This memorial website was created in the memory of our loved one, MR. JUSTICE GEORGE MILLS-ODOI C.o.v who was born in Ghana on June 29, 1916 at James Town British Accra. His father was William Hudson Odoi and his mother Sarah Naa Oyoe Mills, both of blesses memeory. He was the last of nine children, all male.
1923-1933:- He attended Accra Royal School where he passed the seventh standard examination with distinction. He belonged to that rapidly diminishing class of antediluvian Gold Coasters who started elementary schooling wearing cloth tied round their necks as uniform.
1934-1937:- He was admitted into the Accra Academy where he passed the Cambridge School Certificate with complete exemption from the London Matriculation, an achievement not very common in those days. Both in his elementary and secondary school careers, he was a precocious student and everything he did bore the hallmark of excellence. He was the first boy in his class throughout both the elementary and secondary days, and he brilliantly completed the secondary course in four years as against the normal six years. So impressed was his record at the Academy that in advance of the publication of the school certificate exam results, he was enrolled as a master, and joined the staff of the school. In his final year he was appointed Senior prefect, a lofty position in which he was adored and respected, even by the radical trouble makers among the student.
1935-1947:- He was an accomlished footballer during his youthful days. He played for the Energetics Football Team in 1934 and for Accra Standfast from 1935 to 1947. In 1935 and 1937 he played for the nation against Nigeria acquitting himself on both occassions.
Like another son of James Town, Mr. Attoh Okine, he was known as the goal merchant during his football days. With this background, it came as no surprise to his friends when he was later appointed Football coach to the Asante Kotoko Football club from 1951 to 1952.
In 1938, he resigned from Accra Academy and joined the Civil Service as a second Divisin clerk in the Law courts. He was a hard working and dutiful civil servant and it was during this period that he laid the solid foundation for his future professional career as a lawyer and later a Judge.
1947-1951: In 1947, he resigned from the civil service and proceeded to the United Kingdom where he enrolled as a student at the Middle Temple. He persued his studies with single minded devotion and was called to the Bar on the 26th of January, 1951. He returned home directly and was enrolled as Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Justice in March, 1951.
He begun his practice in Dantu Lodge, the chamber of his cousin, the late G. A. Heward-Mills in Kumasi together with Mr. Samuel Azu-Crabbe for a period of six months. Mr. Azu-Crabbe later left the chambers and Commey single-handedly manned the chambers for nine months until the return of his cousin from Britain
Thereafter, he established his own chambers- Tron Chambers
So thorough, painstaking and conscientious was his work as a Barrister and Solicitor that he soon built up a large and lucrative practice in Kumasi and throughout Ashanti. He came into instant notice of the Government who then appointed him as Chairman of the Shai Paramount Chieftancy Dispute in 1958.
The name Mills-Odoi is synonymous with Horse Racing and true to form Commey took keen interest in the sport while in Kumasi. He was one of the Staunchest supporters of the Kumasi Turf club and maintained his own stable in Kumasi. His interest in horsees and horse racing continued even when he was transfered to Accra and until the last days of his life.For some time he was a horse owner and also gave excellent service as a Steward of the Accra Turf Club where he garnered the sagacity and experience to make him the best qualified to serve later as Legal Advisor to the Horse Racing Board of Control. 1961-1963
The year 1958, may be regarded as the watershed in the life of Commey because after this year promotions, public appointments and honours began to be heaped on him thick and fast. Most of his assignments carried him as far afield as to Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Ceylon (now Sri-Lanka) and Trinidad and Tobago.
1958-1959:- Director of The Ghana Commercial Bank
1958-1959:- Director of The Ghana Life Assurance Company
1958-1959:- Junior Counsel to Sir Dingle Foot Q.C., who held brief for Dr. Hastings Banda (Head of State, Malawi) at The Devlin Commision of Enquiry in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe)
1959-1960:- Junior Counsel to the Attorney General Geoffrey Bing Q.C. at the Granville Sharp Commision of Enquiry held in Accra.
January, 1960:- Appointed Justice of The High Court of Ghana.
1960-1961:- The first ever Ghanaian to be appointed to hold the dual offices of Solicitor-General and Director of Public Prosecutions.
1961-1962:- The first Ghanaian to be appointed Attorney of the Republic of Ghana.
