Bernard Quentin Pitts Senior passed away early this morning. Pitts served Belize in many different professions. Pitts was born in 1935 and was from Mullins River. Pitts went to school and studied law at University of the West Indies at the age of thirty five. In January of 1977 he started his own law firm. Michael Pitts the son of Bernard Pitts told us what the life of his father was before he was an attorney.
Michael Pitts, Son of Bernard Pitts: “My father was done in 1935 to Methodist parents and he went through Methodist schooling; primary, Wesley College. He finished Wesley College in 1952 I believe. Started his first job I believe as a messenger, that was the thing to do and he worked himself becoming junior clerk and then first class clerk. He got married I believe in about 1955 and he lived the first time in the dump area, that was on Amara Avenue and then from there he became a magistrate and at about 1964 they called it a travelling Magistrate so he was out of the house from Monday to Friday but there was no single mother at our house, there was discipline and he would be back on Friday. He did that for a while until 1970 when he went on to Law School at the age of 35. He went on to Law School, the UWI Law School he was the first enrollee at that school. He shared that distinction with the current Prime Minister and he did that until 1975 when he came back. He came back at around 1975 where he worked in the DPP office and held rank there and in 1977 January I believe he went on to start his own private practice down on Dean Street. He’s been in private practice ever since. He worked and was busy up until the 16th of December.”
Pitts was Speaker of the House of Representatives in the Parliament from 1993 to 1998. He was also a lawyer in private practice, the senior partner in the law firm of Pitts and Elrington along with his Cabinet colleague Wilfred Elrington. Michael told us every one saw his dad as a lawyer but he saw him as much more.
Michael Pitts, Son of Bernard Pitts: “Most people like to know my father as an attorney but I know him as otherwise. I have to look at my notes and I will tell you that my father was more than an attorney he was a carpenter. He built his own house, his own house, and he built his second house. His second house was at the same place 52 years ago in what was then known as Prisoner Creek. In fact he was there as one of the founding members of this Lake Independence Community. At that time we were on London Bridges, little light and little water but an exciting place. My father because of his Mullins River roots was also a farmer, he loved the farm in fact he encouraged me to be a farmer not a doctor. He was also a tailor and he supplemented his income doing tailoring whether it was in Corozal where he was stationed or in Belize City. He was also a musician, he played several instruments but the ones that I remember were the trombone, the baritone and the piano. He even led his own band, the band’s name was Latin Lovers. I don’t know what it meant but that band I will tell you included the famous Pete Matthews.”
Pitts spoke about his favorite memories of his father.
Michael Pitts, Son of Bernard Pitts: “He used to travel back and forth. My mother told me that there was a time because of music he was playing in Gales Point and the boat came left him and he took his Dorey and paddled from Gales Point to Belize City to get to Belize in time for work. He wouldn’t miss work. I remember going to high school he came home from Jamaica and he came and saw me studying and told me to close the book and that I studied too much. He told me that I should do more thinking so he asked what I was studying and I told him biology. He asked me to tell my why one of our kitchen tables was alive, to find reason it was alive because it hadn’t disappeared and gone anywhere. I had to find reason.”
Pitts was ill for about three years and suffered a stroke on December 16. Michael told us what happened.
Michael Pitts, Son of Bernard Pitts: “My father started to get maybe about three years ago and he has been a fighter and fought day to day and year to year. He set milestones and carried on until the 16th of December he had a what you would call a catastrophic event that led him to the hospital from which he didn’t recover.”
Following the Belize Constitution Bill which removed the Constitution of Belize’s requirement that the Attorney-General be a member of the House or Senate, Prime Minister Dean Barrow appointed him to the position of Attorney General in place of Elrington. Pitts was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2012 New Year Honors.. Bernard Quentin Pitts died at the age of eighty.