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ROBERTSON – John Maxwell M.A., Q.C.

January 1, 1920 – February 4, 2011

Jack Robertson passed away peacefully at the Rockyview General Hospital on Friday, February 4, 2011 at the age of 91.

He is survived by his wife E. Josephine (Jo); his daughter E. Jean Robertson; granddaughter Heather Selinger (nee Koe); grandson Dylan Jason Maxwell Koe; four great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren all of Calgary. He is also survived by a sister Kathleen Robinson, a niece and two nephews and their families who live in England. Jack was predeceased by his son James Victor Robertson and his brother William David Robertson.

In a long and happy life Jack had three successful careers as a student, soldier and lawyer and a less successful career as a golfer; his most notable achievement being the scoring of seven holes in one, all at the Calgary Golf & Country Club.

As a student he began by attending Connaught School in Calgary from 1926-1933, winning the Bennett Prize for the highest marks in the city in the Grade 8 final exams. His education was completed in England, to which he moved, in 1933 to live with his mother and step-father, the Rev. R.H. Robinson, former Anglican Dean of Calgary, whom his mother had married four years after the untimely death of his father, E.V. Robertson, a highly respected lawyer, at the age of 40. In England he attended Wellingborough School in Northamptonshire, from which he emerged with a scholarship; and went on to Jesus College, Cambridge, which he attended for 3 years comprising the first year before the War, the first year of the War, and the first year after the War. At the end of his third year he graduated with First Class Honours in Law. While at Cambridge he played soccer for his college, captained the college tennis team, played tennis for the University and in his second year played ice hockey for the University.

His military career began in September 1940 when he came from England to Calgary to join the Canadian Army. Having done O.T.C. training at school in England and being eligible for a commission, he joined an infantry regiment, the Edmonton Fusiliers, as 2nd Lieutenant Robertson, with an English accent. He served with the regiment in Edmonton, New Westminster, Nanaimo and Prince Rupert and became the battalion Intelligence Officer after taking the two month War Intelligence Course at R.M.C. Kingston. Soon after completing the course he returned to R.M.C. for 8 months to serve on the directing staff of the course with the rank of Captain (GSO3). This was followed by an eighth month term as GSO3 Int. at H.Q. of “W Force” at St. John’s Newfoundland. In January 1944 he was sent overseas to serve at First Canadian Army in England as I.O. (topography), on the planning staff for the forth-coming invasion of France. As a member of the advance party of the H.Q. he landed at Juno Beach on D+10. In August 1944 he was transferred to H.Q. 2 Cdn. Corps ad in December 1944 he became GSO (3) Int. at H.Q. 2 Can. Inf. Div. under Major General Bruce Mathews and remained in that position until VE Day. He received a Mention in Dispatches for gallant and distinguished service.

He met his future beloved wife in January 1944 on a small troop ship which sailed from Halifax to Liverpool in a slow convoy. The ship carried a group of thirty six Canadian male staff officers and a group of Canadian Nursing Sisters, which included Lieutenant (Nursing sister) Josephine Rose. A courtship ensued which led to an engagement when Jo was transferred to a Canadian Army hospital at Turnhout in Belgium and a marriage in England five weeks before VE day.

Jack and Jo were released from the Canadian Army in time for Jack to commence his final year at Cambridge and obtain his law degree. In September 1946 Jack joined the firm of Fenerty, Fenerty, McGillivray as an articled student with R.L. (Buzz) Fenerty. He was called to the bar before all the 5 members of the Court of Appeal on October 14, 1947. A few months later his name was added to the firm name and he became a partner within a few years. In his early years he was a “Jack of all Trades” and one judge in Calgary later referred to him as “the best all-round lawyer in the city”. His appointment as Q.C. came on New Years Eve 1960, his 40th birthday. By this time he had become a specialist in company law and oil and gas law and was recognized as a leading counsel in the courts and before the National Energy Board, he retired as the senior partner of the Fenerty Firm on January 31,1990 when the firm had grown to eighty members.

Over the next few years Jack slipped gracefully into complete retirement as a lawyer and greater activity as a golfer. He was a member and President of the Calgary Golf and Country Club, a member and President of the Calgary Petroleum Club and a tennis playing member of the Glencoe Club. He served for twenty-five years on the Board of Nexen Inc. (formerly Canadian Occidental Petroleum Ltd.) after doing the legal work which brought the corporation into existence.

The Robertson’s, Jack and Jo, had a long and happy life together and had just moved to Chateau Renoir to enjoy their golden years. Their many travels to the U.K. included visits to many famous gold courses including some of those on which the Open was played. For twenty years they were members of the Desert Island Golf & Country Club at Rancho Mirage in California and owned a condo beside the course, where they stayed for five months each winter. In 1985 they celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary by traveling around the world. Jack will be sadly missed by his family and many friends.

Those wishing to pay their respects may do so at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY’S Park Memorial Chapel (5008 Elbow Drive S.W.) on Thursday, February 10, 2011 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Funeral Services will be held at Christ Church Elbow Park (3602 – 8th Street S.W.) on Friday, February 11, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. A private Graveside Service will be held at Eden Brook Memorial Gardens. Forward condolences through If friends so desire, in lieu of flowers, memorial tributes may be made directly to the charity of the donor’s choice.

In living memory of Jack Robertson, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Telephone: (403)243-8200.

Offer Condolence for the family of ROBERTSON – John Maxwell M.A., Q.C.

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Condolence Messages

  1. You have my sincere condolences

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  2. Evelyn and Arnold McKee, Cathy and Rick McKee :

    We are all saddened by Jack’s passing. Our love and prayers are with Jo and the family.

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  3. Joani, Christopher and Tracy :


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  4. Sharon & Al McLarty :

    Jo and family, our warm regards and deepest sympathies go with you. We regret we are out of the country and will be unable to be present for Jack’s memorial service. You are, though, in our thoughts and prayers. Jack has meant a great deal to us and we will all miss him. We know though that he will live on through his family, the memories of his many friends and through the legacy he left with the legal community.

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  5. Condolenses Jo and family. I will always remember Jack for all his help on all levels and
    our friendships with both of you throughout the years. Tama and Kit send their condolences
    as well. Love and prayers. Liz, Tama & Kit Halvorsen

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  6. Eugene Fabro and Family :

    Condolences and thoughts to yourself Jo and your family. We were very fortunate to have shared many times with you both professionaly and on a personnl level.. May all the good memories help you through this difficult time.
    Eugene Fabro and family

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  7. william and kathleen perry :

    We wish to join your many frienda in sending our sympathy and heartfelt condolences at your loss of a wonderful Husband and Father.

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