THE ADVOCATE 607
VOL. 77 PART 4 JULY 2019
Alan resigned as an MLA when his judicial appointment came from the
Minister of Justice at the time, Pierre Elliott Trudeau. On April 23, 1968,
father A.D. (judge from 1946 to 1960) was able to witness Chief Justice J.O.
Wilson swearing in son A.B., but A.D. died a month later. Alan’s father was
eulogized as having high integrity, unfailing courtesy and a sense of citizenship—
those words can equally be applied to his son.
On the bench, Alan was most fortunate to have guidance and help from
many fine Chief Justices, and most notably Alan had enduring respect for
Allan McEachern and Lance Finch. Once appointed, Alan was able to reestablish
professional ties with old classmates such as Jack Taggart and Dick
Madam Justice Cathy Ryan captured the essence of Mr. Justice A.B. Macfarlane
when she wrote:
I had the privilege of both appearing in front of Alan as a lawyer and later
sitting with him on the Court of Appeal.
He was truly a remarkable man and everything I admired in a judge. Quietly
confident, he was also smart, sensible and a very good listener. He
could make up his mind easily and certainly did not dither. That said, if
he came into an appeal with an opinion formed on the material filed, he
nevertheless listened carefully to all the arguments and changed his
mind if the argument convinced him. He was the perfect gentleman, and
over all the years I knew him he never raised his voice or lost his cool in
court or in private.
I know he was a devoted husband, and he was proud of his children.
Alan made the world a better place. There are not many of his equal. He
will be truly missed.
One of the greatest joys in retirement for Alan came when the centenary
of the Court of Appeal was celebrated in 2010 at Government House. Alan
was asked to speak but tried to defer to active members of the judiciary and
said nobody would be interested in what he had to say. He eventually
agreed to speak but was disinclined to engage in the planned roast, as he
wanted to share his positive reminiscences of the court. He prepared carefully
and delivered a terrific speech. He received a standing ovation from
his peers, and he was moved. Not bad for a two-bit lawyer.
Dennis Murray, Q.C., has observed,
I always looked forward to an encounter with him, to be the victim of his
dry humour, bask in the glow of his kind of wry smile and laughter, and
reap the benefit of his advice, brilliantly thought out and incisively delivered.
Yes, he was a judge to be respected way beyond simply the office.
He was a force on whatever court he presided over, and a leader in the
community, but more to the point, despite being old-school reserved in
such matters, his love of his family and his kind heart brightly shone
through for me.