THE ADVOCATE 435
VOL. 78 PART 3 MAY 2020
hockey jerseys (it was playoff season and the Canucks had a chance!). What
a great time all of us had at her birthday party!
During the course of her birthday lunch, someone asked if anyone was
going to the annual Law Clerks’ Dinner to be held on June 14, 2018 at the
Law Courts Inn. MJP said she had not attended in many years and would
like to go. This event is attended by law clerks, mostly from the previous
few years, and judges. We contacted the Chief Justice’s law clerk, Wes Hopkin,
who had the unenviable task of organizing this large gathering, to
inform him of this prestigious guest and the key details of her background,
and to arrange a reserved table for us. This may have been the last large
event MJP attended.
I picked up MJP at her home to drive her to the courthouse. She still had
a pass to get into judges’ parking. We parked in the handicapped parking stall
that Chief Justice McEachern had made for her next to the elevator. Our
table was right next to the lectern. Slowly, people started recognizing her and
approaching, some, it seemed, with some temerity (think of “the voice”).
Wes Hopkin introduced MJP, properly noting her achievements (and age)
and there was a standing ovation. At some point a contest was held and our
table won a bottle of wine. We gave it to her. When they could, many more
came to greet her, and when it was time to leave, it took a long time to get
back to the judges’ elevator. She completely enjoyed the whole evening.
I don’t recall now whether that bottle of wine was a red wine or a white.
MJP only drank white wine, with her favourite being a New Zealand Marlborough
Sauvignon Blanc. When we arrived back at her home and the
concierge rushed down to escort her safely home, I have no doubt that, if
the wine was a red one, she would have given it to him.
Her law clerks didn’t just meet her once a year. Several of us met with
her for tea or coffee or lunches or dinners in small groups or alone, took her
to doctor’s appointments (Cheryl Khanna was one of her two health care
representatives) and shared lottery tickets. Tim Kwan went on a cruise with
her and visited her once at the winter home she had for many years on the
Gold Coast of Australia. She officiated at the weddings of some of us or our
children. When she was in Holy Family rehabilitation, where the food was
bland at best, her instructions were to bring her a McDonald’s cheeseburger
and fries with lots of extra salt that she could squirrel away.
MJP left money in her will to her law clerks (and to others of her groups
“who have contributed to my relaxation and happiness”) to hold a lunch or
dinner. Many of her law clerks plan to gather for dinner in a private room in
a restaurant in False Creek to hold our 35th law clerks’ reunion and to celebrate
her life and the joy and wisdom she shared. We will have our own pic-