Tonight, I am touched, truly touched, by the news of the passing of a dear friend and party colleague, Ezra Alleyne.
Ezra displayed an unmatched commitment to research and understanding of the letter and spirit of the law and was never one to argue any matter, in or outside of the courtroom, or Parliament, without a comprehensive understanding of prior arguments or decisions on the subject.
It was against this background that he distinguished himself as the go-to person on parliamentary democracy issues — anything to do with the Westminster system of government. Not only was this reflected in his weekly column in the Nation newspaper, but anyone who worked around the Parliament of Barbados since the 1970s would have known of his passion, commitment, and knowledge in this area.
Until the very end, he remained a strong supporter of fairness within our parliamentary system, undiluted by his commitment to the Barbados Labour Party as a member, a former Member of Parliament and Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly.
But Ezra’s love for matters of politics never dulled his passion to defend his clients, whether in the criminal or civil court. Particularly in the area of defamation, he distinguished himself working on behalf of members of the media.
For fear of giving the wrong impression though, let me make it clear that Ezra was much more than a politician and lawyer. He was a man possessed of a kind and gentle heart and a spirit of fairness and human understanding that shone through in his every interaction. He was never brash or loud and was not one to insult or tear down, even when he was defending an opposing position.
So congenial, respectful and nurturing was his approach, that many of today’s lawyers, once his students at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies, continue to regard him as the consummate teacher.
Ezra will be missed in so many spheres of our public life. To his children Daun, Gayle, Alistair and Nathan and his wife Tassiea Bryan Alleyne, I extend sincere condolence on behalf of the Government and people of Barbados, particularly the family of the Barbados Labour Party.
May he rest in peace and rise in glory.