The Day Gilbert Clements Called

Sad news this morning that Hon. Gilbert Clements, former Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island, has died.

What’s missing from the formal biographies is that Clements was an early and enthusiastic adopter of technology and the Internet: he was, I can say with some confidence, the first Lieutenant Governor to go online from Government House, and thus the first “wired” occupant of that office.

I came to understand this one day in the late 1990s when the phone rang in my office:

Peter? Gilbert Clements…”, said the caller.

It was the Lieutenant Governor calling for technical support.

I’ve forgotten what his technical issue was; it was likely something to do with modem settings or how to use the right PPP server. Whatever it was, once I got over the shock of a personal call from the Lieutenant Governor, I was able to help. It was both my first and last interaction with him.

Gilbert Clements will be remembered for many things; I’d like to think that some small recognition for his being a vice-regal Internet pioneer is one of them.


Nate's picture
Nate on November 27, 2012 - 20:18 Permalink

Is “Lieutenant Government” a real word in Canada?

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on November 27, 2012 - 23:11 Permalink

Only in my deluded state this afternoon; not sure how I managed to type “Lieutenant Government” not once but three times in the same blog post. Perhaps I was concerned about misspelling “Lieutenant” and so relaxed into it? Corrected, with thanks.