Alfred Johns

(1884-1959) Methodist minister and mathematician. He was a Hamilton Centre member and Society President (1945-46).

ALFRED E. JOHNS (1884-1959) grew up in rural Ontario and went to the University of Toronto for his B.A. and M.A., which he earned in 1908. He was a scholarship student in both modem languages and mathematics and led the University football team to a championship. He decided to enter the ministry and was ordained in the Methodist church in 1910. For the next 15 years, he and his wife lived in China where he worked as Professor of Mathematics at West China Union University in Chengtu and she served the mission as teacher and nurse. The Johnses and their five children returned to Canada. He taught at Brandon College, Manitoba 1927-31, and then joined the faculty of McMaster University in Hamilton. Continuing his studies and research, he earned his Ph.D. from U of T in 1935, his thesis being on the bilinear transformation in the real plane. After he retired from McMaster in 1951, he served St. Giles Church in Hamilton as Assistant Minister.

Reverend Johns joined the RASC in 1929 but it was only after moving to Hamilton that he became active in the Society. He was on the Council of Hamilton Centre for many years and was their Vice-President and President in 1934-37. He attracted several outstanding speakers to the Centre and gave many popular lectures himself over the years, not only in Hamilton but also to Toronto, London and Windsor Centres. From 1942- 46 he was national Vice-President and President Two of his sons became physicists and RASC members. Harold was noted for his research into radiation treatment of cancer, and spoke on at least two occasions to Edmonton Centre Martin was on the Council of the Hamilton Centre in the '50s including two years as Vice-President, and gave planetarium demonstrations and lectures to the Centre a number of times.

Peter Broughton (from Looking Up)

Further Reading

Johns, Alfred E.