February 2021 Volume 17

"Bredrin Notes" -- Oliver "Pint" Smith.

Stephen Vasciannie
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KC Times launches a new regular feature with school recollections and reflections on Old Boys from various eras. We welcome notes about "bredrin" and friends for future editions of the Times

Oliver Alberga Smith has become one of the leading lawyers in the Caribbean. This is not surprising. From his earliest days at the College, Oliver demonstrated powerful intellectual skills, a strong sense of judgement and keen insight into human behaviour. He has carried these traits into his professional life.

I first met Oliver in September 1971 when we shared a class at KC in a green wooden building representing 1A, our first form room next to the TT Board Room. In those early days, the diminutive Oliver -- under the title “Half Pint” – kept us entertained with his keen sense of humour and his ready smile as his peered over his spectacles with the fancy connecting strings.

“Pint”, as the “Half” became, grew into the KC poet of his era, was a member of the illustrious College choir, and demonstrated outstanding class as a batsman who loved the elaborate cover drive, followed by the commandeering pose, as the ball sped to the boundary. In the upper years at the College, he attended convincingly to his History, Econ. and Literature, walked with a consistent bop, and was known to make observations about when “barrel come” for some of our classmates.

By the Sixth Form, Pint’s path to law was clear. At UWI, we shared Taylor Hall for a year; many noted Pint’s facility with legal concepts from then, as he expounded, for instance, on the absence of a Theft Act in Jamaica and on “Rose and Plenty” situations. At later times, following UWI Cave Hill and Norman Manley Law School, Oliver and friends would exchange notes from New York, from the rock, as well as from Turks and Caicos, and beyond. Oliver has been an important force in keeping the College man dem in touch, when he is not busy representing clients in diverse places.

On meeting the eleven-year-old Half Pint for the first time in 1971, my mother advised me that he would flourish because he was a natural leader. So said, so done: Oliver has flourished through his brilliance, generosity of spirt and sense of brotherhood. He has travelled from that green wooden building with pride, performance and power.

Stephen Vasciannie

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