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Ramon Alberga, Father of the Bar Passes

Community Notices 31 Jan, 2024 Follow News

Ramon Alberga

By:  Flynn Bush

It seems like every time we enter a new year, we lose a significant member of our population.  Sadly, this year is no different.  Of course, everyone is significant, and their loss is felt profoundly by those who are close to them.  So, this is not an attempt to minimize anyone’s importance.  However, there are some members of our community who make, and have made, major contributions to the lives of others.  Mr. Ramon Alberga was one such person, and his passing at the age of 95 continues that annual trend.

While not born of this soil, he exemplified the traditional Caymanian virtues of honesty, hard work, and love of family and country.  The career he had was a storied one and one that was of the standard to which all attorneys should aspire.  He was first called to the bar in England in 1951, and after quite some time spent in the legal profession, primarily in his native Jamaica, he began to practice law here in the sixties.  He made the move full-time to Cayman in 1976, bringing his family with him. 

As a lawyer here, Mr. Alberga was the driving force behind the writing of the Cayman Islands Law Reports.  In fact, from this time, including while he was also the President of the Cayman Islands Law Society, he was the principal writer, and eventually the consulting editor, of the Reports until his retirement in 2020. 

At the official opening of the Grand Court on January 13th, 2021. Mr Colin McKie, QC, while announcing Mr Alberga’s retirement, remarked, “Since his first involvement in the project, up to and including last month, Mr. Alberga has carefully read, and considered, and given his views on, every single available judgement delivered by our courts since 1952.” 

Such was the influence and respect that led to Mr. Alberga being called “The Father of The Bar” here in the Cayman Islands. 

Eventually, he was awarded the OBE for his work in this field, all of which benefited the community.  Additionally, he became the first lawyer to have his portrait hung in the courthouse building.  Such an honour is traditionally reserved exclusively for judges.

Outside of the courtroom, Mr. Alberga had much to be proud of as well.  The ideals and values instilled in his family, and his love for them, set the stage for his children to have successful lives and families of their own.  They will miss him most of all.

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