202 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 79 PART 2 MARCH 2021
university “Blue Boat”, despite possessing (like Mark Andrews, Q.C., who
was an Oxford Blue) the ideal rower’s height of 6'6".
John Alexander, a former national team rower and multiple world champion
as a masters rower, may best exemplify the tenacity that characterizes
rowers. Just ask any administrator or lawyer representing the local governments
with whom John regularly does battle in the courts.
John Rogers was a UBC rower in the 1960s and is one of the pioneers of
franchise law in Canada.
Dinyar Marzban, Q.C., one of the province’s leading family law practitioners,
was like many rowers an unlikely athlete when he competed for
UBC in the early 1970s.
The “Boys of 67” who won silver medals at the Pan American Games of
that year included lawyers Brian McDaniel, Eric McAvity and John Richardson
in the stern of the eight and Phil Webber and Bruce Clarke in the four.
George Hungerford and Marty Gifford led the team that raised the money
and saw the successful completion of the UBC Rowing Centre.
These are the names of some who have achieved notoriety as lawyers
and/or rowers. There are undoubtedly many more in our profession who
have some connection with the sport. Indeed, see page 264 of this issue, with
respect to the late W. Wesley Pue – Asst. Ed.
A word of advice for lawyers dealing with colleagues or adversaries who
have been rowers: be prepared, and do not expect them to give up easily.
The case or the file that you are working on is not nearly as difficult as the
training and pressure that they endured as competitive rowers.
While running or mountaineering may become pastimes, rowing is a
sport that is rarely pursued just for pleasure. Rowing well in a racing shell
is always a physical and cerebral challenge. Every stroke must be executed
with precision and power. There is always a competitive element to rowing,
whether it is to enhance fitness, achieve better balance, improve the stroke
or make the shell track in a better line. In that respect, it is like the practice
of law, which is rarely pursued just for pleasure. There is always a higher
purpose—the advancement of a client’s interest.
Perhaps because rowing and the law are so purpose-driven, they attract
a certain type of individual. Perhaps that is why the law is a natural haven
for rowers. Rowing and the practice of law are both “serious business”.
1. David Crerar, Anders Ourom & Harry Crerar, “Let
the Sky Fall: Lawyers in the History of British Columbia
Mountaineering: Part I – The Mountains” (2017)
75 Advocate 55; David Crerar, Anders Ourom &
Harry Crerar, “Let the Sky Fall: Lawyers in the History
of British Columbia Mountaineering: Part II – The
Mountaineers” (2017) 75 Advocate 341; Connor
Bildfell, “Lawyers on the Run: The Role of Running in
the Lives of B.C. Lawyers and Judges” (2017) 75
2. Angela Duckworth, Grit: The Power of Passion and
Perseverance (New York: Scribner, 2016).