THE ADVOCATE 233
VOL. 78 PART 2 MARCH 2020
A number of judges—and I was one of them—bought red vehicles
because we reasoned that red would be easier to see if our vehicles left
the road. One judge’s winter driving practice was to keep one window
slightly open and wear a parka. He thought the parka would give him a
better chance of survival if he left the road and was knocked out.
On the plus side, there were several times that I saw the northern
lights—beautiful, shimmering sheets of light.
Q: Did you keep any travel statistics over your career as a master?
A: Yes, I did. However, I first want to mention that when I was interviewed
for the master’s position, I was told “there’s a little travel involved”. During
the time I was in Prince George I made 276 trips to other courthouse
locations. In those years, I drove 20,000 kilometres a year in workrelated
travel. I estimated the travel time outside of work hours added
up to 822 hours, or 109 days. But there’s no overtime pay in this job.
In October 2018 I spent my 1,000th work-related night in a hotel. I estimate
that I have had 2,200 restaurant meals over the years.
Q: What did you learn about British Columbia from your travels?
A: There are a lot of hardworking people in the smaller centres of B.C.—people
who work with things, rather than with information or other intangibles.
They may be blue-collar workers, but they don’t necessarily have
red necks. I had and have great respect for their work ethic and practical
attitudes. Also, I came to learn the differences in the cultures of the
towns. Smithers, for example, has a very vibrant arts culture. Fort St. John
had the most money but the worst food. It’s a bit better now, though.
Q: Rumour has it that there was a time when fires always seemed to happen
when you were around. Are there any admissions you’d care to
make without the advice of counsel?
A: Yes, there was a strange time when I seemed to be in the general proximity
of restaurant fires. Two of them, one each in Smithers and Dawson
Creek, took place just before I arrived. My favourite pub in Prince
George had a small fire in 2010 when I was in town. It was a very small
fire but no fewer than three fire halls responded. I guess it was a
favourite of the firefighters, too. But the strangest one was at a restaurant
in Courtenay. I presented myself to the hostess at the front, looking
for a table. I saw a thick cloud of smoke behind her. “Is that your
kitchen?” “No.” “I think your restaurant is on fire.” She turned around
and reacted—finally—but I was the one who called the fire department.
I went back to my hotel room, which was next door, and played my
banjo while the firefighters fought the fire. A bit Nero-esque, some said.