874 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 76 PART 6 NOVEMBER 2018
No story about Al is complete without mentioning his remarkable zest for
life. From being the life of the party to his love of jazz, and from his amazement
of the things learned on the Internet to the many adventures he took
in life, he lived life large. He had a great sense of humour and passion for
life, which he passed on to his family and colleagues. The office Christmas
parties are not the same without Al’s interpretation of Chuck Berry dancing
across the stage with his imaginary guitar. And no one can forget whitehaired
Al showing all the younger folks how to water ski up at Shawnigan
Lake one beautiful summer afternoon.
Amazingly, throughout his life Al maintained a balance between work,
family and volunteerism. He purchased, unbeknownst to his family, a
Cessna 206 airplane and then took two months’ leave from the firm so that
he could fly his family across Canada. They visited ten provinces and had
the trip of a lifetime. After selling the airplane, Al and Rosemary bought a
small cottage on Shawnigan Lake and enjoyed many happy family times
While raising their family, Al and Rosemary travelled throughout Canada
and the United States, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. He found time
to coach minor hockey.
Al was a third-generation lawyer. His grandfather started Beck & Emery
in 1893 in Edmonton and his father later carried on the practice as Emery
Jamieson. Al graduated from the arts faculty at UBC and in 1959, from the
law faculty at the University of Toronto, and then joined Emery Jamieson.
However, Al had always wanted to return to coastal B.C. and did not want
to wait until retirement to do so. Despite Al’s having many lucrative corporate
clients, Al and Rosemary packed up the family and left Edmonton in
1970 for Victoria. He joined his university buddy George Jones and the firm
of de Villiers, Jones, Emery & Carfra was established.
Al practised business and commercial law for over 40 years. His philosophy
was to keep documents and agreements simple and verbiage to a minimum.
He believed in plain language. One of Al’s great legacies was his
ability to teach the younger lawyers at the firm and many younger solicitors
in Victoria that if a document could be prepared on two pages, you should
not make it ten just for the sake of doing so. It is rumoured that Al prepared
the offer to purchase his Uplands home on a cigarette package, the transaction
completing on time and with no issues.
Al once argued before the Supreme Court of Canada in an application for
leave to appeal a decision of the BC Assessment Appeal Board. Suffice it to
say he always made it clear to the barristers in the office that he had been
heard by that court. That did not, however, prevent him from believing that