Ezra Alleyne passes

Attorney Ezra Alleyne passed away at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on Sunday.

Alleyne, 78, was the husband of Tassiea Bryan Alleyne and father of Daun, Gayle, Alistair and Nathan Alleyne.

He was a member of the Barbados Labour Party, successfully contesting the September 2, 1976 election to defeat the Democratic Labour Party’s Philip Greaves 2 797 votes to 2 563.

When the House of Assembly resumed, Alleyne, 32, was at the time the youngest Member of Parliament. He was appointed Deputy Speaker in the Tom Adams administration from 1976 to 1981.

During the election campaign, one writer wrote in The Nation: “Armed with all the basic information on the constituency, he planned a campaign and created a canvassing schedule which ensured that he broke into the crucial districts of the constituency.

His meetings schedule was also prepared to give emphasis according to the geographical distribution of voters. Alleyne arranged his campaigning to ensure that he peaked at the right moment, just prior to Election Day.

His circular, said to be the most original in the entire campaign, was in the hands of the electorate at a time when it would neither be too late for full assimilation of its contents nor too early to be forgotten on Polling Day.”

Six months after election, he was asked what he had learnt in another interview.

“The impact of the real conditions under which people live and the high level of unemployment are two things that are always before me. In fact, it frightens me. It is only now that people come to see me regularly as an MP that I realise the depth of the unemployment problem in Barbados. What strikes me is that the solution to this problem cannot come overnight,” he said.

Alleyne attended the St Stephen’s Junior School and Combermere School before migrating to England, where he pursued legal studies at Queen Mary College and the University of London. He was called to the bar at Middle Temple in 1970.

He returned to Barbados that same year.

He was a lecturer at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus for several decades, with an emphasis on constitutional law. Later on, he branched out into corporate and commercial law, particularly international and offshore business law and trusts.

Ronald Biggs and two of his attorneys – Ezra Alleyne (left) and Alair Shepherd during his extradition trial in Barbados. (FILE)

Older Barbadians would remember Alleyne as the attorney who successfully defended Britain’s Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs during an extradition hearing here in 1981. Biggs, who robbed a mail train back in 1963, was kidnapped in Brazil and brought to Barbados. He knew Alleyne when the latter was a young clerk in England, having nicknamed him Sunshine when he first saw him in court.

Alleyne served as a legal representative for the Public Utilities Board for ten years and was counsel to the court-appointed liquidators of the collapsed insurance company BCCI.

He was also an attorney for the Nation Publishing Co. Ltd, as well as a long-time columnist and political analyst and former chairman of both the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation and the National Housing Corporation.  (SAT)


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