Edward M. Roberts, former lieutenant-governor of Newfoundland and Labrador, leaves legacy for future law students

May 16, 2022
Edward Roberts sits on a bench, holding a small fluffy dog. Text on bench reads: Taffy's Bench.
Photo of Edward M. Roberts courtesy of the Roberts family

A newly established bursary at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law will honour the memory of prominent alumnus Edward Moxon Roberts, CM, ONL, QC (BA 1960 VIC, LLB 1964) through a generous bequest made by Mr. Roberts.

The Edward Roberts Bursary will be awarded annually to a JD, master’s or doctoral student who is pursuing a degree at the Faculty of Law and whose home province is Newfoundland and Labrador.

Roberts, who passed away earlier this year at age 81, attended both Victoria College and the Faculty of Law at U of T, and was a former editor of U of T’s student newspaper, The Varsity. He was called to the Bar of Newfoundland in 1965, became a member of the Canadian Bar Association in 1978, was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1979 and later became a Master of the Supreme Court in 1989.

This award celebrates Roberts’ contributions to his province and its people.

Roberts entered provincial politics in 1966 and was elected eight times over four decades. In 2002, he was sworn in as the 11th Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland & Labrador. He is credited with making Government House and its grounds more accessible to the public. He also oversaw the creation of the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador and was proud to serve as Honorary Chief of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and Honorary Colonel of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment. Roberts was named a Member of the Order of Canada in May 2009 in recognition of “his contributions as a former cabinet minister and lieutenant governor of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.”

This award celebrates Roberts’ contributions to his province and its people.

In his obituary, his loved ones wrote that in addition to life of legal practice and public service, “Edward will be remembered for his kindness, dry wit, love of classic country music, and keen interest in history. In 2006, while serving as Lieutenant Governor, Edward completed a Master of Arts degree in history at Memorial University. In recent years, he also edited and authored several books on the province’s history.”

“This award celebrates Roberts’ contributions to his province and its people and leaves a lasting legacy that will provide an opportunity for future U of T Law students who are coming from the place to which he dedicated his life’s work,” said Faculty of Law Dean and University Professor Jutta Brunnée.

By Jessica Cook