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was about as far as most people went for a holiday. There Ian learned to sail
in Boundary Bay. In later life his mother marvelled that, as a boy, Ian would
frequently set off in his sailing dinghy and be gone for the day returning
only in the evening. Not many children have the luxury now of learning the
independence that comes from freedom from adult supervision.
In some respects Ian had a privileged childhood at a time of considerable
economic hardship for others. That privilege inclined him to treat others
with courtesy and respect. One of his friends who knew him throughout his
life described Ian as the least judgmental man he had ever known.
Ian’s interest in all things nautical took him into a reserve naval training
program known as the University Naval Training Division. He was eventually
commissioned as an officer in the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve. Interest in
the armed forces was a prominent aspect of the lives of many young men in
the 1950s. Their fathers and their fathers’ friends commonly had served in the
First World War. For many years Ian and his family continued his and their
interest in seafaring by sailing the coastal waters of British Columbia.
Following Ian’s graduation from Brentwood College he attended UBC and
ultimately obtained a law degree in 1954. After his call to the bar he joined
his father in practice at the now-vanished Inns of Court Building near the
Georgia Hotel. Drost and Company enjoyed a substantial estate practice in
the 1950s and later grew into a more wide-ranging general practice. Ian
began his practice as a solicitor and his gracious manner, along with his
manifest competence, drew numerous clients to the firm.
Derek Standfield, another outstanding solicitor, and Gerald Coultas, a
very able barrister, joined the firm, with the latter taking on all of the counsel
work. They were later joined by D’Arcy McGee, who subsequently
became a provincial prosecutor and later a Provincial Court judge. For a
number of years Drost, Coultas and Standfield had a productive partnership.
They remained close friends throughout their lives. Eventually Derek
Standfield decided to set up his own practice in Kerrisdale, where he prospered,
later becoming a senior partner at Owen Bird. Gerald Coultas went
to the Provincial Court bench in 1977 and later to the Supreme Court. Ian
continued in practice and in the last days of the firm it was known as Drost,
Affleck and Knott.
Ian was an active supporter of the federal Progressive Conservative
Party. He participated in the successful campaigns of 1957 and 1958 to elect
that party with John Diefenbaker as prime minister, and in the unsuccessful
campaign in 1972 to place Robert Stanfield in that office.
In the 1980s Ian expanded his practice and began to take on counsel
work, particularly in the field of matrimonial law as it was then known. He