Sir Robert Gillespie Reid
Perhaps best known for his role in the Newfoundland Railway, Sir Robert Gillespie Reid was involved in everything from the lumber, mining and electrical industries, to shipping. He constructed a hydroelectric facility at Petty Harbour to provide electricity to St. John's and topower the street cars which ran along Water Street, Duckworth Street and Military Road.
He operated the colonial telegraph system and developed the original Newfoundland dockyard in St. John's to facilitate repairs for railway and shipping operations. Sir Robert also built the Newfoundland Railway Building, an imposing structure made with granite from his own quarries near the Gaff Topsails. The Reid Shipping Company was also the owner of the Alphabet Fleet, which brought regular mail service and passenger connections to coastal communities.
Reid also distinguished himself as a philanthropist and was noted as being a generous benefactor to causes in Newfoundland.