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The nation tonight mourns the passing of Stanley Alfred Moore, Attorney-at-law and Senior Counsel, at the age of 84. Moore was a remarkable and accomplished lawyer who dedicated over 50 years to serving the bar and bench in Guyana and beyond. He was a respected figure in the legal community, known for his passion for the law and his commitment to justice. Moore’s work extended far beyond Guyana and the Caribbean, with his services reaching Botswana and Swaziland. He had once referred to these places as his home, and he had many fond memories of his time there.
Moore’s passion for his work was unmatched, and he continued to practice law well into his eighties. He believed that lawyers never stopped working until their minds stopped ticking. Even though he admitted that he was not as sharp as he once was, Moore continued to attend court and remained up-to-date with the discipline of law. His satisfaction came from relishing the memories of his prime years of private practice and work as a judge, both locally and overseas. Moore was a perpetual student of life, and he was always learning, even in his final days.
Moore’s early life was simple, and he was born in a pleasant little lane called Asylum Street in New Amsterdam, Berbice, on Monday, July 1, 1935. His parents, Olive Isabella Walcott-Moore and Llewellyn Cornett Moore, left the Ancient County when he was still very young, and the family relocated to Thomas Street, Kitty, where he and his brother, Carlyle Moore, grew up. Moore’s father was enlisted to join the troops fighting for King and Country in World War II, and he never returned home. Moore’s mother became a single parent, but she was determined to ensure that her sons excelled in their academics. Relatives from both the Moore and Walcott sides of the family, who lived in close proximity to them in Kitty, were able to offer support. Moore attended St. James the Less Anglican School and then Tutorial High School, where he was one of the first students to complete a sixth form education. After completing high school, Moore entered the world of work, starting as a pupil-teacher and then working as a Customs Officer for Her Majesty’s Customs Department.
While working at Customs and Excise, Stanley Moore developed an interest in the law. Despite being a young husband and father, he couldn’t shake his desire to study law. Moore couldn’t afford formal education, so he began studying on his own. Eventually, he met Frederick Wills, a Guyanese scholar who would become his mentor. Wills was teaching a class for law students and Moore joined in. Moore considered the opportunity to be taught by Wills as esteemed and humbling. Wills’ other students included distinguished legal minds such as Desiree Bernard, Duke Pollard, Mohamed Ayube Ali Mc Doom, Aubrey Fitz-Ronald Bishop, and Rex Mc Kay, who Moore regards as his mentor to this day. Moore made another career shift and became a manager at Booker’s Enterprise, a London-based firm that controlled 30% of Guyana’s economy at that time. After obtaining his LLB degree from a London University, Moore left the company and enrolled at Lincoln Inn University to study for the English Bar examination. In 1970, Moore completed his final bar exams and earned a Commonwealth scholarship to pursue a Master’s degree at University College London. Moore’s illustrious career in the legal field in Guyana and the Caribbean began when he worked as Rex McKay’s junior on the famous case of protesting nurses in Grenada. He later served as an acting magistrate and judge for a short period.
After spending several years in private practice, the Attorney briefly entered politics. He was appointed as Minister of Home Affairs under Linden Forbes Burnham’s administration in 1981, but resigned after a year. He also held other political positions, including Attorney General of Montserrat and acting Governor of Montserrat. As Governor, he represented Her Majesty the Queen.
Due to his political affiliations, Moore was appointed as a Member of Parliament in both Guyana and Montserrat. Despite this, his interest in justice never diminished, and he also held senior judicial positions in The Bahamas, Grenada, and the British Virgin Islands. He later served in Botswana and the Kingdom of Swaziland before returning to private practice. Additionally, Moore volunteered his time and effort to educate aspiring lawyers at the University of Guyana and the University of the West Indies.
In the early 2000s, Moore also worked as a visiting professor at Florida State University, teaching Comparative Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Public International Law. Guyana has lost a legal luminary and a proud son of the soil.