THE ADVOCATE 447
VOL. 78 PART 3 MAY 2020
William S. Selbie
On December 2, 2018, we lost a good friend and colleague,
William S. Selbie.
Bill Selbie was born on January 14, 1931 and raised
in East Vancouver. His parents were Fredrica Naomi
Selbie and John McGregor and his brother was Raymond
He attended Britannia and Templeton schools
where he enjoyed singing and school play productions and even played the
tuba in the Salvation Army Band. His love of music carried on for the rest
of his life, as did his fondness for reading. He attended UBC where he
obtained an arts degree and then in 1955 a degree in law.
He articled to Angelo Branca and from there went on to what would be a
remarkable career in the law. In June 1957 he joined the City of Vancouver’s
prosecution office working under Stewart McMorran, where he
remained until his appointment to the Provincial Court in December 1964.
He first sat in the Family and Children’s Court and then in 1969 moved to
the Criminal Court where he sat until his appointment to the County Court
of Westminster in 1980. Upon merger in 1990 he became a member of the
Supreme Court of British Columbia. He retired from that court in 1996.
He was a very good judge, well regarded by litigants, lawyers and even
the odd accused who generally had little regard for judges. He had the ability
to fairly assess a situation and then render a just decision. He also helped
develop the law, particularly in criminal matters through the many trial
decisions he made over the years. Bill was the administrative judge in the
County Court, assigning trials, placating complaints from the odd troublesome
judge and generally ensuring the court ran well. He treated staff with
kindness and consideration and in turn enjoyed their support. Bill and the
late Murray Hyde started the Thursday Pizza and Plonk lunch, which
became the social event of the week. Visiting judges were especially keen
Bill was a man of many parts, all of which he performed with great skill,
love and commitment. First and foremost, he was a family man. He and Alice
Sigurdson married in 1956 and enjoyed more than 60 years together, raising
two accomplished children, Linda and Scott, and basking in the joy of grandchildren
and great-grandchildren of whom they were immensely proud.
He was “adopted” into Alice’s extended family, the Sigurdsons, headquartered
in Gimli, Manitoba where the family spent many holidays. Bill loved