Thursday, November 02, 2006

Charles Marvin

I first encountered Ron Macdonald in Ottawa at a joint conference of the Canadian Council of International Law and the Canada-United States Law Institute in the autumn of 1977. Ron's enthusiasm and then CCIL President Donat Pharand's arm-twisting got me rapidly involved as an Executive Board Member. Over the following years, I was more and more impressed with Ron's genuine concern about the world around him combined with the enormous diplomatic skill and finesse that he demonstrated in his interaction with others of us who displayed manifestly lesser degrees of those qualities.

Upon reflection, I believe that Ron's life experience at his first alma mater, St.F.X., where Rev. Dr. Coady's Antigonish Movement emphasized human rights and dignity in the context of social reform coming through education, and at the centre of his basic professional training, Dalhousie Law School, the Maker of Premiers (in the case of Ron, a premier gentleman), provided a solid grounding for the dynamic academic and organizational leader he was to become.

Although Ron and I did not see each other much in recent years (he having retired, and I having relocated to Atlanta, Georgia), I still remember with special gratitude his assistance to me in 1998, when he was preparing to step down from his judicial post on the European Court of Human Rights and I was organizing for the first time an overseas program in human rights law for American law students in Strasbourg.

Ron contributed so much to us all. May our remembrance of him remain steady and full in our minds and in our hearts.


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