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Laurence (Laurie) Aarons (1917–2005)

Laurie Aarons (1917-2005) political activist

Born: 19 August 1917, at Sydney, New South Wales. Son of Sam Aarons and Dorian Lilian nee Thomas. Marriages: (1) 1937 in Newtown to  Kondelia Xenodohos. They soon divorced. (2) 1945 in Randwick to Catherine ('Carol') Arkinstall. Died: 7 Feburary 2005 at Sydney, New South Wales.

  • Educated Sydney Boys High School.
  • Following parents' separation resided in Sydney with father, Sam, while brother Eric resided in Melbourne with his mother.
  • Acquired communist ideals by osmosis by reading Marxist texts while young. Joined Young Communist League aged 15 years.
  • Worked as bootmaker and became Communist Party of Australia (CPA) organiser circa 1942.
  • Served in World War II. 
  • 1951, Secretary, Newcastle/Hunger Valley Branch of CPA.
  • 1954, member of CPA Secretariat. General Secretary, 1966-1976.
  • Active in anti-Vietnam movement and often arrested.
  • Considerable experience of working class movements internationally, and architect of Euro-communist line adopted by CPA after 1969.  Visited Czechoslovakia in 1967.
  • Immediate family–grandparents, father, brother and son Brian were CPA members and office-bearers. Prolific and talented pamphleteer, publications include The Stumblebum Syndrome (1984), Here Come the Uglies (1987) and Casino Oz (2000).

18 July 1972; John Playford, Doctrinal and strategic problems of the Communist Party of Australia, 1945-1962, PhD thesis, ANU, 1962; Good Weekend, 4 Nov 1995; E. Aarons, What's Left, 1993; Green Left Weekly, 3 Mar 2005; Workers Online, 11 Feb 2005; Sydney Morning Herald Online 12 Feb 2005

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Aarons, Laurence (Laurie) (1917–2005)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 25 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


19 August, 1917
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


7 February, 2005 (aged 87)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

cancer (not specified)

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Key Organisations
Political Activism