Doris Scanlan ends long court career

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PICTOU — Doris Scanlan is beginning a new life journey.

Scanlan officially retired on May 31 from 35 years of service with local courts. It includes working at the current justice centre since it opened in 1986.

She was first the deputy prothonotary and in 1995 replaced Wayne Canam as the prothonotary, which is the legal term for clerk of the Supreme Court.

“It’s been a busy day cleaning my office,” she said. “You accumulate so much stuff.”

She said now was the right time to retire.

“I’ve worked my 35 years of service,” she said. “Overall, it’s been wonderful, but there is another life out there. I’ve given them the best years of my life, and it’s an opportunity for the younger ones to move up the ladder.”

Several of Scanlan’s colleagues upheld her value to the local court system, including registrar of probate Laura Lannon.

“I’m going to be lost without her,” Lannon said.

Acting court supervisor Kathy Holman said Scanlan has been a skilled and welcome team member.

“She’s trained a lot of judges,” Holman said.

Scanlan looks back on her career fondly and has a scrapbook containing some of the milestones that include court appointments and the fire in 1987 that destroyed the former wooden court house on Church Street.

“It was great,” she said of the current facility. “There’s a lot of great staff — busy, busy, busy but a great place to work.”

Scanlan said she will be able to keep busy in retirement.

“I’ve got four grandchildren, so I’m sure there will be lots to do,” she said. “They’re very active.”

A resident of Pictou, she will continue volunteer work with the local chapter of the Canadian Bible Society and the CWL will fill her time, as will walking her dog and downsizing.

“You don’t realize what you have and you come to the point where you have to get rid of stuff,” she said.

She plans to donate items to the Star of the Sea’s annual yard sale near the end of June.


Doris Scanlan, centre, is shown with two of her colleagues: acting court supervisor Kathy Holman, left, and registrar of probate Laura Lannon. (Goodwin photo)