Castor Williams, the first black judge to be appointed to Nova Scotia’s provincial court, has died.
He was 80.
Born in Antigua, Williams worked with the government there and served as a non-commissioned officer in the West India Regiment.
In Canada, Williams studied politics and economics before graduating with a law degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax in 1976.
He practised law independently until 1992, when he was appointed as a Crown attorney in Dartmouth.
Before his appointment to the bench in February 1996, Williams was chairman of the Black Learners Advisory Committee and a past president of the Black Lawyers Association of Nova Scotia.
Pamela Williams, chief judge of the provincial and family courts, described Williams as a colleague and a friend.
“Judge Castor Williams was a giant, both literally and figuratively,” Williams said in a statement.
“With his booming voice and commanding presence, he demanded respect in the courtroom. But in turn, he was always professional, courteous and respectful to others, and his laugh could make anyone smile.”
As a provincial court judge, Castor Williams spent his entire career in Halifax. Though he retired at age 70, he spent the next five years working as a part-time judge.
Williams was the second person of African ancestry to be appointed as a judge in Nova Scotia.
Corrine Sparks, who was also Canada’s first African-Canadian judge, was appointed to the family court of Nova Scotia on March 20, 1987.
© 2019 The Canadian Press