He was described as being “a great narrator and a legend in the legal fraternity.”
On Saturday, friends, family and well-wishers will gather at the All Saints Church, Marli Street, Port of Spain, to say goodbye to Bruce Procope, QC. His stepdaughter Rachael Telemaque told Newsday the legal luminary died at a nursing home on Monday at 4 pm. He was 92.
Telemaque’s mother, Pamela Procope, married Procope after the death of her first husband. Telemaque called him “Uncle Bruce.” He leaves to mourn five children and stepchildren, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
He qualified as a barrister at the Middle Temple, London, 1948.
Telemaque said, “I have known him for a very long time and he definitely became my second father. He was always very upbeat and very positive. He never, ever complained. That was just wonderful about him.”
Procope worked on some high-profile cases, among them the Ishwar Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson case.
Apart from law, Procope also had a deep love for the arts. Michael Germain, chairman of the Little Carib Theatre and nephew of its founder, dancer Beryl McBurnie, said in a phone interview, “He was a really special person...concerned about the arts and our folk traditions...” Although Germain did not work with him, he got to know Procope through his interactions with McBurnie at the theatre. “He gave yeoman’s service to the theatre in its early days. I am sure he was one of Beryl McBurnie’s chief advisers in terms of trying to get the theatre established.”
He was the theatre’s first manager and Germain believes he even sat on the first board. Germain said people always spoke “very highly” of him.
“In our couple meetings, his sense of humour [stood out]. He was a Trinidadian to the bone.”
In a full-page ad in this paper yesterday, members of Maritime said Procope was the first chairman of the board of Maritime Life Caribbean Ltd, serving in the formative years from 1972 to 1995.
“He was a brilliant, generous and courageous person of deep learning and a sense of humanity. These qualities were very visible whether he was in the role of a state prosecutor or defender of human rights or chairman of the board. ”
Steve Ferguson, a former Maritime chairman, was quoted as saying, “Mr Procope never complained or fussed about anything: he was always looking towards the future and brighter days ahead.”