THE ADVOCATE 263
VOL. 77 PART 2 MARCH 2019
By R.C. Tino Bella
M. Edward Mortimer, Q.C.
When Ed Mortimer, Q.C., passed away on December
11, 2018, his good friend the Honourable Bruce
Preston observed: “It is a momentous thing when
one of the giants of the profession leaves us. He was
a true individual and a formidable counsel. He was a
good and generous friend. We will miss him so
much.” We could almost stop there, but the long life
of an outstanding lawyer warrants rather more detail than is provided in
Bruce Preston’s brief but touching paragraph.
The obituary Ed’s children prepared and published in the local press did
not include a photo because Paul, Katherine and Melissa knew how much
their father disliked some of the images folks sometimes choose to accompany
the fine things they want to say about late friends or loved ones. So
we have opted for something quite different here, by including a photo of
Ed involved in what he truly loved: delving into a promising book (while sitting
in a London pub).
We have never known anyone who more enjoyed reading. That aside, his
many friends grew to appreciate Ed’s eclectic tastes through book
exchanges that he either initiated or enthusiastically endorsed. So where
did all of this come from?
Ed was born and raised in Vancouver, and both his love of words and his
formidable communication skills were amply displayed in 1952 when he
was chosen Kitsilano High School’s class valedictorian. But before Ed carried
on to UBC Law in 1957 there was an East Coast diversion. Ed had
avoided mandatory undergrad physical education by enlisting in the University
Naval Training Division, and during one of his summer East Coast
assignments he met the lovely and vibrant Gwen in the HMCS Stadacona