172 V O L . 7 6 P A R T 2 M A R C H 2 0 1 8 THE ADVOCATE
Edith Paterson, called in 1916; Gladys Kitchen, called in 1918; and Hilda
Cartwright, called in 1921. Helen Gregory McGill was a judge of the Juvenile
Court, but she had never been a member of the bar. At that time and for
many years afterwards, many magistrates were laypeople. The most notable
of these was Roderick Haig-Brown, who held court on the Island, but was as
well known as the author of a collection of lovely books about fly fishing.
The dramatis personæ of the courts were smaller in number than they are
now. The Chief Justice of B.C. was David Alexander MacDonald, with four
other members of the Court of Appeal: McQuarrie, Sloan, O’Halloran and
Fisher. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was Wendell Burpee Farris,
brother of Senator Farris (no nepotism there, of course). The Supreme
Court numbered five other judges: Manson, Smith, Coady, Ellis and Bird.
The County Court of Vancouver mustered three judges: Harper, Lennox and
Boyd (occasionally sober on the bench).
Then, and for a couple of decades afterwards, the bar and the bench
drank far more than was good for them. Compared to then, the bar today is
akin to a temperance society, and so much the better for the clientele. I
once went to court as junior to Alfred Bull (of the firm then called Bull,
Housser, Tupper, Ray, Guy and Merritt), then considered one of Vancouver’s
leading counsel. At the luncheon adjournment he took me across the
street to the Georgia Hotel for a meal. He consumed two martinis and
bought two for me. I was newly called and impecunious and drank little, so
I had difficulty keeping awake. Bull, however, simply fell asleep, leaving me
to run the case for the afternoon.
The Advocate survived the war years. As ex-servicemen returned home,
many took advantage of the assistance offered by the government and
enlisted in law school. So it was that the profession suddenly burgeoned
beginning about 1948. The Advocate kept going. Elmore’s son, Ken (later
Meredith J.) became the editor in 1955 when his father became treasurer of
the Law Society. I took over in 1967 when Ken felt a need to retire. Ken was
one of the most decisive people I ever knew. When I was appointed editor,
I suggested to Ken that I should come and see him and perhaps understudy
him for a year before I took over. “Yes,” he said, “come and see me tomorrow.”
So I did that and was ushered into his office. His desk had one open
file on it and a small cardboard box half full of papers. We chattered briefly
and eventually he stood up, picked up the box, handed it to me and said,
“There you are. Good luck.” And I walked out of his office and produced the
next edition a few weeks later.
The Advocate used to publish the minutes of the benchers’ meetings.
Exquisitely boring. “Correspondence from a practitioner was tabled and dis-