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Jan Advocate 2017

108 V O L . 7 5 P A R T 1 J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7 THE ADVOCATE struct the ill-conceived notions of an opponent. Considered invaluable by judges, this important reference has provided reassurance that the incoherent bafflegab they sometimes have to listen to in court really is off track. As stated by John’s publisher at Thomson Reuters, the perspective he took in the commentary he provided was practical yet scholarly, and as such his works continue to be invaluable to librarians, lawyers, students and judges across Canada. John was born in Estevan, Saskatchewan to Jack and Gladys Gardner on October 18, 1950. His father was a mining engineer. His parents had been living in South Africa, but they did not want their son to be born there. Gladys returned home to her parents’ wheat farm near Midale while John’s father stayed behind. John was nearly a year old when the family reunited in New York City. His earliest memories were riding the Staten Island Ferry, which cost only a nickel in those days. The family moved on to various copper mining locations in Arizona, Peru and California as Jack’s job required. Gladys had worked as a school teacher in Saskatchewan and she home-schooled John until she eventually put her foot down with all the moving and stayed put with John in Los Altos, California while Jack returned to South Africa. John was so far ahead of the other students in his school that he became bored, acting out and getting into lots of trouble. His parents managed to get him into a prestigious, scholastically oriented prep school where he graduated with the highest honours, winning many scholarships to university. Accepted at Berkeley and Stanford, he chose Grinnell, an elite and highly ranked liberal arts college in Iowa. His father sold their California home and moved John’s mother, the dog and all the family possessions to South Africa permanently while John was left on his own. This happened at the height of the Vietnam War and, like thousands of others, John did his best to avoid the draft. He planned to move back to Canada if his number came up and, on one of many partying road trips up north with classmates, he went to an immigration office in Winnipeg to formally renounce his U.S. citizenship. After completing his studies at Grinnell, he worked as a logger and in mining on Vancouver Island with a view to saving money to travel. In January 1973, two of John’s friends from Grinnell came up to Canada to visit. John got a few days off from the mine in Gold River to show his friends around B.C. One was driving John’s car, with John in the passenger seat and the other friend in the back, when they hit an icy curve in the road between Port Alberni and Long Beach. The car rolled down a cliff, turning over and over again. A driver who had been following stopped and scram-


Jan Advocate 2017
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