The Honourable Delano Velasquez-Europa is the first Filipino Justice of the Peace to be appointed in Toronto, Canada. His appointment was considered a trailblazer as he was a judicial officer of color in the annals of Ontario history. Delano serves as the Chair of the SOSA’s Board of Directors.
He completed his elementary and high school education at Saint Mary's University in Bayombong Nueva Vizcaya run by the Belgian Fathers. As a working student, he acquired his Bachelor of Laws degree at San Beda College in 1970.
As a Junior student, he reported his instructor in Spanish to the Dean of Liberal Arts who had collected money from his students in lieu of submitting term papers. The instructor was thus expelled from the university; regrettably he (Europa) would learn later that he was the sole support of his family. As a pre-law student, Delano was a member of the honor society at the University of the East in Manila, Philippines.
Delano served as a municipal trial court judge in Solano, Nueva Vizcaya, where he had jurisdiction on preliminary investigations in murder and homicide cases. After serving his first year as judge, Delano was awarded a Plaque of Appreciation by the League of Regional Trial Court Judges of Region Two, for being one of the fastest judges in deciding cases in 1984.
He practiced law for 13 years in Manila and in nearby provinces like Quirino, Ifugao, Isabela. In Nueva Vizcaya, he won a civil case in the Court of Appeals which he had lost in the Regional Trial Court. Justice Edgardo Caguioa held that handwritten receipts were valid and admissible as installments in exchange of taking value (i.e. getting pandesal daily for many years) for a valuable property which the lower Court deemed as hearsay. He (Europa) had proceeded with the appeal as his client initially desisted from appealing to a higher court seeking advice from her influential friends who were judges and prosecutors. But he (Europa) strongly felt that he had a more than fair chance of winning. The irony of it is that the client refused to pay him for his lawyer fees after winning the property. He charged it to experience.
As a judge, his jurisdiction encompassed the whole province as it was a circuit court where he could be assigned to any town. Europa considers his three-year stint as substantial because he was able to whittle down the backlog from more than 4000 cases to just one thousand cases. His jurisdiction at the Solano municipal trial Court also included preliminary investigation on murder and homicide cases.
In 2003, Delano was adjudged outstanding alumnus of the St. Mary’s University in law and social justice. For 17 years, Delano was a law instructor at St. Mary’s University, alongside his late wife Concepcion Europa (MA) who was the head of the English department.
Though Delano was a distinguished lawyer and judge back home, he had to restart his career upon immigrating to Canada. Delano soon studied Canadian law and passed the bar exam in Toronto, adding to his Philippine law experience. Delano then worked as a lawyer and later assumed the role of Justice of the Peace where he would rule on provincial and municipal offences in accordance with the Federal Criminal Code of Canada and the Ontario Provincial Offenses Act.
After serving 25 years in the Ontario Court of Justice, Delano retired in February 2020. Delano now enjoys his time with his wife, Leticia who is a retired Registered Nurse. Together, they have a daughter Rochelle, who holds a master’s degree with distinction in Health Administration from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Both Rochelle and her husband, Jeff are pharmacists at the Providence Health Centre and Princess Margaret Hospital respectively. Delano and Leticia are proud grandparents to Caleb (9) and Cameron (14) who are both enrolled at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Ontario, who are in Grade 6 and Grade 9 respectively.
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