Mary Grey

(1927-96) Worked at Geodetic Survey of Canada, DO, and NMST. Society President (1986-88); Service Award (1990).

MARY W. GREY was born Mary Scribner in 1927 in Chipman, New Brunswick After receiving her B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from the University of NB, she worked for the Geodetic Survey of Canada where she got her first taste of practical astronomy. But, as Mary says, her "passion" for astronomy took fire after moving to the DO and after joining the RASC.

From 1964 to 1977, Mrs Grey held various offices in the Ottawa Centre including a term as President in 1975-76. Nationally, she chaired the Committee on Publications, Sales and Advertising in the '60s, wrote notes on the Dominion Observatory for the Journal in 1968-70, became well-known at General Assemblies for her warmth and humour, and ultimately, in 1982, embarked on the ten-year tour of Presidential Offices. Mary Grey received the Service Award in 1990 for her years of devotion to the Society.

After ten years at the DO, Mrs Grey moved to the National Museum of Science and Technology in 1974, where she became the Head of the Astronomy Division and later the Senior Curator of Physical Sciences. Her career there has been devoted to the promotion of public interest in and knowledge about astronomy through teaching and broadcasting, and writing a newspaper column as well as the Museum's quarterly, Sky News. Mrs. Grey's interest in history and heritage was evident in her informed talks on the history of the Dominion Observatory and especially in her successful efforts in getting the 38 cm DO refractor installed at the NMST in a building of its own, where it is used for the pleasure of the public. It was dedicated as the Helen Sawyer Hogg Observatory in 1989. In recognition of her promotion of astronomy at the Museum, Mary Grey received the Civil Service Association of Canada's prestigious Merit Award in 1989.

Peter Broughton (from Looking Up)


Further Reading

  • Obituary, JRASC (August 1996, p.238)
  • Rasc Service Award to Mary Grey, JRASC (December 1990)
  • JRASC articles by Mary Grey


Grey, Mary W.