DeLisle Garneau

(1906-67) First President of the Centre Français de Montreal (1947) and an active observer. Received the Chant Medal in 1951.

DELISLE GARNEAU (1906 - 67) was a son of the well-known historian, Hector Garneau. He remembered his father pointing out Halley's Comet to him in 1910, but found his interest was really awakened by a book given to him as a Christmas present in 1919. Garneau told the fascinating story of his growing interest in astronomy in the Journal in 1939. His fine observations of sunspots, lunar occultations, Mars and Comet Cunningham, made with his 10-cm refractor, were also reported in the pages of the Journal. Behind his home in Montreal's Notre Dame de Grace district, he built an observatory in 1941 which later housed the Centre's 15-cm Aitchison refractor, and members came there regularly to use it. At the same time he was appointed Chairman of the Centre's Telescope Committee, a position which he held for the next eight years. He very carefully planned a successful campaign for the observation of Perseid meteors in 1942 and again in '43, and was an active auroral and variable star observer. Though employed as an accountant with the Department of National Revenue, Garneau found time to write popular articles on astronomy in the Montreal magazine, La Revue Moderne, and a weekly column in the newspaper, Le Devoir.

He became the first President of the Centre Français de Montreal in 1947, a position which he held again in 1951, and he spoke frequently at meetings. He also served as national Second Vice-President in 1951-52. The Society awarded him the Chant Medal in 1951.

Peter Broughton (from Looking Up

Further Reading

Garneau, DeLisle