"Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God"
Sir Lionel Luckhoo, K.C.M.G., Kr. Bach., C.B.E.,S.C.
Twice Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II *
High Commissioner & Ambassador for 2 countries accredited to London, Paris, Bonn & the Hague. * Four times Mayor of Georgetown, Guyana.
* Recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the "World's Most Successful Advocate with 245 consecutive murder acquittals."
* Sir Lionel humbly ascribed himself as a servant for Jesus.
Sir Edward Victor Luckhoo (1912 – 1998) was the Governor General of Guyana from 1966 to 1969 and became its Acting President upon independence. He was knighted on 1 January 1970
• Sir Edward Victor Luckhoo KB, OR, QC
Edward Luckhoo Born: 24 May 1912 in New Amsterdam, Berbice. Died: 3 March 1998.
Queen's College, Guyana.
St. Catherine's College, Oxford University (BA).
Called to the Bar (Middle Temple) 1931.
Admitted to practice (1936).
Queen's Counsel (1965).
Magistrate from 1 March 1944 to 1 September 1947.
Justice of Appeal on 29 June 1966.
Chancellor of the Judiciary of Guyana from 18 October 1969 to 9 October 1976.
Acting Governor-General of Guyana from 29 October 1969.
Acting President of Guyana from 23 February 1970.
Knights Bachelor (1969).
The Order of Roraima of Guyana (1976).
• Sir Joseph Alexander Luckhoo KB, QC
Born: 8 June 1917 in Georgetown. Died: ??.
Queen's College, Guyana.
University College, London (BSc).
Middle Temple, London
Crown Counsel (1949 -1953).
Legal Draftsman (1953 -1956).
Puisne Judge (1956 -1960).
Chief Justice (1961).
Knights Bachelor (1963).
The Order of Roraima of Guyana (1976).
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James Samuel Ogle: Born in Guyana (British Guiana) Lived at: Mahaica, East Coast Demerara.
William Ogle: Born in Guyana (British Guiana) Lived at: Friendship, East Coast Demerara.
James William Ogle: Born in Guyana (British Guiana) Lived at: Lots 80/81 Triumph, East Coast Demerara.
McLean Ogle (Junior): Born in Guyana (British Guiana) Lived at: Friendship, East Coast Demerara.
Albert McLean Ogle: Born in Guyana (British Guiana) Lived at: 123 Parade Street, Kingston, Georgetown.
Source: Official Gazette of British Guiana - November 12, 1927: Page 1,620.
HISTORICAL NOTES -
Death of Felix McLaren Stephenson
DEATH OF MR. F. MCLAREN STEPHENSON – PROMISING TEACHER GONE – LARGELY ATTENDED FUNERAL
As briefly stated in yesterday's "Argosy" the death took place on Sunday afternoon last at the public hospital, Georgetown of Felix McLaren Stephenson, head teacher of At. Augustine's Anglican School, Friendship, East Coast Demerara. The deceased was an ardent and devout church worker and took a keen and intelligent interest in Village Administration and progress generally. By his death the teaching profession has lost a very valuable member. His school was his first care and all who visited left impressed with the general order and fitness of things. The deceased has left a widow and five children. The funeral took place at Buxton on Monday Afternoon and was largely attended. The principal mourners were Mrs. Lydia Stephenson and children, Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Stephenson (father and mother), Mr. and Mrs. Reuben R. Baird (brother-in-law and sister), Messrs. Samuel Josephus Holder and W. W. Holder and Corporal and Mrs. Forde. The cortege proceeded to the church where the rites were performed by the Reverend James Persaud and Forestrie rites were accorded the deceased. Chief – Ranger Talbott of Court Georgetown Diamond officiating. Among those present were the Reverend W. E. Giddings and J. B. Broomes, Messrs. Edmund Fitzgerald Fredericks, S. Wood Ogle, H. A. Britton, Jacob Dodson Young, John Wills, J. J. Baird, C. A. Nestor, S. Talbott, R. Talbott, F. H. Pollard, John E. Griffith, Daniel Johannes Richmond, E. A. Glasgow, Cyril Robert Gladstone Potter, E. F. Chance, E. F. Boston, A. Devonish, J. Owen, Edward Mitchinson Storey, William Nicholas Arno, James Alfred Trotman, Donald Ashley Bevel Trotman, George