Tribute to Kent Haworth

(University Archivist Kent Haworth at the launch of the York University 40th anniversary celebrations, with Prof. Clara Thomas, Canadian Studies Research Fellow, Dept. of English, Faculty of Arts)

Suzanne Dubeau, acting University archivist, submitted this tribute to the late Kent Haworth.

University Archivist Kent Haworth passed away peacefully at home on Jan. 31 after, in Kent”s words, “a serious disagreement” with malignant melanoma.

A man of passion and conviction, Kent had a “big” personality that made him unforgettable. His sense of humour never deserted him even as his disease progressed. And, as anyone who knew Kent would expect, he did not stop taking an interest in and expressing his opinions about archival matters, privacy issues, world affairs, gourmet cooking, fine wine and single malt whisky, his garden….

Kent was an icon in his profession and respected around the world.

One tribute comes from Adrian Cunningham, secretary of the International Council of Archives Committee on Descriptive Standards in Australia: “Kent”s passing is a very great loss to our profession. In particular his contributions to Canadian and international [archival] descriptive standards efforts were immense.”

Another comes from provincial archivist Gary Mitchell in British Columbia: “…the flag at the British Columbia Archives is draped in the black mourning silk as we remember and celebrate the life of an extraordinary archivist, Kent Haworth. For nearly 30 years, Kent has been in the forefront of developments in Canadian archives…. For all of us, his passing is a loss; for those within his archival generation, his passing is the fading of the brightest star in a magnificent constellation.”

Kent was a generous mentor to his staff and supportive of his colleagues at the University and in his professional associations whether at the local, provincial, national or international levels. An individual with strong ethics, he was not afraid to take the minority or unpopular position. He enjoyed a good debate and the opportunity to discuss ideas. He was a master at networking and building connections with colleagues, faculty and staff.

Most importantly, Kent was a compassionate person who loved life and enriched all of us who knew him – he will not be forgotten.

The York community is invited to remember Kent at a memorial service at the Scott Religious Centre on March 20 at 3:30pm.