Whether they’re improving the status of historically marginalized communities, supporting access to justice for the poor, or volunteering tirelessly for charitable organizations, lawyers are making a difference across B.C. The CBABC recognizes the many unsung heroes in the legal profession who are quietly improving communities, and proudly congratulates these award recipients.
Community Service Awards
Five lawyers received this award – the highest honor provided by the the Canadian Bar Association, B.C. Branch in recognition of community involvement and contributions outside of the practice of law.
Sue Moen, Executive Director of A Loving Spoonful, praised Law Society of B.C. lawyer Graeme V. R. Keirstead in saying, “His untiring dedication to A Loving Spoonful and other agencies in the community are worthy of professional and community recognition and award.”
Recipient Jonathan Lampman of Ramsay, Lampman, Rhodes in Nanaimo is described by Malaspina University College President Richard Johnston as someone who “epitomizes all of the positive attributes of a true community leader and who takes an active interest in both their local and provincial communities.”
“Hugh McLellan (of McLellan Herbert in North Vancouver), has a heart for families and understood the vital importance of people with disabilities to be self-determining. His time commitment to the individuals we support has been huge,” said Jackie Maniago, chair of Community Living Society, in highlighting McLellan’s contributions to their organization.
“The efforts of Vancouver lawyer Linda Parsons (of Davis & Company) have directly and/or indirectly influenced the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of women and girls throughout the Lower Mainland,” stated Leah Gray, President of Big Sister of B.C. Lower Mainland.
Mark Virgin (of Swadden, Virgin and Young) played an essential role in securing the financial and individual support that made it possible to build and open the new Dr. Peter Centre. Donald Hayes, a founding director of the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation commented, “While many of us make community contributions, there are few whose contribution makes such a significant and long-term ... benefit to our society.”
Kenneth Armstrong, with the New Westminster law firm Cassady & Company, is the recipient of the President’s Medal, which is awarded in recognition of one or more of the following: legal academic proficiency, outstanding works of legal scholarship, significant contribution to the profession, or noteworthy contribution to Canadian public life.
Robert Brun, President of the Canadian Bar Association, B.C. Branch, commented, “Ken has played a critical role serving the CBABC by developing a Young Lawyer’s Representative position on the Executive and through his many contributions to the Editorial Board of the profession’s BarTalk publication. His leadership on legal aid matters and the organization of the 2005 CBA National Conference illustrate the depth of his commitment to the legal profession.”
Harry Rankin, QC Pro Bono Award
This award is given in recognition of the immense contribution of Harry Rankin, QC in supporting access to justice for the poor. It recognizes outstanding contributions by a lawyer in pro bono work.
Recipient Ronald F. T. MacIsaac of MacIsaac & MacIsaac in Victoria has worked tirelessly to provide pro bono legal services to clients, to assist community organizations in establishing pro bono law clinics and to undertake extensive education and advocacy work to promote a pro bono culture among lawyers. “Mr. MacIsaac is a major philanthropist supporting many organizations concerned with bio diversity, law education and ... policy change,” said John Young, President of the B.C. Advocacy Institute.
Equality and Diversity Award
Joseph J. Arvay, QC with Victoria/Vancouver firm Arvay Finlay is the recipient of this award, which celebrates the accomplishments of a lawyer who has succeeded in advancing equality in the legal profession or generally in B.C. The award recognizes significant contributions to improving the status of women, people with disabilities, people of colour, Aboriginal peoples, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered or two-spirited people, or people who are members of historically marginalized communities.
John Dixon, Vice President of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, summarized Arvay’s contributions by saying, “I can think of very few (people) who, while not themselves a member of an equality-seeking group, have worked more ably, tenaciously, and selflessly for the equality and diversity rights of Canadians than has Joseph Arvay.”
This article was published in the August 2004 issue of BarTalk. © 2004 The Canadian Bar Association. All rights reserved.