THE ADVOCATE ADVOCATE V O L . 7 7 P A R T 3 M A Y 2 0 1 9 337
DONALD SILVERSIDES, Q.C.
By Sam McLean
It is my honour to be asked to introduce Donald Silversides, Q.C.,
although for many in the legal profession and those involved in
provincial and federal politics, he needs little or no introduction.
Don has been actively involved in almost every provincial and federal
election since 1972 and during that time has also been involved in many
Prince Rupert civic elections. He has also volunteered tirelessly for numerous
law-related organizations, many of which were and are part of the legal
profession’s ongoing commitment to diversity, access to justice and the support
and improvement of the practice of law in British Columbia and the
preservation of the privilege of self-regulation enjoyed by our profession.
I should, at this point, provide some basic biographical information about
Don. Don was born and raised in Prince Rupert, as were both his parents.
His maternal grandparents lived in the remote former logging town of Usk
outside Terrace but moved to Prince Rupert so Don’s mother could be born
in a hospital. Don’s paternal grandfather and his grandfather’s brother and
sister came to Prince Rupert from Edinburgh in 1906 to establish the signpainting
firm of Silversides Bros. Don’s grandfather painted many of the
large signs you see in various establishments in pictures of early Prince
Rupert. The Silversides Bros. business was started four years before Prince
Rupert was incorporated and two years before the law firm now known as
Silversides, Merrick & McLean was formed. Don’s father took over the business
from his grandfather and continued to paint signs while at the same
time selling paint, glass and art supplies.
Don began attending King Edward School in Prince Rupert in 1952 and
tells me that except for the first day when his mother accompanied him, he
walked approximately six city blocks to King Edward School from his fam-