Joseph Atallah Ghiz
Premier from 1986 to 1993
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JOE GHIZ WAS BORN in Charlottetown on the 27th of January,
1945, the son of Atallah Joseph Ghiz and Marguerite McKarris.
He received his early education at West Kent School, Queen Charlotte High School and Prince of Wales College. He later received his Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Law degrees from Dalhousie University in 1966 and 1969 respectively. He returned to his studies in 1980 and received his Masters of Law degree from Harvard University the following year. He received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Prince Edward Island in 1987.
In 1972, Ghiz married Rose Ellen McGowan of Montague. They had two children, Robert and Joanne.
Mr. Ghiz was a senior partner in a Charlottetown law firm where he conducted a general legal practice. As part of his legal activities, he served as President of the Prince Edward Island Branch of the Canadian Bar Association and as a member of the Council of the Prince Edward Island Law Society.
He was a member of the National Executive of the Liberal Party of Canada, and President of the Liberal Party of Prince Edward Island. He became Leader of the provincial Liberal Party in 1981 and was elected as MLA for Sixth Queens and Leader of the Opposition in the general election of 1982. He was re-elected in the general election of 1986 and was sworn in as Premier and President of the Executive Council on May 2, 1986. He was elected for his second term as Premier on May 29, 1989.
Premier Ghiz resigned in October 1992 effective in early 1993. In March of 1993 Ghiz was appointed Dean of Law at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In the spring of 1995, Ghiz was appointed to the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island.
Justice Ghiz died at home on November 9, 1996, at the age of 51, following a battle with colon cancer.
An active community person, Mr. Ghiz served as lecturer in Business Law at the University of Prince Edward Island, as a member of the Board of Governors of Frontier College and as Regional Chairman of the Canadian Council on Multiculturalism. He was a founding member of the Montague Boys and Girls Club and a former member of the Charlottetown Jaycees.
Ghiz is buried in the Brudenell Pioneer Cemetery.