Gavin Dixon is now seeing the fruits of his labour and sacrifice. Mr Dixon was last week called to the bar as a lawyer able to practise in the Cayman Islands.
While he celebrated the achievement, Mr Dixon reflected on the arduous road he took to pursue his dream. “What people see now is basically the end product,” he said during an interview after his installation ceremony.
“They didn’t see what I had to go through to get here. I went through unemployment; I went through some very tough times of being discriminated against; but instead of focusing on the negatives, I took that and applied all of my frustrations into my studies,” Mr Dixon said.
Mr Dixon, 38, graduated from the Truman Bodden Law School in 2011 with a Bachelor’s of Law (LLB), and a year later received a commendation in his Professional Practise Course (PPC). He completed his articles at the offices of the Attorney General’s Chambers and the Director of Public Prosecution.
He noted that he spent five years without an income as he pursued his studies, with the support of his parents Donnell and Patricia Dixon.
“If you’re going to focus on the negative of what’s happening around you, you’re never going to be able to climb that hurdle. You just have to keep your head down and that’s what I did.”
Beaming with pride, his father said reaching this far is a testament of putting in the necessary hard work and not giving up.
“I told him I think I should change his name to Perseverance and not Gavin because despite everything that he has been through, and there were some really tough times, he knew what he wanted, he kept his eye on that and we supported him the best that we could. Today is a great day,” said the elder Dixon.
His sister, Ashleigh Bodden, added: “He’s an inspiration and I look up to him and I’m just amazed that he’s reached this far.”
A civil servant for more than a decade, Gavin Dixon is currently employed in the Department of Commerce and Investment with the Cayman Islands Government. Mr Dixon, who is also a former immigration officer, said that experience was the catalyst to acquiring his law degree.
“I was enforcing laws as an immigration officer and wanted to understand the principles in order to be more aware of what I was doing,” he said. “I also wanted to know how the laws were properly applied and created.”
Mr Dixon’s admission to the Bar was applied for by Attorney General Samuel Bulgin, who in his speech said, “Mr Dixon’s ultimate goal is to become a public prosecutor within the offices of the Director of Public Prosecutions and then be elevated on to the bench to become a judge.”
Mr Dixon said he hopes to get into practising as soon as possible. “Hopefully I’ll get some private sector experience so that will expose me to more and I’ll be more well-rounded,” he said.
For others who feel they are fighting against the tide as they pursue their dreams, Mr Dixon offered this bit of advice: “Stay humble [and] keep your head down…when people say ‘no’ that should be fuel for the fire. They say you can’t do it, go ahead and do it.”