Ezra Ederson Alleyne

Born: Bridgetown on 08 May 1944

Passed away: Bridgetown, Barbados on 10 July 2022

Aged: 78 years

Funeral Date: 08 August 2022

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Service Details

The Official Funeral for the late Ezra Alleyne took place at Coral Ridge Memorial Chapel and Gardens, August 8th at 10am in the island of Barbados. Rest in eternal peace, Ezra, rise in Glory and soar with the Angels. Until we meet again, I will always love you my friend.


Funeral Company

Lyndhurst Funeral Home, Barbados.

The Story

Allegedly !

I will be all over the place, so let me try to start. The story of Ezra Ederson Alleyne cannot be told in such a small space or place for he was larger than life itself, made even larger by our collective loss when he passed on July 10th, 2022. On a personal level, I cannot describe the emptiness I feel, losing a friend of 40 years. I cannot imagine the emptiness that his wife Tassiea feels, nor their nine year old son Nathan.

I last heard from Ezra on June 25th, 2022. We were discussing the usual subjects, law, politics, medicine, cracking his usual irreverent jokes, discussing a particular case that he was researching well into the midnight hours. And no conversation was ever complete without an update on the activities of his beloved nine-year-old son, Nathan. Nathan, he had once told me, was his reason to live, stay healthy and continue working and teaching and of course, the same applied to Tassiea. But he wanted to be around to see Nathan grow up at least until entering University. As the son of a long liver, his Mom Ruby, this was not out of reach.

He told that Nathan was going to be Prime Minister one day! I believe this will happen due to his Dad´s genes and influence, Nathan´s own genius as his Dad described it and his Mum´s brilliance and "native intelligence". My heart bleeds for little Nathan who I lovingly referred to as "Master Nathan". At the funeral of his beloved Dad, Nathan played a touching tribute to his Dad on the piano. There was not a dry eye in the chapel. Though he lived seventy and eight years, his death will described by Rosalind Smith Millar, Bar Association President and my daughter´s aunt, as "untimely". I couldn´t agree more. We expected Ez to be with us for 15 or 20 or more years.

Our relationship

Ezra and I were platonic friends in 1995 when I returned home from New York after the accident that claimed my then fiance. Ezra was my only support, he was a friend, I cried on his shoulder and he listened helplessly, what could he really do? As years wore on, our relationship changed, he became a step-father to my daughter and a part of our busy household. He had a room packed with books, files and assorted files. That was his space where he could create his articles or study the law for an upcoming case, look for old laws that he could use for technical reasons or just listen to Dobby Dobson in private. Our relationship lasted many years and was punctuated with endless moments of joy and happiness over a decade.

He was an introvert of sorts and I loved him unrepentantly. He and I had three firm “meetings” a week, Afternoon tea at Sandy Lane reading British papers, Flindts on Fridays for lunch and wine and Polo on Sundays. During those years we talked almost every day, he told of his roots as a poor black boy from Free Hill playing the tambourine at the Nazarene Church which still stands in Black Rock. His Christian upbringing at the hands of Victor and Ruby provided a solid foundation for life. I gave him a tambourine as a gift once and I hope Tass finds it alongside his files, books and assorted memorabilia.

We had a long wonderful relationship of watching movies, going to dinner, talking, traveling and just being great friends. He was my best friend and I will miss him so much. He especially liked "A Beautiful Mind" with Russel Crowe, "Sleuth" with Jude Law, "Wit" with Emma Thompson, Sir Anthony Hopkins in "Hannibal", "Marquis de Sade", "Wilde", "Les Miserables", he enjoyed plays and we went to the theatre in London often.

He enjoyed "oldie-goldies" and treasured his Elvis greatest hits, Johnny Cash, Tony Bennett´s greatest hits and a few other CDs I gave him. He liked Jimmy Cliff, Bob Marley and Caribbean artists and introduced me to Chuck Berry and many other blues artists from back in the day and we enjoyed cooking together and listening to B.B. King, Chuck Berry, Johnny Lee Hooker, Ella Fitzgerald, Diane Schur, Diane Reeves, Diana Krall and more but he especially liked "The thrill is gone". Sadly the Thrill is gone.

