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Jan Advocate 2017

THE ADVOCATE ADVOCATE V O L . 7 5 P A R T 1 J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7 103 NOS DISPARUS By R.C. Tino Bella Melvin Hunt Fiat iustitia ruat cælum While Mel Hunt’s achievements would be remarkable for any lawyer, his start in life as an orphan made his accomplishments as counsel, a colleague and a father all the more remarkable. Born in Toronto in 1942, Melvin was taken from his unwed mother at birth and placed in an orphanage— a fact Mel found out only late in life when he was finally able to obtain his records from the Children’s Aid Society. He shared with comfort and pride the knowledge, obtained after all those years, that his mother attempted on several occasions to get him back—that she cared. The description in the records of his early years in the orphanage and later in a series of foster homes served as grim reminders of tough times. While a teenager, his school attendance was sporadic as he was busy in what might now be described as “entrepreneurial” ventures to earn money. He was uninterested in his formal education, which he did not see at the time as having any relevance to his circumstances. Dropping out of school in grade 10 so he could work and be independent, he worked a variety of heavy-labour jobs. Inexplicably, one afternoon at age 17 he made a decision that changed the direction of his life. While working construction, he double parked his work truck outside the Canadian Forces recruiting offices on St. Clair Avenue in Toronto and went inside. Mel was initially self-conscious (the word “intimidated” would never really apply to Mel) as an unannounced “drop-in” wearing construction clothes whereas everyone else was well dressed, sporting ties, and had scheduled their appointments. Despite appearances, he was warmly received and encouraged by the first of many


Jan Advocate 2017
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