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VOL. 78 PART 3 MAY 2020
court clerk told her there was a problem in the courtroom and that
the sheriffs were concerned, but did not tell her what was wrong.
She walked in and found that the defendants were all naked. (The
Doukhobors used nakedness as a tactic.) The prosecutor wanted
them charged with contempt. The sheriffs wanted to remove
them. After assessing the situation, she ordered the sheriffs to
open all the windows, turn off the heat and get her a couple of
blankets. The trial proceeded, adjourning for lunch. When she
returned to court after lunch, the defendants were all dressed, so
she ordered the windows closed and the heat turned on.
MJP also participated in a wide range of volunteer activities: she was a
board member of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews, a member
of a committee on sexual offences against children and youth, an honorary
director of Big Sisters of BC, a commissioner on the Royal Commission on
the Incarceration of Female Offenders, a member of the Vancouver Foundation’s
Family and Youth Advisory Committee and a supporter of the Franciscan
Sisters of Atonement in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, St.
Augustine’s Church and the church school.
It is no surprise that MJP received many honours. She seldom, if ever,
mentioned them. If you looked around her home you could find some of
• honorary doctor of law from Simon Fraser University in 1975;
• honorary doctor of law from UBC in 1994;
• Vancouver YWCA “Woman of Distinction” award in 2002 (nominated
by former CEO of Big Sisters and the YWCA Metro Vancouver,
now Lieutenant-Governor Janet Austin, who gave a eulogy);
• honorary doctor of law from Okanagan University College in 2002;
• Member of the Order of British Columbia in 2007 (nominated by
her law clerks); and
• Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, the highest honour for Catholic laity,
awarded by Pope Francis and conferred on her by the archbishop
in Vancouver in 2013.
While MJP worked hard and tried her best at all the jobs and volunteer
activities she undertook, and while she was delighted and humbled by all
the honours she received, these were not the most important things in her
life. People were—her family and friends. She deeply appreciated the work
people did for her, treating them thoughtfully, and they responded in turn,
including all her secretaries, the servers at her favourite restaurants, the