Basil Robinson, former Undersecretary of State for External Affairs and Officer of the Order of Canada, died on December 21, 2012, aged 93, in Ottawa. A distinguished civil servant, diplomat, sportsman, and war veteran, to those who knew him best he was a loving father, a gentleman, an inspiration, and a man of honour. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; their four children, Katharine, David, Brigitte Ann and Geoffrey; and their grandchildren, Olivia, Nicolas, Adam, Amalia and Sofia. He was predeceased by his brother Geoffrey, and by his parents Basil and Nancy Robinson of Vancouver.
As a UBC student Basil led a full life, excelling in many endeavors. In 1938/39 he received honorable mention for his outstanding sportsmanship and performances with UBC’s Varsity rugby team. In 1938 the first UBC cricket club was formed with Basil, David Carey and Harry Warren as the guiding influences. Basil finished second in club batting in the team’s first year, and as team captain the following year was the team’s leading batter. UBC won the BC championship that year with The Ubyssey reporting “… the main reason for the brilliant victories of the students has been Basil Robinson who has shown great versatility with both the bat and the ball.”
Off the field Basil was associate sports editor of The Ubyssey, president of the Arts 1940 class, and the Men’s Undergraduate Society representative on council. Basil also played on the UBC soccer team and, despite missing the first few games of the season, finished in first place in league scoring.
Basil’s contributions as an athlete, scholar and elected official were recognized when he received the Rhodes Scholarship in 1940. In 1994, Basil was inducted into the UBC Sports Hall of Fame.