124 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 80 PART 1 JANUARY 2022
know that their high-speed tuck form needed some work. Inspired by Steve
Podborski of the Crazy Canucks, and never shy to take on a new challenge,
Martin bolted a set of bindings to the hood of his ’67 Beaumont, and he and
his friend set off on their first training run. With one behind the wheel and
the other firmly secured into the bindings, they took turns traveling at 60+
miles per hour down the back roads in Cochrane. Sadly, the innovative training
regime soon hit a bit of a bump: they overtook the only vehicle on the
road for miles around, driven by a local judge. The intervention of the police
ended the experiment in aerodynamics, at least on that day, but Martin was
able to use his burgeoning powers of persuasion to avoid a ticket.
Martin’s skiing career didn’t lift off as he had hoped, so once again he
returned to school. Having determined that the study of philosophy was
perfect for someone who appreciated life’s absurdities, he threw himself
into that discipline for a few rewarding years before accepting a seat in
UVic’s law program. From UVic, and despite a less than stellar attendance
record (his spouse often remarked that he should have been given a rebate
on his tuition fees), he graduated with a law degree in 1988.
Martin started his formal legal career articling in a small insurance and
maritime litigation firm in Nanaimo, but Nanaimo wouldn’t hold him for
long. Martin had grown up in a large family: he was one of nine children
and the eldest of five boys. Over the years, the many charms of the Okanagan
had already lured most of his family from Dawson Creek south to
Kelowna. Beguiled by the charms of the Okanagan himself, and even more
by the prospect of proximity to his mother and some of his closest siblings,
Martin, his spouse and their young daughter moved to Kelowna in 1992.
Martin initially set up as a sole practitioner, working primarily in criminal
defence with some family law clients. He slowly began taking on ad hoc work
for the Crown, prosecuting all manner of cases from shoplifting to murder.
After a few years, he joined the Kelowna Crown office and was an instant
favourite with his office colleagues. He was a highly skilled litigator, at home
in the courtroom. In addition to his indefatigable service for the Crown in the
courtroom, he generously mentored younger lawyers, made the best butter
tarts for all the staff at Christmas and, most importantly, kept everyone entertained.
His quick wit, unflappable style and empathy for and understanding
of the circumstances that brought people into the criminal justice system
made him a particular favourite with the defence bar as well. With his usual
economy of words, at his swearing-in ceremony, Martin acknowledged his
family, his colleagues and the court staff who had supported and encouraged
him on his long and winding road to a seat on the Provincial Court bench.
We will miss him in Kelowna, but he is from the North, and to the North
he has returned. We wish him the best of luck.