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John Anthony Weir,1932 - 2002

Born and brought up in Glasgow, Tony Weir attended Glasgow High School. Following in the footsteps of his father (John Weir) he went on to study Geology at Glasgow University, before going on to take his PhD at Queen's University, Belfast under the supervision of Alwyn Williams.

On 4 January 1959, he joined the academic staff of the Geology Department at St Andrews University. His research focused on the sedimentology and structure of the Lower Palaeozoic successions of southern Scotland, in collaboration with Ken Walton, and contributed to the development of the imbricate thrust model for the Southern Uplands. In the Department he was a conscientious and loyal colleague who was always ready to help out in a crisis, and students over many years remember him with affection and respect. A number of postgraduate students were grateful for his writing up their work for publication after they had moved on to demanding jobs.

Though his parents retired to Tayport, Tony spent five days a week as resident of Dean's Court, the postgraduate residence in St. Andrews, where he became a much loved supporter of that community. He was an enthusiast for steam trains (he had an encyclopaedic knowledge of railways), paddle steamers and Clyde shipping in particular. He was keen on classical music and it was not unknown for him to burst into song at informal gatherings.

His health deteriorated soon after his retiral in 1997 and his last few months were spent in hospital. His position in St. Andrews was well expressed by a hospital nurse who said that Tony received more visitors than any other patient on the ward. This was borne out by the large number of colleagues, former students and friends who attended his funeral. He remained single all his life.

Perhaps the most lasting legacy of Tony Weir is the impact his teaching made on students, which is best summed up by two eulogies sent in by former students. One read: "Tony had a great love of life and was one of those larger than life characters who enriched life for the rest of us. His enthusiasm and idiosyncrasies greatly enlivened the study of palaeontology for undergraduates"

The other read: "When I teach fossils to my class, I try to show the same enthusiasm Tony showed when teaching us. A part of him lives on when I teach graptolites. My pronunciation of "Didymograptus murchisoni" is pure Tony Weir Glaswegian and works the same magic with my students as it worked with me. He now has academic grandchildren who use his pronunciation for fossil names despite their Yorkshire accents."

Richard Batchelor