Councils

Councils

The first St. John's Municipal Council was elected in 1888 but it was not until 1902 that the residents of St. John's elected its first Mayor.

Dates given are the years general elections or byelections occured (marked with an asterisk), click on the year for Council members and other details.
 

1888 1902 1929 1953 1977 2001
1892 1906 1933 1957 1979* 2001*
1893* 1910 1935* 1958* 1981 2005
1896 1916 1937 1961 1985 2008*
  1921 1941 1963* 1990 2009
  1925 1945 1965 1992* 2013
    1949 1966* 1992* 2016*
    1950* 1969 1993 2017
      1973 1997  

 


August 30, 1888 - General Election
Ward 1: John T. Carnell
Ward 2: Francis St. John
Ward 3: Moses Monroe
Ward 4: Michael Power
Ward 5: William Morison

Government appointees on Council: James Goodfellow, Chairman and James P. Fox. The Hon. J. Harris succeeded James P. Fox who died before the end of his term.
This was the first municipal election in St. John's and the first election under the Ballot Act.
 
January 23, 1892 - General Election
Ward 1: John T. Carnell
Ward 2: John T. Southcott
Ward 3: James Goodfellow
Ward 4: Michael Power
Ward 5: Donald Morison

Appointees to Council: Edward W. Bennett and Thomas Mitchell.  On February 26, 1892, Mitchell was elected Chairman.  In 1894 James J. Callahan was appointed to Council.
 
1893 - Byelection
John Harris elected following the death of John Carnell.

1893 - T.G. Chapman of Plymouth, England was to be engaged as City Engineer.
December 30, 1893 - Chairman Thomas Mitchell was replaced by Thomas J. Edens
January 4, 1894 - Councillor Power was elected Chairman
1894 - John Harris was elected in a By-Election following the death of Carnell in 1893.
 
January 23, 1896 - General Election
Ward 1: John Harris
Ward 2: Thomas Keating
Ward 3: John V. O'Dea
Ward 4: Michael Power
Ward 5: James T. Callahan

Appointments by Government: Thomas J. Edens and R.A. McCoubrey.
The new Council held its first meeting on February 7, 1896 and Power was elected Chairman.
1898 -1902 St. John's was governed by Commission.  Three members were appointed by Government consisting of: H.C. Burchell, T.M. White and J.V. O'Dea.
1899 P.C. O'Driscoll succeeded T.M. White who resigned.
1900 O'Driscoll and O'Dea resigned and H.F. Bradshaw was appointed.
1902 Abolishment of the Commission.
1902 Legislation was passed providing for an elected Council consisting of a Mayor and six Councillors, all elected at large.  Elections were to be held in June of every fourth year from 1902 onwards.

 
June 19, 1902 - General Election
Mayor: George Shea
Councillors:
John R. Bennett
William J. Ellis
Charles F. Muir
John Harris
John Anderson
Michael Kennedy

Given Bennett received the highest vote among the six, he was referred to as Senior Councillor and presided over Council Meetings in the absence of the mayor.

 
June 26, 1906 - General Election
Mayor: George P. Gibbs
Councillors:
William J. Ellis
Michael Kennedy
John Carew
Samuel G. Collier
John Cowan
James T. Martin

Between September 3-10, 1906 John Carew died in office, however, no by-election was held.
July, 1908 - First civic strike - sanitary workers.

 
June 27, 1910 - General Election

Mayor: William J. Ellis
Councillors:
James Martin
John Coaker
James J. Channing
Charles R. Ryan
James J. Mullaly
Martin W. Myrick
 
August 9, 1911 - Council opened the town's first civic-owned offices after having purchased the Seaman's Home in late 1910.
July 1, 1914 - Elected form of municipal government replaced by Commission system of government.
Appointments:

  • John Anderson
  • Charles P. Ayre
  • F. W. Bradshaw
  • William Ellis
  • William Gilbert Gosling
  • John Harris
  • Edward M. Jackman
  • James McGrath
  • Francis MacNamara
  • Issac C. Morris
  • James J. Mullaly
  • J. W. Withers

 
- July 2, 1914 - First meeting of Commission.  Gosling elected as chairman, defeating Ellis.  Ellis resigned after failing to become chairman.
 
June 29, 1916 - General Election
Mayor: William G. Gosling
Councillors:
Issac C. Morris
Dr. James S. Tait
Henry J. Brownrigg
James J. Mullaly
Charles P. Ayre
Nicholas J. Vinnicombe
 
June 1920 to June 1921 - St. John's run by Commission appointed by the Governor-in-Council.
 
