THEY are hardly ever apart for long. After attending the same secondary school, they joined the police service. They then left policing to study law. When they got married, they decided to live close to each other – a mere street apart.
Meet identical twins Cedric and Auldric Neptune, who have established the law firm Neptune & Neptune in San Fernando. Wearing the same colour jacket and tie, they are often seen working together, eating together and co-ordinating almost everything they do and have. They are 50-years-old.
Recently, in the High Court, San Fernando, Justice Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds was bemused when Cedric stood before her. The judge insisted it was he who had represented an accused in a case before her.
In walked Auldric, wearing an identical dark suit to his brother’s. As they stood side by side, the stunned judge remarked, “I do understand now.”
Court staff were dumbstruck at the sight of two identical attorneys standing at the bar table. Someone in the public gallery whispered, “This one could take the rap for the other.”
The twin lives of Cedric and Auldric are built on love and loyalty for each other.
They sat down with Newsday in their chambers on Irving Street and chatted about their humble home in Plaisance Park, Claxton Bay. They grew up with four other siblings in a home where life was no bed of roses. His mother, a housewife, and their father worked as an accounts clerk. But fate dealt the family a deadly blow. Both parents died, Cedric said, when he and his brothers and sisters were very young.
“I wouldn’t lie: life was hard. We walked to and from school – Plaisance Park to Couva Junior and Senior Secondary school – every day. God bless our loving mother and father,” Cedric said. Couva is 9.5 miles from Plaisance Park.
Cedric and Auldric recalled their schoolday journeys on foot, morning and afternoon. They would walk for a while, then rest, then walk again. The daily walk starts in Couva and went through Point Lisas. They would pass Trinidad Cement Ltd’s jetty in Claxton Bay, uphill to St Margaret’s, then downhill into Plaisance Park.
It was a herculean task, but they endured, with the love they have for each other – that symbiosis so typical of twins.
Cedric was born an hour after Auldric, in a family with a history of producing twins. Their grandmother bore twins, and their aunt as well. Just recently Auldric’s wife was pregnant with twins, but sadly, lost them.
About their closeness, Cedric quipped, “I was born with my best friend.”
Auldric chuckled, “That’s no second-guessing.”
They spoke of feeling each other’s pain, remembering the day when Cedric was in Tobago playing hockey for the police team.
Twins lawyers Cedric, left, and Auldric Neptune. PHOTO BY CHEQUANA WHEELER
“I felt something was wrong with Auldric. I was feeling awkward. I called the Couva Police Station. That same afternoon Auldric was chasing a suspect and a sharp object went through the boots and pierced his foot.”
They each decided to quit the police and become lawyers. While Cedric was in England, Auldric was studying law in TT and working as a cop. Cedric left the police service when he qualified as a lawyer, then Auldric left the service and went to England. “Yes, we missed each other. It was challenging for both of us. We will call each other on the phone, talk a bit, then pray,” Cedric said.
Most identical twins sometimes pay the price for each other, but they are rarely offended by the awkwardness of being mixed up.
One day, Cedric was walking with his girlfriend into the National Stadium to attend a military parade. Auldric’s girlfriend saw them and fuming, she phoned.
“She asked me what I doing in the stadium with a woman.”
The worse was yet to befall Cedric, who almost lost the woman he married.
He explained, “My wife’s grandfather saw Auldric in Port of Spain one day. Auldric obviously walked past him without a glance.
“Her grandfather called my mother-in-law and complained bitterly: ‘This boy want to marry your daughter and pass me straight just now. What kind of disrespect is that?’”
Their clients in court and in their chambers cannot tell them apart, but in all their cases, Cedric and Neptune share their time equally. Only family members who know them “very well,” Cedric said, are able to identify them at first glance. However, not by voice and often, their wives would mistake one for the other.
“If Auldric‘s wife call and I answer, she is unable to say who is he,” Cedric said. The twins specialise in criminal, family, land, personal injury and malicious prosecutions.
What more do these twin lawyers want for their relationship? Cedric and Auldric, with the exact smile, hope that one day their respective spouses would stop wishing they could have the kind of relationship the brothers have as identical twins.