H. H. Morrison, Aaron Victor Lawrence, Jno. Sam, J. J. Adams, Clement Rodney, Phillip Calder, Joseph Alfred Parkinson, Stanley A. Thierens, W. Philadelphia, J. W. Cox, J. Ogle, B. Profitt, E. Trotman, P. Lambert, H. Eastman, W. B. David, Charles Biscop Benjamin, William Theophilus Benjamin, N. A. Sparman, E. A. Borman, J. B. Major, Jno. Gomes, Oscar McGarrel, J. St. Anbyo, F. E. Pollard, C. Williams, P. Saunders and Robert Roger Carter. Floral tributes were received from the following: -Samuel Josephus Holder and family, Mr. W. W. Holder, H. A. Britton, Mr. W. Seaforth, Mr. and Mrs. Reuben R. Baird, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Mitchinson Storey, Mr. and Mrs. Ward, Mrs. Herod and family, Beterverwagting Congregational School, Mrs. Cedric Smith, Miss I. Paul, Mr. L.B. Hope, Mr. S. A. Young, Mr. and Mrs. France, the Upper East Coast Branch of the British Guiana Teachers’ Association, the Lower East Coast Branch of the British Guiana Teachers’ Association, Beterverwagting Episcopal School, Friendship Wesleyan School, Lusignan Episcopal School, Friendship Roman Catholic School, Friendship Episcopal School, Mr. A. Fung, S. Wood Ogle and family, Misses J. and L. Sharples. Source: the Daily Argosy, Georgetown, British Guiana - Friday, March 28, 1924: page 4.
John William Britton, School Master, Government Industrial School, Born: September 1, 1909; son of William J. Britton [Station Master] and his wife Alberta Mercurius. Married : June 9, 1945; Lenora Backer Source: who’s who in British Guiana [1945-1948 Fourth Edition]: page 67.
Henry Aaron Britton Editor of the Tribune Newspaper, President, Village Chairmen’s Conference, Advocate for adopting of 4H Clubs.
Henry Aaron Britton (Plaisance); Edward Britton (Plantation Ogle); Richard Carteath Britton (Plantation Ogle); Source: Official Gazette of British Guiana – May 22, 1926: page 1196.
Henry Aaron Britton: 17/18 Hincks Street, Georgetown, Demerara, British Guiana.
Miss Nancy Britton, later Mrs. Nancy Luke, the wife of Mr. Joseph William Luke schoolmaster at Better Hope and catechist at Plaisance.
Archie Britton cyclist
Paul Britton Police Officer
Also members of the kinships of Archer, Ashby, Bland, Britton, Bunbury, Campbell, Cuffy, Gravesande, Hinds, Luke, Pilgrim, Roberts, Rutherford, and Sancho of Plaisance
JAMES HENRY AUGUSTUS LUKE, Boiler Maker, Transport and Harbours Department. RESIDES: at Plaisance, East Coast, Demerara. BORN: 1889 at Aurora , Essequibo , to Joseph William Luke, Catechist, and his wife, Nancy, nee Britton. EDUCATED: at St. Paul ’s Anglican School , Plaisance, East Coast, Demerara. Was a Boiler Maker, Foreman Plantation Diamond for 20 years. Also Foreman at Air Base. MARRIED: 3rd, August, 1921:- Matilda Harris. CHILDREN: Has four sons and two daughters. RECREATION: Cricket. 1923:- Erected Iron Chimney without scaffold at Plantation Diamond. SOURCE: Roth, Vincent & Delph, Charles Noel (Editors)Who’s Who in British Guiana [1945-48, Fourth Edition] The Daily Chronicle Company Limited, Georgetown , British Guiana , 1948]: Page 330.
Peter Britton passes away
December 10, 2009
Senior Counsel Peter Britton who was hailed as being among the best criminal law minds in the country has died. He passed away yesterday after ailing for a brief period. He was said to have been in his seventies.
Professor Britton served the legal profession in excess of 45 years and was known for his brilliance in academics and for a celebrated legal career. At the time of his death, he was still serving in the Law Department of the University of Guyana, and news of his passing came as students at the campus were set to write a criminal law examination.
Acting Chancellor of the Judiciary Carl Singh said yesterday that the professional standards which Britton observed should be emulated by those who hope to achieve the heights he did. He said Britton was a very able lawyer “who conducted himself with dignity and propriety, qualities we find so sadly lacking in many who had been admitted to practice law at the bar in Guyana”.