July 5, 1920 - Appointments:

  • W. G. Gosling
  • Charles P. Ayre
  • Issac Morris
  • James Mullaly
  • Nicholas J. Vinnicombe

 
August 2, 1921 - Civic legislation known as the City Charter passed both Houses of the Legislature. This document was worked on extensively by William G. Gosling and laid out the rights and responsibilities of the council and it's officials. Women received the right to vote as a result of the charter.
 
July 1 to December 31, 1921- New commission appointed to replace the one that went out of office June 30, 1921.
 
June 26, 1921 - New commission took office.
Appointments:

  • Issac Morris, Chairman
  • Samuel G. Collier
  • W. H. Jackman
  • James J. Mullaly
  • Samuel H. Peet
  • Nicholas J. Vinnicombe

 
The old Commission ended its term of office on June 30, 1921 and the new Commission took office on July 26, 1921 leaving St. John's without any local government for nearly a month.
 
December 15, 1921 - General Election
Mayor: Tasker Cook
Councillors:
James T. Martin
Philip E. Outerbridge
Nicholas J. Vinnicombe
Samuel G. Collier
Charles W. Ryan
Reginald Dowden
 
The new position of Deputy Mayor was to be determined by a vote of all the Council.
 
December 8, 1925 - General Election
Mayor: Tasker Cook
Councillors:
Joseph Fitzgibbon
Dr. Archibald C. Tait
William E. Brophy
Philip E. Outerbridge
Charles W. Ryan
James T. Martin

 
Julia Salter Earle ran in this election and came within eleven votes of claiming the sixth and final Council seat. This was the first election in which women were allowed to run for Council. Three women ran unsuccessfully.

1927 - City's first Town Planning Commission appointed.
 
December 9, 1929 - General Election

Mayor: Charles J. Howlett
Councillors:
Charles W. Ryan
Andrew G. Carnell
John P. Kelly
Jonas C. Barter
James R. Chalker
Ernest St. Clair Churchill
 
Carnell was elected Deputy Mayor.
 
March 31, 1932 Mayor Charles J. Howlett died.  Carnell administered the City. 
 
 


 

December 1933 - General Election
Mayor: Andrew Carnell
Councillors:
James R. Chalker
Charles W. Ryan
John P. Kelly
Philip E. Outerbridge
Michael F. Caul
James J. Spratt
 
Chalker elected as Deputy Mayor. Outerbridge resigns shortly afterwards.
 
April 8, 1935 - Byelection
John Williams wins seat left vacant by Outerbridge.
 
December 16, 1937 - General Election
Mayor: Andrew G. Carnell
Councillors:
James R. Chalker
James J. Spratt
John P. Kelly
John M. Tobin
Kenneth Ruby
John T. Meaney
 
Chalker elected as Deputy Mayor.
 
December 15, 1941 - General Election
Mayor: Andrew G. Carnell
Councillors:
Eric Cook
Edward Lawrence
Oliver L. Vardy
James J. Spratt
John P. Kelly
John T. Meaney
 
1943 Edward Lawrence and John T. Meaney died while in office. Their seats were filled Allan M. Fraser and H.G.R. Mews in a by-election later that same year.
 
November 13, 1945 - General Election
Mayor: Andrew G. Carnell
Councillors:
James J. Spratt
Harry G. R. Mews
Oliver L. Vardy
John P. Kelly
William P. Ryan
Eric Jerrett
 
Spratt was chosen as Deputy Mayor by Council. A tradition had evolved whereby the Deputy Mayor's position was given to the Councillor finishing first in the polls.
 
November 8, 1949 - General Election
Mayor: Harry G. Mews
Councillors:
George Nightingale, Deputy Mayor
James D. Higgins
Joseph Fitzgibbon
Eric Jerrett
James Tucker
Leo A. Earle
 
February, 1950 Eric Jerrett died.
 
June 1, 1950 Byelection
Douglas Oliphant elected.
 
November 10, 1953 - General Election
Mayor: Harry G. R. Mews
Councillors:
James D. Higgins, Deputy Mayor
George Nightingale
Joseph Fitzgibbon
James Tucker
Leo A. Earle
W. Gordon Warren
 
November 12, 1957 - General Election
Mayor: Harry G. R. Mews
Councillors:
James D. Higgins, Deputy Mayor
Joseph Fitzgibbon
James Tucker
George Nightingale
Geoffrey C. Carnell
Alec Henley
 
April 30, 1958 Tucker resigned [in minutes of April 30, 1958]
 
June 23, 1958 - Byelection Robert F. McLeod elected.
  
