PM: TT has lost a true hero
By CAROL MATROO Sunday, October 6 2013
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Prime minister Kamla Persad Bissessar speaks to reporters at a press conference at the Diplomatic Lounge of the Piarco International airport yesterday...
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar paid tribute to the late Justice Ulric Cross, describing him as a shining example, and a man who pursued and achieved his goals.
A decorated war veteran and legal luminary, Cross died at his Port-of-Spain home, on Friday, surrounded by his family. He was 96.
The Prime Minister said even after he retired from public life, Cross was always ready to assist those in need.
“If there was one national of this country who made his mark internationally, it was Justice Cross. From a Royal Air Force (RAF) pilot in England, to attorney general of the Cameroon, to a judge in Tanzania, to High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. That was the man Justice Ulric Cross. He was a man of all seasons and he will be remembered,” the Prime Minister praised.
Persad-Bissessar described Cross as an excellent judge, saying that some of his judgments changed the landscape of TT.
“TT has lost a true hero,” she said.
The Judiciary also noted the passing of Cross with great sadness.
Court Protocol and Information Manager of the Judiciary, Jones P Madeira , said the institution was consoled by the fact that Cross had a full life.
In a release, yesterday, Madeira said over the years, both the Judiciary and the people of TT benefitted from his “indefatigable commitment, wisdom and service.”
Madeira recalled Cross’ wisdom as he sat at both the High and Appellate Court levels, and his outstanding contribution towards furthering the revision and development of the country’s laws as Chairman of the Law Reform Commission.
To this end he brought with him his global experience from extended stewardships in the United Kingdom and Africa.
Madeira said it should be noted that it was volunteerism and not any conscription that brought Cross to his distinguished World War II career. He said it was this selflessness that shaped Cross’ humanity and service to community, culminating with the establishment of the Ulric Cross Cotton Tree Foundation.
“Many are hailed as icons, but very few attain the breadth of attributes that defined the Ulric Cross that we knew, and whose life among us made our country a better place. The Judiciary salutes and joins in mourning him, and extends its deepest condolences to his family on his passing,” Madeira said.
Peter Clarke, son of this country’s first President Sir Ellis Clarke, yesterday joined the list of people paying tribute to the late retired Justice.
Cross was a close friend of the late President who died on December 30, 2010, at the age of 93. In an email to the Sunday Newsday, Clarke said he was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Cross, adding that he was a contemporary and dear friend of his late father. “Ulric was a true gentleman and a national icon. He was a renowned war hero and a national and international jurist of the highest repute. I wish to extend my sincere condolences to his family,” Clarke said.