Referring to the news of Britton’s death as sad, Justice Singh said that it came as “a real shock”. He also noted that Britton’s loss is a significant one to the profession. “On behalf of the judiciary, on behalf of myself, I offer heartfelt sympathy to his sorrowing relatives,” he added.
Retired judge Donald Trotman called Britton one of the best criminal lawyers in the country. He said Britton had made “hallmark breakthroughs” in the criminal law in many cases during his practice. Trotman suggested that a number of the reported cases in which Britton featured as counsel be compiled “…Whether he has lost or won them [cases], but he has won a good many, they should be put together and be used by students and or as guidance for young lawyers, perhaps for judges too,” he added.
Trotman said Britton was his colleague in practice and had also appeared before him while he was on the bench. He called for a Full Court sitting to be held in the lawyer’s memory saying “he deserves no less”.
He praised Britton for his academic skills saying, “It is someone like Peter who should have been sitting in the High Court and subsequently the Court of Appeal in this country,” and he noted that Britton’s service to the university had compensated in some measure for “this deficiency.
“We will miss him, both as a lawyer and as a friend and also as a personality. He was a personality in the profession, something exuded from him that made you notice him, particularly when you conversed with him.” He said the profession has lost a valuable member.
It was Britton’s artistry and experience in the profession which attorney-at-law Stephen Fraser recalled yesterday. He told Stabroek News that Britton was his mentor who had taught him a great deal. “I benefited from his expertise, outside of his brilliance, he was a great story-teller,” Fraser added. The attorney said too that Britton had one of the sharpest intellects of anyone he had met and he declared that the loss is tremendous to the profession.
President of the Guyana Bar Association Teni Housty referred to Britton’s loss as the passing of a stalwart in the profession.
He said Britton has left an indelible mark in the profession through his tutorship at the university. He recalled an impacting statement which Britton often made to new law students, “He would say that the most important thing in the law is not necessarily knowing it, but knowing where to find it”.
He said that Britton’s was a life well served, noting that the professor had a distinguished career which spanned several decades. Housty said too that Guyana and the wider Caribbean region have lost a great legal mind.
He also expressed how the news impacted personally. “It is such a loss because of who Professor Britton was and what he meant to this profession, I offer my condolences to his family, friends and his students”.
Peter Britton was admitted to the local bar on January 25, 1967. He served as a criminal lawyer and quickly built a reputation as one of the best in the field.
He was also selected to chair numerous legal committees during his career in addition to his service at the university.
Sir Lionel Luckhoo, the flamboyant Guyanese barrister who has died aged 83, was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's most successful advocate, with 245 consecutive successful defenses in murder cases.
Known as the "Perry Mason of the Caribbean", Luckhoo was also a highly respected High Commissioner in London for both Guyana and Barbados, a candidate for prime minister, and later in life a globe-trotting evangelical preacher, founder of the Luckhoo Mission in Dallas, Texas.
Lionel Alfred Luckhoo was born at New Amsterdam, British Guiana, on March 2 1914, the second of three sons. His Indian grandfather, Lokhooa, had been "recruited" to work on a sugar plantation in British Guiana while sightseeing as a boy with his (Four Brothers) at Lucknow, in 1859. The recruiter painted a bright picture of the prospects in a strange land called "Damra Tapu" (Demerara, a province in British Guiana), where in five years they could make a fortune, before returning home.
Lokhooa and his brothers, aged 13, 11 and seven, crossed the Indian and Pacific oceans aboard the Victor Emanuel, and were assigned to a sugar plantation as indentured labor. Lokhooa converted to Christianity, thereafter calling himself Moses Luckhoo. When, after years of hard work, he had saved enough to buy his way out of his indentures, he qualified as an interpreter. He went on to open several provision stores, eventually becoming one of New Amsterdam's richest merchants.
Lionel's father, Edward Alfred, one of Moses’ six sons, became the first East Indian solicitor in the colony in 1899, and later Mayor of New Amsterdam.
Young Lionel was educated at Queen's College, Georgetown, before coming to London to study Medicine at St Thomas's Hospital. Realizing that he could not stand the sight of blood, he switched to Law, and was called to the Bar by Middle Temple in 1940. He left for home on the day of Dunkirk, to set up in legal practice with his brother as Luckhoo & Luckhoo, in Georgetown.
