882 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 76 PART 6 NOVEMBER 2018
partnership with Frank Wilson and David Hinds, developing a general practice.
All three of these partners went on to become judges.
During the 1950s and 1960s the firm continued to grow with new members
arriving, including Darragh Vamplew, later a judge of the Provincial Court of
British Columbia, and J.D. Baker, Q.C. Both had worked at the prosecutor’s
office in Vancouver and were widely regarded as most effective counsel.
Mr. Baker recalls his partner as “a man with his head connected to a telephone”.
He was always busy and constantly advising clients, listening to
their problems with seemingly endless patience. Bill was fully engaged in
Chilliwack and the community. He was the president of the Kinsmen and
a founding member of the Chilliwack Golf & Country Club. He chaired the
Cultus Lake Parks Board from 1968 to 1971 and was a board member of
Fraser Valley College (now the University of the Fraser Valley) from 1976 to
1981. He also gave of himself to the legal community. He was president of
the Fraser Valley Bar Association and a member of both the provincial and
national councils of the CBA. In 1976 he was appointed chairman of the
National Committee of Continuing Legal Education.
Judy Stevens was the love of Bill’s life. Bill courted her with determination
following his call to the bar in 1956. They married in 1962. A family
promptly ensued. Their son Steven was born in 1963, and their daughter
Jacklyn arrived in 1965. (Jackie is well known in forensic accounting circles
and Steven distinguished himself as a realtor.)
Around that time, Bill’s firm also was producing offspring, of a judicial
kind. In 1967 Bill’s partner Frank Wilson joined the Westminster County
Court. David Hinds (married to Bill’s cousin) joined the County Court in
1975 and was later elevated to the Supreme Court and then the Court of
Appeal. Following in their footsteps, Bill, in 1978, accepted an appointment
to the Westminster County Court, following which his partners formed the
firm now known as Baker Newby. So began a long and full judicial career.
In 1982 Bill was appointed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia and
later to the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories.
During his early years as a judge, Bill realized a dream. He bought a ranch
on Camp River Road in Chilliwack. His family could live a rustic experience
while he pursued the intellectual challenges of his judicial position. He
stocked cattle, horses for his children’s enjoyment and a tractor for his own
amusement. The animals provided additional benefits for visitors who
could help themselves to the animals’ fertilizer. Justice Pat Dohm would
arrive in his much-loved Cadillac and fill the trunk with the animals’ donations
neatly packaged to fertilize his prized roses. Apparently, he loved his
roses even more than he loved his Cadillac.