112 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 80 PART 1 JANUARY 2022
Hebenton joined them, creating Shrum, Liddle and Hebenton. Together
they developed and grew into one of the leading firms in British Columbia.
It is now part of the national firm of McCarthy Tétrault.
Keith was attracted by the idea of early retirement. In 1981, at the age of
49, he retired from the practice of law. He pursued business interests and
enjoyed retirement. But something was missing. He came to realize that he
missed the camaraderie and excitement of the legal profession. In 1985, he
returned to practice as a partner of Liddle, Burns, Beechinor & Baker. He
practised with this firm until 1991, when he was struck with health problems
and had to retire.
Keith was a superb lawyer. His practice was mainly in real estate and
financing. He was a person who made things happen. He and his then wife
and lifelong friend, Maryann Formby-Liddle, were hosts of numerous,
memorable and lively get-togethers of his colleagues, staff and friends. He
had the gift of making people feel comfortable in his presence. His
approach to the practice of law was constructive. He would figure out ways
to make things work for everyone.
Keith was very proud of his family. He leaves behind his former wife
Maryann, his son Patrick (Julie), his daughter Meghan (Terry), and his four
grandchildren Thomas, Max, Spencer and Sydney.
Keith had a lifelong love of golf. He captained his high school golf team
and led them to many victories. He introduced the present author to the
game, a tragedy for which Keith will never be forgiven. In fact, Keith was a
very good golfer who thoroughly enjoyed the game until age and afflictions
limited him to watching tournaments on TV with old friends.
Keith was a natural entertainer. He was a great storyteller who could get
his listeners rocking with laughter. He had a tap dance routine he performed
that would have the audience on its feet roaring encouragement.
He led his fraternity’s choir with a heartwarming rendition of “Autumn
It was on the stage that he encountered his most embarrassing moment.
It occurred during the Prince of Wales High School annual play. The auditorium
was jammed with parents, families, students and friends. The play
was Death Takes a Holiday. Keith had a supporting role. He was on stage
with the play’s principal character, a detective who was trying to solve a
crime. At a particularly critical point, the telephone was supposed to ring,
and the detective was supposed to answer it. But the phone did not ring.
Awkward silence. The detective, with remarkable presence of mind, said to
Keith, “Was that the phone?” Keith could not tell a lie. In a loud, clear voice,
he answered, “No.”