It is with great sadness that Cassady & Company announces the passing of George “Skip” Perrin Cassady.
GEORGE PERRIN CASSADY, RCN(R) Q.C.
George Perrin Cassady was born December 12, 1931 and after living a full and productive life passed away February 17, 2022.
When I first joined Cassady, Insley, Lauener & Burgess in 1989 I recall asking Mr. Cassady how he earned the nickname “Skip”. He told me that because his father, George L. Cassady, DSC, K.C. was a grand mariner and skipper in the Navy he was often referred to as the “Skipper”. When George P. Cassady was born, his father and his father’s friends dubbed George P. as the “little skipper”. Throughout his life, George Perrin Cassady was affectionately referred to as “Skip” or “Skipper”. In addition to both being naval officers and lawyers, Skip and his father shared a beautiful, infectious and distinctive smile. Many of our clients who see Skip and his father’s portraits proudly displayed in our boardroom comment on how they both look like the “Hollywood Movie Stars” of old.
Skip was born in Vancouver; however, he lived most of his life in the City of New Westminster. He and his family were dedicated in everyway to serving the community. Skip once told me how his parents established a soup kitchen on their back porch, offering soup and whatever extra food they had to the many destitute individuals who lived and passed through the City during the Depression. It was obvious to me that Skip learned to be a good and generous citizen at the knee of his parents.
Skip graduated from Duke of Connaught High School. In 1956, Skip graduated from UBC Law School. He loved to travel and took the next year travelling throughout Europe and into the Kingdom of Jordan on his motorcycle before returning home to commence his legal career with his father and F. Craig Munro (later Mr. Justice C. Munro) at the law firm of Cassady & Munro.
Skip attended Royal Roads University in Victoria for Naval Training where he received the Royal Naval Sword presented by HRH Prince Philip as the top cadet in Western Canada. Before retiring in 1962 from the Navy, Skip was promoted to Lieutenant (RCN, R) and became a Gunnery Officer on the HMCS Discovery (Vancouver).
In 1958, Skip and James Insley became partners of the firm. He later partnered with John P. Lauener and Edward (Ted) Burgess. When communicating with Ted early this summer he remembers Skip fondly and with respect: he recalls how Skip was a loyal and hard working partner. In 1983, Skip was appointed Queens Counsel. He was also selected as the Official Administrator for the County of Westminster.
Skip always set a high example for myself and the other young lawyers. It was common to find Skip at his desk in the office on Saturday mornings putting in the extra hours for his clients. When the firm celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2011 it was with great pride. It was a testament to Skip that many former lawyers and staff members, along with many clients and colleagues in the legal profession attended this celebration. To this day, I meet with clients (some of which are third and fourth generations of the firm) who comment on how Skip had personally assisted them and their family as their lawyer and through his and Marilyn’s active contributions in the community.
Skip married Marilyn Elizabeth Pipes on April 22, 1960. He affectionately referred to Marilyn as the “love and anchor of my life”. Skip and Marilyn had three children: Timothy, Jane, Michael, and five grandchildren: Perrin Finlay, Siena Cassady, Maya Cassady, Claire Cassady and George Cassady. Skip enjoyed the affection, wit and intelligence of all of his offspring – they made him very proud.
Skip’s community involvement was vast. It included being the President of several local groups including the New Westminster Bar Association, the New Westminster Chamber of Commerce, the Hyack Festival Association and the Westminster Club. He was a member of the Queensborough Bridge Authority, the New Westminster Gyro Club, the New Westminster Tennis Club, the Vancouver Golf Club (Coquitlam), 40 year member of the New Westminster May Day Dancers, a life member of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, a long time member of the Vancouver Lawn & Tennis Club and a member of the New Westminster Police Commission. Skip was an active member of the Holy Trinity Cathedral and served as the “morning greeter” for many years even after moving away from New Westminster. He would often volunteer to chauffer the elder members of the congregation to church on Sunday.
Skip was an athlete who loved and supported all manner of sports. He was a long time season ticket holder of the Canucks. Skip played an active role in the BC Senior Games in New Westminster.
Skip and Marilyn were both very active tennis players. They both played regularly at the Vancouver Lawn and Tennis Club well into their senior years, and by all accounts, were very good players! Skip frequently told me that Marilyn was a better player than he was. They would often travel to Palm Springs during the winter months to play golf and tennis. They also enjoyed attending both the French Open and the US Open.
Skip’s love of travelling continued throughout his life. Marilyn and Skip travelled the world together seeing attractions on five out of the seven continents.
In addition to be devoted to his family and community Skip loved good red wine, quality chocolate and cars. One of his favorite pass times was to try to locate the best tasting red wine for the lowest possible price. On occasion, when I entered Skip’s office I would find him enjoying a piece of chocolate – always in moderation. I knew him to keep a ready stash in his desk drawer. I recall that both Mr. Cassady, Sr. and Skip’s vehicles were often featured in local parades, used for weddings and various other social events. One of Skip’s favorite vehicles was his 1962 Lincoln Continental.
Skip retired from the practice of law in 2000 but that did not stop his dedication to British Columbia and Canada. Skip continued to unselfishly give and support his family, friends and his community. His warm and cheerful personality brightened every social occasion he attended. His legacy is strong and will not be forgotten. Skip will be remembered as a wonderful gentleman. He had an unassuming manner and was always attentive to those who engaged him. Thank you Skip for everything!