By Melanie Hodges Neufeld
“In case I die in this mess I leave all to the wife.” Cecil Geo. Harris
Any law student who has toiled in the College of Law Library since 1997 will be familiar with the tractor fender and pocket knife encased under glass amongst the stacks. The story of the Saskatchewan farmer who scratched his will into that tractor fender while trapped underneath is well known. However, an article recently published in the Saskatchewan Law Review, “An Analysis of Canada’s Most Famous Holograph Will: How a Saskatchewan Farmer Scratched His Way into Legal History” by Geoff Ellwand (v.77), explores, as never before, the facts of the case and the legal work which led to the granting of letters administrations. This is a fascinating article that highlights the importance of this case:
This case is an example of not only Prairie practicality in extreme circumstances and the utility of holograph wills but also an instructive demonstration of the skilful, though at times idiosyncratic, handling of a rare legal circumstance by a hard-working country lawyer who appears to have realized immediately that he was dealing with something special.