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Friday, February 01, 2008

Horace Arthur Vespry (1931–2008)

Memorial to H. Arthur Vespry(1931–2008)
January 2008
I am so sorry to be bringing such sad news: Arthur died Thursday afternoon. I was with him when he died; friends were there to support us both. Now he is in that place where there is no more sickness or sorrow. -- reported by Anne Vespry, daughter of Arthur.

In Arthur we had a very devoted, generous and nice library fellow and a mentor. From the perspective of an international librarian, as a Trinidadian, as the Director @ AIT in Bangkok, and a Candian (incl. McGill, IDRC, UWest Ontario) he has many information sharing models for us to follow.

FYI., I never met him, rather spoke with him only once on phone. Having spoken with him, I introduced him (via email to other professional colleagues), as well. I see that his profile on Linkedin and his Website are updated--this is good as his friends all over will know that Arthur's journey continues.

  • see his a master piece: Career Path of an "International Librarian" SLA Toronto, 1996).

  • How to Price Information Products and Services H. Arthur Vespry, Marianne Vespry and Christa Avery 1999, in MARKETING INFORMATION PRODUCTS AND SERVICES A Primer for Librarians and Information Professionals

Google for more about Arthur.

  • LIPSA (Library and Information Center Staff Planning Advisor): a microcomputer-based system. F.J. Devadason and H.A. Vespry.
    Information Technology and Libraries 15.n2 (June 1996): pp 105(8).
  • Arthur Vespry, 1931-
    Who's Who in Library Service. A biographical directory of professional librarians in the United States and Canada. Fourth edition. Edited by Lee Ash. Hamden, CT: Shoe String Press, 1966. [WhoLibS 4] [Source Citation: Biography and Genealogy Master Index. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale, 1980- 2008.]

  • Death Notice @ Hamilton Spectator


    VESPRY, H. Arthur 1931-2008 The sages tell us, "Life is a journey." Arthur Vespry's life did look very like a journey. He was born in Trinidad, then a British Colony. He finished "higher school certificate" (roughly high school plus the first year of university) at St. Mary's College in Port-of-Spain. At that time there was no university in the British West Indies, so he came to Ottawa to do his BA (1957). He went to McGill for his library degree (1958). He returned to Ottawa to continue working at the Department of Agriculture Library. In 1960 he moved to Vancouver, to set up a new library (the first of a number in his career) for a research station being set up by the Department of Agriculture on the campus of the University of British Columbia. He met Marianne Forsyth, a young librarian working at the UBC Library, and they were married in 1961. Arthur was accepted into the PhD program at the University of Chicago in the fall of 1961, but when he had his entrance medical, he was told that his health was too poor for such demanding study. This was a shock, and plans were changed. They spent that winter in London, England; then returned to Toronto. Arthur worked briefly for the University of Toronto Library. More moves followed: to Deep River, where Arthur was the librarian for Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd; to Hamilton and the Science Library at McMaster, and in 1965 to St. Catharines, where he was the first chief librarian of Brock University. Dr. James A. Gibson - Brock University -- FACULTY 1965 (left to right): Front row: W.H.N. Hull, J.N. Jackson, E.A. Cherniak, E.E. Goldsmith, G.O.B. Davies, J.A. Gibson, M.S. Hornyansky, W.G. Ormsby, J.R.A. Mayer, R.E.V. Bismuth Second row: C.M. Wolff, E. Mirynech, J.K. Derden, J.A. Fernandez, J.P. Meeker, J.W. Wilson, M. Howson, R.R. Hiatt, F.P. Koffyberg, H.A. Vespry Back Row: S.C. Chang, C.G. Gauthier, A.R. Hoermann, I.C. Shaw, G.M.C. Sprung, N. Rosenblood

    His daughter Anne was born in St. Catharines. The next journey was longer: in 1968 they went to Vienna, where Arthur became the chief librarian for the International Atomic Energy Agency. In 1970 he was back in Ottawa, setting up yet another library, this time for the International Development Research Centre. He was also involved in the IDRC program to support information centres in developing countries, making working visits to a number of countries. In 1975 he became a program officer for information development, working mainly in Southeast Asia out of the Singapore office. While there he took extended leave during two summers to finish his MLS at the University of Western Ontario. 1979 saw a return to Vienna, where Arthur oversaw the merger of the IAEA and United Nations libraries into the new Vienna International Centre Library. He spent a year in Manila on a Unesco consultancy, 1982/83. In 1983 he and Marianne moved to Bangkok, where he became chief librarian at the Asian Institute of Technology, a graduate engineering school. (Anne was now studying at the University of Toronto.) Arthur continued his interest in technical information in the service of development, managing several small information centres at AIT, cooperating with similar centres throughout Asia, and developing and offering short training courses for technical information officers in the region. Arthur retired at the end of 1993. He contined to work as a consultant. In 1996 Marianne retired from her work with the United Nations, and they returned to Canada. Although he now required dialysis three times a week, he still loved to travel. The kidney transplant in 2002 gave him more freedom to travel and see new places. In the last week of his life he was still speaking of his next trip. Now he is gone on the great final journey. We wish him Godspeed. On Saturday, February 2nd, 2:00 PM, family and friends will come together to celebrate Arthur's life and to bid him farewell, at St. Paul's Anglican Church, Westdale, 1140 King Street West, Hamilton (corner of King and Cline). There are two churches on that corner; ours is the one with the red doors.
    Date Posted: 2008-01-29

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