He loved cricket, he loved polo (especially the girls´ teams from Cheshire), he especially loved Sparrow´s "Ten to One is Murder", Black Stalin, Chalkdust, Shadow, some local calypso and he adored Alison Hinds of Krosfyah. She was "his girl" in local Calypso.

We also went to many jazz concerts in Barbados and abroad, we went to UWI lecture Hall or the Performing Arts Centre to listen to many lectures. I still have my book, both were signed by former UK Prime Minister John Major. We had a great time together over the years and I will never forget him. That is impossible, our lives were too entangled into knots of love.

And so it was always a pleasure to hear about his family. I remember when he drove over to tell me of Tassiea´s pregnancy and I remember an October or November day (I think) when he drove off at lightening speed around 7pm to take her to deliver little Nathan. I had just dropped by and the "fierce urgency of now" was evident in his face, pace and sense of purpose that evening.

But he never liked to talk about his personal health, he said I was “a pest” (in the friendliest of ways) but I have seen him unwell and he would stubbornly remind me that he is resting, all the while working and dashing to Court. I sat with him in the QEH for 12 hrs twice only for Ezra to politely tell a junior doctor what the doctor did NOT know about medicine. Shocking but that is Ezra, benevolently brash if necessary. But it was not arrogance, he did not like hospitals and this went back to when he was five years old, alone at night away from his parents. He was just scared. The only complaint I was aware of, close as I was to him, were asthma and very aggravating acid reflux. from time to time. He changed his diet, lifestyle and was as sharp as a tack, brilliant, bubbly, a character, that special gentlemen during those many, many years. So were he ill, he would say by rote, "Please do not worry, Kim, I will be fine, now leave me alone" and he would give me a hug or a few pats on my shoulder knowing I cared. I am deeply grateful for Tassiea´s love and care of and for him in his final days and hours.

Ezra was best known to the public as the quintessential lawyer when it comes to his precise knowledge of, interpretation of and the practice of the letter of the Law and the spirit of the Law. He was best known in the 80s when he known as "Perry Mason" for his numerous successes in Criminal Litigation and more so for his representation of Ronald Biggs, "The Great Train Robber" alongside colleague Alistair Shephard, Q.C. That extradition case gave him international fame. He was featured on BBC, ITV and many British media houses for this enormous win on a recent anniversary regarding Biggs. The tributes at the funeral that were read by Sir Richard "Johnny" Cheltenham and Sir David Simmons , QC spoke of a brilliant mind that took on murder case upon murder case, winning them all. Restless, he turned to other exploits.

Politics

He then became involved in politics, giving his life to the Barbados Labour Party in the early 1970s. At the same time, he had many friends on the other side of the political divide like "Rambo", Dr Richard Haynes, Evelyn Greaves, he had great respect for His Excellency The Rt Excellent Errol Barrow, known to Bajans as the father of Independence and the one who made education free up to tertiary level. He had great admiration for all the Prime Ministers of Barbados even when he disagreed with policy positions. As Deputy Speaker of the House, he knew the Robert´s Rules backward, he was a giant in his understanding of the Westminster style of Government and constitutional issues in the UK and Barbados but was equally captivated by comparative law and constitutional law the world over. He was especially interested in US comparative law versus the Westminster style of Government. His analyses of his profession was very much a part of his life and he would often tell me, "A fool convinced against his will is of the same opinion still" or, "Those who expect nothing shall never be disappointed". I learned that quickly. Thanks, Ez.

