Celebrating his survival from a near-death experience, Belizean Queen's Counsel Rodwell Williams (second right) is flanked by friends (from left) University of Technology lecturer Kess Miller, Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn and Solicitor General Douglas Leys at a cocktail reception in his honour at the Iberostar Suites in Montego Bay last Saturday night.- Photos by Janet Silvera

His batchmates at Norman Manley Law School held a prayer vigil for him, prayed regularly for his recovery, and when the time came to celebrate his survival, they hosted a party in his honour at the Iberostar Suites in Montego Bay, St James, on Saturday, November 19.

That man is Belizean Queen's Counsel Rodwell Williams, who was shot in the abdomen last May, and left to die on the streets of Belize. He told Outlook at that moment he thought, "I can't die now; I am a promising young man." Williams' promising career saw him partnering with prime minister of Belize, Dean Barrow of law firm Williams and Barrow.

Williams and his friends are among the region's most respected legal luminaries, including Jamaica's Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn, Solicitor General Douglas Leys, renowned attorney Garth McBean, Jamaica Development Bank's Sheron Henry and the British Virgin Islands' Paul Dennis.

"We kept a vigil via email," said an excited Llewellyn as she stood with rapt attention listening to Williams replaying every minute of the event that threatened to take him from his wife Felice, his children, family and great friends.

"It has really changed my life, my values are different, because I have been given a second chance," he told the intimate gathering of the class of 1984, as they lifted their glasses in a symbolic toast to their hero.

Jamaica Gleaner