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Subject: John Crosbie, legendary Newfoundland politician , 88

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Date Posted: Friday, January 10, 10:15:19pm

(30 January 1931 - 10 January 2010)



(and on a personal note) rex murphy's tribute to Crosbie nails his character well and reminds us how much spoken truth in politics has vanished over the past generation. I grew up with his son (we went to private school together) and can say that what you saw with Crosbie on the public stage was pretty much the way he was in real life albeit a bit quieter. His quirky humour permeated every sentence he spoke and made every encounter with him memorable. Despite his patrician background as the scion of one of the wealthiest families on the island one of his main ambitions in political life was to rid the province of the endless succession of outsiders who bilked and exploited Newfoundlanders of their natural resources and emptied the treasury. Ultimately he was most successful at achieving this as a leading federal cabinet minister in the 1970s-1990s Conservative governments. While many who saw him only in TV sound-bites tended to dismiss him as a loose cannon and a bit of a buffoon he had a superb mind and stood at the top of his class throughout his academic career. At his St John's estate he held court in his oversized leather chair, drink always in hand, while his wife Jane brought order to the surrounding chaos which would drive a lesser mortal crazy. I was in awe of her ability to handle hours of endless phone calls, a parade of visitors, yet still make us feel that making sure we were fed and content was her first priority. I will never forget the wild chase through St John's racing from one polling station to another as we attempted to corral stray pedestrians into voting. One very stern elderly matron did her best to avoid us but Crosbie persisted heading her off at least three times on different streets. She never did respond directly but her face left no doubt doubt as to her opinion of the car bouncing around with the sound of clinking bottles and its occupants and left us all howling with laughter for the rest of the day. Crosbie was one of a kind and he will be missed.

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