Page 117

Jan Advocate 2017

THE ADVOCATE V O L . 7 5 P A R T 1 J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7 115 Although busy with family and practice, Ray did not abandon his love of football. He coached his sons in North Shore minor football and in the 1960s was head coach at his old high school, Vancouver College. Later, he was a volunteer assistant coach to his old friend and former Edmonton teammate, Frank Smith, with the UBC Thunderbirds. He regularly drove to Eugene, Oregon to watch football games at his alma mater and was particularly proud in the mid-1980s to watch his youngest son, Matt, playing in an Oregon uniform. During one exhibition game between the Oregon varsity and an alumni team, the alumni coach asked Ray to suit up and sent him in for one play—on the defensive line while Matt was kicking a field goal. “Don’t bother blocking him,” Matt told his teammates, “he’ll never get here.” Ray was an accomplished golfer and marathon runner, but in middle age his athlete’s body began to fail him. He developed diabetes (perhaps due to a long-ago and undiagnosed pancreatic injury on the football field) and with it complications that cost him much of his eyesight. In his office and in courtrooms, he would read cases or medical records with the aid of a very large magnifying glass. Hinkson C.J.S.C. still thinks the magnifying glass was largely for effect, but as an occasional passenger in Ray’s car I can testify to the terrifying reality of his visual impairment. One day while we were in trial, Ray struck up a conversation with a woman carrying a white cane who happened to be in the great hall of the Vancouver courthouse. He asked her about her visual acuity values and learned they were better than his own. That is when he told me about one of his pet peeves—the alleged eagerness of agencies for the visually impaired to “force white canes on people.” Over the years, Ray underwent at least a dozen laser procedures for retinal reattachment. That experience is what must explain one anomaly. Ray spent countless hours listening with patience and empathy to people who thought they had grounds for a medical malpractice claim, carefully explaining to the vast majority of them why they did not. But he had little patience with those who complained of alleged errors causing relatively minor visual impairment. Once, when I was looking at a possible such claim, the client called the office when I was out and was, for some reason, put through to Ray. The client was shocked to hear Ray telling him, in effect, to stop whining, suck it up and get on with his life. Despite his visual impairment, Ray continued to play golf, aided by the fact that, unlike most recreational golfers, he could usually predict where his ball would go even if he could not see it. For a time, he also owned a dog that was trained to help find his ball—a player’s aid that golf course starters were resistant to for some reason.


Jan Advocate 2017
To see the actual publication please follow the link above