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William F.A.Turgeon

The Honourable William F.A.Turgeon

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1921 - 1938   Justice of the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal
1938 - 1941   Chief Justice of Saskatchewan

William F.A. Turgeon was born in Petit-Rocher, New Brunswick in June 1877. His childhood years were spent in New York City, where his father worked as a newspaper proprietor. After the family returned to Canada, his father was elected to the Canadian House of Commons, and in 1899, the younger Mr. Turgeon earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Laval University. He went on to study law with a firm in Saint John and was called to the bar in 1902. Mr. Turgeon married Gertude Boudreau in 1901.

He was drawn to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan because of the prospects it held for a young, bilingual lawyer. He became the first City solicitor and also served as a Crown prosecutor. Later, Mr. Turgeon entered politics. At age 30, he became Saskatchewan’s second Attorney General and the youngest cabinet minister in the province. As a politician, Mr. Turgeon was known for his courtesy and friendliness.

In 1921, Mr. Turgeon was appointed to the Court of Appeal, and in 1938, he was appointed Chief Justice. He served on the court for 20 years.

In 1941, Prime Minister Mackenzie King asked Justice Turgeon to resign from the Court of Appeal and take up a challenging diplomatic post in Buenos Aires. Justice Turgeon went on to a distinguished diplomatic career, serving as Ambassador to Mexico, Chile, Belgium, Ireland and Portugal. While his native language was French, he was also adept in English, German, and Spanish.

Justice Turgeon served on twelve federal and provincial Royal Commissions. He presided over enquiries ranging from the grain trade to university finances. In 1969, shortly after his death, W.F.A. Turgeon School in Prince Albert was named in his honour.

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