The remains of one of Ghana’s foremost legal luminaries and first Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Justice Vincent Cyril Richard Arthur Charles (V.C.R.A.C.) Crabbe, were laid to rest in Accra on Thursday October 4, 2018.
A state burial service was held at the Accra International Conference Centre to give him a befitting farewell for his dedicated services to the country.
In attendance were President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo; the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia; former Presidents Jerry John Rawlings and John Agyekum Kufuor; the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye; the Chief Justice, Ms Justice Sophia Akuffo, and a former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings.
Also at the service were a former Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Georgina Theodora Wood; the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Ms Gloria Akuffo; the Chief of Staff, Mrs Frema Osei-Opare, as well as magistrates and justices of both the lower and the superior courts and members of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA).
Prof. Justice Crabbe, who was born at Kinkam at Ussher Town, Accra, on October 29, 1923, passed away on September 7, 2018, barely a month to his 95th birthday.
He left behind six children.
He had his secondary education at Accra Academy, studied law at the Inner Temple in England in 1952 and was called to the Bar in England in 1955.
In 1966, he returned to Ghana to render service as a Special Commissioner to the 1969 Constitutional Commission.
After drafting the 1969 Constitution, he was appointed Ghana’s first Electoral Commissioner and subsequently organised the 1969 elections.
He was the Chairman of the 1979 Constituent Assembly that drafted the 1979 Constitution and was later nominated to the Supreme Court.
From 1958 to 1963 Justice Crabbe was a tutor and lecturer during the foundation years of the Ghana School of Law, and in 1999 he held the position of the Statute Law Revision Commissioner at the Attorney-Genera’s Department.
Tributes from his family, his children, his sister and the Ghana Armed Forces described Prof. Justice Crabbe as a man of humility, integrity, discipline and honesty.
They said Justice Crabbe worked with all his might and heart for the good of the country.
The children said Prof. Justice Crabbe was a disciplinarian who insisted that they dressed accurately and respected time.
He also encouraged them to read novels, newspapers and magazines.
In a tribute read on her behalf, Prof. Justice Crabbe’s elder sister, Anna, who will be 102 years in November, said despite her brother’s exposure, he was still humble.
“He served his country with dignity, humility and integrity,” she said.
In a sermon, a former Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Ghana, the Most Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante, said every individual had a calling and a destiny to fulfill.
Therefore, he said, people needed to fight the good fight and finish the race as admonished by Apostle Paul.
“It is not too hard to start something well but it is too hard to finish well. To fight the good fight, one must start well and finish well,” he said.
The Most Rev. Prof. Asante said Prof. Justice Crabbe did his work so well that the living, the dead and the unborn would appreciate his work.
He said the future was embedded in today, hence the need for people to handle today well for future gain.
He again urged people to settle with their Maker before their departure from the world.
The Most Rev. Prof. Asante urged the Ministry of Education to collect the works of prominent Ghanaians who had passed on, such as a former United Nations Secretary General, Mr Kofi Annan; the celebrated literary writer, Prof. Atukwei Okai, and Prof. Justice Crabbe, to guide the youth.
He said knowing more about such people would sharpen the actions and utterances of people.