He also represented his constituency often from his own pocket and was appointed Deputy Speaker of The House. The carving up of the Constituency meant that he (like Sir David Simmons in that year) both lost their seats. In journalism, he "earned" the wrath of his political opponents through his writings and one in particular who has yet to "forgive" him for his factual account of the Powers of the Prime Minister in an article in the Nation Newspaper. Ironically, the individual allegedly sits within the BLP, he told me. That individual took it as a personal affront but he was unmoved. That same individual attacked me as well during my work to assist another candidate just as I had done for him/her. This was more a reflection of the immaturity of the individual than anything to do with us.

The article was not directed at the individual but he/she thought it so. The rest is history. He paid for his honesty, analysis and fearlessness. I dare them (him/her/he/she) to deny it. The pronouns are deliberate and ungrammatical.

In addition, nothing annoyed him more than mindless gossip or any attempt to destroy his good name. He despised libel and defamation and made it his business to protect the Nation Newspaper from making these costly mistakes in general news reporting, columns or Letters to the Editor. There were equally paltry and annoying attempts, akin to a fly buzzing about one´s face, to slur his good name and they failed spectacularly, as spectacularly as were the useless idiots who tried it. Some of these attacks were just borne from jealousy or just wickedness. I do not apologise for saying this. I know, as he knew, exactly who was involved when and where and while he may have forgiven, he (nor I) never forgot.

But it was his students who came first.

His other love was teaching. Many law students across the West Indies can credit Ezra for his pastoral approach to teaching the Law to hundreds of students who passed through his hands and with whom he remained friends. I remember Ezra deciding to take a week off lecturing in order to rest and his students turning up with fish tea, assorted soups, Lucozade, their national dishes you name it while I did my usual chicken soup. They came to return that love and care their Lecturer. He further developed close mentoring relationships long after they had graduated. His wise counsel was sought after long after his charges became lawyers. I recall one student who did not have the airfare to return home for Christmas. Depressed and lonely, she did not want to ask for help but Ezra gave willingly and she enjoyed Christmas with her family back home.

Why no Silk?

The one thing no one understood was why Ezra did not get Silk, he was never honoured with a QC or why he was never named as a recipient of any honour in the island country to which he returned after years in England and having distinguished himself as Barbados´ most prolific lawyer and Former Deputy Speaker of the House. Even the UWI did not give him an post-humous Honorary LLD this year (2022), not even as he is buried at Coral Ridge Gardens. But politics exists in the Halls of Parliament or Government or party politics just as it does anywhere else.

Surely he was more than deserving but he understood the politics of his country, he understood that he had detractors even within his own party more so that those without. Mrs Asha "Ram" Merchandi made this clear in her tribute to Ezra in her allegations that politics stood in the way of him being hired for top positions. Ezra was never greedy and he had told me of these wrenches that were thrown into the works, over and over but he remained a committed stalwart. He cared more about the party than honours, he was an unrepentant Owen Arthur loyalist. Maybe...never mind.

This did not phase him (in life) but it hurt many who saw half century of sacrifice to many Prime Ministers who came from the bosom of the BLP. It angered me, I felt that he deserved an honour not for the sake of a title but for his unquestionable contribution to the island and abroad. But he reminded me, "A man is not without honour, except in his own land". That we agreed on until the end.

Ezra was not known alone for his legal eloquence, practising law or prolific writing as a Nation Newspaper columnist and their legal advisors, but as a regular man about town, talking to everyone from street characters to newspaper vendors to cashiers in Carlton Supermarket and Massey Holetown where we shopped every Friday. At the Nation for over 40 years, he wrote political columns supporting his beloved BLP party but he also poured over every issue of the paper for libel and defamation or even errors in syntax.

That lovely flirt

He was also an unrepentant flirt and ladies´ man. He flirted openly with the ladies and jokingly gave them "trouble". He never left a conversation without a mischievous remark and a pat on one´s shoulder, he never left without one having to smile. He was a man for the people and he was selfless. In my opinion, he gave too much of himself to those who did not deserve him or indeed his time and I knew who deserved his time, he would smile broadly, laugh loudly and chat for a while even when late. He was also a man with a dry wit, charming personality, genteel, a hopeless romantic, father, husband, brother, nephew and a friend to many. I loved him unapologetically, for as long as I can remember, I loved him completely and without a single regret. I am unashamed to have been a long life partner to Ezra.


