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Peter Busby Waite was born in Toronto, Ontario, in 1922, to Cyril and Mary (Craig) Waite. He graduated from high school in 1937 while living in Saint John, New Brunswick. Peter received both his B. A. (1948) and M. A. (1950) in History from the University of British Columbia followed by completion of his Ph.D at the University of Toronto in 1954. Peter married Masha Gropuzzo in 1958. He has two daughters: Alica Nina and Anya Mary. He married Lorraine (Conrad) Hurtig in 2005.
Peter Waite worked at the Dominion Bank from 1937 to 1941. In 1941 he joined the Royal Canadian Navy, attaining the rank of lieutenant by the close of World War II, in 1945. Peter Waite started his teaching career as a lecturer, at Dalhousie University, in 1951. He was hired as an assistant professor in 1955, promoted to an associate professor in 1960, and gained full professorship in 1961. He headed the Dept. of History for nine years, from 1960 to 1968. Upon his retirement in 1988, he gained the title of Professor Emeritus of History, Dalhousie University. He has had numerous appointments as guest lecturer at other institutions. Peter B. Waite received honourary degrees from The University of New Brunswick, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, and Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Peter B. Waite has written 14 books and numerous articles for academic journals. He authored the two volumes of the “The Lives of Dalhousie University”, covering the period 1818 to 1980, published in 1994 and 1998.
Peter Waite is active in the historical community, both on a national and local level. He has been a member of: The Canadian Historical Association and was President, 1968-1969; Chairman of the MacDonald Prize Committee, 1976-1980; Humanities Research Council and was Chairman, 1968-1970; Historical Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, 1968-1977; National Archives Appraisal Board, 1979-1989; Chairman of the Aid to Scholarly Publications Programme, Social Sciences Federation of Canada, 1987-1989; Board of Trustees for the Pubic Archives of Nova Scotia, 1972-1999; the Chalmers Prize Committee, Ontario History, 1987-2005; and the City of Halifax, Advisory Committee on the Preservation of Historic Buildings. Peter Waite is an Officer of the Order of Canada, appointed on October 21, 1992; a Fellow, Royal Society of Canada, elected in 1972; and a Fellow, Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society since 2002. Peter was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013.