News Releases

The UWI Mourns Passing of Honorary Graduate Justice Ralph H. Narine

For Release Upon Receipt - September 4, 2017

St. Augustine

Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal of The UWI St. Augustine Campus, Professor Brian Copeland expressed condolences on the passing 2015 recipient of the Degree Doctor of Laws honoris Ralph H. Narine.

Speaking on his passing, Professor Copeland noted, “Justice Ralph H. Narine was a true sportsman, musician, cultural promoter and ethical leader. He gave years of steadfast support and service to The UWI, commencing in1991 when he joined The UWI St. Augustine Campus Finance and General Purposes Committee (FGPC) and became a member of The UWI St. Augustine Campus Council in 1992. As a respected member of the judiciary, former first-class cricketer and proud East Indian cultural enthusiast – The UWI St. Augustine Campus proudly made him an honorary graduate in 2015.”

Justice Narine’s foray into the legal profession began when he became a clerk with Trinidad and Tobago’s magistracy in 1942 at the age of 21. Five years later, he left to pursue his education in England and returned in 1952, as a qualified Barrister.

Before this, however, Justice Narine was an athlete and played on the cricket and volleyball teams of his hometown, San Fernando. He played cricket with the Victoria Cricket Club and volleyball for the San Fernando Spitfire team from 1940 to 1947. When he moved to England, he joined the Gymkhana Cricket Club, for which he was a first-class player throughout his five-year academic career and, upon his return to Trinidad, he immediately joined his hometown’s Oxford Cricket Club, of which he became an Executive Member in 1956. He was also a member of London’s Marylebone Cricket Club and earned his Youth Training Certificate.

Music was another passion of his and he played the mandolin and violin for the S.M. Aziz Orchestra and the Pioneer East Indian Orchestra from 1941 to 1947 and then, on his return home, from 1953 to 1968. Rooted deeply within his East Indian heritage, Justice Narine was instrumental in the creation of an identity for the emerging East Indian population within the then colony of Trinidad. In the 1964 his efforts proved pivotal in the establishment of the National Council for Indian Culture, of which he was a Founding Member.

Throughout his 35 year career as a lawyer and then judge, Justice Narine’s legal expertise was relied upon heavily, resulting in his membership on various State-appointed committees. In 1987, he became the Chairman of the State-appointed Committee to recommend changes to the constitution of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation and the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association, to facilitate wider participation by its membership. From 1989 to 1991, he was named Chairman of the State-appointed Sport and Culture Board of Management. He joined the UWI St. Augustine Campus Finance and General Purposes Committee in 1991 and became a member of the UWI St. Augustine Campus Council in 1992. In 1996, he was appointed as Chairman to the Commission of Inquiry into the operations of Justices of Peace and in 1998 he became the Chairman of a Committee appointed to investigate and recommend changes to the Marine Division of the Port Authority. From 2004 to 2006, he served as a member of the Integrity Commission.

In 1988, Justice Narine was recognised for his contributions to the nation when he was awarded the Chaconia Medal (Gold) for public service.


About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. Website:

(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)