William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD
Graduating from Trinity in Dublin Dermod passed the BC Bar
This young man from o’er in Ireland he had traveled far
He later worked in Victoria and that was good for us
They laid off three policemen, and it created quite a fuss!
As a C/M and the Secretary of our BC Fed’s local Twelve
I was privy to a problem into which Dermod he would delve
The Municipality had no money so they laid off three young cops
They didn’t mention the contingency funds – I guess they just forgot?
Owen had them on the stand – his performance it was funny!
He proved at once that the Municipal Hall, had really lots of money
They had to hire the cops all back and in arrears did pay
It cost our local 14K but Dermod – he had saved the day!
Owen dealt with problems in every day law and with crime and strife
He lived a gentleman’s life and he was good to his family and wife
At St Andrew’s next Friday at 3pm, beneath the cathedral’s steeple
You can say good bye to him, for all of his help to Victoria’s people!
©Copyright September 22, 2007 by William H.A. Willbond, MSM, CD
(Communications Member) Retired CSPD
In Owen-Flood’s Legal Career, Fairness Always Counted Most
Dermod Owen-Flood, who has died at 76, is being remembered for his humanity as a lawyer and judge. “He had a strong sense of social justice,” says Victoria Supreme Court Justice Jacqueline Dorgan. “He knew and understood the human condition.” Owen-Flood was also known for his dramatic flair in the courtroom and his sartorial splendour.BY RICHARD WATTS Times Colonist staff
As a lawyer and a judge, Dermod Owen-Flood was known for his dramatic flair and courtroom charisma.
But for those who worked closely with him, from clerks who kept track of courtroom paperwork to lawyers and fellow judges, Owen-Flood was appreciated above all for his humanity. For him, the justice system was about fairness, something he believed everyone deserved.
Owen-Flood, 76, died Thursday evening at home after a brief battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife of nearly 50 years, Pamela, and their children, Roderic, Marc, and Deirdre.
Victoria lawyer Chris Considine, a former partner and long-time friend, recalls Owen-Flood’s outrage when he heard that a man had been sentenced to 45 days for taking $2 from a fountain in front of the Fairmont Empress hotel in the 1980s,
Owen-Flood subsequently tracked the man down in jail, arranged for his release, then took the matter all the way to a successful appeal.
“What was right was what mattered to him, the sense of justice he had,” said Considine.
B.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Don Brenner recalls Owen-Flood had a reputation for never losing sight of the people in the courtroom.
Owen-Flood came to Canada in 1956 after studying in England, Ireland, and Germany. He moved to Victoria in 1964 after practising law in Alberta“He was very down-to earth and a very humane judge and very cognizant of the frailties of the human condition,” said Brenner in a telephone interview from Vancouver.
Born in Dublin, the son of a professional soldier in the British Army, Owen – Flood was educated at Stonyhurst College, a Jesuit school in England.
He studied law at Trinity College Dublin, where he was editor of the Trinity News. He also attended the University of Munich in Germany.
During his university days, Owen-Flood acted in a Dublin theatre company, an experience he later credited with curing a childhood stutter and teaching him to use his voice and project his’ presence in making courtroom points.
After immigrating to Canada in 1956, he articled in Edmonton and later opened the first full-time law practice in Banff. In 1964, he arrived in Victoria and was admitted to the British Columbia bar. He was made Queen’s Counsel in 1983 and practised until 1987, when he was named judge of what was then the County Court of Van-couver Island. In 1990, he was appointed justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia.
Victoria Supreme Court Justice Jacqueline Dorgan recalls Owen-Flood as a colleague who never lost his sense of humour, was never without an anecdote and always dressed elegantly. He “epitomized sartorial splendour,” said Dorgan, who, like Brenner, recalls the judge’s ability to appreciate the plight of people in his courtroom.
“He had a strong sense of social justice,” she said in an interview. “He knew and understood the human condition.”
Dorgan also remembered Owen-Flood as a committed family man, always delighted and proud to talk about his wife and children.
Victoria lawyer Rory Morahan, who articled with Owen-Flood, said his friend’s greatest legacy is to the legal profession in Victoria.
“His greatest influence was to inspire lawyers,” said Morahan. “He inspired them to be good lawyers.”
For lawyer Adrian Brooks, Owen-Flood stands out as a judge and a lawyer who viewed the justice system as an instrument of fairness, open to everyone, whatever their station in life.
“He just cared about the fairness of the system,” said Brooks.
A memorial service will be held for Owen-Flood at St. Andrew’s Cathedral at the corner of Blanshard and View streets at 3 p.m. Friday.