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VOL. 80 PART 4 JULY 2022
and Patrick (Deborah), and grandchildren Ryan, Sean, Anna, Lauren,
Andrew and Kennedy.
After his family, Allen’s next love was the ocean and his thirst for sailboats.
He and Beverley, with or without the rest of the family, enjoyed
numerous adventures cruising, racing and visiting Desolation Sound. If the
summertime permitted, they would make their way through the Inside Passage
to the Broughton area and occasionally sailed to Haida Gwaii and
Alaska. They would charter sailboats to the warm Caribbean waters.
Allen became a member of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club in 1988. He volunteered
on the club’s executive committee and chaired the club’s Long-
Range Planning Committee. It was only when his one aging shoulder
caused him pain raising the sails that he decided to trade in his sailboat Jo-
Kepa for a Nordic Tug, which allowed him to keep his love affair with the
ocean intact long after his retirement from the bench.
This brings me to the last compartment of Justice Melvin’s life story:
from his retirement in 2006 to his death on December 2, 2021.
Over a couple of drinks, Michael (Benj) O’Connor, Q.C., of the law firm
McConnon Bion O’Connor and Peterson (“McBOP”), was chatting with the
retired judge. Justice Melvin mentioned that he was tired of going to Maui
and was feeling a little bored. Benj suggested that the judge join his law firm
as an associate and assisted him in re-entering the Law Society. Benj then
proceeded to give Justice Melvin his first assignment, which was to summarize
the case of the plaintiff in a settlement proposal. Upon review of the
evidence, Justice Melvin proceeded to give a judgment that was not
favourable to Benj’s client. Benj reminded Justice Melvin that his role was
to put forward the best scenario for the plaintiff and not to write a judgment.
Upon second review of the case, Justice Melvin produced a wonderful
plaintiff settlement proposal that well exceeded his original assessment. He
assisted with many other cases during his ten years at McBOP before giving
up his certification, and even continued to assist with trial preparation during
the last six months of his life.
As Allen’s health declined, he remained a fighter to the end, passing
away as he lived, surrounded by family, humble, humorous and full of wit.
Allen was a special man and will be missed by all those who had the pleasure
of knowing him.
The Honourable Robert Hutchinson
1. British Columbia (Forests) v Cohen (April 5, 2004),
(BCSC file no 01-0612, Victoria Registry).
2. Rodriguez v British Columbia (Attorney General),
1992 CanLII 726 (BCSC).