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People

Sir Albert Joseph Walsh

Photograph: Sir Albert Joseph Walsh

Source

Sir Albert Joseph Walsh.

(April 3, 1900 - December 12, 1958)

Sir Albert Joseph Walsh was appointed Newfoundland's first lieutenant-governor when the province joined Confederation in 1949.

Albert Joseph Walsh was born in Holyrood, Newfoundland, the son of Sophia Butler and William Walsh. After attending St. Bonaventure College in St. John's, he went on to study law at Dalhousie University, winning several academic prizes. He was called to the bar in 1928.

Walsh began his political life that same year, winning a seat in the legislature as a Liberal member for Harbour Main and was appointed Speaker. After a defeat in the 1932 election, Walsh returned to private practice. He was later named as a district magistrate, first for Grand Falls in 1935, and for Corner Brook a year later. He entered the civil service in 1940 as the assistant secretary for justice. He later accepted a position as labour relations officer in 1942, where he would remain until he was appointed to the Commission of Government in 1944. While on the Commission, Walsh held several offices, including commissioner of home affairs and education, vice-chair of the Commission (in 1947), and commissioner of justice.

Although not a delegate to the National Convention, Walsh was a supporter of Confederation. After the 1948 referenda, he was chair of the delegation that went to Ottawa to negotiate the final terms for union with Canada. He was knighted just before his appointment as Newfoundland's first lieutenant-governor in 1949, although he served only five months before accepting the position of chief justice of Newfoundland's Supreme Court. In 1957, Walsh was the Newfoundland member of the Royal Commission on Newfoundland Finances (Term 29), which examined the financial consequences of Confederation for Newfoundland. Walsh died at St. John's.

Sources

Bates, Allison.  --  "Walsh, Albert Joseph".  --  Encyclopedia of Newfoundland and Labrador.  --  Ed. Cyril F. Poole.  --  St. John's, Nfld. : Harry Cuff Publications Ltd., 1994.  --  Vol. 5, p. 500.

Cuff, Robert H.  --  "Walsh, Albert Joseph".  --  Dictionary of Newfoundland and Labrador biography.  --  Ed. Michael F. Harrington.  --  St. John's, Nfld. : Harry Cuff Publications Ltd., 1990.  --  P. 350

"Walsh, Hon. Sir Albert Joseph".  --  Canadian who's who.  --  Toronto : Trans-Canada Press, 1957.  --  Vol. 7, p. 1106