Bill Rompkey was born in Belleoram, Fortune Bay, but he grew up in St. John’s where he later taught English before moving to Labrador in 1963. While a student at Memorial University, he joined the University Naval Training Divisions and later, as a commissioned officer, was stationed briefly at HMCS Cabot. In 1972, he was elected to the House of Commons where he served for twenty-three years before being appointed to the Senate of Canada in 1995. Throughout his parliamentary career, Senator Rompkey has been involved with issues of defence and security. He chaired the House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence and Veterans Affairs and in 1993 co-chaired the Special Joint Committee on Canada’s Defence Policy. Previously, he served as vice-chair of the North Atlantic Assembly, the international body for NATO parliamentarians. He is an active member of the Naval Officers Association of Canada and the Crow’s Nest, and he has been honoured for his work with the Navy League of Canada.
He is married to the former Carolyn Pike, and they have two children, Hilary and Peter.