The tributes have become necessary as a result of the recent death of Anguillian born Dame Bernice Lake QC who worked and lived in Antigua for many years.
Amongst those who recently extended words of appreciation for the significant contribution of Dame Bernice were Nevisian born Chief Justice of the OECS, Mr. Hugh Rawlins and St. Kitts & Nevis Attorney General, Patrice Nisbett.
Chief Justice Rawlins said, “At the end of the day, the legacy, as far as I am concerned, would be in the person who you are. That cannot be erased and so we thank you for your pioneering work in the law in the OECS jurisdiction,” he also added “we thank you for your constancy… your bravery, your honesty, your integrity, your love for the law; and I think love for literature and language.”
Mr Nisbett said, “Her career has been brilliant and it is a loss not only to Anguilla where she was born and Antigua and Barbuda, her adopted home, but to the OECS and the wider Caribbean.”
The Attorney General stated “Dame Bernice has left an indelible mark in jurisprudence especially in the area of Human Rights and Constitutional Law and her guidance, counselling and expertise will surely be missed.”
Dame Bernice was also praised by Justice Louise Blenman who applauded the jurist for fearlessly championing the causes of the ordinary man and woman who were being disadvantaged.
“She was in the forefront of several struggles which earned her a reputation as one of the finest minds in the entire Caribbean,” the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court justice said. “In fact, throughout the entire Caribbean, Dame Bernice is known for her scholarship… and for her very high ethical standards. She has an impenetrable integrity and strength of conviction that is unparalleled and with all of this, she is epiphany of dignity.”
UWI Professor Henry Fraser remarked “I was privileged to meet her …in 1964 as a humble freshman while she was a queen of the Students Union and as I remember her, she brought real class to that ferment of student agitation in the days of anti-apartheid and other student protests,”
The Antiguan Observer reported that the 78 year old died Saturday 10th at Mount St. John’s Medical Centre after an illness.