Ezra knew the Law and made "fools" of those who were convinced that they were the divine holders of the proverbial title deeds of jurisprudence or of any law in any Court anywhere. He committed himself to research and a brilliant memory, strategic deliveries and knowing when to hold back and the strike. Though adversarial in the Court, he remained professional, civil and courteous with his colleagues and even witnesses, never badgering, never loud, disarming and concise. He was never disrespectful of the Bench but he knew who was who sitting up on high peering over glasses, usually former students and he knew their leanings, proclivities and biases.

He was successful to the day he passed to meet his Lord and Saviour. This success will be inherited by his son, Nathan and where I can be of any help to his wife Tass, Hockey and I will ensure that we are there as moral support. As Ezra and I "grew apart", his work, his time, his commitment to students consuming him, we never fought, we never officially broke up but life happens and we loved each other until the end. I mean absolutely no disrespect to Tass or Nathan when I say this and she is very much aware of our previous relationship and they know that I love them both.

Family First

His commitment to the practise of law was unmatched, if only by his commitment to family. He first loved his parents and as the big brother, he adored all of his sisters and most definitely "Hockey" as well as his brothers Pop and Phillip, one of whom he lost too soon in the UK. He said Sylvan was charismatic, artsy and a ladies´ man much like himself, he often joked. In reality, Ezra was a dear hopeless romantic. I am truly diminished by his passing.

It was decades after his divorce that he met and married Tassiea Bryan and they had one son, nine-year old Nathan and he was father to three other adult children whom he allegedly hardly saw or spoke with in the 90s and early 2000s according to him. That was a painful time in his life. He travelled to and fro the UK, US looking to find his children in London or Buckinghamshire or New York all the while fighting other battles including alleged vicious attacks of another kind and an allegedly even more bitter divorce that he filed.

One night during these years of tumult, Ezra arrived at my home drenched. Somehow he was locked out of his own home in Wanstead Heights. He was in tears. It might have been in 2007 or thereabouts. Once I saw him, I let him in. It was the first time he came in my home since I had met him. He spoke of heart-breaking issues. I offered him a towel, the tub or shower, shampoo, bath gel, soup and tea, pyjamas (sweat suit) and told him he was welcome to stay on my couch. I dried his hair and he was like a little boy. Thereafter we became lifelong friends and the rest is history. It was during this time that he endured his darkest hours, longest nights with no sign of joy in the morning. Later, we eventually lived together for years with no regrets.

Having known Ezra for over 40 years (he reminded me), he has been a constant friend, loyal, stubborn, loving, always giving me sound advice, he often advised me on my educational, professional and other personal pursuits and sometimes on matters of the heart. He was the ideal man for anyone looking for a man who prized love, family and marriage over materialistic individualism. He wasn´t flashy but he made an entrance, he was not materialistic but he enjoyed the finer things and experiences in life and was also down to earth. Divorce was not in his nature nor was being separated from his children, particularly during their teenage and early twenties, he had told me, and so I thank Tassiea for the gift of Nathan and her gift of love to him.

Ezra grew up at his father´s knee, he “worshipped” his mother. He went everywhere with her to the point of being called "The Package". Ezra helped his mother raise his younger siblings plaiting their hair, helping her cook, Mum baking for the neighbourhood, especially at Christmas, in a Dutch oven, listening to his Dad read the paper especially around legal and world news, all under the warm light of a kerosene lamp while rubbing his father´s sore shins. He enjoyed evenings of cocoa tea and flour balls, a staple throughout the Caribbean to this day. And each child had his or her own Sheep to raise. These experiences endeared me to Ezra, reminding me of my summers with my grandmother in St John doing the same.

And he followed, if not facilitated, the careers of his siblings in law and other areas and he loved and advised them well into their adulthood. A stubborn Taurean he said he was but a more loving man cannot be found. Grief is a lonely journey. I cannot imagine the all consuming grief of losing a husband. I can speak only of my own grief.

