Alfred DeLury

(1864-1951) U of T mathematician; Society President (1910-11).

ALFRED TENNYSON DELURY (1864-1951) and his brother RALPH EMERSON DELURY (1881-1956) were both Presidents of the RASC. Another brother, Justin, became Provincial Geologist for Manitoba and spoke on more than one occasion to the Winnipeg Centre. Their father was a shoemaker by trade who emigrated from Ireland to settle in the village of Manilla, about 110 km northeast of Toronto. A fourth brother, Daniel, who became a legislator in Minnesota, recalled that their father was an excellent story teller and a poet by nature. No doubt this accounts for the literary names of the boys, and A.T.'s engrossing interest in Irish writers whose works he collected. Like many of his contemporaries, All (as his family called him) went into teaching following his high school years. He then attended the University of Toronto and was in the same class as Chant, both men graduating in 1890. After some short-term posts elsewhere, he returned to Toronto as a Lecturer in Mathematics at the University in the fall of 1892. He got his M.A. in 1902 and during his career he became Head of the Department of Mathematics in 1919 and Dean of Arts from 1922 until his retirement in 1934. His nephew, D.B. DeLury, was Head of Math at U of T from 1958-68.

In his early years of lecturing, A.T. DeLury taught some astronomy courses within the Mathematics Department The papers he read at meetings of the Society and which were published in the Journal encompassed such topics as comet orbits, parallax, aberration and relativity, and biographical pieces on Poincaré and G.H. Darwin. He was a very popular speaker and hundreds attended his talks.

He and Ralph both retired to Manilla where a park and community centre now perpetuate the DeLury name. A.T. DeLury maintained his interest in the Society and even in retirement came to the city to give an occasional lecture to Toronto Centre.

Peter Broughton (from Looking Up)


Further Reading

  • Obituary, JRASC (February 1952, pp.28-29, part of Notes and Queries)
  • JRASC articles by A.T. DeLury


DeLury, Alfred T.