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Edward Roberts

Pages >> Biography | Address to Convocation | Oration

{Edward Roberts}
Edward Roberts

For his long and distinguished public service, including his service as chair of Memorial University's governing board, Hon. Edward Roberts was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree at the 10 a.m. session of convocation on May 30. Mr. Roberts has been deeply involved in the political, educational, legal and social life of Newfoundland and Labrador for over 40 years. Born in St. John's, Mr. Roberts attended the University of Toronto, where he received a BA and an LLB. During the summer of 1963 he was associate private secretary to the Rt. Hon. J.W. Pickersgill, member of Parliament for Bonavista-Twillingate and the secretary of state and government house leader in the cabinet of Prime Minister Lester Pearson.

Mr. Roberts was first elected to the House of Assembly as member for the district of White Bay North in the 1966 general election. He was re-elected in 1971 and 1972. He entered cabinet in 1968 as minister of Public Welfare (1968-69), and later became minister of Health (1969-72). In 1972 he was elected leader of the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador, and was leader of the opposition from 1972 to 1977. During the period1978-1985 he practiced law and was a member of the House of Assembly. He did not seek re-election in 1985, and practiced law full-time until 1992. In 1992 he re-entered provincial politics, winning a by-election in Labrador, and was re-elected in the 1993 general election. He served as the minister of Justice and Attorney General and government house leader (1992-96). Mr. Roberts is the only person to have been minister in the administrations of each of the first three Liberal premiers post- Confederation. He did not seek re-election in the 1996 general election.

He was called to bar of Newfoundland in 1965; he joined Halley, Hickman, Hunt and Adams (subsequently known as Halley, Hunt) in 1978, becoming a senior partner until his retirement in 1992. He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1979 and is one of the most senior members of the Newfoundland Bar. In 1989 he was appointed master of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland. From 1996-2002 he was a barrister with the St. John's firm Patterson Palmer Hunt Murphy.

His other public and private roles have included: director, Scotia Mortgage Investment Corp; past director, Fortis Trust Corp.; chairman, Board of Trustees, Waterford Hospital, 1990-91; chairman, Board of Trustees, the General Hospital Corp., St. John's 1991-92; chairman, Board of Regents, Memorial University of Newfoundland 1997-2002. In November 2002 he was appointed as the province's eleventh Lieutenant Governor.

Pages >> Biography | Address to Convocation | Oration