R. Gordon L. Fairweather

Obituary
1 entry
  • "I had the pleasure of meeting my distant cousin Gordon..."
    - Roy Fairweather
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FAIRWEATHER R. Gordon L. R. Gordon L. Fairweather died on 24 December 2008. He was born in Rothesay, New Brunswick, 27 March 1923 to Jack H.A.L. Fairweather and Agnes C. (Mackeen) Fairweather. He was educated at Rothesay Collegiate School, graduating in June 1940. He attended the University of New Brunswick 1940 - 1941 when he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve. In 1945 Gordon Fairweather enrolled with many other veterans, at Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto. He transferred to the Faculty of Law, University of New Brunswick graduating in 1949 and was admitted to the New Brunswick Bar later that year. Mr. Fairweather was elected to the New Brunswick Legislature in 1952 and re-elected in 1956 and 1960. He served as Attorney General of New Brunswick from 1958 to 1960. He resigned his seat in 1962 and was elected to the House of Commons as M.P. for Royal. The constituency became Fundy Royal in 1964. Mr. Fairweather was re-elected 5 times in elections held in 1963, 1965, 1968, 1970 and 1974. He resigned his seat in 1977 upon his appointment as first Chief Commissioner of the newly established Canadian Human Rights Commission (1977-1987). In 1987 Mr. Fairweather was appointed Chairman of the Immigration and Refugee Board. He retired in 1992. Mr. Fairweather led the Canadian Delegation: United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva in 1984, 1985 and 1986. He was also an election observer in Zimbabwe, El Salvador, Guatemala and Malaysia. In June 1946, Gordon Fairweather married Nancy E. Broughall of Ottawa who predeceased him in 2003. Three children survive, Michael G. (Maryjo), Wendy (Richard) Birch and Hugh. Grandchildren are Christine Tattrie, Ryan and Nathan Fairweather, Amanda and Benjamin Birch and Sam and Hanna Fairweather. Mr. Fairweather is the last surviving member of his immediate family. Gordon Fairweather received honorary degrees from the University of New Brunswick, St. Thomas, St. Francis Xavier, Queens and York and he is a Fellow of Ryerson Polytechnical. He was an Officer of the Order of Canada and the Order of New Brunswick. He received the Outstanding Achievement Award of the Public Service of Canada in 1989, Humanitarian of the Year Award, Canadian Red Cross New Brunswick Division and the New Brunswick Human Rights Pioneer in 2002. Gordon Fairweather was a life member of the Canadian Bar Association, a member of the United Nations Association of the Group of 78, a supporter of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and Amnesty International and the Patron of AIDS Saint John. Although there will be no visitation time, relatives and friends are invited to attend the funeral service, which will be held on Monday, January 5, 2009 at 2 PM from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Rothesay. The Holy Eucharist will be celebrated by the Rt. Rev. Claude Miller, Anglican Bishop of Fredericton, assisted by Rev. Canon Albert Snelgrove, Rector of St. Paul's Anglican Church, where Gordon was a faithful member. There will be a memorial service in March for Mr. Fairweather in Ottawa. Details will be announced at a later date. The family will be grateful for remembrances to the St. Paul's Church Building Fund (Rothesay), Rothesay Netherwood School or UNICEF. The funeral arrangements are under the care and direction of Brenan's Select Community Funeral Home, 111 Paradise Row, Saint John, NB (506-634-7424). www.brenansfh.com
Published in Vancouver Sun and/or The Province on Dec. 31, 2008
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