T.B. Roberton

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Authorized form of name

T.B. Roberton

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  • Thomas B. Roberton

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  • T.B.R.

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Thomas B. Roberton was born in Glasgow in 1879, where he worked as a printer in his youth. In 1910, Roberton left Scotland for Canada, settling first in Alberta and then in British Columbia for a time. In order to support his small family, Roberton held a variety of jobs, working by turns as a farmer, market gardener, worker in lumber camps, and printer. When Roberton moved to Winnipeg in 1916, he found a job as a writer and compositor for the Labour weekly The Voice where he worked until joining the staff at the Free Press in 1918. Over the next eighteen years, Roberton not only became assistant editor-in- chief at the Free Press, but gained national acclaim for his contributions to the newspaper’s editorial page. As well as writing well-received editorial columns on a variety of subjects, Roberton published The Fighting Bishop (1925), a book about the life of John Strachan, the first Anglican Bishop of Toronto. Although nationally known for his writing, Roberton was a shy and private man, who spent his spare time going to films and listening to nautical yarns at the Cutty Shark Club. After Roberton’s sudden passing from stroke in January 1936, The MacMillan Company of Canada published a volume of his newspaper articles with the title T.B.R.: Newspaper Pieces. This volume, put together by Roberton’s long time colleague J.B. McGeachy, was a great success and was awarded the prize offered by Lord Tweedsmuir, Governor General of Canada, for the best prose work other than fiction published in Canada in 1936. The award was accepted in Toronto by Roberton’s son George. A second volume of Roberton’s newspaper articles was printed by MacMillan in 1937 under the title A Second Helping of Newspaper Pieces.


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Revised by N.Courrier (October 2018).




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