264 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 77 PART 2 MARCH 2019
wardroom. Their happy marriage endured until Gwen passed away ten
Paul, their firstborn, arrived just before Ed started at UBC Law, and Ed’s
embrace of the law school program suggests that fatherhood may help
sharpen academic focus (also demonstrated by the success of two other
fathers in Ed’s class, Noel Lyon and Joe Smith, the gold and silver medallists
of the class of 1960).
Although Ed eventually became one of the most respected family law
practitioners in British Columbia, his varied early experience included
appearing before administrative tribunals and ad hoc criminal assize court
work, mentored by such leading counsel as William Craig, Q.C., and
Richard Anderson, Q.C., who both went on to join the Court of Appeal.
Ed practised at Boughton and Company until 1975, when he started his
own practice, eventually to be joined by Jeff Rose, Q.C., with whom he
enjoyed a long and productive association until Ed retired just over a year
For 53 years Ed was ably assisted by the quietly efficient Janet Cooper,
whose loyalty, skill and uncanny ability to guard and maintain Ed’s privacy
and busy calendar allowed Ed to serve his clients and his profession in such
an outstanding fashion—a remarkable partnership.
Along the way, Ed practised with skill, grace and humour, inclined and
ready to share his considerable knowledge and experience with younger
lawyers. Fondly known in the profession as the “Silver Fox”, he always wore
the crown of civility, imploring others to “rise above it”. Those three words
were the keys to Ed’s reputation as a person of honour and objectivity.
He also served as chairman of the Family Law Subsection of the CBABC
and as an executive member of both the VBA and the National Council of
the CBA. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1983.
But Ed never sought the recognition that inevitably came his way. Rather,
he truly lived for his family. His talented children Paul (film editor), Katherine
(journalist) and Melissa (writer/producer) have all benefitted from his
insistence that they live life to the full.
Ed and his beloved Gwen provided their children with opportunities to
do just that: camping in Europe by Volkswagen van (on sabbatical), skiing
at Whistler, beachcombing on Hornby Island and participating in legendary
gatherings that enlivened the Mortimer North Shore home.
We end this tribute by repeating the apt words of Bruce Preston: “He was
a good and generous friend. We will miss him so much.”
Ross Collver, Q.C., and Jeff Rose, Q.C.