740 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 79 PART 5 SEPTEMBER 2021
Paul and I first met in Ottawa in the spring of 1985. We were recently
minted Provincial Court judges and had travelled to Ottawa to attend the
“Dumb Judges School”. Paul and his wife, Mary Ann, were already residents
of Terrace, and after the Ottawa stint, my wife Jan and I, and our
five daughters, were about to make Terrace home as well. Jan and I were
so fortunate to have had the chance to meet the Lawrences. It was mere
happenstance that we found so much in common with Mary Ann and
Paul. Jan and Mary Ann both taught in the Terrace School District. Paul
and I shared a love of the outdoors, which included hunting and fishing.
Paul was reasonably comfortable sharing his fishing holes with the occasional
black bear, but not so much when it involved a grizzly bear (ursus
arctos horribilis!). We were steelhead fishing one afternoon on a river that
flowed into the Skeena, just west of Terrace. I was approximately a city
block downstream from Paul and enjoying the serenity of my surroundings
when I saw Paul doing the hundred-yard dash towards me complete
with chest waders and his fishing rod in hand. Apparently, a grizz had
appeared on the far side of the creek opposite our intrepid fisherman,
and Paul quickly decided that this was no place for a young fellow born
and raised in North Vancouver! On another occasion, a group of us
decided to hike to the top of Sleeping Beauty Mountain and to spend the
weekend above the tree line. Unbeknownst to the rest of us, Paul had
arranged to have a helicopter deposit our tents, camping gear and food at
our campsite. Hiking and camping were never the same after that experience.
Paul and Mary Ann had a lovely log home at Usk, a small community
a short distance east of Terrace. They were always more than willing
to share their home and time with us and all of their children. At the end
of the week, we often found ourselves at Usk sharing a pizza and a libation
or two. They were like another set of parents to our daughters,
whether it was Christmas tree hunting, assisting with beauty pageants or
supervising our daughters when we were away.
As a firearms aficionado, Paul was the real deal, always loading, sighting
and preparing his firearms meticulously. He was an active member of the
Terrace Rod & Gun Club, where he enjoyed competitive trap shooting and
all things gun-related. It was there that he willingly shared his vast knowledge
of the sport with less experienced members.
Over the years in Terrace, the Lawrence homes, both in Usk and later in
town, became a special gathering place for their many friends. Amidst
Paul’s beautiful black-and-white nature photographs, their welcoming table
often offered up a bounty of fresh fish and wild game.
Paul loved life and lived it to the fullest, always with a good dog or two by
his side. As a voracious reader and lover of literature, he could entertain a
crowd with a favourite story or a piece of poetry.
These Robert Service lines from “The Spell of the Yukon” seem an appropriate
It’s the great, big, broad land ’way up yonder,
It’s the forests where silence has lease;