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households to live. Despite hardship, and without family support or financial
assistance, Roderick put himself through his undergrad degree and then
dental school at the University of Missouri. Diane’s parents met in Kansas
and then moved back to Canada to raise their family.
Diane’s parents settled in Maple Ridge and Roderick opened his dental
practice. Her mother, Jane, devoted her life to her family and became president
of the Maple Ridge Figure Skating Club for several years, supporting
Diane’s figure skating pursuits. Diane was the youngest and her parents supported
all three of their daughters’ interests. Diane is in awe of her father’s
achievements and feels that because of her parents, she and her sisters had
many advantages growing up that her parents had not experienced.
Maple Ridge was an equestrian horseback riding hub and Diane and her
sister Karen both pursued riding. Diane’s oldest sister, Leslie, tried figure
skating and riding but preferred reading and piano to sports. Karen was the
family equestrian star and rode on the Canadian equestrian team for a number
of years. It might have been providence that Karen was coached one
summer by Catherine Wedge, who (prior to becoming a lawyer and eventually
a judge) competed internationally, including a gold medal performance
at the 1971 Pan American Games. Many years later Diane worked with
Catherine Wedge at Victory Square Law Office and now has joined Justice
Wedge on the bench.
Growing up Diane wanted to be a teacher. While obtaining her undergraduate
degree, Diane coached figure skating, an experience she says gave
her the foresight to recognize that she lacked the patience to be a teacher.
Fortunately for Diane, and those she worked with, her interests turned to
law. During her undergraduate degree at Simon Fraser University, Diane
dated a student from Jamaica. Not only did he encourage her to go to law
school, but when she travelled to Jamaica to meet his family, the experience
increased her interest in human rights and social justice.
Diane went to law school at Dalhousie. Although she enjoyed life on the
East Coast, she returned to Vancouver to article at the law firm of Alexander
Diane is unusual in that after being called to the bar she continued her
legal studies and undertook a Ph.D. in law at Northeastern University in
Boston. Her dissertation focused on sectoral bargaining for low wage earners.
After studying at Northeastern for almost three years, she returned to
Vancouver and joined Victory Square Law Office as an associate. Because
her return was three years after she left B.C., the Law Society refused to
grant Diane an extension of the time she was allowed non-practising status.
Her dissertation chair thought she should appeal but Diane thought it prudent
not to judicially review the Law Society’s decision.