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Wayne McArdle and Margaret MacKinnon

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 Wayne McArdle and Margaret MacKinnon

Wayne McArdle and Margaret MacKinnon

Honoring Canadian Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin

AWA's International Advisory Council member Margaret MacKinnon felt that a saintly Apostle from Nelli's Last Supper would be the perfect retirement gift to honour her stepmother-in-law, Beverley McLachlin, who retired from the Supreme Court of Canada in December 2017 after 28 years of service. Chief Justice McLachlin is the first woman to have been appointed chief of Canada's highest court, as well as the longest-serving Chief Justice in the court's history.

As Margaret explains, "I saw parallels in Nelli's having been the first known female Florentine painter with C.J. McLachlin's having been the first woman appointed as Chief Justice of Canada's Supreme Court. There was also the significance of Nelli's having created a masterwork in her monumental Last Supper. Similarly, Beverley has created a lasting legacy in more than 400 judgements that have touched every area of Canadian law." Among her many accomplishments, C.J. McLachlin championed the rights of Canada's Indigenous peoples, stressed the importance of access to justice and transparency of the workings of the court, and improved the clarity and certainty of the law by achieving consensus in many of the court's most important decisions. A tireless speaker, she has travelled around globe, raising the profile and prestige of Canadian jurisprudence. As well as numerous honorary degrees, she has been awarded France's Legion d'Honneur and was appointed Commander of the UK's Order of St John.

Which Apostle would feel most at home with such a distinguished jurist? As the patron saint of lost causes, Saint Jude fits naturally with the chief justice of the court of last resort - which hears cases when all other avenues for redress have been exhausted.

Margaret and her husband, Wayne McArdle, are delighted to be able to make a significant contribution to the restoration of Nelli's painting in the name of Chief Justice McLachlin, thereby honoring and making a connection between a pioneering Renaissance artist and a very modern judicial leader and trailblazer.

Margaret and Wayne are Canadians who have made their home in London, England for almost 30 years. A chance meeting in Florence with Board member Alice Vogler led to their involvement with AWA, They are enjoying getting to know not only Florence's forgotten women artists, but also the community of restorers, researchers and art lovers who make their rediscovery possible.
 Canadian Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin

Canadian Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin