Lawyer helped draft church’s sexual harassment policy

Published January 23, 2008

Linda Barry-Hollowell

Linda Barry-Hollowell, who served as a member of the board of trustees of the church’s Pension Office Corp. and the pension committee of the Anglican Church of Canada, died on Jan. 23 after a long battle with leukemia.

The wife of the former bishop of Calgary, Barry Hollowell, Ms. Hollowell practised law for more than 30 years, and made a commitment to devote 10 per cent of her time to pro bono (unpaid, volunteer) work. In 1998, she headed a task force that drafted the sexual harassment policy for General Synod, the church’s national office, and its councils and committees.

Aside from the church, organizations such as the YMCA and Calgary’s Trinity Foundation, which provides housing for the homeless, benefited from her legal experience. She also advocated for youth and battered women.

Bishop Hollowell wrote in an e-mail sent to General Synod that he and his family have given permission for an autopsy to be conducted on Ms. Hollowell. “If anything can be learned from what Linda’s body has gone through that could benefit someone else, we and Linda would want that,” he said.

“Her enormous contribution to the work (of the pension board of trustees and pension committee) was a result of her astute legal mind combined with her intimate knowledge of the culture of the church,” said Judy Robinson, executive director of Pension Office Corp, in a statement. “Added to this was her wonderful sense of humour and her strong determination to make thoughtful decisions by balancing the needs of the mind and the heart. Her unwavering support of the Pension Office staff and her ongoing guidance were invaluable. We shall all miss her terribly.”

Ms. Hollowell was appointed in 2006 by the province of Alberta as Queen’s Counsel, in recognition of her achievement in the legal profession.

A graduate of the University of New Brunswick’s law school (1975), she served as the University of Calgary’s general counsel and corporate secretary.

“Several of my family members were lawyers or judges, so I was drawn to it at an early age. I loved the exactness and the demand and the discipline it brought to the process of thinking through issues,” Ms. Hollowell said in an interview with On Campus Weekly, a publication of the University of Calgary. She is survived by her husband and three children.


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