Newfoundland and Labrador’s lieutenant-governor will be the keynote speaker at the second annual Affinity Newfoundland and Labrador Dinner scheduled to take place on Wednesday, Nov. 15 at the Marriott Yorkville in Toronto.
The event is presented by the Toronto Chapter of the Memorial University Alumni Association together with other Newfoundlanders and Labradorians living in Toronto, which is home to the largest body of Memorial alumni outside of the province.
Lt.-Gov. Edward Roberts is a respected Canadian public figure and lawyer and has served as the Queen’s representative in Newfoundland and Labrador since 2002. He has had a distinguished political career in the province dating back to 1966 when he was first elected to serve with former premier Joseph Smallwood.
Lt.-Gov. Roberts held a number of key positions with the provincial government including minister of Health, minister of Justice and attorney general. He was the only person to have been named cabinet ministers of Newfoundland and Labrador’s first three Liberal premiers.
He served as the chair of the Memorial University’s Board of Regents from 1997-2002. He received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Memorial in 2003 and made history earlier this year when he received his master of arts degree in history from the university – the first time a lieutenant-governor in Newfoundland and Labrador earned a degree while in office.
Lt.-Gov. Roberts’ talk is entitled Beaumont Hamel: The 90th Anniversary. On July 1, 1916, the opening day of the Battle of the Somme, the Newfoundland
Regiment, later renamed Royal Newfoundland Regiment, valiantly went into battle. Despite its efforts, more than 700 members were killed or wounded and
only 68 answered roll call the next day. This past July 1, the regiment stood again on the battlefield as a unit for the first time since then. Lt.-Gov. Roberts, honorary colonel of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, was there with them and will provide some insight to the pilgrimage of the regiment.
That tragedy holds special significance for Memorial University, an institution that was founded as a living memorial to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who died during the First World War. In 1949 Memorial University College was renamed Memorial University of Newfoundland and rededicated to also honour the province’s war dead of the Second World War. Three hundred and ten former students of Memorial University College offered themselves for active service in the Second World War. Thirty of these students lost their lives. Their names are recorded in the front of the University Calendar each year.
Memorial has marked sombre occasions such as July 1 and Nov. 11 with particular reverence, paying tribute to veterans and commemorating their actions, and ensuring younger generations of university graduates realize why the university’s name is so important.
The second annual Affinity Newfoundland and Labrador Dinner will take place in the High Park Ballroom in the Marriott Yorkville, 90 Bloor St. East. The reception will begin at 6:30 p.m., with dinner commencing at 7:30 p.m.
Actor, writer and comedian Jonny Harris (of CBC’s Hatching, Matching and Dispatching) will be this year’s emcee. Mr. Harris holds a bachelor of fine arts degree from Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Memorial’s campus in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador.
Tickets for the second annual Affinity
Newfoundland and Labrador Dinner are $125 per person (tables of eight available). Please contact the Office of Alumni Affairs and Development at 1-877-700-4081 or 709-737-4354 or e-mail RSVPAlumni@mun.ca.
About MemorialUniversity of Newfoundland
Founded in 1925 as a memorial to Newfoundland’s war dead, Memorial University College was elevated to degree-granting status in 1949 as Memorial University of Newfoundland. Today, the university is the largest in Atlantic Canada, with almost 18,000 students. Memorial provides excellent undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in virtually all disciplines.
With locations in St. John’s and Corner Brook in Newfoundland, Happy Valley-Goose Bay in Labrador, the French-owned island of St-Pierre, and Harlow in England, Memorial is committed to experiential learning. The university’s many interdisciplinary programs abound with opportunities for experiential learning, ranging from on-campus employment to work terms around the world. Outstanding research and scholarship, extraordinary teaching and a focus on community service are the university’s hallmarks. Many teaching and research activities reflect our mid-North Atlantic locations; these unique settings and our cultural heritage have led to the creation of highly-regarded academic programs and specialized facilities in areas such as music, linguistics, folklore and human genetics, as well as earth sciences, cold-ocean engineering, rural health care and archaeology.
Biography Edward Roberts, ONL, QC,
Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador:
Mr. Roberts has taken an active part in the legal and public life of Newfoundland and Labrador for 40 years. He conducted an extensive litigation practice, and has appeared before courts at every level from the Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador to the Supreme Court of Canada. Mr. Roberts served as a member of the House of Assembly for 23 years and leader of the Liberal Party for five years. He became the province’s 11th lieutenant governor in November 2002.
He was chairman of the Board of Regents at Memorial University from 1997 until his appointment as lieutenant-governor, and in July 2003 he was appointed by the Board of Regents as a member of the Board of Trustees responsible for the operation of the university’s campus at Harlow, England. Mr. Roberts reads widely, particularly in pursuit of his passionate interest in the history of Newfoundland and Labrador. He has collected books about Newfoundland and Labrador for more than 50 years.
Mr. Roberts was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, the son of Harry Duncan and Mary Katharine (Moxon) Roberts. He married Eve Hargraft Roberts in 1982. He has two daughters, Catherine and Caroline.
He was educated at Holloway School and Prince of Wales College, St. John’s; St. Andrew’s College, Ontario; and the University of Toronto. Memorial University
of Newfoundland conferred the honorary degree of doctor of laws upon him in
May, 2003. Mr. Roberts was called to the Bar of Newfoundland in 1965.
He became a Queen’s Counsel in 1979 and a Master of the Supreme Court in 1989. He received an earned degree as master of arts in 2006, having specialized in Newfoundland history.
Mr. Roberts became Honorary Chief of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary in February 2003, and Honorary Colonel of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment in September 2003. He is Chancellor of the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador.