It seemed as if there was an unending stream of guests waiting in line to greet Lt.-Gov. John Crosbie and wife Jane Furneaux Crosbie Tuesday. After having their name announced, each person came forward, shook hands with the Crosbies, and wished them both a happy New Year.
The annual afternoon New Year’s Levee was a popular event in St. John’s, and it marked the last levee the famously opinionated lieutenant-governor will host.
Officially taking on the role of lieutenant-governor
Feb. 4, 2008, Crosbie was scheduled to step aside for his yet-to-be-named successor this February.
But according to Crosbie, the provincial government has asked him to remain at Government House in
St. John’s for at least an extra month as the Queen’s representative in Newfoundland and Labrador.
“The government has asked me to stay on until March because they have a new method of inquiry that they’re proceeding with in connection with lieutenant-governors in the province, so that’s taking more time,” he said, speaking to The Telegram before this year’s New Year’s Levee.
“They mightn’t be ready to appoint somebody in February, so I’m waiting until March,” Crosbie said.
Nearly five years into his term, the former federal politician seems to not mind staying on for an extra month.
In fact, he said serving as the province’s lieutenant-governor is something he enjoyed more than he had anticipated.
“I wasn’t all that keen about it at the start, but I must say that it has been really interesting and enjoyable,” he said. “Of course, my wife here has been a great help in all of this. She’s been a real asset to me. I think it’s safe to say that we’ve both enjoyed it.”
While it may be apparent that
St. John’s, and the Avalon Peninsula as a whole, is booming thanks to offshore developments, Crosbie said he feels the rest of the province is also in good shape based on his experience travelling as lieutenant-governor.
In particular, he said the benefits of tourism can be witnessed in rural communities across the island.
He said he’s also enjoyed hosting events at Government House and sharing its art collection, which is presently a combination of pieces from the Provincial Art Bank and his family’s personal collection.
For Tuesday’s event, the Celtic Fiddlers performed under the direction of Korona Brophy, and there was plenty of fruit cake and drinks for guests to avail of.
The first guest to greet the Crosbies was actress Mary Walsh.
There were also many uniformed people present for the event, as well as some children, for whom the lieutenant-governor had to bend down slightly in order to properly greet.
While a new year might be upon us, Crosbie said he is not one for making resolutions.
“I gave them up a long time ago,” said the 81-year-old. “I’m too old for it now.”
With more free time on his hands in the near future, Crosbie said he hopes to do some travelling with his wife later this year.
“We hope to travel to parts of the world that we haven’t seen, in particular. We’re planning to go on a trip in May to Europe — to France and Italy.”
Crosbie also said he intends to find ways to continue to have his voice heard on matters of public interest.
“I’m not going to just retire. I’ll find some way to express opinions, to participate as a citizen, and to support causes and do whatever ordinary citizens do.”