570 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 79 PART 4 JULY 2021
Michael Shannon Petrie, Q.C.
Michael Shannon Petrie (“Mike” to all who knew
him) was born on January 15, 1954 in New Westminster.
He passed away on January 5, 2021 from
COVID-19-related pneumonia after suffering a debilitating
stroke in January 2017. He is survived by his
two sons, Alex and Geoff (Laura); his grandson, Jack;
and his siblings, Daren and Lori. His oldest sibling,
Sharon, passed away some years ago.
Mike’s parents separated soon after he was born, and he and Sharon were
raised by their mother. To support her family, Mike’s mother worked while
also volunteering at the Salvation Army’s Harbour Light Mission in Vancouver’s
Downtown Eastside. While there, she met Daniel Petrie, and they married
in 1960. Shortly after their marriage, Mike took his stepfather’s family
Daniel Petrie had a keen interest in music and was also a musician.
Daren believes that it was Daniel’s love of music that instilled in Mike his
lifelong passion for music.
Mike grew up in a housing development, “Orchard Park”, at 41st Avenue
and Nanaimo Street in East Vancouver. He attended Tecumseh Elementary
School and Killarney Secondary School, where he graduated near the top of
his class. From there, Mike went to Langara College, then to UBC, where he
obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He then went to UBC law school.
Between his second and third years at law school, he went to Cranbrook
to work in a summer articling position with the Legal Aid Society’s office run
by Dana Urban (who later became involved in prosecuting persons accused
of war crimes in Bosnia and was subsequently appointed Queen’s Counsel).
Dana arranged to pick up Mike at the Cranbrook Airport. As he did not
know what Mike looked like, Dana told Mike what he (Dana) would be wearing
that day. As Dana waited, passenger after passenger got off the plane.
Then came the last person. Dana describes the meeting:
It was a guy, carrying a guitar strung over his back and dressed in a rumpled
shirt, ratty blue jeans, scuffed boots and a battered old straw cowboy
hat that not even John Wayne would wear. He walked up to us, stuck out
his hand and said, “Hi, I’m Mike.”
The legal aid work took them to outlying towns in the East Kootenays.
But Mike was never far from his guitar, sitting in the passenger seat strumming
away and singing, including songs he had written. One of them was