Cocktails with Christine Gore
Attorney-at-law Christine Gore is a practical, no-frills kind of woman. Sure, she can dress the part and wow on the red carpet in an evening gown (as she did recently for Lorna Myers' PSOJ induction ceremony), but says she's far more content browsing titles in a bookstore. The affable lawyer and her developer husband Phillip Gore are on the guest list for Spanish Ambassador Celsa Nuño's 'culinary tour' dinner party hosted last Wednesday at the Ambassador's upper St Andrew residence. Ordering a cocktail by the bar, Gore sits down with us to chat about the legal profession and what tops her Christmas wish list.
What's your cocktail of choice?
Usually it's a Scotch and soda — that's what I'm having now. But I'll also settle into a nice Pinot Grigio without too much encouragement. And my son-in-law makes a great Manhattan, so whenever I'm with him he takes me down that path.
Jeans or LBD?
Jeans. I consider myself more of a hardware store/bookstore girl, rather than a couture girl.
Flats or stilettos?
Who does your hair?
Juliana Cole; she comes to my house.
Who does your nails?
Trisha; she also comes to my house. I'm not a salon girl.
What's in your clutch?
My credit card, driver's licence, Revlon lipstick, MAC face powder, and my 'get vex' money.
What kind of day are you having?
Today was hectic. There are a lot of projects going on that have to be finished before Christmas. I'm especially proud to be involved in the Taste of Tryall this weekend. The event will raise funds for the Tryall Fund — it's a charity that I'm very proud to be a part of. We work on improving early childhood education. We're always hearing about the abysmal results of CXC passes and that our education system is going down the tubes, and the reason for it is that some children start in basic schools without a proper foundation. The Tryall Fund has a project called Success by Six that is currently running in the Chambers Pen, Sandy Bay, Montpelier and Hopewell Deliverance Centre basic schools in Hanover. We have partnered with the Early Childhood Commission and we're almost 100 per cent in line with their 12 standards.
What stirred your interest in early childhood education?
I have always been interested in doing projects that are going to make a difference to Jamaica. I want Jamaica to develop, I am tired of us being called 'developing'.
I want to be a part of getting there.
What was the last book you read?
The Devil To Pay by Robin Moore. The book was given to my father Wills Isaacs by the author. He gave it to him in recognition of a project that he was working on at Blue Hole in the 1960s. My sister Joan Panton just gave me the book and I'm actually not only reading it because of the content, but to be closer to my father.
Your husband Phillip Gore is a noted local developer. What architectural structures in the island are you most impressed by?
I like buildings that have been renovated. I like when people acknowledge rather than build. Building new is easy, but I like when people restore things that have been run-down. I'm not that hung up on design and the rules; I'm more about how it makes you feel. I'm particularly proud of my husband's recent restoration of the Florence Hall Great House in Trelawny as part of a recent affordable housing development, Florence Hall Village, that he completed there.
Why did you want to become a lawyer?
It wasn't my idea actually; it was my father's. He was a Norman Manley man, so people of his age felt that it was important that you were a lawyer or a doctor and I wasn't medical material.
If you could have decided for yourself then, would you have chosen another profession?
I like the choice. I was 16 when I left school so I didn't know what I wanted to do, so he was enough of a parent. Nowadays, young people at 16 have no idea what they want to do, so he made that decision for me and he made the right decision and I'm glad he did.
Do you think the legal profession here is currently oversaturated?
That's what the experts report but maybe it could be there are too many lawyers practising in traditional fields rather than going out into non-traditional areas of practice. Lawyers are not comfortable with the idea that we provide a service, but that's the truth, so it may be a good idea to see where the service is needed rather than that concept of a Duke Street lawyer because there is no more space on Duke Street. You have to think outside of the box.
What music are you listening to now?
I do everything. Just this past Sunday, I started my Christmas decorations and I said to my husband I needed some classical music, so I listened to some Beethoven and Bocelli and to be honest, that was the first in a long time I listened to music on a Sunday. That isn't to say that I don't like my dancehall, but some of it... I don't know anybody's name, I have no clue.
What would be the perfect date with your husband?
We have that every night, just the two of us at home with no staff. Most nights, if we are lucky, we have dinner and a nice bottle of wine — just the two of us.
We're on the cusp of the holiday season. What tops your Christmas wish list?
For my whole family to be with us. All of us send our children away to university and I suppose it's an island-type thing, but we don't realise they might not come back, they might meet somebody there, marry them and go further away, so everybody is very scattered and I would like one Christmas when everybody is in the same place — that would be great.
What's on your to-do itinerary for 2013?
I don't really make New Year's resolutions. I stopped smoking so I crossed the Rubicon but I would like to become more technologically savvy and therefore more independent. We are also travelling a lot and I'm enjoying it, so my life is almost perfect. I'm just fine.