THE ADVOCATE 91
VOL. 79 PART 1 JANUARY 2021
student, Buz mentored John Turner, the future prime minister of Canada.
Buz left Ashbury in 1942 for Montreal and McGill.
Buz took sciences at McGill. His goal was to be an architect. He turned 19
in 1943 and enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force. He completed flight
training as a fighter pilot in November 1944. Although he expected to be sent
to Europe, by late 1944 the need for pilots in Europe was decreasing, and Buz
was kept in Canada, in Ottawa, to await a posting overseas. It never came.
On November 10, 1944, Buz married Ann Elizabeth Haddon Bowman in
Ottawa. She was known to all as “Nancy”. Nancy’s father was the editor of
The Ottawa Citizen. He had been its editor since before World War I. It is difficult
to overstate the influence and importance of an editor of a major
newspaper in that era. Nancy and Buz had one child, Ian McIvor Heath,
born in Vancouver on November 15, 1946.
Ian’s birth in Vancouver was occasioned by chance. Buz’s father, Dr.
Heath, retired in Ottawa in 1946. Buz, who had been discharged from service
in 1945, was once again a student at McGill. When Buz’s father retired,
he and Nellie moved to Victoria and took up residence at the Oak Bay Beach
Hotel. Dr. Heath then died, suddenly, in 1946, at age 56. Nancy and Buz
moved to British Columbia to be closer to Nellie. Buz discovered that he
loved the coast. Although neither he nor Nancy earlier had much reason to
move across the country, once here they were here to stay. Buz became an
avid sailor. He loved the coastal mountains, skiing at every opportunity. He
cherished his Rover, which he kept for many years, and which he considered
eminently suitable for the roads of Vancouver Island, notwithstanding
its staggering costs of refurbishment and maintenance.
Buz transferred from McGill to UBC in 1946. The law school at UBC was
just being founded. Buz enrolled in 1948 and was a member of the law
school’s third graduating class. The first class, the “Class of Old Sweats”,
graduated in 1948. Ted Strongitharm was a member of that first class. Ted
moved to Nanaimo upon graduating and started a law practice. The second
class included Bob Weir. Bob, too, moved to Nanaimo upon graduating,
becoming one of Ted’s professional competitors. They eventually bought
neighbouring houses on Departure Bay Road. Buz’s class, the class of 1950,
had five of its members moving to Nanaimo. They were Buz, J.A. Crowley,
Dianna Priestly, Doug Greer and Harold Hine. This group was joined by
Ron McIsaac, who came to Nanaimo from the University of Saskatchewan.
These lawyers, and the practices they established, dominated the practice
of law in Nanaimo for decades.
Buz and Nancy enjoyed life on Vancouver Island. They settled into a
comfortable waterfront property with a southern exposure on Departure