Class of 1989
John (Jack) V. Clyne was a Supreme Court Judge, a successful businessman in the forest products industry, and a loyal alumnus of the University of British Columbia.
Born in Vancouver in 1902, Jack spent his summers working as a cowboy, sawmill laborer, deckhand and placer gold miner. As an undergraduate at UBC he played leading roles in the theatre, athletics and student politics. Graduating in 1923, Clyne studied marine law in the U.K. and was admitted to the British Columbia bar at age 25.
In 1947, Clyne was appointed Chairman of the Canadian Maritime Commission and moved to Ottawa, where he oversaw the transition from war time shipping to peace time use. In 1950 he returned to British Columbia, and as a Supreme Court Judge headed Royal Commissions and Inquiries for much of his seven year tenure. He resigned in 1957 at the age of 55 to become Chairman and CEO of MacMillan Bloedel Ltd., Canada’s largest forest products company. In this role, Clyne was a vital player in elevating the financially troubled company, and transforming it into a thriving business.
Jack retired from MacMillan Bloedel in 1973, and went on to dedicate his time to numerous charities and institutions, as well as serving on several corporate boards. Clyne’s record of public service also includes the creation of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Legal Studies, as well as six years served as Chancellor at the University of British Columbia. His many honours included a knighthood in the Order of St. John in 1959 and a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1972.
Describing himself as a “Jack of All Trades,” Clyne thrived on change. “You live more vigorously,” he said, “when you’re not always doing the same thing.”