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Queen’s remembers John Crosbie

John Crosbie (Arts'53), seen here with his wife Jane and Peter Milliken, received an honorary degree from Queen's University in 2011. (Photo by Bernard Clark / Queen's University)

The Queen’s community is remembering alumnus and honorary degree recipient John Crosbie, who died Friday, Jan. 10. He was 88.

Dr. Crosbie had a lengthy and distinguished political career and served in several senior federal cabinet posts including Minister of Finance and Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

Born on Jan. 30, 1931 in St. John’s, Nfld., Crosbie arrived at Queen’s in 1949 and graduated with the university’s gold medal for politics in 1953. He then attended Dalhousie Law School and graduated in 1956 as a university medalist and was awarded the Viscount Bennett Scholarship by the Canadian Bar Association as the year’s outstanding law student, which led to further legal studies at the London School of Economics. In October 1957 he was called to the bar of Newfoundland.

After practicing law in St. John’s for a number of years, Dr. Crosbie moved into politics and served in the municipal and provincial governments in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He was first elected to the House of Commons in 1976 and remained a key member of the Progressive Conservatives under leaders Joe Clark and Brian Mulroney until 1993, when he decided not to run for re-election.

In 1994 he was appointed Chancellor of Memorial University of Newfoundland and served in that position until 2008. He would then return to politics on Feb. 4, 2008, when he was appointed Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador, a position he held until 2013.

In 2011, Dr. Crosbie returned to Queen’s when he was conferred an honorary degree (LLD).

Dr. Crosbie’s family connections to Queen’s are very strong. In 1952, at the beginning of his final year at Queen’s, he married his wife Jane. His sons, Chesley and Michael, and daughter, Beth, are all Queen’s alumni as well. The family tradition continued, with a granddaughter graduating from Queen’s in 2009.

A funeral service will be held in St. John's on Thursday, Jan. 16, at 2 pm.