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In Memory of Professor Robert Paine

Robert Patrick Barten Paine, Anthropologist, was born in England in 1926. Twice widowed (Lisa Gilad 1996, and Rachel Kimor Paine 2007), Robert is survived by his son Michael in Sweden, daughter Jessica and loving family members Charlotte, Larry, Tamra and Marc Gould in the United States, brother Richard and sister-in law Pamela and their family in England and Sarajevo, and his close friend and partner Moyra Buchan, as well as many friends and colleagues in St. John’s and across the world.

Robert attended Oxford University, where he received his BA, M. Phil and D. Phil. He first gained recognition for his research among the Saami of Northern Scandinavia, which established his enduring relationship with Norway. Offered the chair of Anthropology at Oslo in 1965, he was persuaded to come instead to Memorial University to be head of Sociology and Anthropology, and also director of the Institute for Social and Economic Research which he developed as a vibrant centre of scholarship and publishing, attracting many exciting scholars and making a significant impact on memorial’s international reputation.

Robert’s own research spanned many topics, and his visiting professorship at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem established lifelong connections in Israel. His contribution has been recognized through his fellowship of the Royal Society, membership of the Order of Canada, and the award of honorary doctorates from the Universities of Edinburgh, Tromso in Norway, and Memorial itself.

Robert’s great friend Professor Tony Cohen in Edinburgh sent the following message:

I have known Robert for 42 years. He was the single most important influence on me as an anthropologist, and was always the person whose judgment I most needed and trusted. He was also a very good friend to our family. He had a wonderfully enquiring and open mind, and was a quite scintillating presence. To say that he will be greatly missed is a colossal understatement. As you know, he had a huge network of friends all over the world, and I think that for all of us, there was no one else like him.

Donations in Robert’s memory may be made to the Natural History Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, recognizing his love of bird-watching and the environment of this province.

Natural History Society of Newfoundland and Labrador
PO Box 1013
St. John's, NL, Canada, A1C 5M3