Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Timothy Wilson

I was privileged to meet Judge Macdonald (as I called him then) a few years ago. My brief experience of Ron (so I think of him now) runs like this.

Somehow Ron thought that I would be a suitable person to interview Professor Pharand (as I called him then) for an article Ron was preparing to write. I arranged to meet Donat at his delightful cottage with a commanding view of a lake north of Ottawa. I was warmly welcomed by Donat and his wife, Sylvia Herrera. We went to work. The interview took place over two or three week-ends. The tapes were then transcribed by Sylvia, completed by Donat, and sent to Ron.

Ron and I spoke periodically about the project, sometimes directly, sometimes through his sister, Dr. Mairi Macdonald. I really felt like a member of the extended family (which also included Donat and Sylvia).

When I started planning a trip to China, Ron suggested that I meet up with some leading academics whom he knew well. He gave me a list of three or four prominent law teachers and practitioners. I managed to set up meetings with two of them. These meetings led to various invitations, both social and academic.

Thanks in large part to Ron, I now have strong ties to Professor Bai Guimei at Peking University (Beida). Guimei was a student of Ron’s in Halifax. She is also a member of Ron’s extended family.

When I last spoke with Ron, I said that I felt like I was his representative in China. “No”, he said, “you are your own man in China”. Such was Ron: a consummate networker, an empowering influence, and a great example.

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