Thane Alexander Campbell

Thane Alexander Campbell

Served during the following dates: 1931-08-06; 1935-07-23; 1939-05-18

CAMPBELL, C.C., K.C., LL.D., M.A., HONOURABLE THANE ALEXANDER lawyer and judge; b. 7 July 1895 in Summerside, son of Alexander Campbell and Clara Tremaine Muttart; m. first 28 February 1930 Cecilia Lillian Bradshaw, and they had four children, Virginia Tremaine, Alexander Bradshaw*, James Melville, and Harriet Isabelle; m. secondly 18 June 1970 Paula Agnes Champ, and there were no children; United; d. 28 September 1978 in Ottawa.
Campbell, a Liberal, was first elected to the Legislative Assembly in the general election of 1931 for 1" Prince. He was re-elected in the general elections of 1935 and 1939. He had been defeated in a by-election held 21 October 1930. Before his first election win, Campbell held the position of Attorney-General for a year. When the Liberals formed a government after the 1935 election, he was appointed Attorney and Advocate General by Premier Walter M. Lea*. Campbell led the Liberals during the 1935 election campaign due to the illness of Premier Lea. Upon Lea’s death, Campbell became Premier on 14 January 1936. He held this office until 1943, when he resigned to take the position of Chief Justice of the Prince Edward Island Supreme Court.
Premier Campbell created a provincial police service which would later be absorbed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. He was premier during the creation of a National Park in the Dalvay- Cavendish area, and when the province’s Travel Bureau was incorporated into the provincial government. Campbell was the first premier to enact public service legislation, and he developed sound budgeting control of the Island’s finances. He devoted much time and energy to the province’s role in the Second World War. Campbell was popular with Island voters throughout his time in office.
In 1966, Campbell was the only Island premier to see a son, Alexander, sworn in as premier of the province.
Campbell received his early education in public schools. He later attended Prince of Wales College in Charlottetown, and in 1915 earned a Bachelor of Arts from Dalhousie University in Halifax. In 1917 Campbell earned a Master of Arts, also from Dalhousie University. In 1918 he served with the 9,h Canadian Siege Battery. Campbell then attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, where in 1922 he earned a Bachelor of Arts and in 1926 a Master of Arts. In 1922 Campbell returned to the province where he read law with former Premier Albert C. Saunders* in Summerside. He was called to the Bar in 1927 and went into practice with Saunders at that time. Campbell continued in his private practice until 1943, when he was appointed Chief Justice of Prince Edward Island, a position he held until 1970. He also served as Chief War Claims Commissioner of Canada from 1952 to 1970. In 1970 Campbell was appointed Chief Commissioner of the Foreign Claims Commission in Ottawa and held this position until his death.
Campbell was actively involved in his community. He was a member of the National Historic Sites and Monuments Board and the National Library Council. He was a member of the board of governors for St. Dunstan’s University and was the first non-Catholic to serve as Chair. He served as a member of the board of Dalhousie University and as chancellor of the University of Prince Edward Island. Campbell was a member of the Dominion Curling Association, chairman of the board of trustees of the Macdonald Brier, and vice-president and president of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club of Scotland. He was inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame as a builder. Campbell was the first chair of the Prince Edward Island Heritage Foundation. He was president of the Rotary Club of Charlottetown, the Charlottetown Canadian Club, and the Dominion Curling Association. Campbell received an Honourary Doctorate of Laws from Dalhousie University in 1938 and from St. Dunstan’s University in 1962. In 1973 he was appointed a companion of the Order of Canada. Thane Campbell died 18 September 1978 at the Ottawa-Carleton Hospital.
Cecilia Campbell was the daughter of Melville L. Bradshaw and Elytha Dorothy Reade of Summerside. She died on 29 September 1968.

References: CPG 1940; CWW 1973-75 p. 158; Premiers Gallery, Journal-Pioneer 29 September 1978; PARO: Leard Files. Guide to abbreviations

Photograph courtesy of PEI Public Archives and Records Office, Reference Number Acc3177/46