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Sic Transit Judicium

February 9, 2015

Judge W. Norman Bole once heard legal arguments and decided a case entirely while travelling by tram from New Westminster to Vancouver.

Hannah Herring, a pioneer who was at Whatcom in 1858 and New Westminster in 1859, lived on the south bank of the Fraser River from 1860 until she passed away in April 1895.

She died intestate, with property consisting of a the homestead farm at Herring’s Point and a few cows.

Hannah’s son Tillman was appointed trustee and was moving rather slowly in discharging his responsibilities. The funeral expenses had yet to be paid.

An application was made for the public trustee to take over administration of the estate.

The hearing was to be heard in the courtroom of Judge W Norman Bole.   Ten years previous Bole had been an advocate for Mrs Herring when she was trying to secure ownership of the family homestead.

From a report in the Vancouver Daily World, May 31st, this is what happened when the matter of the administration of her estate came before him:

No Time Lost

A sample of judicial celerity was given by His Honor Judge Bole on Wednesday.

In re Hannah Herring, of New Westminster, deceased, an application was to be made to set aside letters of administration to be granted to Tillman Herring, and to approve the appointment of CG Major, public administrator, as trustee of the deceased lady’s estate.

The application was to be made in Vancouver at 9:45 and lawyers Henderson and Jenns boarded the 9 o’clock tram at New Westminster to come over, the former to make, the latter to oppose the application.

Judge Bole was on the tram, which they had almost to themselves.

He proposed that the application be made at once.

The lawyers proceeded with the argument, and, after hearing it, Judge Bole made an order that the present administrator pay the funeral expenses within a week or the order for the appointment of Mr. Major is to be allowed.


With the good judge’s gavel rapping out a backbeat to the crossing of the points, it could never be said the wheels of justice turned slowly that day.

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