John Rowan was Communist from his youth in the early 1950s and was Birmingham divisional organiser of AUEW-TASS in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He died suddenly on holiday in Ireland aged only 50 in 1984.
Born and educated in Ayr, he was well-known in Scotland as well as in Birmingham where he played an outstanding, role in the trade union movement. He was an executive member of the West Midlands TUC and was especially known for his expertise in the car industry.
A miner's son, he was also an accomplished musician, poet and artist. His love for Robert Burns was transmitted to the German Democratic Republic where a special Burns Night for Scots and Germans was celebrated every year.
Source: Morning Star August 29th 1984