The Honourable Robert (Dicey) Robinson (1922 – 2011)
After a full life, well-lived, Robert (Bob, Robbie, Dicey) Robinson is now at rest; he died peacefully on December 8, 2011 at the age of 89. A kind, wise and generous-hearted man, he will be very sadly and deeply missed by his loving family: his wife Joan Davis Robinson, his daughters Jane Robinson Bond (Trace Bond) and Barbara Robinson (Ian McDonald), and his grandchildren Kate Bond (Allen Roberts), Jordan Bruneau, Megan Bruneau and Sam Bond. He was predeceased by his first wife Beverley Robinson in 1990. He also leaves his sister-in-law Barbara Biggins, extended family, and many dear friends and former colleagues.
Dicey was born and raised, the youngest of four, in the idyllic setting of Revelstoke, BC, where his father worked through the Great Depression painting gold lettering and design on CPR train cars. His mother ran a boarding house for local high school teachers who instilled in Dicey his life-long love of reading and learning. From 1943 to 1945, he trained and served as a Flying Officer and Navigator on Lancaster bombers with the RCAF (RAF 100 Squadron based in Grimsby, England). On his third operation, his plane was hit and he parachuted to safety over an English farm. He went on to complete thirty-one operations over Europe. The post-war benefits for WWII veterans allowed him to fulfill his childhood dream of becoming a lawyer and he graduated from the UBC Faculty of Law in 1949. He articled in Kelowna and in 1952 moved his young family to the growing community of Kamloops, joining a small firm (Black, Stubbs and Millward) that through several iterations now exists as the well-known firm, Morelli Chertkow. He enjoyed a diverse practice and was a keen barrister in the courtroom. He founded the Kamloops Bar Association, served on both the School Board and Royal Inland Hospital Board and was an early supporter of the Kamloops Golf Club, Kamloops Tennis Club and Tod Mountain Ski Resort. In 1977, he took a sabbatical from his practice and studied American history at the venerable College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. He left his position as senior partner in 1982 to join the bench of the County Court; in 1990 he was elevated to the BC Supreme Court when it merged with the County Court. Upon becoming a judge, he said that his plan was to keep his ears open and his mouth shut. He took advantage of the training offered to federal court judges and travelled annually to Quebec for several summers to immerse himself in learning the French language.
An avid player of racquet sports, Dicey won badminton tournaments as a young man and in his 70s won a seniors’ squash tournament. Dicey’s great pleasure was playing tennis with his faithful pals on his home-built clay tennis court at his beloved cottage near Celista on Shuswap Lake. Equal to that was his delight in sitting on the cottage deck, his family nearby, a glass of his home-made wine in hand and his view of the lake unobstructed. He would entertain all with his lively and wry observations, often recite poetry at length, and always would say “I have been a lucky man!”
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.
The Lake Isle of Innisfree, WB Yeats
A celebration of Dicey’s life will be held on January 14, 2012 at The Mountain Room, Campus Activity Centre, Thompson Rivers University at 1:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Kamloops Food Bank or food bank of your choice would be much appreciated. Memories/tributes can be left online at www.schoenings.com