The idea for a history of the Supreme Court of British Columbia was, as far as I know, conceived by the Chief Justice, the Honourable Allan McEachern. He suggested it to me some years ago as a retirement project and although I was without experience as a writer of anything other than the judgments of varying lengths that judges seem obliged to produce, when he indicated that the Law Foundation of British Columbia was willing to contribute financially to the cost of producing such a work, I agreed to undertake the task. Now, having completed it in my fashion, I have to express the hope that with the publication of A Progression of Judges: A History of the Supreme Court of British Columbia I shall not have dimmed the lustre of the Chief Justice's idea or wasted the generosity of the Law Foundation.
While working on the book, I had the good fortune to seek help from Delloyd Guth, then professor of legal history in the Faculty of Law at U.B.C. He showed an immediate interest in the project, reading and criticizing the two drafts that I gave him and by his comments giving me the assurance that I needed to continue with it through publication. I am grateful to him and my thanks go also to Gordon Turriff, a lawyer and formerly Registrar of the Court at Vancouver. He read the manuscript as submitted to the publisher and helped and strengthened me considerably with his comments.
The staff of the Secretary of the Law Society of British Columbia, of the Provincial Archives in Victoria, of the Northwest Room of the Vancouver Public Library, of the Special Collections Branch of the Law Library at the University of British Columbia, of the Vancouver City Archives, and last, but not least, of the Judges Library in the Law Courts at Vancouver were all most helpful and I am obliged to everyone with whom I dealt for the courtesy shown to me by them.
Mrs. Sherwood Lett kindly made available to me the photograph of her late husband that is contained in the book and Barbara McLennon helped me in the selection of those that were obtained from the Provincial Archives. As for the other photographs used, I am glad to be able to say that the photographers concerned were always co-operative and helpful. So also were Susan Dedenus and Judy Gibbins, who typed the manuscript except for the index; me dear wife did that.
The published and unpublished works that I consulted are listed in the bibliography, but I particularly want to thank David R. Williams, Q.C., for having written . . . The Man for a New Country: Sir Matthew Baillie Begbie. I relied heavily on it to form my views of that remarkable man and his times.