National Assembly pays tribute to first Governor General

Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of Government Business in the National Assembly, Hon. Sam Condor paying tribute to the late Sir Clement Arrindell

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, APRIL 3RD 2011 (CUOPM) – The St. Kitts and Nevis National Assembly paid tribute on Friday to the Federation’s first Governor General, the late Sir Clement Athelston Arrindell, GCMG, GCVO, QC.

Leader of Government Business in the lawmaking body, Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon. Sam Condor said Sir Clement held the singular distinction as the Nation’s First Governor General.

“The law, Mr. Speaker, was Sir Clement’s chosen profession and he rose to the pinnacle of that profession by becoming a Judge of the West Indies Associated States Supreme Court.

“He was not only a distinguished public servant in St. Christopher and Nevis, but also a regional public servant. I have learnt Mr. Speaker, that Sir Clement as a very young lawyer, provided legal advice to the St.Kitts-Nevis Trades and Labour Union and you would imagine, Mr. Speaker in those early days, there were numerous legal challenges to the union,” Minister told Parliament.

“He at that time worked very closely with the then General Secretary of the Union, the late Sir Joseph Nathaniel France and so Mr. Speaker, he was able at a very early age to understand the demands and the calling of high office and so the country was able to benefit in a very real sense and in far reaching ways from that advice,” said the Deputy Prime Minister.

Attorney General and Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, the Hon. Patrice Nisbett in his tribute said: Mr. Speaker it is obvious that he had certain qualities. In order to serve as a Magistrate or in order to serve in the upper echelons of the Judiciary, there are certain qualities that are required of a good adjudicator.”

“I believe that if he did not exhibit those qualities, he would not have been given the opportunity to be elevated to become a Judge of the West Indies Associated Supreme Court. Mr. Speaker he has had the opportunity to dispense Justice between his fellowmen here in St. Kitts and Nevis and to be able to dispense justice in the wider Caribbean and I believe that he was able to add to the development of the jurisprudence here in St.Kitts and Nevis and the jurisprudence at the regional level,” said the Attorney General.

Attorney General and Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, the Hon. Patrice Nisbett paying tribute to the late Sir Clement Arrindell

Mr. Nisbett said Sir Clement “had a very good legal mind, a very sound legal mind and he expressed compassion in the delivery, in the adjudication of whatever matters that came before him when he sat in those capacities in different areas.”

He noted that later on in his life, the country called him to serve in a different capacity.

“At that time he was asked to serve Governor of the Associated State of St. Kitts and Nevis and later Mr. Speaker, when this country moved towards Independence, he was elevated to the position as Governor General of St. Kitts and Nevis and he has the distinct honour, Mr. Speaker of being the First Governor General of St. Kitts and Nevis.”

“I believed that he would have served with in that capacity with distinction. He has served with grace and he was able to contribute at that early stage of nation building.

St. Kitts and Nevis was a new independent country and as the Head of State, representing the Queen, he was able to stabilise the ship of state. He was able to govern in good times and he was able to govern in difficult times,” said Attorney General Nisbett.

He said the legal profession “has lost a great mind, a great legal luminary and I believe that this country has lost a great servant, and I believe that the Nation of St. Christopher and Nevis is grateful for the contribution that he has made to the judiciary and the contribution that has made to the development of this country, St. Christopher and Nevis as its First Governor General. May his soul rest in peace and I would wish his family sincere condolences.”

The opposition benches were empty when the tributes were made on the adjournment early Friday evening.

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