Gerry Penney 1951-2020

From Caul’s Funeral Home, St. John’s, in part

Passed away at home in St. John’s on May 14, 2020. Gerald Penney, Archaeologist and Heritage Consultant. Predeceased by parents Simon and Rita Penney, Port Union, and brothers Jim and Aidan. Leaving to mourn, his darling wife of 43 years Ellen; sons Steven (Kenzie); Simon (Amanda); and daughter Andrea (Blaze); his wonderful grandchildren Charles and Anna and her dog Cora and Andrea’s dog Ziggy, along with sisters Sheila, Donna and Carmel (Scott) and five nieces and nephews. Gerry expresses his appreciation to all his fine business and archaeology associates, squash club members, road running mates, friends at the Miawpukek Reserve, Conne River and other First Nations members throughout the Province, fellow members of the Hollywood History Club, all those interested in Newfoundland history and maps and most profoundly to his health providers.

From the Provincial Archeology Office of NL, in part:

[Gerry] was heavily involved with the Miawpukek First Nation in Conne River and their search for their history on the Island. Part of the goal of his 1985 Master’s Thesis was to search for Mi’kmaq sites, and while he found several recent historic Mi’kmaq sites during this work, his lasting contribution from his thesis was the L’Anse à Flamme site. Gerry named the Little Passage complex based on his work at L’Anse à Flamme, which we know today as the precontact ancestors of the Beothuk based mostly on his work. On the heels of his thesis, he became the first archaeologist to excavate a Mi’kmaq site on the island, including Burnt Knapps, Temagen Gospen, and King George IV Lake. In the 1990s, he led a search for Mi’kmaq sites called the Katalisk survey that stretched from the Codroy River Valley to Bay St. George.

From Miawpukek Mi’kamawey Mawi’omi, in part:

Gerry was an Archaeologist and Heritage Consultant who assisted MFN and collaborated on many files over the past 30 years. His contributions to Miawpukek First Nation were powerful and his work ethic remarkable – energy, commitment, and integrity are all words that begin to capture our image of Gerry. He enjoyed visiting our community as much as we enjoyed having him.

Some of Gerry’s publications are:

1983 “The Micmac Cross of Bay de Nord,Newfoundland Quarterly 79(l):35-36.

1984 “Burnt Knaps: A Micmac Site in Newfoundland,” Canadian Journal of Archaeology, 8:1: 57‑69, Ottawa. (with Heather Nichol).

1985 The Prehistory of the Southwest Coast of Newfoundland. MA Thesis (Anthropology), MUN.

1990 Frank Speck and the Newfoundland Micmac: A Summary. Papers of the Algonquian Conference 21:295-302.

1991 “Five Micmac Photographs,Newfoundland Quarterly 86:3:12-16 (with Michael Wilkshire)

1993 On the Country: The Micmac of Newfoundland (Doug Jackson, ed. G Penney) St. John’s: Harry Cuff.

1997 “An Ocean Going Canoe from Conne River,” Newfoundand Quarterly 90:4:2-3.

2015 James P. Howley, ‘the birth of Newfoundland archaeology, and the end of history’. Keynote address, NL Archeology Society Symposium, MUN.

Gerry also had a historical book and map shop in St. John’s and online. There are treasures in it.

He will be missed greatly.