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May Advocate 2017

THE ADVOCATE V O L . 7 5 P A R T 3 M A Y 2 0 1 7 343 slope guarding the peak, Palmer and his party finally slew his great white whale and reached the summit. They returned to camp after 15 hours climbing the mountain, retiring to a “night of that sound, death-like slumber, which only the mountaineer can know”.7 In his climbing career Palmer made some 50 first ascents, extensively exploring the Rocky and Selkirk Mountains.8 Mount Palmer (3019 m), near Mount Sir Sandford, is named for him. The British Columbia Mountaineering Club Lawyers have played a prominent role in the history and development of the British Columbia Mountaineering Club (“BCMC”), founded in October 1907 as the Vancouver Mountaineering Club, and given its present name in March 1909.9 In its early days, the BCMC was particularly known for its explorations and summer camps on the west side of what became Garibaldi Provincial Park in 1927, after persistent lobbying by the club, its offshoots the Vancouver Natural History Society, the ACC (Vancouver Section), and others. The BCMC continues to be the largest and most active such club in British Columbia. From its start, the BCMC was an egalitarian organization, welcoming mountaineers from both sexes and all walks of life. In his 1957 article, “Early Days of the BCMC”, founding member Fred Mills noted the wide variety of occupations: “two lawyers, two land surveyors, three salesman, two railwaymen, two exporters, two nurses, seven stenographers, one meteorologist, three printers, one postman, one civil engineer, one cigar-maker, one piano tuner, two real estate men, all gentlemen and gentlewomen”.10 One of the two BCMC founding lawyers was Leslie Cleland Ford (1867 Sydney, Australia—1952 Vancouver), who worked at several law firms, as both a solicitor and barrister, ending his career in the office of the Official Administrator.11 He served as president of the BCMC from 1922 to 1924 and honorary president from 1933 to his death. His story of the 1913–1920 struggle to preserve what became Garibaldi Provincial Park was found amongst his papers after his death, and was published in the club’s 50th anniversary publication.12 The other one referred to may have been Rey Agler Sargent (1890 California— 1975 West Vancouver), who joined the BCMC at age 17 in its first year. Sargent was called to the bar in 1920 and served as a County Court judge from 1944 to 1965. Sargent grew up near Lower Lonsdale in North Vancouver and has a park in Upper Lonsdale (at 21st Street) named after him. In 1967 he was Commissioner of the Inquiry into Invasion of Privacy, commonly known as the “Bugging Inquiry”, arising from a vicious war between unions. A 1990 Advocate article remembered him as “one of a group


May Advocate 2017
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