Frederick Oliver Robinson was the first Mayor of Port Arthur to be born within the city. He grew up, went to school, and was married in Port Arthur. He worked as a skilled machinist for the Canadian National Railway (CNR) for 25 years, and was elected to the Ontario Legislature in 1943, representing the Port Arthur riding as a member of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation. Even while serving at Queen's Park, he continued to work for the CNR between sessions, and once elected as Mayor, worked as a machinist on weekends.
In 1943, Robinson was elected to the Board of Education, where he remained until 1945. While a member of the Board, Robinson pushed for the establishment of a university or centre for higher learning. Thanks in part to Robinson’s dedication, the Lakehead Technical Institute was created on June 4, 1946. The institute would later become Lakehead University.
Robinson was elected to Port Arthur City Council in 1946 and sat on Council for three years. He was elected Mayor in 1949 and served five and a half years in office. His career in municipal politics was concurrent with sitting as a Member of Legislative Assembly for Port Arthur. During his time as Mayor, Robinson made many improvements to the City of Port Arthur, including: installing new sidewalks, pavements, storm sewers, and water connections; creating new offices for health and welfare; creating new schools and street lighting; and opening a new fire hall in Current River.
In August 1955, Robinson resigned his post as Mayor to take on a new position as Personnel and Public Relations Officer for the Port Arthur Public Utilities Commission.
Born: Aug. 2, 1903 in Port Arthur, Ontario
Died: June 26, 1969
Member of Legislative Assembly: CCF, 1943 (August) – 1951 (November)
Mayoral Candidate: 1951
Mayor: 1949-1951, 1956-1955 (August)
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