A Tribute to Carol W Bristol, Q.C.

The heights by great men reached and kept, were not attained by sudden flight – but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.

The day I got the sad news that my buddy and colleague — Carol Bristol, Q.C. — had passed on to the great beyond, the above quotation came back to mind from Shakespeare and others of my old school days — in memory of the great guy I met many decades ago, on my return from England as a recently qualified Barrister–at–Law, and coming back to a homeland I had left as a teenager over twenty years before.

My colleagues Bishop and Radix were back home the year before me, and they were already in the struggle against Eric Gairy and his GULP — who had acquired Independence from England in February, 1974, amidst great struggles between the two leading parties.

Carol Bristol, Q.C. was a great friend and mentor to us younger lawyers, and in our struggles on the political front as the New Jewel Movement (NJM) against Gairy and his Mongoose gang of those days — we always could have relied on him for his advice and guidance.

He acted as Chief Justice in Grenada — when the state was in all manner of chaos and confusion with its politics — but he remained accessible always to us whenever we needed his support.

The firm he shared and later headed — Henry, Henry & Bristol and its staff — were always ready and willing to assist us in those hectic days, and I was particularly grateful for his assistance, after the same NJM he helped us to build and spread around the island — picked up Tillman Thomas and myself — among many others island-wide, and held us in detention at Richmond Hill Prison for over two years as political detainees.

Despite his elevation to the very high office in his chosen profession, he always remained very humble and accessible.

I always admired his attitude and deportment how and when — as captain of our lawyers cricket team, and we went out in the country parts to play teams at Hope in St Andrew, and in Sauteurs and St. David, and elsewhere in the countryside — he would mix and associate with the local guys as though they too were lawyers.

But now he is gone to the great beyond — where we all will be heading some day to come — so as we recall and remember his examples to us as our senior, I wish him God’s Gracious Blessings and may he rest in peace.

And to his dear wife and family, Henry, Henry & Bristol — I offer my deepest sympathy on this your great loss, and trust that the fond memories of him will sustain you always.

by Lloyd Noel

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