1961:- Member of the Committee appointed by the state to enquire into the assets of Ministers of State of the First Republic
1961-1963:- Legal Adviser to The Horse Racing Board of Control.
1961-1966:- Member of the Council for Legal Education
1962:- Government nominee for the drafting of the master Agreement for The Volta River Project
1963-1964:- Member of a three Man Committee appointed by The Governmnet of Ceylon (Sri-Lanka) to enquire into matters connected with the assassination of Prime Minister Banderanaike
1963-1965:- Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee of The Ghana Football Association.
1963-1966:- Appointed Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana.
1964-1966:-Member of the Ghana Legal council
July, 1965:- Appointed Acting Chief Justice
1966-1982:- Appointed Judge Advocate General of Ghana Armed Forces
1966-1968:- Chairman of the sports council of Ghana.
1967:- Chairman of the Committee of Enquiry into the structure and remuneration of the Public Services of Ghana, 1967 popularly known as the MILLS-ODOI committee
1967-1968:- Chairman of The Incomes Commission
1970-1971:- First ever Ghanaian to be appointed by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to officiate as Judge Advocate in three separate courts martials for the trial of mutineers in the Trinidad and Tobago Armed Forces
1972:- Member of The Ghana Olympic Committee.
1972:- Chairman of The Olympic and Overseas Fund Raising Committee.
1972-1988:- Chancellor of the Accra Anglican Diocese
1974:- Chairman of the committee on the structure and remuneration of The Ghana Armed Forces.
1978:- Chairman of the Committee of Enquiry into the disturbances the Winneba Police and the staff/students of The Advanced Teacher Training College at Winneba AND ALSO disturbances between the Kumasi Police & the staff/students of The Opoku-Ware Secondary School in Kumasi.
6TH March 1978:- Awarded The Companion of The Order of The Volta (Civil Division)
1979:- Chairman of The Boards of Directors at GHAIP COMPANY
The appointments and assignments and posts are as numerous as are varied and they give a measure of the colossus we mourn today. He was efficient and resourceful and whenever he put his hand to the plough he did not look back. No less a person than Mr. Eric Williams, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, paid Tribute to him in five books which he presented to Justice Mills-Odoi at the end of The Trinidad Enquiry with the following inscriptions:-
TO JUSTICE MILLS-ODOI OF GHANA IN APPRECIATION OF THE ARDUOUS AND VALUABLE SERVICE TO THE PEOPLE OF TRINIDAD IN THEIR HOUR OF NEED.
(Sgd. Eric Williams)
September 10Th, 1971
In November 1982, Justice Mills-Odoi retired as Judge Advocate of The Ghana Armed Forces
In private life, he was a devoted father and a happily married man. He married his wife Mrs. Rebecca Mills-Odoi (nee) Abbey at the Holy Trinity Cathedral on the 27Th of June, 1959 and since then, Rebecca has been a tower of strength to her husband. In the closing months of his life when he was afflicted by illness, Rebecca's training as a nurse proved very useful and she was indeed a ministering and unwearied angel.
Justice Mills-Odoi held the position of Chancellor of the Anglican Diocese of Accra with distinction and merit and by his death, the church and indeed Christianity in Ghana is the poorer. Let us pray that the Almighty will raise a worthy successor to continue in his footsteps.
During the last few years, Commey's state of health deteriorated and all that prayers, medicine and surgery could do to restore him back to normal health was done. However, man's ways are not God's ways and he breathed his last at the Military Hospital in the morning of thursday the 4Th of August, 1988 at the age of 72.
He left behind a wife Mrs. Rebecca Mills-Odoi, 10 children 12 grandchildren, 3 brothers and many relatives and friends to mourn his loss. The words of the following Hymn aptly sums up our thoughts about Commey on this occassion.
I WILL PRAISE MY MAKER WHILE I'VE BREATH;
AND WHEN MY VOICE IS LOST IN DEATH.
PRAISE SHALL EMPLOY MY NOBLER POWERS:
MY DAYS OF PRAISE SHALL NE'ER NE PAST,
WHILE LIFE, AND THOUGHT, AND BEING LAST,
OR IMMORTALITY ENDURES.
His immortality will indeed endure in his work for his family, his nation, the international community and his church, and it is our hope that the Almighty God who has been our refuge in all generations will accord him an honoured place in the Courts above.
May the earth lie lightly on him and may his soul Rest In Peace.
We will remember him forever.