A very softer side to Madam Justice Margaret Price-Findlay was seen at a special sitting in the High Court last week Friday for her departure as she broke into tears while reminiscing on her six years of legal service in the Spice Isle.
Many persons within the legal fraternity turned out to say their goodbyes to the Judge who most believe did her job and more in Grenada.
In addressing the gathering, Justice Price-Findlay began with a famous quote from Poet and Playwright, William Shakespeare, “Parting is such a sweet sorrow.”
As tears streamed down her cheeks, the Judge who is known to be stern and strict, emotionally stated that moving to Grenada, “help me moved from being just a judge to one with far more experience.”
According to the departing judge, she met some “amazing” people in Grenada who have all contributed to her development on the bench.
She spoke of her staff, which once again made her very emotional, stating that she had the best staff any judge could have asked for.
She pointed out that three of the lawyers she would never forget are, Anselm Clouden with his heavy use of Latin in his court sessions, George Prime who always ended a debate with scripture verses from Deuteronomy and Peter David who most of the time was late in getting into her court room.
Attorney-General, Cajeton Hood made one of his few court appearances to shower praises on the departing judge.
“The legacy that is being left by you is a commitment to getting the job done,” AG Hood told Price-Findlay.
He thanked her for the persistence in insisting that something must be done to the courts.
“Price Findlay was committed to the process of having new buildings for court…she was involved in the planning,” he said.
This is obvious reference to the decision taken to turn the LIME building on the Carenage into a Hall of Justice to house a number of high courts to provide better facilities for the Judiciary.
Attorney-at-law Crisan Greenidge, who represented the DPP office at the ceremony described the departing Justice Price-Findlay as “a woman of great integrity, approachable, motherly” and as “one who lived…she did not just exist here in Grenada.”
Queens Counsel Celia-Clyne Edwards who reportedly was a classmate of the exiting high court judge as students at the University of the West Indies (UWI) said of her colleague, “You came at a time when judges were expected to (do) trials or so in a week, you were made to face criticisms as judgment was not as timely as it ought to be. Your Ladyship has withstood the best of trials and your judgments are there for all to read”.
Newly re-elected President of the Grenada Bar Association (GBA), Ruggles Ferguson also chipped in to pay tribute to the departing Price-Findlay.
He said: “With respect to Criminal matters, I am pleased to say I do believe that whatever may be my criticism my lady that you do have a good heart and it comes out in the way you deal with criminal matters and sentencing”.
Senior Crown Counsel, Howard Pinnock also joined in the act and welcomed the sentences handed down by the departing judge on criminal elements in the society.
“We as Prosecutors we appreciated the sentences that she imposed because it does send a strong message to the society that drug trafficking and possessing drugs are not going to be tolerated and also in terms of murder, she raised the threshold”, he said.
“We always felt that the sentences for murder in Grenada have been unfortunately on the lower side and at a time when we did not have the right to appeal, we now have the right to appeal as of 2012 but she has raised the bar because she has imposed sentences of 30 years, 35 years in murder which we feel sends a strong message to the society,” he added.
Madam Justice Price-Findlay will take up office in St Lucia in September and will be replaced by a judge who is yet to be named.