Punjab Research Group

WH McLeod obituary by Tony Ballantyne

Posted in Articles by Pippa on September 5, 2009

New Zealand scholar and an authority on the history of Sikhism in The Guardian, Thursday 3 September 2009  

William Hewat McLeod, who has died aged 76, was a scholar whose life’s work helped transform the understanding of Sikhism. He produced a remarkable series of publications and was central in establishing Sikh studies as a distinctive field. Although his own work was careful, measured and judicious, it frequently provoked controversy.

Hew, as he was known, was born and raised in a farming family near Fielding, in New Zealand‘s North Island. He completed his schooling at Nelson college before attending the University of Otago, Dunedin, where he undertook a BA and then an MA in history. He also met Margaret Wylie there, and in May 1955 they got married.

Hew then began theological studies and in 1958, with his wife and son, Rory, joined the New Zealand Presbyterian church’s mission to Punjab. At Kharar, in Punjab, he learned Hindi and Punjabi as well as teaching English at the Christian Boys secondary school. He found that his lack of training as a language teacher and his New Zealand accent made this task difficult.

Read in full: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/03/w-h-mcleod-obituary

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