His youthful genius earned him a scholarship to go to his beloved Combermere School AKA The University of Waterford, which my brother also attended. That gave my brother Reg and Ezra much to talk about. He loved my family a great deal, Yvonne, Reg, Mum and Dad.

After winning yet another scholarship at Combermere (to prove a point), he was then off to University College London where he earned Honours in Law and then to Queen Mary College, UK to read for his LLM while staying with his uncle in Peckham. He also taught at the University of Westminster. When fellow students told Ezra he couldn´t win a law scholarship he ignored them. He won the John Johnson Scholarship out of 3000 law students across the UK. That book and information is still in his vast library that I know Tassiea will treasure and protect it for Nathan and herself.

Ezra was a natural born winner, a charmer, a "fierce" litigator who fought for his clients with a certain genteel that confused many on the Prosecution side. They respected him and revered him as a sort of "Grandmaster". On a trip to London, we stayed at Scala House and he took me to Middle Temple Inn and I took him to my former home in West Kensington retracing our experiences there. I went to University for my Masters in Leicester. He was beside himself with joy at my achievements. My daughter accompanied us to the UK while he resolved a very delicate matter for me. I will be indebted to him for life for his intervention in this soul destroying event in my life which is now resolved.
He was delighted that Alex entered King´s College on two separate scholarships. He also advised my niece Taneja when she won a National Scholarship in Trinidad regarding her time at Yale where she graduated with ChemE. I will be eternally grateful for his wise counsel to my family. My other niece Regina is also a Barbados scholar who is now a medical doctor. I can´t wait to see Christian excel as well.

We made London our stomping ground for shopping, going to dinner, visiting sights and scenes and of course, a good ole Pub for a Lemon and Lager, fish ´n chips and entertaining my brother and his wife Michelle who lived in West London at the time.

Ezra spoiled my daughter and even his students who were his extended family. Ezra was and is “immortal”, one cannot imagine a life without his cheeky grin, his reverence for the Court, his love for the Law, his students and above all his love of family. He had every intention of going back home from hospital. I am deeply saddened by this sudden loss. I am shattered that he did not finish his Memoir, that he didn´t get to see Nathan grow up. But I am sure Tasseia will probably find a way to do a biography or perhaps publish his pieces or a memorial website for Nathan and for posterity.

His legacy as a lawyer is unquestionable. Having founded the Moot Court at UWI, I think the law faculty should be named in his memory. Our collective loss is that great within CARICOM.

This man of Letters (love letters and being lettered by virtue of his studies) an award winning poet, a prolific writer on legal, political and societal issues and this man of bursting love for his family, close friends and especially his wife and children, cannot be replaced or forgotten.

He was my closest friend, I trusted him completely, a father figure to my daughter but he was above all, a father, husband, a fearless warrior, the standard bearer for what the Law was crafted to be, for freedom and for justice for all.

All I have left are wonderful memories, a pair of his cameo cufflinks and other assorted books and gifts but memories are forever. My love and support to his wife and family.

Tassiea and his siblings know just how much I have loved and still love this man. I will miss him forever. My sincere condolences to his beautiful wife Tassiea and the entire family. Requiescat in pace, Ezra.

I love you, E. Rest in Paradise until we meet again. (c) copyright Ms. Kim Young and Mrs. I. "Hockey" Alleyne- Strickland (sister)

(NB. This memorial is alleged and is copyrighted and no one is authorized to rewrite, republish or rebroadcast this without the permission of the author under penalty of law. The piece is protected by IP Laws in any and every jurisdiction).
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By family request, no comments from Ambassador to the UN, Her excellency Liz Thompson.

Kim Jacqueline Young

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Please feel free to leave a comment. However, any and all disrespectful or inappropriate comments will be deleted and reported. Thank you on behalf of myself and the wife, young son and siblings of our late beloved Ezra.

Kim Jacqueline Young

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