James Mcgrath dead at 85

For­mer lieu­tenant gov­er­nor had also been MHA, MP

The Telegram (St. John’s) - - FRONT PAGE - THE TELE­GRAM tele­[email protected]­gram.com

James Mcgrath, a long­time mem­ber of Par­lia­ment for St. John’s East and for­mer lieu­tenant gov­er­nor of New­found­land, died in St. John’s on Tues­day af­ter a brief ill­ness.

James Mcgrath, a long­time mem­ber of Par­lia­ment for St. John’s East and for­mer lieu­tenant gov­er­nor of New­found­land, died in St. John’s on Tues­day af­ter a brief ill­ness. He was 85.

Mcgrath, orig­i­nally from Buchans, was in­spired to en­ter pub­lic life and rep­re­sent his home province af­ter vol­un­teer­ing dur­ing the 1948 ref­er­en­dum to de­ter­mine whether New­found­land would join Con­fed­er­a­tion.

In a state­ment, his fam­ily said Mcgrath be­came the last per­son to ob­tain a New­found­land pass­port.

He was first elected to the

(James Mcgrath) was first elected to the House of Com­mons in 1957 and was named par­lia­men­tary sec­re­tary to the min­is­ter of mines and tech­ni­cal sur­veys in 1962. Be­gin­ning in 1968, Mcgrath was re-elected in five con­sec­u­tive fed­eral elec­tions, and was cho­sen as the min­is­ter of Fish­eries in 1979.

House of Com­mons in 1957 and was named par­lia­men­tary sec­re­tary to the min­is­ter of mines and tech­ni­cal sur­veys in 1962. Be­gin­ning in 1968, Mcgrath was re-elected in five con­sec­u­tive fed­eral elec­tions, and was cho­sen as the min­is­ter of Fish­eries in 1979.

Dur­ing his time in Ot­tawa, Mcgrath served as chair­man of the spe­cial com­mit­tee on the re­form of the House of Com­mons and the stand­ing com­mit­tee on hu­man rights.

He was ap­pointed lieu­tenant gov­er­nor of New­found­land in 1986, a po­si­tion he held un­til 1991.

Among the honours re­ceived dur­ing his ca­reer were the Churchill So­ci­ety Award for the ad­vance­ment of par­lia­men­tary democ­racy, an hon­orary doc­tor­ate from St. Fran­cis Xavier Univer­sity (1979) and the Queen’s Ju­bilee Medal. In 1987 he be­came one of only six Cana­di­ans to re­ceive a life mem­ber­ship in the Com­mon­wealth Par­lia­men­tary As­so­ci­a­tion.

Mcgrath is sur­vived by his wife, Mar­garet, and chil­dren, Kath­leen, Caro­line, Peggy, Joanna and Sean. He was pre­de­ceased by a daugh­ter, Sheilagh. Also left to mourn are grand­chil­dren Kate, Molly, Thea, Sophia, Pa­trick, Sea­mus, Ethan and Fran­cis, and one great-grand­daugh­ter, Ida.

Mcgrath is rest­ing at Caul’s Fu­neral home in St. John’s to­day from 2-5 p.m. and 6-9 p.m., with a fu­neral mass to take place on Fri­day at 9:30 a.m. at the Basilica of St. John the Bap­tist.

TELE­GRAM FILE

James Mc­grath is shown in a Novem­ber 2006 photo

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