As his record suggests, Lionel Luckhoo was extraordinarily persuasive with juries. He was incisive in cross-examination, and got straight to the nub of a case. Between 1940 and 1985, when he finally retired, almost all his clients were acquitted at trial. The few that were not had their convictions overturned on appeal to the Privy Council.
One such case, Noor Mohamed v R (1949), remains an authority on so-called similar fact evidence. The defendant, a goldsmith, was accused of murdering the woman he lived with by causing her to take cyanide, a substance, which he used for his trade. There was no direct evidence that he had caused her to take cyanide, and some evidence that she had committed suicide.
At the trial, the prosecution led evidence that the goldsmith had previously killed his wife with cyanide on pretence that it was a cure for toothache. On appeal, Luckhoo successfully argued that the prejudicial effect of this evidence outweighed its probative value, so it had been wrongly admitted.
After independence, Luckhoo argued for keeping appeals to the Privy Council, feeling that its legitimacy could not be easily replicated in the Caribbean. He took Silk in 1954, and was appointed CBE in 1962.
During the early 1960s, Luckhoo acted for the maverick cult leader Jim Jones on a child custody case. Jones held sway over a great many Guyanese, duped by his fake healing ceremonies and seduced into adopting his free-love lifestyle. In 1978, Jones orchestrated the mass suicide of some 900 people in his commune known as Jonestown. Luckhoo later admitted that dissuading the deeply unstable Jones from committing suicide on an earlier occasion was one of his greatest regrets.
In the meantime, Luckhoo had served as a member of the State Council, 1952-53, and as Minister without Portfolio, 1954-57. He was Mayor of Georgetown in 1954, 1955, 1960 and 1961.
In the late 1950s, he stood for prime minister against the coalition led by Cheddi Jagan and Forbes Burnham. Cheddi Jagan's Progressive People's Party appeared so pro-communist in 1953 that Britain suspended the constitution for four years and dispatched troops.
As well as being a staunch Anglophile, Luckhoo was fiercely anti-communist, but his National Labour Front expounded conservative ideas for which the country was not yet ready, and he failed to garner enough grass roots support.
When his country gained independence as Guyana in 1966, Luckhoo became its first High Commissioner in London. That autumn he also became Barbados's first High Commissioner (he was friendly with the Barbadian prime minister, Errol Barrow), thereby pioneering the cost-saving system of joint representation that has since been adopted by many small countries. His motorcar carried two flags, and not infrequently two places were laid for him at official banquets.
From 1967 to 1970, Luckhoo also represented Guyana and Barbados as ambassador in Paris, Bonn and The Hague. He was knighted in 1966, and appointed KCMG in 1969. But he gave up his diplomatic career in 1970 and entered chambers in the Temple, returning to Guyana in 1974, after the failure of his first marriage. Until retiring in 1980, he concentrated on appeal work.
Luckhoo was very attached to the Turf. The first horse that he and his brothers owned was called First Luck; it went on to win 33 races in Guyana and Trinidad, financing a string of 10 horses. He later had several in training in England with the late Sam Hall, one of which, Philodendron, won the Liverpool Summer Cup in 1960. He was a regular attender of Royal Ascot, and in 1960 published The Fitzluck Theory of Breeding Racehorses in the American Blood Horse magazine.
Luckhoo was always immaculately attired, and had a short, sharp step and gait. Everything was done in a slightly hurried way. He was a brilliant off-the-cuff speaker, and an accomplished magician, joining the Magic Circle.
He had always been a Christian, but in later years he became, as he put it, "an ambassador for Jesus". He founded his mission in 1980, preached around the world, and wrote pamphlets with such titles as Dear Atheist and God is Love.
Luckhoo married, first (dissolved 1972), Sheila Chamberlin; they had two sons and three daughters, who survive him, with his second wife, Jeannie.
(CARICOM Secretariat, Georgetown, Guyana) 15 December 1997
CONDOLENCE MESSAGE ON DEATH OF SIR LIONEL LUCKHOO
It is with deep regret that the Community has learnt of the death of Guyanese born Sir Lionel Alfred Luckhoo QC CBE.
An outstanding member of a family with a longstanding legal tradition, Sir Lionel carved his own niche in legal history by earning the acknowledgement as the most successful criminal lawyer with regard to acquittals in murder cases.
Although Sir Lionel's fame rests chiefly on his legal exploits, his interests also encompassed politics and diplomacy having served his country in both the Legislative and Executive Councils, as Mayor of Georgetown and as a distinguished High Commissioner to the United Kingdom in which position he also served the people of Barbados.
