Tuesday, November 28, 2006

David VanderZwaag

While one could speak for hours or even days about the academic and professional contributions of Professor Macdonald, I will always remember Ronald as a colleague who really cared. Cherished memories include:

· Experiencing Ron’s cheerful simile, chipper voice and enthusiastic handshake, “David, how is life my friend”, as he picked up his mail from the Weldon Building.

· Sipping on a glass of wine with Ron over lunch at his favourite bistro where discussions ranged from well-being of family members to one of his favourite topics – the need for a modernized UN Charter.

· Enjoying the many Christmas celebration parties Ronald and Mairi used to host at the Halifax Club and Halliburton House.

· Witnessing Ron’s continued institutional dedication to Dalhousie Law School, perhaps best displayed when he organized a luncheon with selected faculty and Dr. John Shijian Mo, a former Dalhousie graduate student and now Dean at the Faculty of International Law, China University of Political Science & Law, to discuss development of future faculty and student exchanges.

· Receiving advice on how the International Oceans Institute, launched by Ron’s close friend Dr. Elisabeth Mann Borgese, should be continued and strengthened.

· Watching Ron walk his dog along University Avenue and into the Law School foyer.

With Ron’s passing, the world not only lost a great advocate for human rights and social justice, those who knew Ronald lost a caring and supportive friend. For a person who easily could have been arrogant and boastful, Ron was just the opposite. He was humble and extremely gracious, making even the most lonely law student feel comfortable and accepted.


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