876 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 76 PART 6 NOVEMBER 2018
The Honourable Eric G. Chamberlist
On June 19, 2018 my friend and colleague Eric G.
Chamberlist passed away, ending his battle with cancer.
As he wished, the end came in his own home
with his family around him.
For those who knew him, Eric was a remarkable
judge and a wonderful man. His 71 years were spent
well and in them he had many achievements of
which he and those who knew him could be proud. For those who knew
him well, Eric had two distinct sides which, on his own terms, he kept
separate. While social and engaging in public, in his personal life Eric was
a private man—in many respects he kept his professional life quite separate
from his family life. This dichotomy did not in any way diminish the importance
each had to him.
Eric’s professional career spanned from his call to the bar on May 14, 1973
until his last sitting day on June 20, 2010 some 37 years later. Over that
period he distinguished himself as a lawyer, a master and a justice of the
Supreme Court of British Columbia. He articled in Prince George with the
old and distinguished firm of Wilson King and Company, an establishment
that had given the province J.O. Wilson and would eventually send on to the
judiciary Richard T. Low. After completing his articles he moved on to practise
with Hope Heinrich before forming a partnership with two of his
friends from his time at Wilson King. MacArthur, Preston and Chamberlist
was short in terms of existence, lasting from January 1, 1975 until April 30,
1978, but notable in its impact, as all three of the partners went on to
become members of the judiciary.
After the dissolution of this partnership, Eric returned to Hope Heinrich
where he practised until he was appointed as a master of the Supreme
Court on November 21, 1994. He served in that capacity until his appointment
to the Supreme Court on February 24, 1998, where he remained until
his retirement on June 30, 2010.
As a lawyer, a master and a judge, Eric was a role model exhibiting the
characteristics most useful in a judge. He had a keen analytical mind and
sound instincts with respect to any area of law he was considering. More
significantly he was invariably thoughtful, compassionate and competent.
This professional summary does not, however, begin to tell the story of how
the young Eric became the man he was.