On behalf of the Caribbean Community, the Secretariat and on my own behalf, I extend our heartfelt sympathy to the Luckhoo family, and the Government and People of Guyana at this loss.
Sir Lionel Alfred Luckhoo KCMG, CBE, QC
Born: 2 March 1914 in New Amsterdam, Berbice. Died: 13 December 1997.
Queen's College, Guyana.
Honourable Society of Middle Temple, London.
Called to the Bar (Middle Temple) in 1940.
Queen's Counsel (1954).
Mayor of the City of Georgetown (1955 -1956).
Mayor of the City of Georgetown (1960 -1961).
Member of the State Council (1952 -1953).
Minister without Portfolio (1954 -1957).
Guyana's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (1966 -1970) and also jointly for Barbados from 1967.
Commander of the Order of the British Empire (1962).
Knighted in 1966.
Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George (1969).
Listed in the Guinness Book of World Records under the category "Most Successful Lawyer" for obtaining 245 consecutive murder-charge acquittals.
Lionel Luckhoo was the leader of the National Labour Front (NFL), which won only one seat in the General Elections of 1957. He was an avid fan of the Turf and owned racehorses in Guyana and England. Following his retirement from law practice in 1980, he became a Christian Evangelist and founded his own Mission.
Ambassador for Christ
Sir Lionel Luckhoo, Ambassador at Large from Fort Worth, Texas, was the owner of an island, raised horses, owned a hotel and was honored by the Queen of England four times. He was once an ambassador for both Guyana and Barbados at the same time. He had everything this world could offer, but he didn't have Jesus. He had a vacuum in him that needed to be filled.
A woman persisted in inviting him to an FGBMFI meeting. The day he came, he accepted an invitation to come to Jesus. From that day on, he has been going around the world telling people about Jesus as an ambassador for Christ.
-- Sir Lionel Luckhoo.
The Ambassador's Role in the Fellowship
"Being an ambassador in the secular world has parallels in the spiritual world" said Sir Lionel Luckhoo, who has had the unprecedented distinction of being an ambassador from two sovereign countries simultaneously.
To become an ambassador, one must be accredited to the country he will represent. Then he must receive certification by the head of state. Only when these criteria are met may a person have conferred on him the privileges of an ambassador. "Jesus was accredited by signs, wonders and miracles" affirmed Sir Lionel, referring to Acts 2:22. "You'll see this same thing happening in the Fellowship" he added "because we are ambassadors for Jesus."
In the secular definition, Sir Lionel was granted diplomatic power that extended to his entire family. "We need to claim the promises of God as His ambassadors" he said, referring to the spiritual parallel. "And we can claim that all our relatives will be saved." When Sir Lionel prayed for salvation for his entire family, God answered, and it came to pass!
As ambassadors, we have delegated authority, explained Sir Lionel. "Here's an example: God is head of us, the body" he began. "He has delegated authority to us. It's like wherever we go in ministry He goes." (John 13:20)
"God is your source, not man" said Sir Lionel. "Lay your hands on the sick, and they shall recover! Don't neglect going out and doing Jesus' work" he continued. "Take up your cross and follow Jesus. He wants you as an ambassador to share the Good News. Time is short -- the Master returns at any moment!"
Henry Aaron Britton --
Carlo Britton --
Arnold McLean Britton -- (Former) Select Master And Chief – Ranger of Court Georgetown Diamond -- Born in Guyana (British Guiana) Lived at: 24 Republic Drive, Beterverwagting, East Coast Demerara, Guyana. Died and buried in Guyana in 1985
John Alexander Britton -- Born in Guyana (British Guiana)
Lived at: Lamaha Street, Kitty, Greater Georgetown
Died and buried in Georgetown, Guyana
Herbert Egerton Britton -- Born in Guyana (British Guiana
Lived at: 54 Republic Drive, Triumph, East coast Demerara, Guyana
Died and buried in Guyana in 2005
Albert Brinmore C. Britton -- Born in Guyana (British Guiana)
Madge Agatha Britton
Pamela Barbara Britton --Thomas: Born in Guyana (British Guiana) Live in: Guyana
Sheldon Aaron Britton
Hazel Aubrene Britton-- Born in Guyana (British Guiana)
Lived at: 169 Triumph, East Coast Demerara, Guyana Died and buried in Guyana
Paula Britton Marks-Gillis