750 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 79 PART 5 SEPTEMBER 2021
administering, in his view, sufficient fines on the forestry companies who
were guilty of environmental offences.
Shirley really enjoyed being a judge and carried out the position, by all
accounts, in an exemplary manner until she had to retire mandatorily in
2001. Her retirement dinner, at Okeover Arm, near Powell River, was
attended, of course, by a number of lawyers, courthouse staff and several of
her brethren on the Provincial Court bench. It was an informal event that
allowed for impromptu speeches by whoever chose to speak. A number of
the lawyers and judges in attendance praised Shirley for her service to the
bench and spoke about her honour and integrity. Lee Porteous, who had
been Crown counsel in Powell River for quite some time, said that when she
bowed upon Shirley entering the courtroom, she “meant it”. While Shirley
undoubtedly deserved the platitudes, it was left to one of her children to
point out to the crowd that she cheated at Trivial Pursuit (and likely other
games as well). To that, one of the other judges in attendance asserted that
it is perfectly alright to cheat at Trivial Pursuit, and in fact to be expected.
After her retirement from the bench (but not from the law), Shirley
lamented (quite a few times) the fact that the age for mandatory retirement
was raised to 75 not too long after she had to retire. In any event, after waiting
the requisite period, Shirley re-joined Michael at the practice on Marine
Avenue in Powell River. By then, Ian Fleming had joined the firm, and he
continues it to this day.
Lesley was called to the bar in 2001, so the family had five sets of dues
payable to the Law Society.
Unfortunately, Michael passed away in 2002 after a brief illness. That
was a difficult time for Shirley, but she carried on working until her late 70s.
By that time, she had suffered a number of injuries and health conditions
that caused her to have to miss work. Shirley decided it was time for her to
retire, even though she continued to have great enthusiasm for work and
the practice of law.
Shirley loved being a lawyer and judge and all of the challenges that went
along with each. She continued to remain highly interested in the cases that
her children were working on, always willing to put in her two cents on
whatever the subject was. She especially enjoyed the humorous stories and
had many of her own. One of her favourites was about the unrepresented
fellow who appeared in court in Powell River facing a charge for impaired
driving. When it was revealed that his blood alcohol content had been .27,
the judge hearing the case (not her) asked, incredulously, “Why were you
driving?”, to which the accused responded, “My friend was too drunk to