By Minnie Caruso, Trade Printery
“Will.” Such a perfect name. Will Parry had so much will – the will to fight for social justice and the will to continue working for that even as the end of his life was near. But it seemed his abiding passion was his will to write.
I knew Will for some years before I began working with him on The Advocate newsletter. He always seemed so young for his years, coming into the print shop after a jog, and this was when he was in his seventies! He always had a smile and often a joke.
One of the pleasures of my working life was working with Will on The Advocate. For a number of years he WAS The Advocate, spending countless hours researching and writing most of the articles. I remember one day when we were discussing the layout he asked me with a twinkle in his eye, if I knew the identity of Rap Lewis. It turned out to be Will himself. He made up a pseudonym using some of the letters in his own name. It was his private joke. Rap wrote some fine articles over the years.
The best way to get to know someone is to work with him. Will had a kind and gentle manner and worked in a way I would call “soft precision.” He knew what he wanted but was never heavy-handed. He was a meticulous writer and editor, making every sentence clear, and often changing a word or sentence at the last minute. Equally concerned about layout, he tried to make each page stand on its own visually. He cared about everything, from the quality of a photo to the placement of a comma. All of that caring resulted in a quality newsletter that I know he was proud of and that kept him going into his 90’s!
It was early this year that producing the newsletter became too much and he stepped down as editor. Our years of collaboration came to an end. I was left with the gift of knowing a wonderful person who came to be a friend, one of his many. Will’s passing has left a hole in my heart.
There is so much to say about Will Parry and it will be said. His work, his respect for his fellow man and his hu- manity will be his legacy. He really was a working class hero.