Class of 1985
Sir John Chalker Crosbie born in Newfoundland to a family who ran a small hotel in St. John’s. It was the leading establishment of its day and boasted of having electric lights and a bathroom on every floor.
At age 24, John Crosbie started the family’s flagship operation, Crosbie and Company. It was the first major local exporter of fish. Sir John realized early in life that the route to success in business is through connections. He worked tirelessly to find international markets for the fish that were the lifeblood of the British Colony. He eventually won a major portion of the island’s export business. He soon began to diversify moving into fish oil products, insurance, shipping and construction and later a major margarine operation – The Newfoundland Butter Company.
Sir John’s involvement in politics seemed almost a natural extension of his business life. In the sparsely populated island business success was synonymous with power. He was elected to the Newfoundland government in 1908 and a year later became a member of the Executive. He was placed in charge of the islands shipping during the most serious tonnage crisis in Newfoundland. He also saw to it that the Home Government in London received ships for the war effort. For this service he was named a Knight of the British Empire. After the war Sir John moved to the finance portfolio in the Monroe government, a position he retained until his retirement in 1928.