GRIFFIN, Harold




Author Tags: History, Labour

Born in London, England in 1912, the venerable unionist and Communist Party journalist Harold Griffin was a member of the Canadian Authors Association for 55 years. He began writing for newspapers on Fleet Street in his teens and came to Canada during the Depression in 1931, working for a year in the Atlin-Yukon gold mines and also as a reporter for the Regina Leader-Post and the Vancouver Province. He joined the B.C. Commonwealth in 1935, becoming editor of the People's Advocate. In 1942 Griffin became the founding editor of The People, forerunner of Pacific Tribune. His first published book, Alaska and the Canadian Northwest: Our New Frontier, in 1944, was a followed by a concise history of British Columbia that focuses upon labour and traces the evolution of socialism in the province. He reports that the first British Columbia branch of the Communist Party of Canada was formed in December of 1921 by militants that included William Bennett of the Socialist party and A.S. Wells of the Federated Labour party. They met in Sullivan Hall on West Cordova Street not long after the CPC was formed in Toronto at a conference on Decemeber 11-12, 1921. Griffin served as editor of The Fisherman from 1966 to 1978. His collection of archaeological artifacts is stored at SFU; his collection of Canadiana was donated to both SFU and the Vancouver Public Library. He died in 1998. A cogent socialistís perspective, Radical Roots: The Shaping of British Columbia, is his posthumous study that was issued by his wife Betty Griffin and the Commonwealth Fund, an outgrowth of the first newspaper of the CCF. Griffin is one of the unsung literary heroes of British Columbia who operated for decades beyond the conservative aristocracy based at the university. 0-9690158-8-7

Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
Radical Roots: The Shaping of British Columbia

BOOKS:

Alaska and the Canadian Northwest: Our New Frontier (Norton, 1944)
British Columbia: The People's Early History (Tribune Publishing, 1958)
Now and Not Now: Selected Poems (Common Wealth Fund, 1973).
A Ripple, A Wave (1974)
Confederation and Other Poems (The Common Wealth Fund, 1966)
Radical Roots: The Shaping of British Columbia (Vancouver: The Common Wealth Fund, 1999)

[BCBW 2005]