In Memoriam - Dr. Hal Weinberg

April 09, 2024

Hal Weinberg, BPK professor emeritus and one of the first faculty members hired by SFU in 1965, died on January 25th at the age of 90.  

A renowned neurophysiologist, Weinberg was at the forefront of the development of brain imaging using magnetoencephalography (MEG) and electroencephalography (EEG) since 1964, when he received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington.  At SFU, he set up the university’s brain behaviour lab. In 2000 he published early electrophysiological evidence that the persistent post-concussion syndrome has a substantial biological, as opposed to a psychological, basis. His academic contributions earned him a Science Council of British Columbia Career Achievement Award in 2005 and Natural Science and Engineering Council Synergy Award in 2005. Weinberg also served as the director of the university’s Office of Research Ethics for 15 years, until he retired in 2012. 

In addition to his academic pursuits, Hal Weinberg was an engaged community leader for over five decades. He lived in Anmore since the 1970s, when it was still an unincorporated rural area. Weinberg became its area director, and in 1987 he and his wife Linda teamed up with Greenpeace founder Bob Hunter and his wife, Bobbi, to incorporate the community as a municipality and independent village. Weinberg served as Anmore’s first mayor and held the position almost continuously until 2009. During that time he served on several regional committees including Metro Vancouver’s water committee, and he was chair of the Greater Vancouver Regional District’s parks committee.  In 1987 Weinberg said that Anmore’s residents just wanted a minimum of services to support their idyllic, rural lifestyle.  “People are mainly concerned about maintaining a small budget without getting into debt,” he said.  Hal’s vision was to preserve Anmore as a small rural place where people could continue living relatively freely.  As per a recent Tri-City News article, Hal Weinberg is being remembered as a 'kind, caring man' who 'loved everything the village represented'.

Weinberg's broad community involvement included serving as scientific director at the Pacific Orca Society for 46 years, on the board of directors of the Down’s Syndrome Research Foundation for 13 years, as chair of Metro Vancouver Regional Parks for 3 years, as a member of the Environment Committee and Translink Committee, and as vice chair of the Aboriginal Affairs Committee of the Greater Vancouver Regional District.

In 2003, Hal Weinberg received the Queen’s Gold Medal for Aboriginal Affairs.  In 2013, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to building British Columbia. And in 2014, he was awarded the Order of B.C. in recognition of his community service along with his achievements in brain research at SFU.

Hal Weinberg's many contributions to SFU as well as to the quality of life in the Lower Mainland will remain as lasting memories, alongside his warm smile and his caring concern for people and the Earth.


During his tenure at SFU, Weinberg was also part of the initial seeding of SFU and the Psychology department in 1965. Weinberg was originally appointed to Psychology and served as an early Department Chair in 1970.

Hal's Celebration of Life 

The Weinberg family extends a heartfelt invitation to all who knew and cherished Hal Weinberg to join in commemorating his life and legacy. Detailed information and invitations to this special event can be found at Hal's Celebration of Life Event Page.

To honor Hal's memory in a meaningful way, a dedicated memory page has been created where friends and loved ones can share their stories, memories, and thoughts about him. Contributions of cherished moments and photos are warmly welcomed, as they will be displayed on the day of the event.

In the news

In addition to the celebration, two poignant articles that beautifully capture Hal's impact and contributions are being shared:

  1. Hal Weinberg: Anmore's Beloved Leader - TriCities Dispatch
  2. Anmore Pays Tribute to Hal Weinberg, Its Co-Founder and First Mayor - TriCity News

The Weinberg family is deeply grateful for the presence and support of all those who will join in honoring the life of this remarkable individual.


Hal was a very special guy, one of the main reasons we settled in Anmore in 2006, and someone I feel privileged to have called my friend. The fond memory I will always recall about Hal, besides all the things for which he has been lauded, was his love for spaghetti, beer, and Neapolitan ice cream.  If anyone is ever on Vancouver Island and heading north toward Fanny Bay, stop in at the little store by the ferry to Denman Island and say hello to Leah. She runs Weinberg’s Good Foods.

-Peter Ruben, BPK Chair


Hal was a thoughtful, hard working and insightful colleague who did many things for the Department and for SFU. We will miss him. 

- Charles Krieger, professor


I was sad to learn of Hal’s death. He was REB director when I arrived and I got to know him in that context, as well as through too-infrequent conversations. His confidence, competence, calmness and kindness were unusual. I always left his presence with a distinct impression that I could stand to learn a lot from him, not so much about science but about life and how to treat others. I suspect he left most with that impression.

- Max Donelan, professor


I remember when Andy was recruiting me to SFU from U of A.  A conversation with Hal was fairly pivotal in my making the decision to come here.  He was so welcoming and supportive and like others our conversation were too few and far between.

- Diane Finegood, professor