Person - Bill Gollan

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Teacher, trade unionist and peace activist Bill Gollan was a NT member. He joined the CPA in 1935 and was a member of its Central Committee from 1944 to the early 1970s. In the 1960s he was on the CPA Arts Committee. In 1954 Bill was a NT delegate to the Stockholm Peace Conference. The following year he went to North Korea as a Peace delegate, one of the first Westerners to do so, and found Pyong Yang reduced to rubble by American bombardments. Throughout the Korean War most people had gone underground, and plays had been staged in a dugout. Told of this, Dame Sybil Thorndike said this spoke of the value of theatre.

Bill Gollan became principal of Parramatta Junior High School in 1952, and first principal of Macquarie Boys’ High School, retiring in 1965. In 1959 he wrote Education in Crisis citing poor physical conditions, unqualified teachers and lack of educational opportunity. In 1987 he published Bond or free: the peace and disarmament movement and an independent Australian foreign policy for peace and security.

Bill Gollan (born on 21 August 1904 at Woodburn NSW to William Ernest Gollan and Jane née Maclean, members of the Salvation Army) in 1936 married Marie Jean Stuart at Mosman. His brother Bob became a labour historian.

A transcript of an interview with Bill Gollan is held by Mitchell Library (ML MSS 6436).

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