Prime Minister Freundel Stuart today described the late Sir Clifford Husbands as a man who was uncompromising whether in his role as Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), High Court judge, or Governor General.
However, as he led off contributions to a resolution in the House of Assembly in tribute to Barbados’ longest serving Governor General, who held the position of head of state from 1996 until his retirement on October 31, 2011, Stuart acknowledged that Sir Clifford’s tenure as DPP was not without controversy.
In fact, he recalled that early in his career Sir Clifford had to prosecute publisher Burton Hinds, who was also a member of the House of Assembly at the time.
Stuart, the Member of Parliament for St Michael South, further pointed out that Sir Clifford had also faced fierce criticism from Opposition Barbados Labour Party founder Sir Grantley Adams.
However, he said Sir Clifford was able to bring successful defamation proceedings against the Barbados Advocate over its parliamentary reports of Sir Grantley’s criticisms, which he claimed had impugned his reputation.
Stuart also told the House that in his role as DPP, Sir Clifford often stressed that he never set out to win a case, but saw his role as an officer of the court to fairly present the facts of the case and leave it to the jury to decide the guilt or innocence of an accused.
“That was the kind of person he was,” Stuart said, adding that it was no surprise when Sir Clifford was appointed a High Court judge in 1976.
“In his courtroom there was no room for frivolity,” he said, stressing that the Sir Clifford was known for starting court promptly at 9:30 in the morning and he had little tolerance for tardy attorneys.
His adherence to the highest standards was also evident in his tenure as a Justice of Appeal, Stuart said, adding that following the death of Governor General Dame Nita Barrow in 1996, it was no surprise that Sir Clifford was recommended to serve in the country’s highest office.
The Prime Minister said it was during Sir Clifford’s 15 years as Governor General that people not only witnessed the dignified persona of the man, but they got a glimpse of his passion for agriculture, his wit, his deep love for Barbados and his family and his desire to offer advice and solutions.
Sir Clifford, who passed away last month at age 91, was laid to rest in a state funeral on November 3 at the St Lucy Parish Church.