MERI LALIČIĆ - ŽIVOT POSVEĆEN PRAVDI
Lijepa priča u kanadskim novinama o našem iseljeniku, Mary (Meri) Laličić sa Nijagarinih Vodopada. Gospođa Laličić je provela 47 godina kao službenik Suda na Nijagarinim Vodopadima i bila svjedok pravnih postupaka svih tih godina, provodeći dosta godina u kultnoj zgradi Suda ( na slici) koja je sada zatvorena. Gospođa Laličic je član Crnogorskog Kulturnog Društva iz Toronta i stalni učesnik svih manifestacija koje organizuju naši iseljenici u Kanadi.
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NIAGARA FALLS - If a crime has taken place in Niagara Falls, Fort Erie or St. Catharines, chances are pretty good that Mary Lalicich knows something about it.
No, Mary is not a criminal, but she has dealt with a lot of them over the years.
That’s because she has worked as a court clerk with the justice system for nearly 47 years.
Mary’s last day of work is Aug. 29. She will miss the job, but it’s the people that she will miss the most.
Janice Beer, a retired court reporter, worked with Mary for 29 years.“Not only were we co-workers for many years, but she’s a dear friend. It’s certainly the end of an era at the courthouse,” said Janice. “Mary really is one of a kind,” she adds. “She truly loves her job and there are not many people who are as dedicated and committed to their job as she is.
“She goes out of her way to help everyone from judges to offenders. She treats everyone with consideration and respect.” Janice notes anyone who is involved in the court system from police agencies, probation office, detention centre, lawyers and co-workers look to Mary for assistance.
“Her knowledge and expertise will certainly be missed. She’s always on an even keel - you never see her get angry, rude or upset,” said Janice.
Back in 1967, Mary applied for a job at the courthouse in Niagara Falls which was then located on the third floor of the old police station on Zimmerman Ave. Her job interview was conducted by Judge Johnstone Roberts. When Mary arrived home she told her mother she was never going to get that job. Her mother then informed her the judge had just called and she was to start work on Monday.
The date was Feb. 13, 1967. She began work as a cashier and also filled in as the court clerk. “When you got off the elevator on the third floor I was sitting in the hall as the receptionist. The judge’s office was at the back. The courthouse was on the second floor and the police station was on the first floor,” recalled Mary. “I was happy to go to work every day and I just loved it.”
Years later, the courthouse as moved to the former city hall building on Queen St., and after that it was moved to the Robert S. K. Welch Courthouse on Church St. in St. Catharines. Mary also covered court in Fort Erie when they had a small office near the Peace Bridge and later when they moved the building on Jarvis St.
Before computers arrived on the scene, she would have to type all kinds of documents, which wasn’t really a problem because she can type 80 to 90 words a minute.“I didn’t like the change when computers first came in. Now I love it because you can go in and everything is there,” she said.
There have been some lighter moments at the courthouse.One accused, who wasn’t always sober, came into court one day carrying tulips, complete with roots on them, and give them to the girls in the office. The tulips came from a garden that was planted in front of the courthouse.
Then there was the man who came into the courtroom carrying a dog leash, a long and stiff one, but there was no dog on the end of it. He told the judge: “I’m sorry your honour. I have no one to leave my dog with.” As a reporter who has covered court for many years, it was always comforting to walk into a courtroom and see Mary. She’s a wealth of information and knowledge and she has never steered me wrong.
Thanks Mary. This is one reporter who will miss you the next time I’m covering court. Sure glad Judge Johnstone Roberts hired you. It was probably the best decision he ever made in all his years of sitting on the bench.