Former N.L. health minister dead at 92

Andrew Robinson
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Dr. Augustus Rowe served in Frank Moores’ cabinet in the 1970s

A former provincial health minister, who helped found the first hospital in Carbonear, has died in Toronto at the age of 92.

Dr. Augustus Rowe, born in Heart’s Content, spent three years as the health minister in former premier Frank Moores’ cabinet in the early 1970s before retiring from politics to return to practise family medicine.

Former Liberal MHA Ed Roberts, who was the party’s leader in the House of Assembly during Rowe’s political career, told The Telegram Rowe died on Saturday.

“He was a good clinician, a very good practioner,” said Roberts.

A veteran of the Second World War, Rowe attended medical school in London before moving to Carbonear in 1954.

Three years later, Rowe helped found the Carbonear Community Hospital, which provided an alternative to travelling to Old Perlican or St. John’s for hospital procedures.

“Gus is a big organizer,” said Dr. Leslie A. Wells, a former colleague of Rowe in Carbonear.

According to Wells, Rowe helped raise approximately $37,000 to help start the first hospital.

Wells also considered Rowe to be a great recruiter for the area.

Rowe was the medical director at the hospital from 1957 until October of 1971, when he resigned from the position in order to enter politics as the Progressive Conservative member for Carbonear. He was re-elected the following year.

He later taught at Memorial University and became its chairman of Family Medicine.

The Faculty of Medicine later honoured Rowe by naming the Gus Rowe Teaching Award after him.

Upon retirement in 1985, Rowe and his wife Beatrice moved to Toronto.

Rowe is also a former president of what is now the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association.

Twitter: @TeleAndrew

Organizations: Carbonear Community Hospital, Family Medicine, Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association.arobinson

Geographic location: Carbonear, Toronto, London Old Perlican

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