- 1925-2010 (Creation)
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RO (Richard ‘Dick’ Owen) Dudley (1924-2009) matriculated from Livingstone High School at the age of 15, and enrolled at UCT in 1940. He attained the following degrees: BSc (1942), MSc (1943) and BEd (1944). During a period of banning, he completed a BCom degree in Economics and Economic History at UCT (1963-1966). Shortly before his death, UCT conferred an honorary DEd on Dudley in April 2009. Dudley spent his entire teaching career from 1945 to 1984 at the Livingstone High School, where he served as Deputy, and as Acting Headmaster.
Dudley joined the New Era Fellowship in 1941 and became involved in the political struggle working with Ben Kies, Goolam Gool, IB Tabata, Hosea Jaffe and Ali Fataar. He was active in the Anti-Coloured Affairs Department Movement from 1943, serving on its National Committee. Dudley became a member of the Non-European Unity Movement from its inception in 1945 serving on its committees. He helped found its mouthpiece, The Torch newspaper, in 1946. Dudley was also active in the Teachers’ League of South Africa, serving on its Executive Committee. Owing to his political activities, Dudley was banned by the government for several years in the 1960s, but was allowed to continue teaching. In 1983, Dudley co-operated with organisations that had continued the work of the NEUM to reorganise the Unity Movement. The New Unity Movement was formally
launched in 1985 and Dudley was elected President repeatedly, become Life President in 1998, shortly before retiring from active office owing to ill health.
In terms of the Group Areas Act, in 1961 Dudley’s parents were forcibly removed from their home in Palmboom Road, Newlands, which had been in the family for a century. Dudley himself together with his own family were similarly removed from their home in Harfield Village in the early 1970s, after which they settled in Elfindale.
In 1948, Richard Dudley married a fellow teacher at Livingstone High School, Iris Atkins. They had three children: Nerine (1950), a medical doctor who died tragically in a car accident in 1979, Gary (1955) and Russell (1959). Iris passed away in November 2008. Richard Dudley died on 31 May 2009.
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Scope and content
The bulk of the material in this collection concerns the programmes and activities of the New Unity Movement since its inception in 1983-1985 until the death of RO Dudley in 2009. The collection includes material related to the constitution and Ten Point Programme, conferences and resolutions, National Executive Committee Meetings, correspondence and publications of the NUM, press releases, and writings and speeches of Dudley and others. A large quantity of published material such as journals, periodicals and monographs (other than those produced by
the New Unity Movement and the Teachers' League of SA) was interspersed with the records received. This material was listed and where it supplemented the holdings of published material in UCT Libraries, it was taken on stock.
Another part of the collection constitutes records of, or material related to the Teachers’ League of South Africa, covering mainly the period between 1938 and the 1950s, and the 1990s. Some items are official TLSA records, e.g. minutes, 1938-1948, correspondence in the late 1940s and 1950s, and a few membership registers, while others are copies. Some of the material shows signs of water damage, as Dudley buried the material in a time of repression, not anticipating that the water table would rise. The collection further contains some material of political and other organisations pre-dating the New Unity Movement, e.g. the Anti-Coloured Affairs Department Movement (Anti-CAD). The collection also contains a smaller amount of personal material and material related to educational matters.
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