THE ADVOCATE V O L . 7 5 P A R T 1 J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7 119 NEW JUDGES By R.C. Tino Bella The Honourable Justice Maria A. Morellato Madam Justice Maria Morellato was appointed a justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in June 2016. She will sit in Vancouver. Maria’s effervescence, humour, kindness and curiosity have attracted a wide and expanding circle of friends and admirers. The celebration of a recent significant birthday packed Federico’s Supper Club with well-wishers. Maria is the true child of her Italian immigrant parents: not given to whispering, unfailingly cheerful, fond of colour and style (her wheeled barrister’s bag is a shiny, red beauty), most contented at a laden table in the company of family and friends, and usually amply caffeinated (long espressos please). She talks fast, thinks fast, acts fast and walks pretty fast (the walking motivated in part by what she refers to as her “Fatbit”). Maria’s parents Giovanni and Giuseppina grew up and met in the small village of San Bartolomeo, in northern Italy about an hour and half’s drive from Venice. In 1939, Germany invaded Poland; Italy joined the war a year later and Giovanni was drafted into the cavalry. He fought for two years before he was captured and held as a prisoner of war under the Nazi regime. While he was in captivity, Giuseppina sent him packages of food through the Red Cross—a kindness Giovanni credited with keeping him alive. The pair were reunited after the war and married. Their first child, Maria’s older brother Cesare (Frank), was born in Switzerland. Seeking a better life than was available in post-war Italy, Maria’s parents immigrated to Vancouver with their young son, joining an extended family of brothers, sisters and cousins. Maria was the first of the Morellato clan to be born in Canada. She grew up in east Vancouver.
Jan Advocate 2017
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