Star athlete, netballer and psychologist turn lawyer, accepted to practice at the bar
BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, NOVEMBER 15TH 2012 (CUOPM) – With a degree in psychology, a star athlete, netballer and runner up in a national beauty pageant, Lodge Project resident, Ms. Violet Angela Williams, was accepted to practice as a Barrister and Solicitor by Resident Judge, His Lordship the Hon. Mr. Justice Errol Thomas.
Ms. Williams’ application was submitted by two female barristers, Director of Public Prosecution, Mrs. Paulina Hendrickson and Crown Counsel and Deputy Clerk of the St. Kitts and Nevis National Assembly Ms. Jihan Williams, both of whom traced Williams’ career from Primary School, High School and universities in Cuba, Barbados and Jamaica.
|Front (left to right) – DPP Mrs. Pauline Hendrickson, Barrister at Law and Solicitor Ms. Violet Williams and Ms. Jihan Williams
Back – brother Mr.Kareem Williams (left) and mother, Ms. Rosallind Williams (right).
Teaching for two years before going to study in Cuba, Ms. Williams returned with a degree in psychology, worked at the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) and then went off to study law at the University of the West Indies (UWI).
After being accepted and robed, Ms. Williams in voice filled with motion and at times choking back tears, told a packed court of family members and friends presided over by Justice Thomas:
“Your Lordship, today I stand before you in the humblest of spirit, overwhelmed with a cocktail of emotions, of gratitude, pride, triumph and hope.
Without hesitation, I express my sincerest appreciation to Your Lordship for accepting my application, thereby, affording me the esteemed privilege, of being a part of this noble and distinguished legal profession of St. Kitts and Nevis. This inclusion is personally significant mainly for two reasons:
As like many, I too had a dream, and today that dream has matured into my reality.
Secondly, whilst a Five (5) year long journey ends, instantaneously, it heralds the commencement of another adventure, that of an exemplifying Barrister for the years to come.
At this point, I extend sincerest appreciation to my Seniors, Mrs Pauline Hendrickson who presented my application and Miss Jihan Williams for seconding it. As a legal intern in the Department of Justice and Legal Affairs of Saint Christopher and Nevis, during the summers of 2009 to 2011, I was afforded the opportunity of working under their direction. The experience and knowledge gained has set a solid foundation on which to build my career.
My Lord, permit to offer a few words of my biography. I graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology in 2006, from the Oriente University in Santiago, Cuba. There I also learned how to read and write Spanish fluently.
In September of 2007, I commenced reading law at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados.
As I reflect, I must say that at times I lost focus, but I never lost sight; and the days seemed to pass by slowly but when exams were approaching, how time flew quickly.
I was very eager to finish my first year, but who would have known that when the exams roster was posted, Criminal Law, my first exam was scheduled on My birthday, then I was not so eager anymore, and the gift of an exam on such a significant day, continued for the following two (2) years, compliments of the University of the West Indies.
In 2010, I graduated and enrolled in the Certificate of Legal Education Program at the Norman Manley Law School Jamaica. And I graduated on the 13th day of October of this year.
Every hurdle of my journey tested the length of my strides. There were times when I was overwhelmed with assignments, while simultaneously, had to do court attendances, prepare for tutorials, advocacy training, Legal Aid clinic and may I add, financial difficulties, the added of stress of almost having to leave school, rent in arrears, days of having not even one Jamaican dollar, emotional stress, fatigue, sickness, uncertainties, the growth of my fist grey hair… and the list goes on.
I remember the doubts that plagued my mind, drenched in hurricanes of disappointment, but I have learned to never yield, as eventually the tides will recede, the clouds will roll back and victory will be the colour of the day, hence the reason why we are here today!
My Lord, at this juncture permit me to thank openly, my support system, those who stood by me, without which, standing before this Honourable court, this 9th day of November, would not have been possible.
Firstly, I Thank God, the Almighty, my Alpa and Omega, who mapped out my life in such a strategic way, who has blessed me immeasurably and who stood and is still standing beside me, He made it all possible. In Retrospect, though my eyes melted to tears many nights, prayed endlessly many nights, now realizing, I stressed needlessly those many nights. As My God paved the way for my development, gave me wisdom, and provided all my needs. All the honour and praise I give to him.
Hence today, I ask that you rejoice with me for surviving and overcoming my hardships as I consider the past 5 years the most difficult years of my life.
My Lord, without further, I wish to express heartfelt and profoundest gratitude to a lady of integrity, dedication and honour, my Mother, Miss Rosalind Emelda Williams. She has been the engine of my support system; was always there for me no matter the circumstances; sacrificed her time, finances and love, shed tears and prayed for me. Absolutely none of my successes would have been attainable without the many sacrifices she made.
Therefore, your Lordship, Permit me to say to her “mom today is your day to shine, to be proud, to cry tears of joy, knowing that you have done brilliantly well in ensuring that my dream, our dream became a reality! Thank you for impacting my life so positively.
Similarly, gratitude must also be extended to my grandmother Ethlyn Williams, who has loved and supported me endlessly, sadly last evening she fell ill and could not make it today.
My Dear friend Ivan Hanley, whose words of encouragement, contributions and friendship has been priceless. I will forever be grateful to him.
My father Noel Pollock; brother Kareem Williams; aunt Elrona Williams, dear friends Sylvia Benjamin, Mauricia Benjamin, All of whom has contributed and played a pivotal role in the completion of my studies.
My room-mate Nisharma Rattan -Mack, I strongly believe that she was chosen to share this experience with me”the duo” they called us. She was there relentlessly and her friendship too has been invaluable. And who also have the privilege of being my free legal advisor.
Sandra Wallace, Carolyn Brownbill, Pastor and Sister Phipps and the members of the Pentecostal Church of God Of Tabernacle for their constant prayers of deliverance and guidance.
My past teachers, other family and friends who I have not singled out, but who are here today, my achievements are indicative of your continued support and belief in me.
To all, I am indeed grateful. As to say thank you does not adequately express the enormity of my appreciation.
My Lord, as I move forward, I will do so with the same ethical values, passion, zeal and dedication, characteristics I have developed from my support system. And take with me the principles of preparation and practice that I realised were the key to successful completion of my studies.
As I bring my response to a close, I conclude with these words that are forever etched in my heart. “To God be the Glory Great things he has done for Violet Angela Williams.
May it please you, My Lord.