Communist Party of Australia

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Issue #1596      June 5, 2013

Dos Rooney 1939 – 2013

Guardian readers will be saddened to hear of the recent passing of Dorothy (Dos) Rooney following a battle with cancer. Dos was a tireless worker for the Party in South Australia and a kind, supportive friend to all her comrades. She worked alongside her late husband Brian during his years of service as member of the Central Committee and SA State Secretary. She was the mainstay the Party’s New Era bookshop on Sturt Street for many years and was, without doubt, the best treasurer a Branch ever had. She was direct and honest if you fell behind with your pledge but warm and encouraging at the same time. She never put herself forward or grizzled about the amount of Party work that fell in her lap.

You would think the organising skills of such an unassuming person would be overlooked. But nobody who saw her commitment to the Party’s Pioneer camp for the children of members that took place outside Adelaide over the years could fail to notice what a dynamo she was. She loved kids. The family home in Ridgehaven was the scene of many fund-raisers and socials for the Party. The memorable tone of comradeship and enthusiasm was set, in large part, by Dos. She held her own in the political debates in the Party and carried a deeply-felt sympathy for the battlers in society.

Dos’ funeral in Port Adelaide was packed with people touched by her warmth and humility. Her eldest son Allan’s eulogy was full of memories like the sing-alongs with his father Brian playing the piano accordion and Molly, Michael, Marce, Dos and his uncle Rex singing with gusto. But there was recognition that a life committed to such a mighty cause involved sacrifice. Money was tight. The Rooneys had four boisterous children under the age of seven when Brian travelled to the Soviet Union to study for nine months.

Dos’ SA comrades will miss her smile and loyal friendship. She was the salt of the earth. Dos was the loved mother and mother-in-law of Lynne and Chris, Kaye and Edly, Allan, Trevor and Lesley. She was the treasured nanna of Bouth, Joog (deceased), Lisa, Alana, Melissa, Nathan, Amy, Issac, Aiden, Brett and Nathan and great-nanna of Kylie, Jamila, Odessia and Zahara.   

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