Peter Neary (1938 - 2024)

Peter Neary

The flag will be lowered on Wednesday, April 3rd until early afternoon, in memory of Professor Emeritus, Peter Neary, a retired faculty member from the Department of History. 

Following undergraduate and graduate studies at Memorial University, Newfoundland, Peter completed a doctorate at the University of London (1965), the same year he joined the Department of History at the University of Western Ontario.  Peter was chair of the Department of History from 1978 to 1981, and dean of the Faculty of Social Science from 1995 to 2002.  Of special significance to Peter was his award of an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Memorial University.

A prolific scholar, Peter wrote extensively on the political, economic, and social history of Newfoundland, on many of the artists who painted her land and sea, and on the development of Canada’s policy for veterans of the Second World War.   His many monographs and edited collections include:

The Political Economy of Newfoundland (1973)
By Great Waters:  A Newfoundland and Labrador Anthology (with Patrick O’Flaherty, 1974) Newfoundland in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: Essays in Interpretation (with James Hiller, 1980)
Part of the Main: An Illustrated History of Newfoundland and Labrador (with Patrick O’Flaherty, 1983)
The Good Fight: Canadians and World War II (with J.L. Granatstein, 1995)
White Tie and Decorations:  Sir John and Lady Hope Simpson in Newfoundland, 1934-1936 (1996)
The Veterans Charter and Post-World War II Canada (with J.L. Granatstein, 1997)
On to Civvy Street: Canada’s Rehabilitation Program for Veterans of the Second World War (2011)
Alan Caswell Collier, Relief Stiff:  An Artists Letters from Depression-Era British Columbia (2018)
Joseph Roberts Smallwood: Masthead Newfoundlander, 1900-1949 (with Melvin Baker, 2021)

Among this impressive display of scholarship, Peter’s lauded 1988 monograph Newfoundland in the North Atlantic World, 1929-1949 is widely regarded as the work of a historian writing at the pinnacle of his profession.

Dedicated to his craft until literally his life’s end, Peter’s final book Out Here: Governor Sir Humphrey Walwyn’s Quarterly Reports from Newfoundland, 1936–1946 (with Melvin Baker) will be published by McGill-Queen’s University Press in June 2024.

As dean, Peter was an innately practical administrator and vigorous champion of the Faculty of Social Science in all its tremendous diversity. As a historian with a clear vision of future trends in academia, one of Peter’s most far-reaching decanal innovations was to create within the Faculty of Social Science what is now the DAN Department of Management & Organizational Studies with its unique interdisciplinary approach to the study of management emphasizing the social sciences.

Yet for all his stellar accomplishments as a university administrator and academic historian, Peter will long be fondly remembered by many of his former students for his immense generosity and the sage advice he shared with them.

Upon retirement in 2005, Dr. Neary continued at the university as an emeritus professor and adjunct research professor.