William Gilbert Gosling

William Gilbert Gosling, merchant, politician, author (b at Paget, Bermuda 8 Sept 1863; d there 5 Nov 1930). Gosling came to Newfoundland in 1881 as a clerk with a fish-exporting firm. Known for his literary interests, Gosling organized an urban-reform movement in St John's in 1913.

Gosling, William Gilbert

William Gilbert Gosling, merchant, politician, author (b at Paget, Bermuda 8 Sept 1863; d there 5 Nov 1930). Gosling came to Newfoundland in 1881 as a clerk with a fish-exporting firm. Known for his literary interests, Gosling organized an urban-reform movement in St John's in 1913. As a result the city's elective council was replaced by a 12-man commission which drafted a new municipal charter under Gosling's chairmanship. Although the legislature initially refused to pass the charter, Gosling was elected mayor in June 1916. During his tenure he promoted public housing, tax reforms and the formation of the Child Welfare Association. He finally got the legislature to pass the charter in 1921 - the basis of present municipal government in St John's - and withdrew from public life.

He wrote A History of Labrador (1910) and a biography of Sir Humphrey GILBERT (1911). His extensive collection of books formed the basis of the city's first public library.