More than 350 members of the Bench and Bar attended the 25th Annual Bench and Bar Dinner on November 4, 2009 in Vancouver. The event was co-hosted by Mr. James M. Bond, President of the Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch (CBABC) and Mr. Gordon Turriff, QC, President of the Law Society of British Columbia. Special guests included His Honour the Honourable Steven Point, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, Chief Justice Lance Finch, Attorney General Michael de Jong, Chief Justice Robert Bauman, and Associate Chief Judge Gurmail Gill.
The Lieutenant-Governor spoke about the importance of the rule of law to a free and democratic society; the importance of an independent Bench and Bar to the vitality of the rule of law; and shared some anecdotes about his own experiences as a member of the legal profession. The Attorney General spoke on behalf of the Government of BC in congratulating the Law Society on its 125th Anniversary, and a special presentation was made by President Bond to President Turriff in recognition of this special celebration.
CBABC President Bond presented M. Jerry McHale, QC and Art Vertlieb, QC with the CBABC Georges A. Goyer, QC Memorial Award for Distinguished Service. Both recipients gave inspiring acceptance speeches, expressing their gratitude for the opportunities provided to them throughout their legal careers, and for the support of family, colleagues and friends.