Crosbie hosts final New Year’s Levee

Andrew Robinson
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Lieutenant-governor set to leave position in March

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.”

Twitter: @TeleAndrew


Organizations: Government House, The Telegram, Provincial Art Bank

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Europe, France Italy

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Recent comments

  • Canadian Wolf
    January 03, 2013 - 08:27

    When Confederation took place, it was promised that Lt Gov'nors would rotate from Catholic (or Irish ancestroy) to Protestant (or British ancestory). This was to appease both of the major ethics groups in the province and settle disagrements. While times have changed, it is still good to hold fast to tradition in such a traditional office. Much like the Gov'nors General still rotate from French to English in Ottawa. Due to a mistake made by former Premier Brian Tobin, the Catholic (Irish) are owed one.

  • Don Lester
    January 02, 2013 - 10:51

    Good Health and Good Luck in your well earn retirement Mr. Crosbie. You will truly go down in Canadian history as one of its greatest politicians as well as one of the very few great politicians in Newfoundland history.

  • saelcove
    January 02, 2013 - 10:24

    What did he do for Newfoundland O i remember he shut down the fishary

    • for real
      January 02, 2013 - 12:29

      He didn't have a choice.

    • More COlourful Quote than
      January 03, 2013 - 08:28

      He didn't take the fish out of the water.

  • Fred from Brigus
    January 02, 2013 - 09:35

    End of an era. One true NewFoundLander through and through. Thanks for the ride Mr Crosbie. Happy retirement and Happy New Year.

  • pass me another tiquilla
    January 02, 2013 - 07:24

    Good Luck John Crosbie. thanks for all you did and tried to do for the province and people of Newfoundland and Labrador. may you continue to have good health and happiness.