THE ADVOCATE V O L . 7 5 P A R T 4 J U L Y 2 0 1 7 499
After Allan McEachern left R&D to become Chief Justice of the B.C.
Supreme Court, Sherman Hood “took her on” and they developed a winning
litigation ritual whereby he dealt exclusively with settling the case and, if it
did not settle, Marion took it to trial.
Between 1985 and 1988 Marion also enjoyed three years as an adjunct
professor of civil litigation at UBC. In 1985 Marion was counsel on a trial in
Penticton and ran into Chief Justice McEachern who, later that afternoon,
suggested to a local lawyer, Bruce Preston, that he invite her to the bar dinner
that night. She was happy to attend, despite knowing none of the
lawyers and being the only female lawyer, until the president of the Penticton
bar asked her to make a short speech introducing the Chief Justice.
Seated between two talkative tablemates at dinner—Bruce and Fred
Messenger—she tried desperately to think of something remotely intelligent
and amusing to say. Unfortunately, her decision to relate amusing
anecdotes about articling for the Chief was perhaps ill advised as he and
Fred were in Penticton for the purpose of telling the bar, earlier that day,
that a resident judge would not be appointed to the Penticton County Court!
Nevertheless, Bruce was struck by her oratory and, in the following year,
began a (long) courtship that led to their wedding in Lamu, Kenya in 2001.
Bruce was appointed to the County Court of the Cariboo in 1987 and was
resident in Dawson Creek. On his frequent visits to Vancouver, he and
Marion began their hiking career that has taken them around B.C., to the
Coast to Coast walk in England, Offa’s Dyke bordering Wales, the Isle of
Arran, the Cornish Coastal Path, the levadas in Madeira, the coast of New
Zealand, Mexico and the Camino in France and Spain.
In the summer of 1987 Bruce decided that he would enter the Three Flags
Rally—a motorcycle odyssey from Tijuana, Mexico to Penticton. Marion
decided that she must join him as the backseat passenger (no sissy bars) on
his BMW K100 on a one-way trip to Mexico. Apart from a dismal night in
Bakersfield at a “Bates” motel, it was a great trip although, when returning
alone from Mexico, Marion faced a challenge at the Tijuana border trying
to explain why she had a motorcycle helmet, cowboy boots and virtually no
luggage—but no motorcycle.
Later that summer, in August, Marion received a phone call from the
executive assistant to the Right Honorable Ray Hnatyshyn, then Minister of
Justice, asking if she would accept an appointment to the County Court of
Vancouver. At her public swearing in ceremony in September 1988, several
of the speakers referred to her as “Easy Rider”, which horrified her daughter
Michelle who was seated beside Marion’s mother and had been sworn to
secrecy about the motorcycle trip.