Long time colleague Piers Locke remembers Professor Patrick McAllister.
Patrick McAllister, the founding figure of anthropology at the University of Canterbury, died on 21st September 2016
after a short battle with cancer. Renowned as a specialist on public ritual and cultural performance, Patrick began his anthropological career in South Africa before establishing the anthropology programme at the University of Canterbury in 2002.
Patrick will be remembered for his work on Xhosa beer drinking rituals in South Africa, on the politics and performance of Waitangi Day and Australia Day, and on the Lunar New Year (Tet) in Vietnam. Patrick’s ethnographic research in multiple regions marks him out as an exemplary fieldworking anthropologist. His appetite for field research never diminished, and he sustained a pattern of regular fieldwork until his last. Before his death, he was engaged in a project on Chinese temple associations in Vietnam with his colleague Dr. Zhifang Song.
Patrick will also be remembered for his leadership of the anthropology programme at Canterbury, where he developed the curriculum for the bachelors and honours degrees in Anthropology, supervised student research for masters and doctoral degrees, and mentored junior staff. As a result of his efforts, Canterbury developed a vibrant anthropology programme that has attracted and inspired many students. Kind yet tough, Patrick was the very best of colleagues, a man of integrity who was always reliable and trustworthy. Admired by many, he will be greatly missed.