Who is Wilfrid Jury? (Part 5)
Wilfrid Jury’s Legacy
Wilfrid Jury was an important archaeologist in Ontario who helped us define and understand archaeological settlements across Ontario. The Museum of Ontario Archaeology is one of many legacies Wilfrid Jury leaves behind. His excavations and collections provide a fundamental understanding of aboriginal and pioneer culture. The Museum of Ontario Archaeology’s collection holds Jury’s original scholarly articles, site reports, short stories, and photos chronicling his life as well as the large ethnographic and archaeological collection he accumulated over his lifetime. His goal was to preserve objects of past generations for future generations to come. The Museum of Ontario Archaeology continues his legacy by advancing the understanding of Ontario’s archaeological heritage through stewardship, research, and education.
As well as curating the Museum of Indian Archaeology and Pioneer Life (now MOA) on Western’s campus (in June 1934), Wilf introduced Archaeology as a practice to Western. He taught an archaeology class and established field schools to give students hands on opportunities of learning at a number of sites he excavated through the years, a practice that continues to this day. Site reports, photos, and artifacts from these excavations are held in the Museum of Ontario Archaeology collections and are often referenced in current research.
Meanwhile, the City of London gave him the honor of having a public school named after him, Wilfrid Jury Public School (on Lawson Road in London) and he also was present at the unveiling of a street named after him, Jury Drive (Bayfield Ontario).
Wilfrid Jury’s legacy continues to bring knowledge and understanding that stems from his own passion to “teach and disseminate a knowledge of earlier people to the public and especially young people” – Elsie’s Summary of Wilf’s Life. He set the standard in Ontario Archaeology and changed archaeological perspectives which continually shape our understanding of past civilizations today.