Tributes to Prof Patrick Wayman at Castleknock memorial service


Tributes were paid yesterday to Prof Patrick Wayman, who died on December 21st, at a memorial service where members of his family and friends described the family man, scientist, astronomer, music lover and pilgrim.

The service at the Church of St Brigid, Castleknock, Dublin, was attended by the chief mourners, his wife, Mavis, son, Russell, daughters, Karen and Sheila, his brothers, Michael and John, and his grandchildren.

The service was conducted by Canon Paul Colton, Rector of Castleknock, who said Prof Wayman had a love of the church.

Prof Wayman's three children paid tribute to their father.

Dr Karen Wayman said she was married at the church and remembered her father giving a memorable speech in which he handed over his responsibility for her.

His son, Russell, who works in computers, said that when his father, who was English, was first planning to come to Ireland in 1964 he was told that status could only be measured in Dublin by who you knew.

"He knew nobody, but look at the people here today and see what a success he made of his life here," Mr Wayman said. His father liked the countryside, music, good food and wine. He was lucky in love, too, as his marriage was an enduring and loving one. His youngest child, Sheila, features editor of The Irish Times, said that although she did not inherit the science genes, her father enthusiastically supported her choice of a career in journalism. He passed on to her his love of music. Her father spent many years singing in the Guinness choir, which was there today.

"And you can be sure he is up there listening to see if the tenor line can manage without him," she said.

A colleague, Prof Tao Kiang, said that he came to Dunsink and had worked with Prof Wayman. "Patrick changed the face of astronomy in Ireland," he said. He was also well known internationally.

At the service the President, Mrs McAleese, was represented by Comdt Tony O'Doherty.

Also present was the retired archbishop of Dublin, the Most Rev Donald Caird, and former High Court judge, Mr Justice Gerard Buchanan.

Colleagues from Trinity College Dublin included the former provost, Prof William Watts; the former vice-provost, Prof T.D. Spearman; Prof J.M.D. Coey; Prof Brian McMurry; Dr Susan Parkes; Prof David Simms; and Prof P.S. Florides.

Other members of the congregation included Prof John Lewis, a member of the Irish Astronomical Society, and the Earl of Rosse.

Representing The Irish Times was Mr Pat O'Hara, managing editor, and other members of staff.

After the service, the family attended a private ceremony in the adjoining churchyard, where Prof Wayman's ashes were interred.