Our Association dates back to 1892. That year, Justice McCreight presided over the first assizes held in Vancouver, Davis & Company was founded by Edward Pease Davis, Woodward’s dry goods store opened at Main and Hastings, Vancouver’s first golf course was built, and the Terminal City Club was formed. Over the decades that followed, the VBA went through several changes and was organized into its present form in 1951 with the adoption of our Constitution. The list of presidents who served the VBA between 1892 and 1951, and indeed, in the years since, contains a number of names that continue to have resonance today.
Although Vancouver has seen significant changes since 1892, the Vancouver Bar Association’s objectives remain largely unchanged. In addition to fostering collegiality, the VBA publishes the Advocate, operates the Barristers Lounge at the Vancouver Court House, cooperates with the Law Society of British Columbia and the Canadian Bar Association in matters of mutual interest, and encourages a high standard of legal education, training, and ethics through our work with the Peter S. Hyndman Award Committee, our funding of scholarships, and by enforcing the articling guidelines. Finally, and most importantly, we strive to uphold the honour and dignity of our profession by contributing to, working with, and encouraging our members to support various causes, such as the Public Inquiry on Legal Aid, the Lawyers Assistance Program, and Access Pro Bono.
As we move into the 121st year of the VBA, it is important to remember our history and to reflect upon our role in this changing society. Understanding how we, and the community in which we work, have evolved over the past many years will help ensure that we continue to thrive in the years that come.
On behalf of the VBA, I wish to thank our members and their firms, and our various partners, for their continued support.
President, Vancouver Bar Association