(CHARLESTOWN, NEVIS)- It was a special and unforgettable moment for Mrs. Melissa Flemming, who on Friday, November 21, 2014 joined the assembly of lawyers in the Federation after being called to the Bar of St. Christopher and Nevis.
The ceremony was held at the Charlestown High Court and presided over by Her Ladyship, Justice Lorraine Williams.
Below is her acceptance speech.
May it please you, My Lady
It is indeed an honour and a privilege to be given the opportunity to rise and address the Court.
I know my Lady that the protocol today has been established but might I be permitted to start with Thanks To the Almighty God who is my strength and my Redeemer who has allowed me to be able to rise today and address the court on an occasion which at times seemed long in coming but for His Grace.
As I stand here I cannot help but recall the number of occasions that I have sat in proceedings like these but facing the other direction – if I might be permitted My Lady to say that I much prefer facing forward because that way I can truly appreciate the significance of this occasion.
If it pleases you My Lady, I must thank Your Ladyship for accommodating the hearing of my application for admission to this honourable Court, in the Court’s busy schedule. I am most grateful to Your Ladyship.
I move to extend my sincerest gratitude to my senior Oral Martin. Mr. Martin, who without hesitation agreed to present my application and to move my call. I must also thank him for affording me the opportunity to do my internship at his chambers last summer. The experience I gained there was extremely instructive and Mr. Martin, in his calm and deliberate style offered more than a look into the world of private practice for which I am eternally grateful, even though I am still slightly terrified.
To learned Queen’s Counsel Mr Theodore Hobson, who has taken the time out of his extremely busy schedule to be here and support my application, I say sincerest thanks. Through my years of study learned senior would never fail to enquire about my well-being and he has lent me support whenever I called upon him and more so when I have not.
I would like to thank the members of the Bar, I wholly appreciate that they have taken the time to be here today and their presence is significant as I seek to join them fraternally today.
My Lady, my admission today represents the culmination of many years of dedicated study, sacrifice and hard work, punctuated at times with anxiety, anguish and tears. I have reached the goal and a new chapter begins as I embark on my professional career in the law.
The practice of the law is a profession, a learned and most noble profession, based on service to one’s fellow citizens, and guided by the rule of law. My Lady I am aware of the fact that being an officer of the court comes with both exclusive privileges and heavy responsibilities. My Ladyship may rest assured that these privileges will not be abused and further that these responsibilities will always be discharged. At all times, the clear stamp of honesty and integrity will be seen.
I am entering this great and noble profession in challenging and changing times. The rapid changes in our community are often frightening. The law is no exception. However, whether we are part of the profession or not, we can gain strength from the fact that the courts, the judges, and the practising profession are each playing their part in seeing that the rule of law continues as one of the central pillars of our free and democratic society.
I therefore challenge myself and my colleagues to live up to the standards of this noble profession and to the professional conduct that its office calls us to.
My Lady, I am hesitant to admit it, but if I had it my way, this would all be a quiet Chamber application –
But My Lady, I embrace this opportunity today to witness the proud smiles on my family and friends who have supported, sustained me and put up with me, during the years of studying. It is a time for sharing the joy of my success with the people who gave me strength when I felt like giving up to carry on.
My Lady, I cannot sit before I thank those very special persons who have been part of my journey;
To my grandmother Florence Brandy who is not with us today in flesh but constantly watches over me and whose memory is a source of inspiration especially in those difficult times it is like I heard her saying “My child don’t give up you can do it” may her soul continue to rest in eternal peace.
To my husband Rodney words cannot express my heartfelt gratitude to you for your love, loyalty, help and support, and the many sacrifices you have made, I would not be standing where I am today without your immeasurable love. THANK YOU
To my children, Bren+dan and Tarik. Thank you for being my motivators and enduring my absence. I know it was not easy. It interrupted your lives and affected your studies. Yet you remained forever in my corner cheering me on to this day. My love for you both, knows no bounds and now I am back, I wish to assure, that you have my undivided attention. A heartfelt thank you, my dear sons.
I must also take this time to express my profoundest gratitude to my mother Brenda Brandy who help to make me the person I am today in conjunction with my Grandma. Thank you for your love and support which is without end and for being the pillar of strength that you are and being there for Rodney, Brendan and Tarik whenever they called upon you for their support.
To my brother from another mother Angelo Le Blanc thank you for your unwavering support to Rodney and the Boys.
I must also say thank you to my prayer warriors Mary Dore, Elrica Pemberton, Mayome Flemming and the Ministers and the congregation of the Clifton Methodist Church for their prayers which kept me going when I felt like giving up and throwing in the towel.
My Precedent/resource ladies Erlin Perkins, Carol Pemberton, Charmaine Hanley, Jessica Clarke and Sharon Liburd who assisted me whenever I called upon for information they would always come to my rescue without any hesitation thank you.
I must say sincerest thanks to Madame Justice Ianthea Leigertwood Octave for your listening ears and for always reminding me that I can accomplish it all. Thank you for your guidance and assistance with my assignments and preparing for exams.
To my support system which comprises of my Dad, sisters and brothers in Nevis and England, Aunts and Uncles in Nevis and England Cousins in Nevis and England my in-laws and Friends in Nevis and the wider Caribbean who called, listened or gave encouraging words and kept cheering me on throughout the period of studying.
To the Registry staff especially John Arthurton thanks for all your quick responses and kind assistance when called upon.
I am grateful to all my Lecturers, Tutors and staff at the Norman Manley Law School and the staff at Legal Aid Clinic.
I will continue to try my best as I embark on a new path in my life and to do my part to keep my new profession a noble one.
To God be the Glory Great Things he has done.
May it please you my Lady.