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VOL. 79 PART 5 SEPTEMBER 2021
had the nearest drinking establishment, the Hart Hotel, as Dawson Creek
was a “dry town” at the time.) It was suggested by someone that the boiler
room at the courthouse be prepared to also function as the female barristers’
room. Shirley had none of that and insisted on her right to use the existing
barristers’ room just as the men did.
Shirley said that by the time they left Dawson Creek in 1968, the other
lawyers in town “had come to a somewhat grudging acceptance” of her.
In 1968, Mike and Shirley moved to Powell River and joined Ken Collicut
at a firm that later became Giroday & Giroday.
However, the practice of law and raising five children were apparently
not keeping Mike and Shirley busy enough, so they had a sixth child,
Robert, in 1972.
Shirley and Mike were very involved in their children’s busy lives and
spent countless hours driving them to hockey, soccer, volleyball, basketball,
figure skating, baseball, lacrosse, swimming and track and field. Shirley was
very proud of her children’s successes in their various endeavours, even if
she may have exaggerated them from time to time. Aside from getting their
kids to practices and games within Powell River, Shirley and Mike also had
to travel very frequently to Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland and elsewhere,
for hockey and soccer tournaments, swim meets, track meets, figure
skating events, etc. More often than not, it was one parent going one place,
and the other going somewhere else.
Even when there were no events going on (which was rare), there was
not a lot of peace to be had at home, with a large family full of independent,
argumentative and rambunctious children, whose friends were often at the
house. Shirley and Mike were very generous, and when friends of one or
other of their children needed a place to live for a while, they were welcomed
into the home.
Shirley and Mike practised together until 1984, when Shirley was
appointed to the Provincial Court bench. She would sit in Powell River and
Sechelt. By that time, Ian and Pat were in law school (called to the bar in
Shirley presided over a famous case in Sechelt involving a high school
teacher who apparently had an inappropriate relationship with one of her
students. The case was the subject of much commentary in the media. Rafe
Mair, who had a talk show on CKNW, remarked that Shirley would be up to
the task of a difficult case. He had been in law school with Shirley in the
1950s and remarked that she was very highly regarded and that other students
eagerly sought out her study notes.
Shirley told the story of how Terry Jacks, the famous singer, would sit in
the gallery of the courtroom in Sechelt and scowl at her when she was not