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Bequia resident called to the Bar

Bequia resident called to the Bar

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Young attorney, Renee Simmons wants to see more done for the nation’s youth in order to guide them down the correct path in life.{{more}}

Simmons, a resident of Bequia, was called to the local Bar on Friday, November 9, to practise as a barrister and solicitor in this country at the High Court.

“… It is important that we as a nation put steps in place to offer guidance to our youths. Matters of such importance should not be left to government institutions alone to come up with a solution. Each and every member of the public has a responsibility to offer guidance and encouragement to our Youths…,” Simmons said in her first address as a lawyer.

Her call was presided over by Justice Frederick Bruce-Lyle and Director of Public Prosecutions Colin Williams presented Simmons’ application. Crown Counsel, Carl Williams seconded her application.

Simmons obtained a Bachelor of Law degree with second class honours from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, in 2010, before moving on to the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad where she successfully completed her Legal Education Certificate in 2012.

Simmons attended the Lower Bay Primary School in Bequia from grade one to five and then went on to the Windsor Primary School in St Vincent at grade six.

After successfully completing the Common Entrance Examinations, she returned home to attend the Seventh Day Adventist Secondary School.

She then transferred to the St Vincent Girls’ High School and from there, she attended the Community College in 2003 before pursuing university studies in 2007.

In continuing her speech, which was witnessed by her parents, Valcina Chambers, a retired principal and Patrick Harris, seaman, and other close relatives and friends, the attorney added that many of the problems that the youths face today, occur because they have no positive role models to guide them on the right path, or give them that love and support needed.

“As a result many youths become complacent with being labelled underachievers. However, I firmly believe if we as a people supported our youths more and recognised their talents and put avenues in place to harness and develop such talents, we would see a reduction in many of the issues facing us today.”

Among others, Simmons thanked Calvert Simmons, for treating her like a daughter. She also expressed gratitude to Cheryl-Ann Smith, her former Law Lecturer and Decima Alexander Hamilton, History Lecturer at the Academic Division of the Community College for always keeping her focused.

Crown Counsel Carl Williams, who described Simmons as a “selfless” individual, said Simmons is a well-rounded individual, who goes about everything she does with great prudence.

Williams, who also refers to Simmons by the moniker ‘Prudy’, which he said is short for prudence, said people of Prudy’s character are the type of people that they need to administer justice.

Justice Bruce-Lyle warned Simmons not to turn her back on her family.

“I believe that you have what it takes to do well. I am quite impressed by your extracurricular activities. Where did you find the time to do all this and still had time to pursue your studies and excel…”

While at UWI, she served as a student ambassador on behalf of the Vice Chancellor (UWI.STAT) and represented and promoted the University in Belize. She was also an HIV/AIDS Peer Educator and vice president of the Saint Vincent and Grenadines Student Association.

The judge also advised the young counsel not to make money be the focus of her practice.

Counsel Ronald Marks and Andreas Coombs, speaking on behalf of the president of the local Bar Association, Dr Linton Lewis, also delivered brief remarks.

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