The Grenada Bar Association salutes the contribution of our departed colleague Ernest John who passed away on 29th May 2015, at the age of 90, and who was buried today (June 22nd).
John has contributed significantly to the development of Grenada during his more than 50 years at the Bar. His was a well-rounded contribution to national development, serving the nation in several different capacities.
Though most of his years were spent in private practice, John served, in the 1970’s, in the twin positions of Attorney-General and Director of Public Prosecutions. He also served as a Magistrate of the Eastern District (Grenville & St. David’s).
Beginning his professional career as a teacher, he eventually branched off to law, and used his vast knowledge and experience to serve Grenada in other capacities, including Supervisor of Elections.
He believed in service and played leading roles in the Lions Club and in the Diabetic Association of Grenada, of which he was President for 18 years.
With determination and perseverance, battling health challenges over the years, John practiced law well into his 80’s. The ravages of diabetes, which he managed admirably and effectively over the years, eventually took its toll, leading to amputations and forcing him to close his Old Fort office in 2012.
With all his achievements, Mr. John remained a simple, humble man who cared about people. He was always ready to assist those in need.
Quiet-natured and exuding a very cool and calm disposition, Mr. John was hardly known for lifting his voice in anger or otherwise. A good listener, he was always approachable and engaging, effective in his own quiet and an unassuming manner.
On Friday, June 19th, a special sitting of the High Court was convened to pay tribute to Mr. John and his friend, Dr. Nicholas Liverpool, a former Judge of the Grenada Court of Appeal (1979-’91), who, in his latter days, served as President of the Commonwealth of Dominica (2002-2012).
Both were lauded at the special sitting for their respective contributions to the law and to wider society. Both shared common traits of simplicity and humility, giving much and demanding nothing in return.
Today at his funeral service, his close colleague and friend, Lashley Salfarlie, with whom he shared Chambers in the latter years of his practice, paid a moving tribute to him on behalf of the Grenada Bar Association.
John remains a great example to those who may think of giving up when the going gets tough. From his humble beginnings in Mt. Granby, St. John’s, he rose above the many challenges along the way, with steadfast determination, eventually journeying thousands of miles to England to complete his legal education. It’s with the same steadfast determination he approached his medical challenges throughout his professional career.
The Grenada Bar Association extends sympathy to Mr. John’s children, his grandchildren, and other members of his extended family. Be comforted by the fact that he has lived a long and fulfilling life, serving his people, and making a positive difference in the lives of many.
May he rest in peace!