James B. Coyne

Honorable James B. Coyne, Q.C., Theta Xi, 1901, Phi Alpha 1938-1939

Photo of James Coyne.The Honorable James B. Coyne, Q.C., Theta Xi, 1901, was a respected attorney and judge in Manitoba. He was admitted to the bar in Ontario in 1904 and Manitoba in 1905.

He was educated at Upper Canada College, where he was Head Boy, winner of the Governor-General’s medal for proficiency, prize man in classics, moderns, mathematics and English essay. He was also class president.

After completing his undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto, where he joined Zeta Psi, he studied law at Osgoode Hall Law School, was admitted to the Ontario bar in 1904, and a year thereafter relocated to Winnipeg, Manitoba. There he began the practice of law as a name partner with the firm of Aikins, Robson,Fullerton & Coyne and successor firms, rising to become senior partner of Coyne, McVicar & Martin. He served as Counsel
and Crown Counsel for many Commissions and was made King’s Counsel in 1916. Brother Coyne was a prominent member of the 1919 Citizens’ Committee of 1,000 and co-prosecutor in the Winnipeg Strike of 1919. He was appointed to the province’s highest court, the Manitoba Court of Appeal ,in 1946.

During Brother Coyne’s term as Phi Alpha, an amendment to the Fraternity’s
constitution was proposed and adopted to allow incorporation of the Board of Trustees and
the Fraternity’s chief staff officer’s role and responsibilities were enlarged,
occasioning the change in his title from General Secretary to Executive
Secretary. Also, in January, 1939, Brother Coyne had the honour of installing the Alpha Mu chapter at Dalhousie University into the Fraternity.

Brother Coyne’s son, James E., followed him into Zeta Psi at the University of Manitoba.
James E. was a Rhodes Scholar, who later served as Governor of the Bank of Canada.