Bruce says he is committed to serving with distinction
December 14, 2012
Bruce says he is committed to serving with distinction

Service has always been an integral part of Israel Bruce’s life.

And the educator, former president of the National Youth Council (NYC), {{more}} and former spokesperson for the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), officially took up service of a

different kind on December 7.

Bruce was admitted to the local Bar to practise law as a barrister and solicitor.

His call was presided over by Justice Frederick Bruce-Lyle and witnessed by his mother, Agatha Ellie Bruce-Alexander, along with relatives and other well-wishers.

President of the Bar Association Dr Linton Lewis presented Bruce’s application to the court and attorney Julian Jack seconded the application.

Bruce holds a second class honours law degree from the University of Wolverhampton and successfully completed his bar certificate at the University of West England in 2012.

Following his achievements, Bruce was then called to the Bar of England and Wales.

In addressing the court, the former Adelphi Secondary School student recalled not having it easy as a child growing up.

“My Lord, ever so often my mother would say to me ‘Israel, you can’t go to school today; there is no money.’ My response soon became the obvious tune: ‘Once I have the clothes, mummy, I am going.’

“At New Adelphi Secondary School, the days came and went in their numbers, when I had to climb into a tree which stood on the school compound and watched the lunch hour go by, only to use the last five minutes to wash my hands and drink some water, with nothing to eat at all, then back to the classroom,” he recounted.

While being fully immersed in voluntary and social work in his time at the NYC, it was not until his sojourn at the St Vincent Teachers College that his interest in the law grew.

In expressing his desire to take a different course in life, Bruce said his decision was met with mixed reactions.

“Like my other colleagues, I was told that there were already too many lawyers in the country and there will be no room. I was asked if I was now going to get ready to defend the likes of murderers, rapists and thieves, or if I was also going to rob poor people of their lands and how all lawyers are liars.

“A moral dilemma was created and the burden was mine to offload. ‘Objection, my lord.’ My interest was and remains purely that of justice and the proper dispensation thereof.”

Bruce thanked his family members and teachers of the institutions he attended for their encouragement throughout his journey.

With his new role as a lawyer, Bruce pledged his commitment to the legal fraternity and said he is “committed to serve with distinction”.

“Let me say to the Vincentian public that I promise to serve you and to serve you well, rest assured … it is my view that our constant professional approach towards our clients and each other represent the chief cornerstone for our jurisprudential growth and development.

“Therefore, I urge all my colleagues, today, to let professionalism be our constant guide. Let us treat our clients with respect and honesty at all times, as we deliver service par excellence.”

In his brief remarks, Lewis said Bruce is a gentleman of tremendous qualities who paid his debt to society — especially with his involvement in youth work.

Justice Bruce-Lyle said with Bruce having been involved in so many activities, it would only help him in his career.

Bruce-Lyle implored Bruce to be humble and told him that he’s only now beginning to learn the law.

Bertram Commissiong QC, also gave brief remarks. (KW)