A genius has departed from our midst. Hanna Newcombe, who died in Dundas in 2011 at the age of 89, was a genius both in the sense of having a mind that was extraordinary for its creative imaginativeness and range of knowledge in sciences, arts and religion, and also in the sense of being an inspiration to those in her arena of peace studies.
Those who visited Hanna in her latter years in a residence for the elderly found themselves in a room strewn with the latest scientific journals - Nature, Scientific American and others. One wall was covered with the many plaques, citations and awards Hanna had accumulated over a lifetime of service to knowledge and action on peace. While it was uncharacteristic of Hanna to display her accolades, it seemed fitting that there was this sign to anyone entering her space that this was a most remarkable person.
In conversation Hanna was plain and simple. Abstruse concepts were conveyed in plain language, with none of the extraordinary trapeze leaps and high-wire crossings to be seen in some of her writings. I was told that Hanna was working on an essay of reflections on the second law of thermodynamics in the months before she died.