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Williams Lake lawyer retires at 82, serving 55 years as Crown, defence

Bill Herdy’s colleagues held a party in his honour
Bill Herdy, right, accepts a lined jean jacket as a retirement gift from the bar presented by fellow lawyer Kevin Church while lawyer Alfred Kaiser looks on. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Wiliams Lake Tribune)

After 55 years in practice, Williams Lake lawyer Bill Herdy is retiring.

His last day in the court room was Dec. 28, 2022.

Herdy’s colleagues, present and former, attended his retirement party held Friday, Dec. 16 at the courthouse in Williams Lake organized by his wife Debbie Irvine and some of the staff.

“I guess people are here checking to see if I am really retiring,” he told the gathering, which included some people tuned in online by computer or on the phone.

Herdy grew up in Winnipeg, attended the University of Manitoba to study engineering and went on to study law at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto.

Beginning his career in Vancouver, he worked in several B.C. communities.

After retiring from Crown Counsel in 2005, he and Irvine moved to Springhouse, south of Williams Lake where they have a small farm.

In 2008 he opened his own practice.

“I tell people many times, this is the best situation I have ever been in,” he said of working in Williams Lake as he fought back a few tears. “Pardon me I’m getting a bit emotional.”

Jokingly he said he has considered other jobs for the future to do such as being an official greeter at Walmart.

“I applied and was rejected. I failed the smile test.”

Speaking over Zoom, his son James Herdy chided him saying it was about time he spent some time for himself and with Debbie on the farm.

“You set a very poor example for your kids, there’s no way I’m waiting until 82 to retire,” he said.

Lawyer Kevin Church told Herdy he will be sorely missed and presented him with a new wool-lined jean jacket on behalf of the bar so he can retire the one he normally wears.

It will be a big change being retired, Herdy said.

“All the lawyers here can identify with this, 24/7 you are rolling cases around in your head. You go down to the store for a jug of milk and your are thinking about a trial that is coming up in a few days. It will take a bit of settling back and letting the world go by before I get used to not having trials rattling around in my brain.”

READ MORE: Casual Country: Peaceful Springhouse setting affords many opportunities

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Bill Herdy cuts the cake at his retirement party organized by his wife Debbie Irvine. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Monica Lamb-Yorski

About the Author: Monica Lamb-Yorski

Monica Lamb-Yorski has covered news for the Williams Lake Tribune since November 2011.
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