Newsletter, Summer 2001

Part IV: More awards, Homecoming 2000, Obituaries, Misc. news

The Paul deMayo Award Lecture was presented on Friday, April 27, 2001, by the Award Winner for the year 2000. Dr. Cliff Baar presented a lecture was entitled AChiral Organometallic Complexes: Synthesis, Stereoselective Reactions and Catalysis@. Prior to the lecture, Cliff was presented with a citation, a medal and a cheque by the Chair, Dr. Rob. Lipson. Prof. Dick Puddephatt, Cliff's PhD supervisor, introduced the lecture. Wonderful work, Cliff!


Dr. Cliff Baar (centre) flanked by Prof. Dick Puddephatt (left) and Department Chair Prof. Rob Lipson, on the occasion of the presentation of the Paul de Mayo Award (being held by Cliff) and Lecture, 2001.


Chemistry with a Bang! was the title of an display presented by Profs. John Corrigan and Mike Kerr on two different occasions in 2000-1. Students (and others!) were treated to such excitingly visual experiments as "Chemistry Genie", "Welder's Coffee" and "Growling Gummi Bears". The first presentation was in room ChB 9 on September 6, to good-sized groups of freshers, at Science Superspectacular II during Orientation Week. The second, held in Natural Sciences Room 7 on October 12 during Thanksgiving week (when there are no first-year labs and tutorials) captured an audience of about 50, including about 25 first-year students. Who can tell how many students will choose a career in chemistry because of the remarkable reactions demonstrated by Profs. Corrigan and Kerr?


Where are they now?

Jody Faught, HBSc (Chemistry), 2000, is now employed by Brantford Chemicals.

Kim Pollard, HBSc (Chemistry), 1994; PhD, 1998, is using her expertise at Lake Shore Cryotronics Inc., Westerville, Ohio. Kim describes Cryotronics as a company of about 150 employees, whose major business is low temperature sensors. However, she notes it also has an instrument producing area that primarily makes equipment like vibrating sample magnetometers (VSM) and a variety of other temperature and/or magnetic sensor incorporated pieces.

Ohenewa Ohene-Fianko, HBSc (Chemistry), 2000, is in medical school at Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee.



Ohenewa (right) visiting friends (from left to right: Jayna Chan, Grace Kim, Erica Taylor) at UWO in May, 2001.


We need your news!! The editors can't help but notice that relatively few Science students keep the UWO Alumni Gazette up to date with what is happening in their lives. We hope that this Chemistry Newsletter will be used more widely for that purpose - the faculty and staff in Chemistry, and, we suspect, your classmates, would like to hear more of your news - we are your second family! So come on, don't be shy - we're only an e-mail away!! ( As well as your news, please tell us whether we can publish your e-mail address (or any other preferred address).


Homecoming, Saturday, September 23, 2000. At Homecoming, the Dept (in the form of Profs. John Corrigan, Phil Dean, Peter Guthrie, Duncan Hunter, Bill Meath, and Rob Lipson, and NMR Manager Dr. Chris Kirby) acted as host for the Class of >60, as well as for several now-retired faculty members who knew them as students. Visitors from the Class of 60 were: Dick Blosdale, Ross Klinck, Don McArthur with wife Ann, Mary (Hilborn) Mereu, Fred Palmer and Garth Pews with wife Suzanne. They shared memories with Professors Emeriti Howie Baldwin, Jim King, Jack Sukava and Jake Stothers, as well as with the younger folk noted above.

After words of welcome from Rob Lipson and a light lunch, visitors were shown some of the newer features of the Department: the recently renovated laboratories for the 2nd-year service courses in organic chemistry, a variety of apparatus for handling air-sensitive compounds in John Corrigan's lab, Rob Lipson's lab for laser spectroscopy and the new NMR facility (containing the four(!) New NMR spectrometers described in last year's Newsletter).

Thereafter, reminiscing continued deep into the afternoon. The Class of >60 held a re-union dinner in the evening. Those who were unable to attend the Reception in the Department, but who attended the dinner were Lois Bezeau, Ken Bradley and John Sparling. Alumni unable to attend either were Ray Bernier, Dick Holyer and Gordon Gray.

More regular re-unions? Is there any support for the idea of the Department holding Homecoming Receptions on a less erratic basis, e.g. perhaps having a Reception every year for the Class of 25 Year Ago? (and/or 10 years, and or.....) Please let us have your feedback and ideas through


We mourn the passing of

Andrew E (Andy) Scott. A native of Scotland, and a veteran of WWII (a member of the Black Watch, no surprise to those of us who knew his tall erect figure), Dr. Andy Scott died on January 30, 2001, aged 81. Andy was awarded his PhD by the University of St, Andrews in 1958, after working in various industrial/research roles in Ontario. He joined the Department in 1963, and became Head in 1965. Soon afterwards he was appointed Dean of Science, serving from 1966-1979. Throughout, Andy taught first-year chemistry in Chemistry 023, and the 8:00 am class, which he always took, loved him. Mindful that many of them were nurses with a busy day ahead of them, he held help sessions in his office from before 7 am until his lecture time!!

After his retirement, Andy continued to teach first-year Chemistry in a post-retirement capacity until the end of the 1988-89 academic year, when he really retired. Many of us will remember his gentle humour at the party the Department gave for him upon his second retirement, when he told of knowing that it was finally time to quit when one of his first-year students came up to him and said ADr. Scott, my Granny says to say Hello@!! Many of us will miss him - we lost a real gentleman.

Duncan MacRae. A native of Huron County, Ontario, Duncan graduated in Chemistry from this Department in 1934. (Chris Willis writes AHis youthful picture may be seen in the 1934 class photo which is (or was) on display in the lounge.@ [The picture is still there - in the magazine rack - Ed.]) Thereafter, he was a high school teacher and Principal, until he lost his voice through illness and surgery. While a Principal in Collingwood (from 1944-1958), his contributions to teaching and community activities were recognized by his being featured as >Alumnus of the Month' in the Alumni Gazette for February 1958. After leaving teaching he returned to the Dept. and directed the Department's storeroom operations until his retirement in 1968.

Mr. MacRae, who died on Nov. 5, 2000, at the age of 95, retired before either of the current editors of this Newsletter were at Western, so this obituary has been put together with information provided by several older faculty members, whom we thank. It is clear from several specific memories that Duncan was very well liked within the Department:

Professor Garth Kidd: AWhen I arrived here in 1963 Duncan was a warm, friendly, and wise man who - with his wife - helped me and my family become established in London. He was part of an earlier teaching tradition that we are not likely to see again, and I will miss him.@

Professor Emeritus Chris Willis: AI would like to thank Garth for drawing attention to the passing of Duncan MacRae, of whom I also retain fond memories. Duncan and I maintained an intermittent correspondence, particularly in regard to the Newsletter, and he came in to see me three or four years ago. At that time he had turned 90 and was moving to Toronto to be nearer his family.@

Professor Roland Haines: AI always held him in extremely high regard. He was a very fine person!@.


What do you think of our new web-site, launched in late 2000, after considerable work by the Department Outreach Committee (current web-master: Prof. Lars Konermann) ? And what do you think of our using the web-site as the new medium for our Newsletter? We need your feedback! (Again, you can use to reach us.)



I would like to acknowledge the able assistance of Ms. Elizabeth Moreau, Ms. Diana Timmermans, and Ms. Anna Vandendries. And of course the Newsletter would not have been possible without news! So a big thank you to all of those who provided information and/or photos for the Newsletter! Any errors or omissions, however, are mine alone.

Phil Dean, Editor


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