Part 1 of 4
The world renowned Egyptologist, Orientalist, clergyman and writer, Samuel Alfred Browne Mercer ( 1879-1969), was born in Bay Roberts East. However, it is well known that, for reasons unknown, he denied his Newfoundland roots.
This article about Mercer, written by Frederick Griffin, was first published in the Star Weekly, Toronto. It is being reprinted in The Compass in four parts. Editorial comments have been added in brackets.
Budding theologians of Trinity College sit at the feet of Rev. Dr. Samuel A.B. Mercer and try to glean something from the wealth of Semitic and Egyptian lore, which pours richly from his lips. For he is a very great master of knowledge, one of the world’s ranking scholars in his line and, indeed, a most extraordinary man of many languages, living and dead.
He is probably better known to German savants and French academicians than he is to the Canadian public who, broadly, have never heard of him. But a few weeks ago, the Paris edition of the New York Herald announced that Dr. Mercer had been awarded the “palmes academiques” by the French government for his work in Egyptology. [ The Ordre des Academiques (Order of Academic Palms) is an Order of Chivalry of France for those in the spheres of academia, culture and education.]
Thus a scholar may not be without honour in foreign countries and among foreign savants.