Quintin Wight was born in the Govan area of Glasgow, Scotland on April 23, 1935, the son of Susan and Charles Wight, a pharmacist. He and his family immigrated to Toronto, Canada 13 years later, where he attended Richmond Hill District High School, graduating in 1952. He went on to earn a BA (Physics & Chemistry) from Queen's University, Kingston, a BA (English) from Carleton University, Ottawa, and an MA (English) from Concordia University, Montreal. He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1953 (while still in college), and was eventually assigned to various countries during his long military career, most of which was spent as an Aerospace Engineer specializing in weapons and photography. He also spent seventeen years as a qualified bomb disposal officer, retiring (at the rank of Colonel) from the Air Force in 1990 as Director of Intelligence and Security Automation.
Quintin married Willow Paisley in 1960. Willow is perhaps best known internationally as Editor of The Canadian Gemmologist, the official quarterly journal of the Canadian Gemmological Association. After 25 years as Editor, she has now assumed the position of Editor Emeritus. Willow graduated from the University of Toronto as an organic chemist, then took up the study of gemstones in 1967. Her first practical work in gemstones was in association with Paul Desautels, then Curator of Minerals at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. At the Smithsonian she examined, verified and cataloged the gemstones in the US National Collection, gaining a wealth of experience. On her return to Canada in 1975, she was sought out by the National Museum of Natural Sciences (now the Canadian Museum of Nature) in Ottawa, and has remained there ever since. She is now a Research Associate in Gemmology at the Museum. Willow's research has led to many articles, with particular emphasis on new Canadian gemstones, e.g. ammolite from Alberta, hornblende from Baffin Island, and scallop pearls from Nova Scotia. The series “Rare Gemstones Check-list” in The Canadian Gemmologist has earned her international praise. Her latest work is in the history of gemmological exploration in Canada. Willow is the Canadian Delegate to the International Gemmological Conference (IGC), an organization created by the late Dr. Edouard Gübelin and others in 1952 to promote advanced research in gemmology.
Micromounters' Hall of Fame notes:
Col. Wight, now a widely known and respected micromounter and member of the Canadian Micro Mineral Association, has frequently contributed to the success of their projects and Annual Workshop Conferences. He has also attended and contributed to the Baltimore Mineral Society Micromount Symposium as well as the annual Micromount Conferences in Washington, D.C. and the Pacific Conference of Southern California. He is a past president of the Micro Mineralogists of the National Capital Area (Washington, D.C.), the Ottawa Valley Mineral Association, and the Montreal Gem and Mineral Club, and is currently the leader of the Ottawa Micromounters.
Quintin is well known for in-depth articles in Mineralogical Record, Rocks and Minerals, and other publications concerning some of the rare minerals of the classic locality at Mont Saint-Hilaire, Québec. Other articles in the foregoing and in other publications include mineral collecting at the Clara mine, a classic location in Germany, and articles concerning uncommon minerals and lesser-known localities, particularly in Canada. Quintin, who began micromounting in 1969, specializes in micromounts of crystallized minerals and is noted for his generosity in sharing self-collected specimens, usually in micromount sizes. He is author of The Complete Book of Micromounting (1993), published by Mineralogical Record. Fortunate micromounters are those who have attended symposia and conferences where Quintin was present and thus acquired hard to find unusual and well-crystallized species from Mont Saint-Hilaire and other Canadian localities. He was inducted into the Micromounters' Hall of Fame in 1990.
WIGHT, Q. (1998) The remarkable Edna Izzard. Professionally Speaking, December.
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Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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||Willow Wight, examining pearls in Weitang, China|