As we should all be aware by now, Former Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Cecil Kennard passed away on Saturday morning. I write to pay tribute to a kind soul, an indulgent heart, and a disciplined mind — one of the most gracious people to walk the earth – Justice Cecil Kennard.
Kennard was truly extraordinary. So was our long friendship. He held a very important and valued position being the Chancellor of Guyana’s Judiciary, but he was a man who never allowed status and power to overcome his soul and personality. He walked with queens, kings, and various Presidents but he never forgot his common touch with his family, friends, or the ordinary folk.
He owned a horse racing club in Berbice and would host horse races for the residents. Due to his caring nature of holding concern for the poor who are unable to afford luxuries or simple forms of enjoyment, he would host the annual Boxing Day, Emancipation Day and Independence Day horse racing meet. He does not benefit financially from this club, he did it simply for the greater good and for the satisfaction of the poor.
I extend my deepest sympathies and condolences to his family. He was a wise and well-educated man, who never walked without confidence and certainty. Society has lost a great son of the soil. Guyana has lost a remarkable person; he made our country proud with his exemplary conduct and diligence. He is a legal luminary of great stature and, I am honoured to have shared a long relationship with him. He is very kind, loving, and caring.
He made a tremendous mark on Guyana’s legal system and jurisprudence. He served for many years in very important capacities of the law. He has positively impacted the criminal justice system in Guyana.
And that’s how Cecil Kennard became the greatest Chancellor of our time. He did it by hewing to principle, yes, but also by seeking compromise and common cause—not through law-making and horse racing alone, but through friendship, kindness, and humour.
We do not weep for him today because of the prestige attached to his name or his office. We weep because we loved this kind and tender hero who persevered through pain and tragedy—not for the sake of ambition or vanity; not for wealth or power; but only for the people and the country that he loved. May God bless Cecil, and may he rest in eternal peace.