Private burial for former judge Othneil Sylvester – NBC

Lawyer and former politician Othneil Sylvester will have a private burial (Internet photo).

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Former acting High Court Judge, Queen’s Counsel lawyer Othniel R. Sylvester will be buried on Thursday during a private ceremony, the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) reported Tuesday, citing Sylvester’s daughter, lawyer Nicole Sylvester.

Sylvester died on Saturday after a long battle with cancer.

He was a Speaker of the House of Assembly from 1966 to 1968, a Member of Parliament and Minister of Government from 1972 to 1974, and Director of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank from 1984 to 1986.

He is an uncle of South Leeward representative Nigel Stephenson and a former president of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Bar Association.

Ms Sylvester told the NBC that her father was a humble person who tried to assist persons wherever possible.


At the time of his death, Mr. Sylvester had been disbarred from practising law here.

High Court Justices Frederick Bruce-Lyle and Kenneth Benjamin ordered in June 2007 that he be struck off the roll of barristers and solicitors.

He was at the time the most senior lawyer at the local bar.

The judgement resulted from a February 2004 civil lawsuit by Danish foundation, Faelleseje.

The foundation sought to recover EC$5,212,500 reportedly expended for the purchase of a parcel of land at Orange Hill Estates, according to a Searchlight newspaper report on the case.

The foundation also commenced the court action seeking to discipline Sylvester.

The justices also ordered that Sylvester pay Faelleseje the money claimed plus five per cent interest per annum from December 1993 until the money are paid.

Mr. Sylvester was also given six months to pay in full and has also been ordered to pay costs of EC$40 000 to the plaintiffs, Searchlight reported in 2007.

Caribbean Court of Justice Biographical note

After embarking on a career in the teaching profession that spanned the years 1948 to 1956, Mr. Sylvester switched careers when he enrolled with the City of London College, University of London, to read for a degree in law.

In 1958, Mr. Sylvester was awarded First Class Honours with a distinction in Public International Law. That year he graduated from the Inns of Court (Inner Temple) Law School with Second Class Honours.

He was called to the Bar of England in 1958 and to the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Bar the following year, 1959.

Mr. Sylvester was a former Speaker of the House of Assembly (1966-1968); a former Member of Parliament and Minister of Government from 1972 to 1974; and a former Director of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (1984-1986).

After distinguishing himself at the Bar for a period in excess of 26 years, Mr. Sylvester was appointed one of Her Majesty’s Counsel in 1985.

During the period 2001 to 2002, Mr. Sylvester acted as a High Court Judge of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.

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11 thoughts on “Private burial for former judge Othneil Sylvester – NBC

  1. sounds like some kinda masonic lodge crap to me. i don’t think this is worth new anyway

    Posted by free the internet | May 16, 2012, 08:50
  2. Its shameful that such an accomplished lawyer(I think the first Queen’s Counsel), a man of such calibre and high accomplishment was disgraced at the end of his life. A warning to those who are behind, “Avarice Malorum est Cupiditas”. That’s what greed can do to you, unfortunately, some people get away with.

    Despite his legal troubles at the end, the family have still lost a loved one and my condolence to them as they lay him to rest in a private burial, probably the first in St. Vincent. May he RIP.

    Posted by Eric Williams | May 16, 2012, 09:30

    Posted by Jason | May 16, 2012, 11:34
    • Are u God to say the man going to hell? Were u by his side 24 / 7, even the worst of the worst will make it too heaven once they asked God for forgiveness

      Posted by prince | May 16, 2012, 20:59
  4. Most lawyers steal,they just don’t mae it so obvious,Thierry Nano has a suit against a certain lawyer/pm too but thet’s like being sued by william wise

    Posted by Jahu | May 16, 2012, 16:19

    I wish to sincerely extend my sober condolences to Barrister NICOLE SYLVESTER, the rest of the Sylvester clan, along with friends and colleagues of Mr. OTHNIEL R. SYLVESTER on his sad passing. May he rest in Peace.

    Perhaps only Mr. Alec Hughes has had more folk anecdotes recounted about him as a barrister in this State.

    My own long-lasting interest in this native Vincentian has been mostly consideration of his fortuitous political potential and his acutely accurate poll-by-poll analytical projections in several constituencies. Failing the return of Dr. Michael Joshua, and in the reluctance of Mr. Clive Tannis, it was the turn of Mr. Othniel Sylvester to SUCCEED the former Chief Minister Ebenezer T. Joshua, as next Political Leader of the People’s Political Party (P.P.P.).

    It was when Mr. Sylvester passed up this powerful political opportunity, and backed James Mitchell’s JUNTA instead, that the latter was able to establish an essentially successor party, the NDP, to Joshua’s PPP. The widely reputed “SYLVER FOX” preferred to concentrate on his legal practice and play a secondary political role to Mitchell, instead.

    My constant marvel for several General Elections, was to be given the prior exhaustive, detailed, predictive assessments of Mr. Sylvester of some Constituency polling results. In several Constituencies, most memorable NORTH WINDWARD, the FOX’s forecasts were uncannily accurate. He could tell quite plausibly, ahead of the poll, what the likely results would be, polling station by polling station — with near pin-point accuracy. He was associated with both main political parties, at one time or another. He was rarely my political favourite, for much of the time. But, he absolutely amazed me with his advice to candidates, based on his projections of what specific polling stations’ results would show. Totally REMARKABLE.

    With all his many human shortcomings and foibles, it still remains an indisputable fact of our history that, with the death of Mr. OTHNEIL SYLVESTER, we are witnessing the passing of one of SVG’s very illustrious sons, even if at times greatly controversial. He made his contribution, his way. Let us, still alive, make ours. May he rest in peace. And, may Divine Providence guide and succour his family and other close relatives, including daughter Ms. Nicole Sylvester, in this most grievous time in their personal lives. He made a difference, for better or for worse.

    Posted by STEVE_ HUGGINS | May 17, 2012, 12:41
    • I understand people who steal because they are hungry or they need to feed their family…But you see people who steal because they are down right greedy, I have absolutelyno sympathy for them. Some of them have so much and still try to grab from those who dont have a lot….Shame on you

      Posted by AB | May 18, 2012, 16:41
  6. Goodness gracious….I dont know the gentleman that well but Kenton why on earth did you use such a scary picture?…They say a pictuer tells a thousand words but this one is preaching and all am seeing in pure EVIL…..

    Posted by Arthur | May 18, 2012, 16:34
  7. At the end of the day it’s not about court cases moneys etc GOD holds everyone accountable,whether Ralph,Sylvester,Mitchell,you,me everyone,the problem with greed/corruption is that you pay the penalty twice,here on earth,then for all eternity

    Posted by Joe | May 19, 2012, 06:17

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