The Honourable Mervyn J. Woods
1961 - 1984 Justice of the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal
Mervyn J. Woods was born in Regina on June 8, 1909. He attended high school in Kincaid and Moose Jaw. In 1929 he attended Teachers’ College in Moose Jaw, receiving his diploma in 1929. From 1929 to 1934 he taught school in the Mossbank area.
Mr. Woods attended the University of Saskatchewan, graduating from the College of Law with distinction in 1937. Following that, he did post-graduate work at New York University and then went on to article with McKercher, McCool and Francis in Saskatoon. In 1939, he was called to active service in the Royal Canadian Navy. He went overseas in 1940, serving in the North Sea around Scotland and between Liverpool and Gibraltar. He returned to Halifax for shore duty in 1942, going back to sea in 1944 as a commanding officer of the H.M.C.S. Longueuil, where he served until the end of the war. He retired in 1945 with the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
After the war, he returned to Saskatoon and became partners with W.B. Francis and D.E. Gauley. During the 1950s, Mr. Woods was President of Saskatchewan’s Progressive Conservative Party. In 1956, he was invited to teach at the College of Law in Saskatoon and did so for five years. During that time he obtained his L.L.M. and doctorate in law. He was also very involved with the Royal Canadian Legion, holding the position of Dominion President and Provincial President. Mr Woods also served as the Lieutenant Governor of the Kiwanis Club.
In 1961, Justice Woods was appointed to the Court of Appeal. While a sitting justice of the Court, he organized a Royal Commission on Veteran’s Affairs and chaired the Royal Commission on Medicare for Saskatchewan. The Commission’s final report became known as the “Woods Report.”
Justice Woods retired in 1984. In 1993, the Royal Canadian Legion presented him with the Canada 125 Medal, in recognition of his services to the Royal Canadian Legion. Justice Woods passed away on March 24, 1995.