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AG Office Officially Named Paul Adderley –Longest Serving AG Honoured

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and the Ministry of Legal Affairs was on Friday renamed in honour of one of the country’s founding fathers; a man many in the legal fraternity consider the quintessential attorney general.

The multi-storey edifice on John F Kennedy Drive now bears the name of the country’s longest serving attorney general, Paul L Adderley.

Borrowing a few words from U.S. President, Barack Obama, Prime Minister Perry Christie said “only a handful of men and women leave an imprint on the conscience of a nation and on the history that they helped to shape and the late Paul L Adderley was such a man; one who left an indelible mark on the lives of many in The Bahamas.”

He was, as the prime minister as previously noted, a national hero, a man of integrity, the very embodiment of excellence in everything he did, a man of dauntless courage, a giant of a man, a prince among men.

“Paul Lawrence Adderley was a patriotic Bahamian who loves his country and its people dearly,” Mr. Christie said. “This was evidenced by his numerous interactions and willingness to assist persons from all walks of life – whenever and wherever he could and in the fact that he would dress down anyone who dared to attack the sovereignty this Bahamas. It held pride of place for him and woes betide the individual or country that sought to besmirch the integrity and sovereignty of his beloved Bahamas.”

Touting Mr. Adderley’s legal prowess, the prime minister said it was formed by prodigious research, a sound and basic understanding of jurisprudence and an unfailing and unassailable clarity of logic in his presentation.

“Paul Adderley was ranked among the finest lawyers The Bahamas had to offer,” the prime minister added. “He had the ability to simplify any matter so that those who were for or against could understand it. His thorough presentation, skill and intellectual acumen made him a force to be reckoned with in both civil and criminal cases, earning him an amazing number of successes.”

Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson agreed.

“My early encounters with Mr. Adderley were as my father’s friend and highly respected colleague,” she said. “I am grateful that I was able to develop a personal relationship with him separate from my dad’s and separate from that with his daughters.
“…He took seriously his duty to mentor other lawyers and truly believed that lawyering is at its best in collaboration with other lawyers. I recall that wonderful smell of books in his office. Once you sat in his office to discuss a legal concept, it was thoroughly discussed – from its genesis. And unless you wanted to experience that withering look that could diminish you to a speck, you had better come prepared, well researched.”

Mrs. Maynard-Gibson went on to pledge that she and her team will work daily with the same spirit of excellence and strive daily to evince “that we believe the people of this Family of Islands will be preserved by self-discipline, industry, loyalty, unity and an abiding respect for Christian values and the Rule of Law.”

Mr. Adderley’s long years of public life stretch as far back as 1962 when he was first elected a member of the House of Assembly for the western district of New Providence.

He was appointed the first attorney general of an independent Bahamas in 1973; a post held until 1989.

Mr. Adderley served in other key positions including Minister of External Affairs, Minister of Education, Minister of National Security, Minister of Finance and Chairman of the Hotel Corporation of The Bahamas.

His more personal role came in the form of a devoted and loving husband and father.

His widow, Lillith and three daughters were among the specially invited guests at Friday’s renaming ceremony.
Mr. Adderley’s youngest daughter, Paula Adderley said naming the building in honour of her father was a tangible tribute to his memory, but that it went beyond his long tenure as attorney general.

“It is an affirmation of how he conducted himself in the office; seemingly effortlessly. He successfully achieved the balance required for an attorney general serving in the Westminster system…He made us so proud,” she added.

Ms. Adderley added that while there are three often repeated descriptions of her father’s character – intelligent, integrity and incorruptible, there are more – committed, courageous and fearless in his convictions.

“Undergirding his life’s work was a self-imposed duty to do always the right thing and to treat everyone with the respect and dignity due to all mankind. We, his family, always knew that Mr. Adderley was special. How gratifying it is to know that the Bahamian people think the same.”

A plaque signifying Friday’s event is expected to be placed on the building.

According to the prime minister, it has been designed and when completed will be installed as a living testament that Paul Adderley was true to The Bahamas.

Mr. Adderley died on September 19, 2012.

He was 84-years-old.

Written by Macushla Pinder

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