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In the fall of 2022, Rutland lost one of its most avid community advocates and well-known lawyers, Garry Benson.
Benson first arrived in Kelowna in 1994, with a law degree obtained from the University of Victoria and a passion for service and community.
“I believe that the practice of law is about people,” wrote Garry, “Practicing law is about providing the client with clear advice, strong action and throughout the process, quality service.”
He became a founding partner of Benson Law LLP, located on Hwy 33, in 2001. Garry was extremely proud to be located in Rutland and practiced there for over 20 years.
Known for his charisma and generosity, he volunteered countless hours over the course of his lifetime, doing everything from cooking hot dogs at community markets to donating over 1500 hours of Pro Bono legal services and offering fundraising support to local organizations.
Benson was involved with a long list of impactful organizations including H.E.L.P BC, the Central Okanagan Indian Friendship Center, and the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission to name a few. He was also the founding director of the Uptown Rutland Business Association, which strives to develop events, activities and programs designed to improve Rutland and promote its businesses.
Garry was honored with many awards such as the Fred Macklin Man of the Year Award, and the Alberta Aboriginal Role Model Award, even receiving a Queen's (King's) Counsel designation.
Widely recognized for his advocacy for clients and the community, in 2017, he was honoured with the B.C Achievement award for his volunteered “time and expertise to building a supportive community for businesses and advocating for sustainable economic growth.”
Benson believed he owed it to his community to volunteer his time, once quoted saying “I’ve benefited tremendously from becoming a lawyer and being in business in the community and I think everyone has a duty to give back. It’s just that simple.”
He is survived by his family, who will always remember him for his “head-shakingly-bad, deserves a groan, ‘Dad Jokes’.”
His legacy lives on in the Rutland community, at Benson Law LLP, and through the lives he's impacted across the country.