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About John Vernon Lochart Rennie, Prof.
Death of Prof John Rennie, 91
ESTEEMED palaeonologist, former Rhodes University vice-principal and political activist, Professor John Vernon Lockhart Rennie, has died in Grahamstown aged 91. Prof.Rennie, the first vice-principal of Rhodes after it became a fully-fleged university in 1951, was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa in 1939 for his substantial contribution to the palaeonology of fossil marine beds. He published over 20 sientific papers in this field which remains definitive today. Born in 1903 he went to school and university in Cape Town where he obained a geology MA in 1925. He went to Emmanuel College Cambridge in 1926 after winning the Union Scholarship. There he was awarded a PhD in palaeonology in 1930. In 1931 he was appointed a geology lecturer at RhodesUniversity College and six years later became lecturer-in-charge of flegling Department of Geography. In 1964, Prof Rennie was appoined as the first full-time Vice-principal of Rhodes University. He retired at the end of 1970. Aside from his role at the university he was also an active member of the Boad of Trustees of the Albany Musem a founding fater of the 1820 settler National Monument, and chairman of the Grahamstown Group Areas Action Committee which fought the application of the Group Areas Act in the city. Rhodes University conferred the degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) on Professor Rennie in 1977, in recognition of his service to the university and the community. He leaves his wife and three children.