The council chambers at Vancouver City Hall were packed with guests today (January 30) for an event launching Black History Month.
This year, the city’s celebration of February as Black History Month includes recognition of B.C. Supreme Court judge Selwyn Romilly as he retires from the bench.
B.C. Provincial Court judge David St. Pierre said even early in his career, Romilly was known as an “incredibly intelligent, competent, caring, and very skillful lawyer”.
Romilly, who was the first person of African descent to be appointed to both B.C.'s Supreme Court and Provincial Court, is also seen by many as a mentor, St. Pierre indicated.
“The law is his love, it’s his life, and he’s given so much to the community by way of teaching others and I want to follow in those footsteps,” he said.
At today’s event, which also featured singing, steel drums and an official proclamation from Mayor Gregor Robertson, Canada Post unveiled the 2015 Black History Month stamp, which depicts Nelson Mandela.
“Today it’s our privilege to pay tribute to a man who in 2001 became the first living person to receive honourary Canadian citizenship,” said Greg Kabatoff, director of retail for Canada Post.
“He’s recognized for his role in bringing freedom to South Africa, and for inspiring the world in the process.”
The city has been launching Black History Month with an official proclamation since 2012.
"This is a really important message that we send as a city," Robertson said.