News Releases

UWI Mourns the Death of Distinguished Alumna, Dame Bernice Lake

For Release Upon Receipt - September 15, 2011

St. Augustine

It was with great sadness that The University of the West Indies’ (UWI) community learned of the passing of UWI stalwart, Dame Bernice Lake on Saturday, after a brief illness. A brilliant legal scholar, Dame Bernice was the first woman in the Eastern Caribbean and the first UWI graduate to be bestowed the distinguished title of Queen’s Counsel. Born in Anguilla, she made her home in Antigua where she established the highly respected chambers, Lake & Kentish with attorney Kendrickson Kentish, following a distinguished career in the diplomatic service of the short-lived West Indies Federation.

Dame Bernice was an expert in constitutional law. Not only was she the main architect of the Anguilla Constitution in 1975, she was part of the team that framed Antigua & Barbuda’s Constitution in 1981. As a member of the Council of The University of the West Indies for many years, she brought her clear, analytical mind and formidable legal skills to bear on the deliberations of that body. The Chancellor, Sir George Alleyne, who chairs the Council, has lauded her quiet dignity and incisive contributions to the discussions.

In 2004 the Government of Antigua recommended her for a knighthood for her contribution to the legal field, her stance on women’s issues, civil and political rights and her personal integrity. She was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate of Law by her alma mater, The University of the West Indies, in 2007 at the Cave Hill graduation.

The University of the West Indies is indebted to this eminent jurist and Caribbean stateswoman for her years of outstanding service to the institution and to the region and extends condolences to the family of Dame Bernice Lake.


About UWI

Over the last six decades, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged University with over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest and most longstanding higher education provider in the English-speaking Caribbean, with main campuses in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, and Centres in Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Christopher (St Kitts) & Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent & the Grenadines. UWI recently launched its Open Campus, a virtual campus with over 50 physical site locations across the region, serving over 20 countries in the English-speaking Caribbean. UWI is an international university with faculty and students from over 40 countries and collaborative links with over 60 universities around the world. Through its seven Faculties, UWI offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Pure & Applied Sciences, Science and Agriculture, and Social Sciences.