 


 
 
November 14, 1961 - General Election
Mayor: Harry G. R. Mews
Deputy Mayor: William G. Adams
Councillors:
James D. Higgins
Geoffrey C. Carnell
Alec G. Henley
Walter C. Carter
James M. Fagan
 
October 1963 Higgins resigned as a result of appointment to Supreme Court.
 
November 25, 1963 - By-election
Gerald A. Wiggins elected.
 
November 1964 Wiggins died.
 
November 16, 1965 - General Election
Mayor: William G. Adams
Deputy Mayor: John Crosbie
Councillors:
Walter Carter
James Fagan
Geoffrey Carnell
Thomas Doyle
Jim Browne

 
July 1966 John Crosbie resigned from council.
 
November 15, 1966 - Byelection
Clarence L. Englebrecht (Bob Lewis) elected.
 
1968 Walter Carter resigned from council.
 
November 18, 1969 - General Election

Mayor: William G. Adams
Deputy Mayor: Leonard Stirling
Councillors:
Clarence Englebrecht (Bob Lewis)
James Fagan
Brian E. Higgins
Dorothy Wyatt
Jim Browne
Albert Andrews
Geoffrey Carnell
 
Wyatt was the first woman ever elected to council.
 
November 13, 1973 - General Election
Mayor: Dorothy Wyatt
Deputy Mayor: John J. Murphy
Councillors:
Miller Ayre
David G. Riche
David Barrett
James Fagan
Brian E. Higgins
Eric Gullage
Ray O'Neill
 
Wyatt became St. John's first female mayor.
October 26, 1976 Eric Gullage resigned.
December 1976 Ted Henley was appointed as first City Manager.
 
November 8, 1977 - General Election
Mayor: Dorothy Wyatt
Deputy Mayor: Ray O'Neill
Councillors:
Suzanne Duff
Brian E. Higgins
James Fagan
David Barrett
Frances Innis
Hugh Baird
Andrew Wells
 
Council took office on December 1, 1977. Previous councils had taken office on January 1st of the year following the election.
April 1979 Brian Higgins died.
 
September 25, 1979 - Byelection
Thomas Osborne elected.
 
November 3, 1981 - General Election
Mayor: John J. Murphy
Deputy Mayor: Suzanne Duff
Ward 1: Andrew Wells
Ward 2: John Tessier
Ward 3: Bruce Tilley
Ward 4: Thomas Osborne
Councillors at large:
James Fagan
David Barrett
Ronald Pumphrey
 
December 1, 1981 Council took office.
September 1984 Ronald Pumphrey resigned.
 
November 12, 1985 - General Election
Mayor: John J. Murphy
Deputy Mayor: Suzanne Duff
Ward 1: Andy Wells
Ward 2: Eric Gullage
Ward 3: Bruce Tilley
Ward 4: Thomas Osborne
Councillors at Large:
Raymond O'Neill
Dorothy Wyatt
David Barrett

May 24, 1989 Eric Gullage resigns.
 

 


 
November 13, 1990 - General Election

Mayor: Suzanne Duff
Deputy Mayor: Andrew Wells
Ward 1: Wendy Williams
Ward 2: Douglas Atkinson
Ward 3: John Whalen
Ward 4: Gerard Colbert
Councillors at Large:
Dorothy Wyatt
Raymond O'Neill
Basil Jamieson
 
 
February 25, 1992 - Byelection - Wards 5 and 6
Ward 5: Paul J. Reynolds
Ward 6: John Dinn
 
Wards 5 and 6 were added after the Towns of Wedgewood Park and the Goulds amalgamated with St. John's.
Sept. 28, 1992  Councillor Douglas Atkinson resigns - Ward 2.
 
November 24, 1992 - Byelection
Ward 2 - Bruce Tilley elected.
 
Dec. 7, 1992 - Bruce Tilley sworn in
 
November 9, 1993 - General Election
Mayor: John J. Murphy
Deputy Mayor: Andrew Wells
Ward 1:Sean Hanrahan
Ward 2:Shawn Skinner
Ward 3:Keith Coombs
Ward 4:Gerry Colbert
Ward 5:John Dinn
Councillors at Large:
Dorothy Wyatt
Jeffrey Brace
Marie White
Ray O'Neill
 
 
September 30, 1997 - General Election
Mayor: Andrew Wells
Deputy Mayor: Marie White
Ward 1:Sean Hanrahan
Ward 2:Frank Galgay
Ward 3:Keith Coombs
Ward 4:Gerry Colbert
Ward 5:John Dinn
Councillors-at-Large:
Peter Miller
Shannie Duff
Dennis O’Keefe
Dorothy Wyatt
 
Oct. 14, 1997 Council sworn in. Deputy Mayor Marie White sworn in as Acting Mayor due to a recount of the Mayor’s vote.
Oct. 31, 1997 Andy Wells sworn in as Mayor.
Sept. 23, 2001 Dorothy Wyatt died.
 
