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Saturday 18 November 2017
Local

Procope hailed as family man, cultural activist

Final passage: The casket of Bruce Procope QC is taken out of All Saints Anglican Chruch, Port of Spain after his funeral yesterday. Photo by Sureash Cholai.

JULIEN NEAVES

Queen’s Counsel Bruce Procope was remembered yesterday as a legal luminary, a gentleman, a creative advocate and a lover of family.

The funeral for him was held yesterday at All Saints Church, Marli Street, Port of Spain. Procope, who worked on many high-profile cases including the Ishwar Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson Piarco Airport case, died at a nursing home on Monday after a prolonged illness. He was 92.

His daughter Anne Procope-Garcia in the eulogy described her father as a gentleman, the embodiment of a great leader of men and the best example of how to live your life. She also said he was humble and never took credit for all his accolades and commitment to excellence. She recalled he introduced methanol to this country and simultaneously was chairman of 45 companies including BP Trinidad and Tobago, Trinidad Hilton, Berger Paints, TTEC, the now defunct Telco and Maritime Financial.

She recalled he played football and ran track for Queen’s Royal College. He qualified as a barrister at the Middle Temple, London, 1948 and his daughter said he returned with dreams and ideals of making a difference in the country.

She said he was a legal luminary who commanded respect in and out of the court room. She recalled he carried himself with an air of dignity and honour and with his cunning he would give witnesses a sense of security before making his move. “They never knew what hit them.”

She said he was a creative advocate for the cultural arts and was chairman of the Carnival Development Committee (now the National Carnival Commission) and was involved with the Little Carib Theatre where he performed as a drummer and produced an album, Drums of Trinidad.

She said he was also “Trini to the bone” and loved local food including dark chocolate, avocado, guava cheese and jam, saltfish and callaloo. She also said he was humorous and would keep them entertained with stories of old. And was a lover of horses and bred many winners.

He also wrote the constitution for Pan Trinbago in 1959 and every J’Ouvert morning he would play ole mas with Invaders steelband dressed in a corset, bra and his mother’s underwear and holding a dilapidated umbrella. There was a tribute from Invaders pannist who performed, With a song in my heart.

She recalled he died for 45 seconds while in a Miami hospital and broke his leg and back in an accident in Caracas and had to be confined to a wheelchair. She thanked his doctor, Dr Michael Telemaque, the husband of his stepdaughter Rachael, nurse Margot Williams and her staff and his caregivers Charmaine, Kimberly and Felix.

“Thank you from the very bottom of our hearts for taking him to (age) 92.”

In terms of family, she said he was very close to his brothers and to his children he was a king and true lion who always protected them and gave them the best advice for living. She said the many condolences since her father died has strengthened her and her siblings.

“No more pain Daddy. Just peace. Your children and family adore you and your colleagues are richer for your teachings and the way you lived.”

Among those in attendance yesterday was Law Association president Douglas Mendes SC, former Integrity Commission chairman Ken Gordon and former Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation president Eric “Pink Panther” Taylor.

Procope’s body was taken to Lapeyrouse Cemetery, Port of Spain for interment. He leaves to mourn five children and stepchildren, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

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