Western University Physics adn AstronomyWestern Science

Harold Reynolds Kingston

Harold Reynolds Kingston

"Harold Reynolds Kingston [1921-47] (Queens, MA, 1908; Chicago, PhD, 1914) arrived from the University of Manitoba and took over as Head of the Department of Mathematics. He took a great, although largely amateur, interest in astronomy, and following his arrival at Western the name of the department was changed to the Department of Mathematics and Astronomy, a name which remained until 1958-59."

The above was written by Professor Don Moorcroft in his history of Physics and Astronomy at Western up to 2003.

H.R. Kingston has left a wonderful legacy in London.  Undergraduate students can find themselves awarded the Maude Holt Kingston Gold Medal in Astronomy, an award endowed by Harold Kingston in memory of his late wife.

As well, members of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada can listen to guest speakers as a result of the Harold R. Kingston Guest Speaker endowment.

RASC (Royal Astronomical Society of Canada) member Peter Broughton wrote a wonder book called Looking Up, in which we find the following written about Harold Reynolds Kingston.

"HAROLD R. KINGSTON (June 26, 1886-Feb 10, 1963) was born in Picton, Ontario. After high school, he taught for a few years before commencing university studies. Following his M.A. at Queen's University in Kingston, he again taught. this time at an Indianapolis high school. He embarked on a Ph.D. program at the University of Chicago and completed it one year after accepting a position in the Department of Mathematics, University of Manitoba, where he was Lecturer and Assistant Professor from 1913 to 1921. He then moved to Western University in London where he had a distinguished career as Head of the Mathematics Department. Dean of Arts and Science and Principal of University College. Queen's and Western both honoured him with LL.D. degrees in 1953. Throughout his career he maintained a strong interest in education at the high school level, served as President of the Ontario Educational Association and wrote (with J.E. Durrant) widely-used Geometry textbooks. His only son, John, was a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Washington in Seattle.

HR Kingston at the telescope in the Hume Cronyn Memorial ObservatoryKingston also taught some Astronomy courses and consequently became actively interested in the Society. During his years in Winnipeg he was Secretary-Treasurer and President of the Centre there, and in London he was the founding President from 1922 to 1930 and Honorary President thereafter. Through his influence, Astronomy was put on a solid footing at Western and the Hume Cronyn Observatory was established. In the national Society he was Vice-President in 1927 and President in 1930-31. His role in the London Centre would be hard to over-estimate as he was consistently involved in meetings and activities for hearty 40 years. As a result of a bequest from his estate to the London Centre, many outstanding speakers have come to London to deliver the H.R. Kingston Memorial Lecture."