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Dr. Murphy

drmurphy1Biography

Arthur Reginald Murphy was born on Antigua. From the age of 12, he began working part-time in his fathers construction business. Following his secondary school education at St. Joseph’s Academy, he began this work full time while taking numerous correspondence courses. He migrated to Canada in November 1975, to study construction management and architectural technology (Ryerson & George Brown College). On his return to Antigua in 1980 he began his own construction business, primarily designing and building custom homes.

As a high school student, he met archaeologist Desmond Nicholson of the Antigua Archaeological Society, and visited many archaeological sites with him. On returning to Antigua, he continued his work with Desmond, and assisted in establishing the Museum of Antigua, serving as its chairman for seven years. His interest in archaeology and heritage preservation grew as he worked along side numerous visiting field schools and academics. This led to the founding of the Betty’s Hope Project and the restoration of the 18th century sugar windmill.

His hobby as an amateur archaeologist stimulated his return to Canada in 1992, to Trent University, where he completed a Master’s Degree in Anthropology. With his supportive family in tow, he moved on to Calgary Alberta, to the University of Calgary, and completed a Ph.D. in Archaeology. During his years as a graduate student, Reg developed a love for teaching and taught a popular course in Caribbean Culture (Trent), and Field Methods in Caribbean Archaeology (U of C). He was also the teaching assistant in the Museology course. The Antigua Field School Program continues and remains a popular course at Calgary.

He returned to Antigua in December 1999, and began working for the National Parks Authority and Government of Antigua, as an archaeologist and Heritage Resources Development Consultant. He represents Antigua frequently at international meetings and conferences, lecturing and presenting papers on a variety of topics, including his current research, the environment, alternative energy, Antigua history, the fortifications of Antigua, and many other subjects. He spends a lot of time with teachers and school children, teaching them about their island and its rich history. At the Dockyard, he works closely with the Parks Commissioner, Anne Marie Martin, as a member of her management team, planning and developing the Parks of Antigua, advising on restoration projects, developing the heritage tourism product, and research projects in the National Park. To this end, he founded the Field Research Center, a facility dedicated to field research on Antigua.

Reg is an associate of the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, a former director on the board of the International Association for Caribbean Archaeology, Chairman of the Betty’s Hope Project, a director of the Museum of Antigua, and director of the Field Research Center. In 1997, he was awarded the Ewan P. McFarlene, Islands Magazine Award for environmental/heritage preservation, and twice nominated (2002, 2003) by George Brown College for the Ontario’s Premier Award for his achievements and contribution to his country and community.

Although his primary interest is archaeology, he is deeply involved in historical preservation, restoration, and environmental issues, such as sustainable energy and biodiversity studies. His hobbies, when spare time is available, is collecting and studying old post cards and postage stamps of Antigua, replica clay pipes, swords, scuba diving, and playing musical instruments.