In looking back at its recent history, the Grenada Bar Association (GBA) will not like to remember July 2023.
It was the month when three Attorneys-at-law passed away which was the most in any month by a member of the profession.
The legal profession lost retired high court judge Justice Monica Joseph, as well as Celine Edwards in tragic circumstances and two days ago Denise Campbell who once served as Deputy Registrar of the Supreme Court.
THE NEW TODAY thought it fitting to highlight Denise Campbell who did not gain any national recognition but is very much an important part of the history of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique.
One prominent local described her and correctly so as “too much of an honest person to be a lawyer” and also “a principled woman.”
Denise Campbell was an original shareholder of the Grenadian Voice which was formed in the dark days of the 1979-83 Grenada Revolution of the New Jewel Movement (NJM) when press freedom was curtailed and human rights abuse was the order of the day in the country.
She was a brave woman to join with the likes of former Prime Ministers Ben Jones and Tillman Thomas, and the late Lloyd Noel and Leslie Pierre to challenge Maurice Bishop and his People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG) and launch a newspaper in that period of total control by the adherents to Marxism/Leninism.
Uncle Tilly, Lloyd and Leslie were picked up by the Security Forces and placed in detention as political prisoners until the morning of October 25, 1983 when U.S and Caribbean troops landed on the island to topple General Hudson and his Revolutionary Military Council (RMC) that was formed after the bloody massacre on Fort George (Rupert) in which Bishop was executed.
Within weeks of the detention of her “comrades” involved with the Grenadian Voice newspaper, Denise Campbell in July 1981 fled to neighbouring Trinidad & Tobago to safety from the revolutionary leaders.
It should also be noted that during the period some of the more hardline elements within the Grenada Revolution were calling for the execution of Denise Campbell and other members of the Grenada-26 who came together to launch an independent newspaper on the island.
Denise Campbell eventually returned to Grenada in the aftermath of the collapse of the Grenada Revolution to resume her career as a lawyer.
She also demonstrated that she was a very principled person and never got caught up in corruption and wrongdoing during the reign of the New National Party (NNP) of her close cousin who was Dr. Keith Mitchell.
The late father of Keith Mitchell was her mother’s brother.
There are credible reports that when Keith Mitchell was going to Parliament to approve a loan of US$11 million around 2001 from the Exim Bank of Miami for the first group of foreigners that expressed interest in developing the Levera area Denise Campbell did not mince words with the former Grenadian leader.
Denise Campbell objected to the loan and immediately terminated her legal services with that group of investors and returned all their documents to them.
She took the decision to be patriotic and not engage in questionable activities for a few thousand dollars in legal fees.
Can the same be said of some of her own colleagues but dollars in their pockets at the expense of the welfare of Grenada?
Denise Campbell – the Lawyer – quite clearly demonstrated that she has clean hands. What a pity that can’t be said for so many lawyers and several other Grenadians!!!
The country paid little or no attention to this action of Denise Campbell which was a clear warning about the type of governance of the island by Keith Mitchell and his NNP outfit.
This was a leader who was so obsessed with power to the point that he would do anything if the prize to be won was the Prime Ministership of the country.
Denise Campbell was part of a twin – the other half was her brother Dennis Campbell who was very much the opposite to her in so many ways.
Dennis was the beneficiary of a loan of over $18 million from cousin Keith Mitchell and the NNP government for the failed Call Centre that was a millstone on the backs of the Treasury within the Ministry of Finance.
A high court judge who was appointed to inquire in to the operations of several statutory bodies in the first NNP government of H.A Blaize in the 1984-90 period that were part of the portfolios of Keith Mitchell issued a damning report of Dennis Campbell who was General Manager of NAWASA and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Grenlec and a key advisor to the current NNP boss.
The high court judge in his report indicated that Dennis Campbell should never be allowed to ever hold public office in Grenada.
However, Dr. Keith Mitchell did differently and once he became Prime Minister of the country in 1995, Dennis Campbell was back in business and had access to the financial resources of the State.
The late Denise Campbell has departed from this earth with her integrity intact and unquestionable when it came to corruption and wrongdoing.
As she has gone to face her Maker, this lawyer will best be remembered as one with very clean hands and never got involved in Bubul.
MAY HER SOUL REST IN PEACE!!!