Lord Mayor of Manchester addresses the IBMT AGM

Post date: 24/10/2022

On Saturday 15 October, the Lord Mayor of Manchester Councillor Donna Ludford opened the IBMT’s 2022 Annual General Meeting with the following address. 

The AGM also heard friendly greetings messages sent in from the IBMT’s international sister-organisations, which have also been reproduced below.

From left: Councillor Sean McHale, Lord Mayor of Manchester Councillor Donna Ludford and Rochdale MP Tony Lloyd at the AGM.

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, 

The initial AGM of the International Brigade Memorial Trust was held in Manchester in 2002 and again in 2006.

I am delighted to welcome you all back to Manchester for the 2022 AGM.

A very warm welcome if you have travelled from near or far.

The International Brigade Memorial Trust commemorates the men and women from the UK who volunteered to go to Spain to join the International Brigades to fight fascism and defend democracy in the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939.

2,500 men and women from the UK went. 130 men and women from Greater Manchester went and 35 were killed, many at the Battle of Jarama.

In 1938 Manchester City Council placed a plaque in Manchester Town Hall to commemorate the men and women from Greater Manchester who went to Spain. This plaque is now placed in Manchester’s Central Library.

Like all registered UK charities, the IBMT is required to hold an Annual General Meeting, to elect the committee and review the previous year’s business. However, the IBMT’s AGM weekends are much more than a formal meeting.

The AGM weekends are an opportunity for family members and supporters of those who went to Spain, to come together to remember, commemorate and celebrate the volunteers’ bravery and principles.

I am sure that you have a busy agenda set out for you during your tiem here but I do hope you will have a little free time to explore and enjoy all that Manchester has to offer. You are assured the warmest of welcomes here. Thank you.

International greetings to the 2022 IBMT AGM

From the Asociación de Amigos de las Brigadas Internacionales, Madrid

Dear friends and relatives of the anti-fascist volunteers in the International Brigades, 

We send you our fraternal greetings from Spain, where so many British men and women chose to do their moral duty against the advance of international fascism. We honour and remember them, and we are delighted to announce that we will be marking the site of the original memorial in Jarama as soon as it becomes feasible. We are also hoping to share more information about the nationality being extended to the descendants of the International Brigaders in the next coming weeks, when the new Law of Historical Memory is published in full. 

As winter approaches and the working class will see our disposable income greatly reduced due to the cost of living crisis, we stand united and in solidarity. In the current political climate, with the apparently unstoppable advance of fascism in Europe and beyond, there is even more cause to celebrate and commemorate the men and women in the International Brigades who made a decision in 1936 to fight an ideology of hate and exploitation. 

Let's remember their bravery and determination in our hearts and minds and in a proper monument when the time comes.

From the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives, New York

Warmest greetings from ALBA to all of the men and women in our sister organisation, the International Brigade Memorial Trust. 

These times demand that now, more than ever, we recommit to the values and tell the history of the brave anti-fascists of the Fifteenth Brigade. They are role models whose stories, when uncovered and told, as you do in your work, serve to inspire new generations in the struggle for peace, democracy, human rights and social justice. 

We wish you the greatest success in your annual general meeting in Manchester.

Posted on 24 October 2022.

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