124 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 79 PART 1 JANUARY 2021
Growing up in the rural and mountainous West Kootenays, Craig’s parents,
family and friends instilled in him a strong work ethic and selfreliance.
His entire family was involved in the forestry industry in some
form or another. Craig’s parents and many of their neighbours struggled to
maintain basic working-class lives. His father longed to go to university but
found it unaffordable. Instead, he farmed, mined, built bridges on logging
roads and ultimately operated a grader, often rising at 3:00 a.m. to clear
roads of snow in the winter. Nothing could sway Craig’s father from hard
work. Even after being seriously injured in a logging accident and unable to
return to the crew, he went straight to washing dishes in a restaurant
kitchen with a leg cast up to his thigh. Likewise, Craig’s mother, resolute in
caring for her family, tirelessly kept house for her husband and their four
children; baked cakes, cookies and 16 loaves of bread a week; sewed; managed
the household finances; grew vegetables and flowers; and on occasion
catered special events in the town. With early rising and hard work etched
into Craig’s ethos, he grew to understand that manual labour does not indicate
a lack of intelligence or ambition, and a white collar doesn’t signify
value or integrity. To this day, Craig still gets up around 4:30 a.m. and
accomplishes much before most of the world is awake. As counsel, his car
was always the first in the courthouse parking lot.
Like his older brother and sister, Craig excelled at school. But, unlike
them, whether it was a product of boredom or ingenuity, he was slightly
more prone to getting into trouble. Craig and his friends were well known
for a host of pranks such as making it look like they were riding their bikes
over a cliff on the edge of town to shock unfortunate and unsuspecting
passersby. Some activities were slightly more constructive, like getting up
at 4:30 a.m. for an off-the-cuff ten-hour hike up the local mountain to plant
a golf flag high over Kaslo, simply for the challenge.
Ultimately, sentenced by the formidable and legendary principal of the
Kaslo high school, Mr. J.V. Humphries (the father of Madam Justice Mary
Humphries of our Supreme Court), for a series of “pranks” in the final
semester of grade 12, Craig was impeached as student council president,
and despite graduating near the top of his class, he lost all of his scholarships.
Instead of heading straight to university as anticipated, Craig endured
a year of character building and reflection as junior crew, piling lumber at
a local sawmill to earn enough money for school.
During this time, yet another divergence altered Craig’s original academic
aspirations: after attending a local church and engaging in serious
soul searching, Craig embarked on a new journey of faith and decided to
attend what is now Regent Bible College in Surrey, graduating in 1984.