Sir Lionel Alfred Luckhoo

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Sir Lionel Alfred Luckhoo

Sir Lionel Alfred Luckhoo KCMG, CBE, Q.C. was born on March 2, 1914 in New Amsterdam, Guyana. He was educated at Queen's College, Georgetown, Guyana and then began studying medicine at St. Thomas' Hospital in England but then quickly switched careers to legal studies. He was called to the English bar (Middle Temple) in 1940, then returned to Guyana and started a solicitor's practice with one of his brothers in the firm Luckhoo and Luckhoo.

He maintained his private legal practice spanning most of the years from 1940 to 1985, and became a Queen's Counsel in 1954. His reputation earned him an entry in the Guinness Book of Records in 1990 where he is dubbed the world's "most successful lawyer". The record is for obtaining as a defense trial lawyer 245 successive murder acquittals. In a few instances his clients were found guilty in jury trials, but were acquitted in appeal cases. He also practiced as a barrister in England, later served as a judge of the Supreme Court of Guyana.

He also came to notoriety as the legal personal representative of the Reverend Jim Jones. Jones was the founder and leader of the People's Temple Church, and had left California in the 1970s to establish a commune in Guyana known as Jonestown.

In addition to his legal practice, Luckhoo also had a political career. He was the head of four trade unions, and served in the Legislative Council of Guyana (1952-53) in its pre-independence days. He served as the Mayor of Georgetown in 1955, 1956, 1960 and 1961. In the late 1950s he established the conservative political party the National Labour Front, which contested the Guyana general election of 1957. However Luckhoo was unsuccessful in his bid to be elected as Prime Minister, and his party only gained one electoral seat in parliament.

He was also involved in the negotiations for independence of both Guyana and Barbados. He was appointed High Commissioner for Guyana and Barbados in Britain (1966-1970), and was also Ambassador for both countries. From 1967–1970 he served as joint ambassador for Guyana and Barbados in France, Germany and the Netherlands.

He served as the President of the Guyana Olympic Association from 1974-79. He was also a notable figure in the Guyanese horse racing industry, and owned several race horses. He also owned an island and a resort hotel.

He was married to Sheila Chamberlin, and had two sons and three daughters with her. This marriage ended in divorce in 1972, and he remarried Jeannie Willis Carter. His second wife is a genealogist.

Luckhoo received the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 1962, was made a knight bachelor in 1966, and received the KCMG (Knights Commander of St Michael and St George) in 1969.

[Luckhoo was raised in a nominal Christian faith. In 1978 he experienced a profound religious conversion at a meeting he attended that was sponsored by the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International (FGBMFI) and participated in the Protestant Evangelical movement of Christianity.

After his conversion, he established Luckhoo Ministries in Fort Worth, Texas and became an itinerant speaker about his Christianity in Guyana, England, Australia and the United States of America. He wrote several booklets where he presented Christian apologetics arguments to persuade others about faith in Christ. Booklets included titles such as What is Your Verdict?, The Question Answered: Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?, and The Quran is not the Word of God. He also co-wrote an apologetics-based novel, The Silent Witness. Luckhoo's contributions to apologetics identify him with both the evidentialist school of thought, and the tradition known as legal or juridical apologetics.

Where are our "Heroes"