Former New Zealand Law Society Vice-President (1954-56) and Council member, Sir Alec Haslam, who died in Christchurch in April 1997, aged 93, was a judge of the old Supreme Court from 1957 until his retirement in 1976. He was knighted in 1974.
Born in Carterton on 10 February 1904, Sir Alec was educated at Waitaki Boys’ High School in Oamaru. He went on to Canterbury University where he completed an LLM and was admitted to the bar in 1925. He then won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University in 1927 where he attended Oriel College and gained a BCL and DPhil.
In 1933 he married Valerie Tennent, and the couple had two sons and two daughters.
Sir Alec served in the Second World War as part of the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force and fought in the Middle East and Italy.
He had his own law practice between 1936 and 1957 and also lectured at Canterbury University College until 1950. He was President of the Canterbury District Law Society in 1952, Vice-President of the New Zealand Law Society from 1954 to 1957 and a member of the Council of Legal Education in 1952, and chairman from 1962 to 1975.
A shorter version of this obituary was first published in LawTalk 477, 26 May 1997, page 4.