We were very saddened to hear about the passing of our dear friend and museum colleague Peter Homan.
We met Peter while working for the RPS Museum, where he was the longest serving member of the team, having been volunteering two days per week since 1994. Peter helped catalogue the collections, give guided tours and answer historical research enquiries. He was an essential part of the team and his contribution to the museum’s work over a quarter of a century is incalculable. Whenever we had a question about an obscure pharmaceutical object Peter would invariably know the answer.
Peter’s in-depth knowledge and passion for British pharmacy history was inspiring, and evident to anyone who met him — he was always happy to share his knowledge, both with his RPS colleagues and the public. Visitors fortunate enough to be on one of his museum guided tours came away both informed and entertained. Giving museum tours gave him great pleasure, which was always mirrored by his visitors. Many a time, you could walk through the museum while Peter was giving a tour and hear a ripple of laughter as he told one of his anecdotes. He made a lasting impression, and groups from all over the world would ask after him when booking a return visit. It was the same with his colleagues; with a joke or a song for every occasion (even via email during lockdown!) he would never fail to brighten the day, and he had many friends across the organisation, especially in the support team and the library.
We last saw Peter in person just before the first COVID-19 lockdown in mid-March 2020. Since then, we had been keeping in touch with Peter and former colleagues via weekly video chats. Despite his poor health and the various lockdowns, Peter remained in good spirits, delighting us with his cheeky sense of humour. We were all looking forward to catching up in person once it was safe and possible to do so.
It was a shock to hear of Peter’s death last month, and our thoughts go out to his family. The world of pharmacy history has lost one of its great figures, and we have lost a dear friend, but his memory — and cheeky grin — will never be forgotten.