P.C., B.A., M.A., LL.D. (Hon.)
|Canadian Senator from Newfoundland and Labrador|
September 21, 1995 – May 13, 2011
|Appointed by||Jean Chrétien|
|Preceded by||Jack Marshall|
|Member of Parliament for Labrador|
|Preceded by||District created|
|Succeeded by||Lawrence O'Brien|
|Member of Parliament for Grand Falls—White Bay—Labrador|
|Preceded by||Ambrose Hubert Peddle|
|Succeeded by||District abolished|
|Born||William Hubert Rompkey
May 13, 1936
Belleoram, Newfoundland and Labrador
|Died||March 21, 2017
|Spouse(s)||Carolyn Pike (1963)|
|Children||Hilary Rompkey, Peter Rompkey|
|Alma mater||Bishop Feild College, Memorial University, B.A., Diploma in education (1957), M.A., LL.D. (Hon.), University of London (England), University of Toronto|
|Cabinet||Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate (2004-2006)
Government Whip in the Senate (2001-2004)
Minister of State (Mines) (1984)
Minister of State (Small business and Tourism) (1982-1983)
Minister of National Revenue (1980-1982)
|Service/branch||Royal Canadian Navy|
Early life and education
Rompkey was born in Belleoram, Fortune Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador. He attended Bishop Feild College in St. John's. In 1953, after he left Bishop Feild College, Rompkey entered Memorial University, where he graduated with a BA, a diploma in education, and an MA. Rompkey continued his studies at the University of London, England, where he received the Academic Diploma in Education.
Career as an educator
After Rompkey returned from his studies in London, he started his career as an educator. Rompkey taught school at Upper Island Cove and in St. John's. In 1963, he married fellow Memorial University graduate Carolyn Pike, and then, lured by Tony Paddon, Rompkey took an appointment as principal of the Yale Amalgamated School in North West River. Rompkey later became the first Superintendent of Education with the Labrador East Integrated School Board, a position he held until 1971. In January 1972, Rompkey was studying for his Ph.D. in Adult Education at the University of Toronto when he won the nomination to represent the Grand Falls-White Bay-Labrador riding for the Liberal Party.
The House of Commons
Rompkey was first elected to the Canadian House of Commons in the 1972 federal election as the Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) for Grand Falls-White Bay-Labrador, the first of seven consecutive election victories. In 1980, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau elevated Rompkey to the Canadian Cabinet as Minister of National Revenue. In 1982, he was moved to the position of Minister of State for Small Businesses and Tourism becoming Minister of State for Mines in 1984. He was Minister of State for Transport in the short lived Cabinet of John Turner until the government's defeat in the 1984 election.
In 1995, Governor General of Canada Roméo LeBlanc, on the advice of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, appointed Rompkey to the Canadian Senate. In 2001, he became Government Whip in the Senate and was deputy leader of the government in the Senate until the Conservatives took power in February 2006. He reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 on May 13, 2011.