A tip or two from Allan Canty as he embraces retirement
School of Chemistry ‘legend’ is officially farewelled
After a long and illustrious career, Distinguished Professor Allan Canty was looking forward to spending his first morning of retirement at the municipal tip. “We’ve had such a fantastic gardening weekend,” he explained amid peals of laughter at an official farewell to him organised by the School of Chemistry (Tuesday September 4). “While I am there I might go to the tip shop … it’s supposed to be a good place for retirees. Then maybe I’ll get a Seniors Card.”
He paused for effect, and then added: “But around lunchtime I will be having some withdrawal symptoms.”
If that happens, you can expect to see him back on campus, perhaps enjoying a coffee at Lazenby’s, thanks to the beneficence of the Canadian Government: “After three sabbaticals in Canada, I got a letter last year announcing that I had a Canada pension plan - for $25 a month.”
More seriously, Prof Canty – who served as Head of the School of Chemistry for 12 years and two terms as Acting Dean of the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology – told his audience at the University Club in Sandy Bay that he would spend a lot of his time in retirement doing research.
“It is a little bit like going full circle … doing what I did when I first arrived here.
“There’s also a bit of competition here,” he said of the research imperative. “Our son David and daughter Alison are also publishing in leading journals.”
Very seriously, Prof Canty reminded his listeners just how lucky they were to be working at UTAS. “It has been a wonderful journey for me. You should all feel very proud to be here. You have a wonderful opportunity to do things that are really worthwhile, in teaching, research, community engagement …”
Paying final homage to Prof Canty, Head of School Associate Professor Greg Dicinoski said that his “positive can-do attitude and work ethic would be much missed in the School”.
“Even though I said you’re going to the tip tomorrow, I am sure that you’ll still beat me into work.”
Prof Canty managed to maintain an outstanding research career during long periods of administrative responsibility. He has achieved continuous Australian Research Council Discovery Grant funding for more than 20 years.In 2010 he was awarded the title of Distinguished Fellow by the Royal Australian Chemical Institute. In the same year he became a Distinguished Professor at UTAS.
In a letter of support for Prof Canty’s nomination for a Distinguished Service Medal last year, former Head of School Prof Brian Yates said: “Allan’s commitment and contribution to the School of Chemistry are legendary. During his 12 years as Head of School, Allan demonstrated excellent stewardship of the School and ensured that it remained healthy and vibrant and ready to exploit new opportunities.”
Caption: Allan Canty and his wife Carolyn at the official farewell.