by Sheila Andrew
W.A, “Bill” Spray made a significant contribution to Atlantic history, including his books on The Blacks in New Brunswick and New Brunswick: Its History and its People. He showed the significance of local events as in his work on the history of the Anglican Church in Chatham. His last book Church, Politics, and STU: the Relocation of St Thomas University from Chatham to Fredericton presents an intriguing insider’s viewpoint and he would have been grateful to Anthony Rhinelander for editing it to the standards Bill would have wanted before his memory problems began.
He was also a valuable member of the St. Thomas History Department as a colleague and a teacher. Although his own focus was on New Brunswick, he helped the department to shape a wider curriculum and was a positive and friendly contributor to discussions. His classes were popular and he played a fine game of croquet at the History Club’s celebration of Victorian Games. All of us in the department at that time remember departmental parties with him and his wife Carole at their house. It was a continuing pleasure to visit them for a cup of tea and a chat, even as Bill’s memory problems grew worse. Many of us have books that he was pleased to give us then from his impressive library.
Sheila Andrew was a colleague and friend of Bill Spray. She is Professor Emerita in the Department of History at St. Thomas University.