers who made the evening such a success.