Book Review: The West Indian Lawyer – Keith Sobion

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In 2019 my cousin, Justin Sobion published a book entitledThe West Indian Lawyer – Keith Sobion.” This book is the definition of a labour of love and actually took about 8 years to complete. He interviewed many persons from all walks of life from the security guard, Mr Jones at the Pines townhouses in Jamaica where they lived at one point, to the former prime minsters of Trinidad and Tobago Mr. Basdeo Panday and Mr Patrick Manning all to get a sense of who Keith Sobion was to the outside world. This book takes you on journey of a young boy, a brother of six, born to Mayaro parents Otto Sobion and Clerine Frontin who pursued his dream to become a lawyer and went on to become a partner at JD Sellier (one of the biggest law firms on our island), the Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago and at the time of his death, Principal of the Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica 😊

This book, written by his middle son, is a behind the scenes view of the life of Keith Sobion. The stories are vivid and as you read it you can picture the events unfolding before your eyes. Uncle Keith was a family man, a passionate lawyer, a one time club promoter, a talker, a listener, a charmer, a helper, a hard worker, a Buju Banton and David Rudder fan …. this man lived a full life 💕 Gone too soon? Without a doubt….but he lived life to the fullest, he was loved and his death left a hole not only in our family but in the legal fraternity of Trinidad and Tobago.

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Keith’s sons: Darien Sobion, Justin Sobion and Jules Sobion (L-R) and Judith Sobion (his wife)

What I loved most about this book is the recounting of the various stories, his strugglesfor example, when he applied to be a judge and was not selected and his triumphsfor example, when he was elected to be MP for Mayaro and Attorney General in Trinidad and Tobago. The books shows both the highs and the lows, the good times and the bad, the funny times and the sad times. It just shows you that there is no such thing as the perfect life, we all have our crosses to carry, your cross maybe different than mine but it doesn’t mean that it is not there. As Buju Banton stated in that infamous song, Not an Easy Road:

“Its not an easy road, many see the glamour and the glitter so they think a bed of rose, mi say.

Who feels it knows…ohh ohh Lord help me sustain these blows.”

One of my most vivid memories of Uncle Keith was the day I received my Form 5 CXC results. Somehow the evening after I got my results, my mom and I ended up passing by Uncle Keith’s home in FlagStaff. I eagerly told him my results (I had gotten 9 ones and two 2s). His only remark was “Well you know you have to do better than that.” Can you imagine my shock? That memory is ingrained in my mind, I could see him on the couch sitting across from me telling me this. The man was not impressed! I was a bit taken aback to be honest. However, I resolved that I will impress him with my CAPE results and that I will work harder in the coming years and get a scholarship and I did (although sadly, he did not live to see it). That was the type of person he was, he pushed you, somehow he knew when you had more to give, more to offer, and although you may not see it yourself, he saw it in you 😍. That is what I learned from him, the importance of hard-work and always doing your best.

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My cousin Justin Sobion (the author), my cousin Jeanelle Frontin (in yellow) and me 🙂

This book is a tribute to a wonderful Caribbean man who at the age of 56 had accomplished so so much ⭐ It is an inspirational story for any young person thinking of pursuing a career and are unsure of themselves, it is a story of family and career, hard work and determination, challenges and successes. Through hardwork, sacrifice, studying and a good education my uncle was able to become a partner in a major law firm in Trinidad and Tobago, the Attorney General of our island, the Member of Parliament for Mayaro and also the Principal of a law school. These days education is much more accessible for all persons, what are you doing with this privilege ❓

This books is available at Paper Based Bookstore at Normandie Hotel. Get your copy today 😉

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Much Love

Celly

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