Ritchie, W.B.A. (1860-1917)

William Bruce Allan Ritchie was the senior counsel for the immigration department in the Komagata Maru case. He was from Annapolis Royal in Nova Scotia and the third generation in his family to practice law. In Halifax he had been a law partner with Robert Borden, the future prime minister and he remained his personal friend. Borden’s younger brother had also been a partner and also briefly Sir Charles Hibbert Tupper, the son of Canada’s seventh prime minister. In 1911, when he was fifty-one, Ritchie brought his family out to Vancouver and joined Robie Reid’s firm of Bowser, Reid and Wallbridge. When the British Empire went to war—only weeks after he argued the Komagata Maru case—Ritchie wanted to serve overseas but with increasing deafness he had to be satisfied with the post of chief recruiting officer for the Maritimes. In 1917 he was back in Vancouver campaigning in the federal election for Borden and the conservatives. He died that Christmas following surgery to correct a condition that impaired his hearing.

Sources: Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. XV, 1911-1920 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998)