September 25, 2001 - General Election
Mayor: Andy Wells
Deputy Mayor: Gerry Colbert
Ward 1: Art Puddister
Ward 2: Frank Galgay
Ward 3: Keith Coombs
Ward 4: Kevin Breen
Ward 5: John Dinn
Councillors at Large:
Dennis O’Keefe
Shannie Duff
Paul Sears
Dorothy Wyatt [elected after her death]
 
Dorothy Wyatt was the first candidate to be elected posthumously resulting in a by-election to be held later in the year. The legislation was subsequently changed to deal with such an incident and avoid unnecessary costs of a by-election.
Oct. 9, 2001 Council Swearing In Ceremonies
 
November 27, 2001 - Byelection
Sandy Hickman elected, Councillor at Large.
 
Dec. 3, 2001 Sandy Hickman sworn in
 
September 27, 2005 - General Election
Mayor: Andy Wells
Deputy Mayor: Dennis O’Keefe
Ward 1: Art Puddister
Ward 2: Frank Galgay
Ward 3: Keith Coombs
Ward 4: Ron Ellsworth
Ward 5: Wally Collins
Councillors at Large:
Gerry Colbert
Shannie Duff
Tom Hann
Sandy Hickman
 
Oct. 11, 2005 New Council sworn in.
March 3, 2008 Mayor Andy Wells resigns to take position as Chairperson of the Public Utilities Board.
March 3, 2008 to April 18, 2008 Deputy Mayor Dennis O’Keefe assumes the role of Acting Mayor.
April 18, 2008 Deputy Mayor Dennis O’Keefe and Ward 4 Councillor Ron Ellsworth resign to run in the June 3, 2008 By-Election.
April 18, 2008 to June 9, 2008 Councillor Shannie Duff assumes the role of Acting Mayor.
 
June 3, 2008 - Byelection
Dennis O’Keefe elected Mayor
Ron Ellsworth elected Deputy Mayor
Debbie Hanlon elected Ward 4 Councillor
 
June 9, 2008 Swearing in ceremonies for newly elected Council Members
 
Council June 9, 2008 to September 2009
Mayor: Dennis O’Keefe
Deputy Mayor:Ron Ellsworth
Ward 1: Art Puddister
Ward 2: Frank Galgay
Ward 3: Keith Coombs
Ward 4: Debbie Hanlon
Ward 5: Wally Collins
Councillors at Large:
Gerry Colbert
Shannie Duff
Tom Hann
Sandy Hickman
 
 
September 29, 2009 - General Election
Mayor:Dennis O’Keefe
Deputy Mayor:Shannie Duff
Ward 1:Danny Breen
Ward 2:Frank Galgay
Ward 3:Bruce Tilley
Ward 4:Debbie Hanlon
Ward 5:Wally Collins
Councillors at Large:
Gerry Colbert
Tom Hann
Sandy Hickman
Sheilagh O’Leary
 
October 13, 2009 New Council sworn in.
 
September 24, 2013 - General Election
Mayor: Dennis O’Keefe
Deputy Mayor: Ron Ellsworth
Ward 1: Danny Breen
Ward 2: Jonathan Galgay
Ward 3: Bruce Tilley
Ward 4: Bernard Davis
Ward 5: Wally Collins
Councillors at Large:
Tom Hann
Sandy Hickman
Dave Lane
Art Puddister
 
October 7, 2013 New Council sworn in.

February 23, 2016 - Byelection
Sheilagh O'Leary elected Ward 4 Councillor.

March 1, 2016 Sheilagh O'Leary sworn in.
 
September 26, 2017 - General Election
Mayor: Danny Breen
Deputy Mayor: Sheilagh O’Leary
Ward 1: Deanne Stapleton
Ward 2: Hope Jamieson
Ward 3: Jamie Korab
Ward 4: Ian Froude
Ward 5: Wally Collins
Councillors at Large:
Maggie Burton
Dave Lane
Sandy Hickman
Debbie Hanlon

October 10, 2017 New Council sworn in.