The late Sir Clifford Straughn Husbands was today hailed as one of this country’s great and outstanding sons of the soil.
In his tribute to Sir Clifford, who was admitted to the bar in 1984, Acting Attorney General Michael Lashley listed the former Governor General among the many outstanding Barbadians and legal luminaries who had served the country.
“His Excellency Sir Clifford Husbands is certainly one of the most outstanding legal luminaries and statesman . . . . Through his life in public service, through his life on the bench, he would have made a significant contribution to the development of this nation and to the justice system,” Lashley told a special sitting of the Supreme Court this morning attended by Acting Governor General Sir Philip Greaves and his predecessor Sir Elliott Belgrave.
Lashley said Sir Clifford, who qualified as a barrister in 1952 and was Barbados’ sixth and longest serving head of state, served with distinction.
“He was a stickler for details. His approach not only enforced the standard of the profession but also enhanced the quality of submissions and advocacy throughout the course of Barbados. He is a true statesman and outstanding son of the soil. A giant of the legal profession,” Lashley said of Sir Clifford, who passed away on October 11 at the age of 91, after giving 45 years of public service to Barbados.
Sir Clifford served in several capacities, including Deputy Registrar, Director of Public Prosecutions, Supreme Court judge and acting Chief Justice.
In his tribute Queen’s Counsel Ralph Thorne, speaking on behalf of the Barbados Bar Association, hailed Sir Clifford as an “extremely immaculate” judge who insisted on order and also described him as a dignified individual.
“I want to express indebtedness . . . for the example that he has left us and for the legacy that he has left in this place [the court]. A sense of order, a sense of form and decorum. A commitment to the law and a sense of dignity,” Thorne said.
Speaking on behalf of the family, former Chief Justice Sir David Simmons said Sir Clifford life’s voyage was marked by outstanding and praiseworthy achievements in its many facets.
“He was a strong but fair prosecutor . . . he was patient, courteous, resourceful and dignified.
“As a judicial officer Sir Clifford won for himself, in the highest degree, a reputation for conscientious justice and integrity combined with a genial courtesy,” Sir David said.
He also told the sitting that Sir Clifford, who was appointed Governor General in 1986, wore the office well and was also “scrupulously impartial” in executing his duties.
Sir David also briefly spoke about Sir Clifford’s love for music before highlighting three important contributions he made in paving the way for the enactment of the Penal Reform Act of 1998; the Governor General’s Summer Camp and training for the legal profession.
Sir David also pointed out that Sir Clifford’s service to the country before he retired in 2011 shared a unique coincidence with the number 15. He explained that Sir Clifford led the department of the DPP for 15 years, then for another 15 years he adorned the bench of the Supreme Court and served as Governor General for the same time period.
For all those services Barbados conferred on this “distinguished patriot” the Gold Crown of Merit, Companion of Honour, the accolade of Knight of St Andrew and the Queen awarded him Knight Grand Cross of St Michael and St George.