My father, Brian Wilkinson (pictured above), who died at the age of 93, was a lawyer and parliamentary legal editor who worked in that capacity around the world until 2010.
He was born in Hull, East Yorkshire, the son of Lily (née Kennedy) and John Wilkinson (known as Jack). Brian and his younger sister, Pat, grew up in a solid working-class family. Their father was a trade unionist employed at the shipyard.
As a teenager during the Second World War, when Hull was badly hit by bombing, Brian experienced evacuation, air raids and rationing. He went to high school in Hull, then studied law at University College Hull (now the University of Hull), earning an LLB (London) (Honours). In search of new opportunities in the post-war period, he traveled abroad in 1955 and became passionate about Southeast Asia. He spent time in Sarawak and Penang, and in Singapore, in 1957 he married Lian Eng (née Tan), known as Margaret. They then had five children.
In 1965 they moved to Uganda, then later to Fiji, St. Kitts, the Cayman Islands and Brunei, where Brian worked for over 20 years and continued to live after his retirement. He has held numerous senior legal positions, including that of Supervisor of Elections in Fiji and Acting Attorney General in the Cayman Islands. In Brunei, he received several medals from the Sultan for his service, including the Most Distinguished Order of Paduka Seri Laila Jasa. He met the Queen twice and said he thought she remembered him the second time around.
He made an early contribution to emerging environmental legislation, drafting the Caribbean Marine Conservation Act in 1985 allowing the creation of marine parks where human activity is controlled.
Sir Anthony Smellie QC, currently Chief Justice of the Cayman Islands, described Brian as ‘simply the best legal writer and one of the finest legal minds I have ever had the good fortune to work with’.
He was a proud Yorkshireman who never lost his accent but was always keen to fit in with the local community.
He was passionate about anything designed for left-handers like himself and was interested in new experiences, including trying airlines with poor track records – just for novelty. People ranging from those in the highest office to those who poured the whiskey will remember him as a gentle man who was interested in life, local culture, the laws of the land and corkscrews. lefties.
He is survived by Margaret, their children, Timothy, Martin, Edwin, Kim and I, and eight grandchildren.