By Carson Ellis For the Independent
If you go to the Stettler Museum, and take a stroll through the courthouse building, eventually you will find a room that pays tribute to the law office of Mr. J.T Costigan. One of Stettler’s early and notably prominent attorneys. Although I do not have very much about him, there is something interesting I have learned that I feel might be noteworthy to others.
Born in Portage La Prairie, Joseph Thomas Costigan came to Alberta in 1910 after training in law.
In 1928, Costigan received the prestigious title of King’s Council (KC), which is now known as Queen’s Council (QC) and it was an incredible honour at the time. Only a select few names were given the illustrious title, which was only handed out every two years. The would-be recipient is nominated by his peers for their contribution to their work in the legal profession. Back then it was largely for in-court work, however, over time it encompassed all aspects of the legal practice.
Among the honour and respect, such a title would carry were a few small perks for those that held the designation of KC. Although it may not sound like very much to most people these days, some of the perks included the ability to wear silk robes in court and to sit at a specially designated forward table in courtrooms.
Costigan was an active member in both the Stettler Elks and the Knights of Columbus. He also achieved the designation of Life Member of the Stettler Rotary club. J.T Costigan (KC) practiced law for more than 60 years. Joseph died in 1969 at the age of 86. He was survived by his five sons, two brothers and 16 grandchildren.