THE ADVOCATE 265
VOL. 77 PART 2 MARCH 2019
David W. Garner
Family photos of the young David Garner show him
gamboling with schoolmates or the family dog. He is
instantly recognizable by his head of dark curls and
the mischievous look in his eyes. In one boyhood
photo he stands with an equally familiar look of
intense concentration, focusing on the hula hoop
evenly circling his waist. Childhood friend Scott
Cabianca recalled both the mischief and the focus in his stories of David.
Scott described how, on a primary school spelling test, David wrote down
not only the words the teacher recited to the class, but also a list of other,
far more sophisticated words that David already knew how to spell. Any further
inclinations to show off his burgeoning intellect were largely reigned
in during David’s teenage years, however. Scott recalled that in high school
David was part of a crew notable mainly for their absence from classes and
presence at parties. He also recounted how one day, when David was
accosted by his English teacher and told that he would fail if he did not hand
in a writing assignment the next day, David not only completed the assignment
in time, but also received an A+ for it. It seems the gift of producing
brilliant work at the last minute was set at any early stage in David’s life.
David liked to say that he initially did not take his post-secondary education
seriously. He then spent some time working as a dishwasher in a hospital
kitchen, an experience that broadened his world view and allowed him
to pay his own way through an undergraduate degree in sociology before
writing the LSAT and being admitted to UBC law school. He made many
friends there, including Anna Feglerska, who remained a lifelong friend.
After graduating with his law degree, David articled with Alexander Holburn
Beaudin + Lang. He formed a close bond with two other young
lawyers, Julie Nichols and Mike Wagner, and the three of them supported
each other through the vicissitudes of the early years in law and beyond.
Mike recalled that when the labour group merged with a national firm to
become Ogilvy Renault, he, Julie and David attended a conference in Montreal
for the newly merged firms. David, who always participated with great
enthusiasm in after-work social events, was late one morning for a mandatory
firm meeting. Fortunately, and characteristically, he made such an
entertaining story of his adventures that the Montreal senior partners were
charmed and forgiving.