Obituary of Anthony Luc | Chemistry


My brother Anthony Luke, who died at the age of 55 from a fall in the Glen Coe area of ​​the Scottish Highlands, spent many years working in local government before becoming his true calling as a teacher of chemistry at the University of the Highlands and Islands in Inverness. .

He loved being in class and made chemistry fun. When the Covid-19 pandemic restricted face-to-face access, he showed he wasn’t fazed by the challenges of distance learning – as evidenced by his commendations in the awards of students for “Most Engaging Video Conference Speaker” and “Most Inspirational Speaker”.

Anthony was born in Middlesbrough, the second of five children to Rita (née Clark) and Adrian Luke, both of whom were teachers. At St George’s Catholic Comprehensive School and St Mary’s Catholic High School, he excelled in science and earned a first-class degree in chemistry from Newcastle University, followed by a doctorate from Durham University.

After graduation he joined the Environmental Health Department at Middlesbrough City Council, finding himself stuck in noise-abatement patrols and fearlessly interrupting loud parties, even though his musical tastes were steeped in rock music and the heavy metal. He also monitored the city council’s noise pollution hotline and once took a call from a local resident who told him, “There are kids whistling outside my window and I want this to stop.” . Eventually, he became the chief environmental scientist, contributing to local radio and television reporting on air pollution monitoring and improvement.

In 1998 Anthony married Helen Northan, who also worked in local government, at Langbaurgh Council, and in 2010 they moved to Inverness, where he worked for Highland Council. He stayed there for five years as the Senior Officer (Contaminated Land), monitoring soils in some of the more remote parts of the region and helping the council develop its Contaminated Land strategies. Then he moved on to teaching at the university.

He and Helen developed a love for the Highlands and its breathtaking landscapes, which Anthony captured with his camera, photography being one of his many hobbies. A talented musician, Anthony was accomplished on piano, guitar, drums and ukulele. His formative years were spent with my older brother, Nick, attending many concerts and festivals, and in particular the Monsters of Rock festival in Donnington Park. In 1995, one of the amateur groups he played in, The Guests, released a CD on independent label Mouse Records and appeared on a show hosted by Richard Whiteley for Yorkshire Television.

He is survived by Helen, their children, Charlotte, Hannah and James, our mother, his brothers, Nick, Phil and I, and his sister, Catherine.

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