Monday, August 29, 2011

Another Goodbye: Geoff England

It's been a month of loss for the Canadian legal community. Steve wrote recently about Stuart Morrison's passing, and today I'm sharing the news of Geoffrey England's death. Geoff was, for many years, a co-author of Employment Law in Canada (with the late Innis Christie), a much-used text in many a law library.

Geoff was a professor of labour and industrial relations law, most recently at the University of Saskatchewan Edwards School of Business, and over the years at the Universities of Lethbridge, Calgary, Queens, and Cardiff. He was also a fine father, a jovial soul with a wicked sense of humour. I know because the Englands have been friends of my family for 25-odd years - most of my life.

Growing up, I spent many Saturdays with Geoff's daughters, and it seemed that Geoff was always in the basement working on "the book". It wasn't until I started working in a law library that I realized that his book was actually a core text in the Canadian legal literature, and one that I would consult on a regular basis. It always brought a smile to my face to see Geoff's name on the cover, and I'd imagine him narrating in his wonderful English accent.

When Geoff was diagnosed with cancer, the Edwards School of Business at USask set up the Geoffrey England Scholarship in Employment Law. I plan on donating to this fund to honour Geoff's memory and the amazing ways that our personal and professional lives intersect where we least expect it. I'll echo Professor Doorey: "We know there are hundreds of Geoffrey’s former students out there, many of them practicing workplace law, industrial relations, and human resource management. Please consider giving back."

Rest in peace, Geoff. Thanks for all your gifts, both professional and personal. You will be greatly missed.


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