272 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 79 PART 2 MARCH 2021
when he purchased a house that has a ski run right to its backyard in winter
and a mountain bike trail in summer.
Although he was often busy working lengthy trials in Smithers, I noticed
that when Paul was not in trial, it was sometimes hard to reach him. He was
frequently out of the office, and he explained to me that the cell reception
in the mountains is spotty at best around Smithers. He was not someone to
pass up the opportunities presented by dry rock, clear skies or fresh snow.
Although it was not always obvious to his close friends, Paul was unfailingly
polite, courteous and thoughtful towards anyone to whom it mattered.
He was exceedingly humble, sometimes to a fault. When his son was born,
he did not want people making a fuss, so he would not provide me with his
address to send a gift. I called our close friend Matt Walker who had the
same problem and ended up sending his gift to the neonatal unit where
Paul’s boy stayed for the first couple of weeks of his life. I ended up
sleuthing his address through the land title registration system. I sent some
locally roasted coffee beans. He thanked me by texting me a picture of the
broken back window of his pickup truck, saying he “was going to go skiing
yesterday, but loading the sled didn’t go so well. Ended up staying home
and drinking coffee ... Thanks.” His response perfectly captured his humility
and his understated humour.
Paul was a great friend and colleague to countless people and will continue
to be missed by his legions of friends, including so many in our profession.
Paul is survived by his parents Greg and Corrinne; his sister Kristin
(Brett); two nieces; his father-in-law Bob (Paul was predeceased by motherin
law Sharon); many aunts, uncles and cousins; and of course his wife Kristen
and their two-year-old son.
Contributions in Paul’s memory can be made to the Paul Backhouse Community
Fund through the Bulkley Valley Community Foundation, which
will establish a grant for community projects aimed at encouraging outdoor
activity and supporting children and families in the Bulkley Valley area.
W. Jay Havelaar