Guest of Honour

The Honourable Mr. Justice Alan Sheffield

Guest of Honour

Growing up in the Ottawa Valley town of Arnprior, Alan Sheffield was surrounded by Scottish traditions, music, history and legends of the Laird of McNab. Like many of the original settlers his roots were British, although he had to marry a Scottish girl, Heather Jardine to earn the right to wear a tartan.

After leaving school at the age of 16, he worked for several years as a weaver at the Kenwood Mills before completing his High School Diploma by correspondence. He entered St. Patrick's College as a 'mature' student, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree followed by a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Ottawa.

Called to the Bar in 1972, he joined the firm of Almonte lawyer, Michael Galligan Q.C., and practiced law with him until his appointment to the Ontario Provincial Court (Family Division) in 1981. In 1999, Justice Sheffield was appointed to the Superior Court of Ontario as a specialist in Family Law. This November, he will retire from the Bench after serving more than 35 years.

While practicing law, he served this community as a Board member and Chair of the Almonte General Hospital, as a Trustee and Vice-Chair of the Lanark County School Board, and as a member of the Lanark Leeds Grenville District Health Council.

Justice Sheffield has been a supporter of the North Lanark Highland Games since its inception in 1984; he's worked as a director and volunteer who did the heavy lifting of set-up for many years. He's also been a competitor, perhaps best remembered as the Bass drummer of the Almonte Legion Branch 240 Pipe Band, with whom he thumped the big drum for 20 years. He recalls those years fondly - the friendships, adventures, capers and camaraderie of the pipe band unit. He is especially proud of the pleasure he saw in the faces of veterans when the band would play tunes that brought back long lost memories.

Justice Sheffield rates moving to the friendly town of Almonte as the best move he ever made. He still resides here with his wife Heather. They have three adult daughters, Jennifer, Sarah and Emily, a very Scottish son-in-law, Mark Gray, and five grandchildren, Molly, Lilian, Abigael, George and Charlie.