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THE ADVOCATE V O L . 7 5 P A R T 2 M A R C H 2 0 1 7 281 had been a member of Young Life with Gil Dyck and Bobby Meighan (who, respectively, would later become an accomplished doctor and an equally accomplished lawyer). But Bonnie’s first recollection of him was at a nurses’ dance when he arrived with Skip Chapman having plainly imbibed at the Royal Towers. Bonnie went off to Stanford University Health Centre for a year. Mac and Bonnie kept in touch as he went on to McMaster and then obtained his first (and last) teaching position in Vernon. While Mac’s teaching skills may have been questioned by his employers, he left an indelible impression on the Vernon class of 1968, who left a touching note in the memorial column of The Province. Bonnie said the year in Vernon was “a hoot”. Apart from coaching basketball and football Mac enjoyed canoeing and skiing. It is my belief that Bobby Meighan, then at McQuarrie Hunter, took Mac to visit the firm and Mac found the atmosphere at the firm “like family” and so enrolled at UBC law school in the fall of 1968. That was one year in which the Salmonbellies played in a professional league and won, even though the financial rewards were “$1.69”. Mac took a year off from law school in 1970– 71 to work as a manager in a building firm. The firm went broke. But he found true wealth in marrying Bonnie. He finished his law degree in 1972 and articled at McQuarrie Hunter under the tutelage of B.J. Pettenuzzo, Q.C. He did not need to interview. Like David Brine after him, a native son had direct entry. Tommy Fisher (as he then was) and Glenn Gates would have ensured that. Mac’s ability to understand people; his friendly personality; his sense of fun, humour and mischief; and his hospitableness, be it at the firm, out on the town or to those invading his home (oh Bonnie, how many nights were you awoken to feed the revellers?!!)—all those human virtues were valuable assets as he developed his specialties in personal injury and family law. There is no question he became the heart of the firm from the late 1970s on. To Kim Floeck, Rick Molstad, Bob Collings, Perry Armitage, Brian Shreiber and many others, he was the most approachable partner, and many times a depressed junior lawyer would be lifted up by his common-sense approach to issues. In time Mac became the firm’s ICBC liaison person, and McQuarrie Hunter benefitted from his contribution to the partnership. Bonnie kept on nursing at the Royal Columbian Hospital, but Mac’s health issues were also a matter to deal with. The swellings that had to be drained during his playing days diminished, but severe problems developed with his hips and knees, which led to replacement surgery. About 1976 Dr. Robert Rothwell diagnosed Mac with haemochromatosis, which effectively means you are not expelling the iron from your blood


March Pages 2017
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