These are my goals: Clear the debt my dad incurred by undertaking Harry's Last Stand for the last 10 years of his life which compelled him to travel the world and speak out against fascism, racism, austerity and to make refugees welcome.Complete his tour of refugee hot spots, so that I can complete his last and unfinished book on the refugee crisis.Complete the book I am writing about our life together over the last decade of his life which will take another 5 months of work. Build within a year a foundation in his name that will be run by professionals in social activism, refugee rights and political activism to inspire others by my dad's history and vision for better societies. To donate the copyrights of my fathers' books to the foundation, so that royalties from these books can be used to better the lives of others.
My dad, Harry Leslie Smith
, spent the last years of his life when he was in his 90s fighting to end the refugee crisis. He was dubbed the "World's Oldest Rebel" by the media for his never surrender attitude when it came to fighting against injustices. He used what time he had left on earth to warn people to not make his past our future through austerity and ignoring of fascism espoused by Donald Trump. It was a sacrifice that he undertook with all his might despite the fact that he was an ordinary pensioner with no wealth or political/media connections. In the last 6 years of his life he wrote 5 books, penned innumerable essays while being interviewed by media outlets from all over the world. He put all his money and mine into fighting for the dignity of others and it left us in debt.
In the last years of his life, Harry, with me acting as his caregiver, son and comrade in arms, travelled across Canada, Britain and Europe to make a last stand to defend the principles of a just civilization where all citizens have the right to public health care, affordable housing, education, proper wages and to be protected when made vulnerable by the cruel hand of fate.
It was not an easy road Harry chose to take at the end of his life. In fact, he would have been much more comfortably off had he just spent his golden years in the pursuit of his own pleasures and comfort.
But Harry believed in service to society especially when it was in peril, which is why in 1941 he joined the RAF to do his part in the fight against fascism.
As his son and the person who was closest to him, I know his health would have been much better had he chose to take a backseat to the calamities of our time. He couldn’t though. So, despite pulmonary fibrosis, COPD and congestive heart failure, Harry Leslie Smith raged against the dying of the light through his books, tours, speeches, interviews and podcasts, while I acted as his faithful caregiver, best friend, partner and political collaborator.
It was a privilege to serve and work side by side with him as he became the living bridge to the great and tragic history of the 20th century. My dad’s life began in the misery of preventable poverty and he was hell bent on ensuring that other people would not experience his hunger and despair.
Harry was a light of hope in a world made dark by austerity, war and the greed of the 1%. Unfortunately, his sacrifice in later years and my devotion to him have now ironically left me in a tough financial situation because as he was not a professional politician, an academic, a person of wealth, just simply an ordinary pensioner, his Last Stand impoverished him and me.
It’s why I desperately need your help to keep Harry’s legacy alive and complete his Last Stand. I need to clear our debts to preserve his memory and within the next 12 months establish a foundation in his name to perpetuate his legacy; so that others may continue on his work. Moreover as I have grieved his death, I have continued on his Last Stand while completing his book on the refugee crisis as well as writing a separate book about our last decade together. With the death of Harry, I have no family left and I fear that without your support and love, all my father’s efforts and mine to keep him alive will have been in vain.
Your money will be initially used to clear Harry’s debts and prevent the bank from assuming the copyright on Harry’s books. They will be used to further his Last Stand project that have continued doing in the wake of his death. Once the debts are cleared a foundation will be established that will have people who believed in Harry’s Last Stand and are luminaries in human rights, refugee rights and anti-austerity advocates sit on the foundation’s board of governors.
Know that whatever you give, your generosity will cement Harry Leslie Smith’s legacy until Britain, Canada and the rest of the world become a place of dignity for everyone. With thank, gratitude and great humility.