Dr. Patrick O'Flaherty

    We were shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden and tragic passing of Dr. Patrick O'Flaherty, a professor emeritus of English at Memorial University. Dr. O'Flaherty was a frequent visitor here in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies, either immersing himself in primary sources relating to Newfoundland and Labrador history or surveying the latest works produced in a wide variety of disciplines. In the university community, he was a well-respected professor in the Dept. of English (1965-1995), serving as Head in the 1980s. He developed the first undergraduate and graduate courses in Newfoundland literature and founded and edited the journal Newfoundland and Labrador Studies. His scholarly contributions include The rock observed: studies in the literature of Newfoundland (1979) and two works with Peter Neary: By great waters (1974) and Part of the Main: an illustrated history of Newfoundland and Labrador (1983). More recently, he completed three volumes on Newfoundland history: Old Newfoundland : a history to 1843 (1999), Lost country : the rise and fall of Newfoundland, 1843-1933 (2005) and Leaving the past behind : Newfoundland history from 1934 (2011). These three volumes sit on our reference shelf here in the Centre and are consulted on a regular basis. In addition to his academic works, Dr. O'Flaherty wrote short stories, novels and a memoir of childhood, Paddy boy : growing up Irish in a Newfoundland outport (2015). Dr. O'Flaherty was a well-known figure in the province due to his regular appearances on CBC radio and TV and his many articles written for local and national press. Many of us will remember him from the Reach for the Top television series. According to Joan Ritcey, Head of CNS, he proved his knowledge of all aspects of Newfoundland and Labrador culture many times in televised and untelevised trivia games. The staff of CNS will always remember Dr. O'Flaherty as the researcher with the ready smile and witty personality, asking for yet another microfilm reel that we knew would provide inspiration for his next scholarly work, novel or essay. He will be sorely missed. We extend our condolences to Dr. O'Flaherty's family, friends and colleagues.