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It has been said that the Father of Labour Sir Randol F. Fawkes was a man who had changed the course of Bahamian history, by his selfless decision to back the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) in the historic 1967 general elections. To be sure, Sir Randol was not affiliated with the PLP during the run-up to the general election in 1967. He was the leader of his own political party, the Labour Party. Sir Randol had joined the PLP in 1955, or thereabouts at the request of the secretary-general of the party, Cyril Stevenson. Stevenson asked him to contest a seat in the southern district of New Providence, according to Sir Randol in his memoir, 'The Faith That Moved the Mountain'. Sir Randol, along with Cyril Stevenson, Sir Milo Butler, Clarence Bain, Samuel Isaacs and Sir Lynden O. Pindling, were the first members of the PLP to be elected to Parliament. However, the popular Labour Leader eventually left the party a few years later. Sir Randol wanted to change the name of the opposition to the Progressive Labour Party. He also wanted to become the party's leader. None of his ambitions for the PLP were realized, however.
Sir Randol was the founder of the Bahamas Federation of Labour. According to Sir Randol, all the little craft unions merged for greater solidarity into one big industrial union, the Bahamas Federation of Labour. Sir Randol's union along with the PLP and the Taxi-Cab Union all played a pivotal role in the January 1958 General Strike. The general strike was to last for 16 days. Bay Street-owned tour companies were given the exclusive right to transport tourists to and from the hotels. Obviously, this move, if allowed to go unchallenged, would have destroyed the livelihoods of hundreds of black Bahamian independent taxi drivers. The strike had its intended outcome. The white minority government passed the Trade Union and Industrial Conciliation Act in July of 1958, almost five months after the strike. The Department of Labour was also established. Sir Randol obviously desired to improve the economic and social conditions of Bahamians. It has been said that Labour Day was established as a national holiday in order to commemorate the 1942 Burma Road Riot. Whereas the riots of 1942 were marked by violence, the 1958 General Strike was a peaceful, non-violent revolution of the labor laws of this country.
During the 60s leading up to January 1967, the standard of living throughout the colony of The Bahamas was atrocious. In fact, poverty in the Out Islands was more acute than in New Providence. The plight of poor black Bahamians was not the main concern of the white oligarchy, however. In December of 1966, a sudden unofficial strike erupted in New Providence, according to Sir Randol. Bahamian workers demanded more money. Hundreds of workers joined in the strike. It is obvious to all objective historians that most Bahamian workers were being paid chicken feed wages. The United Bahamian Party (UBP) was clearly a tarnished regime. This was the hue and cry of Sir Randol Fawkes and the Official Opposition, the PLP. The then Governor of The Bahamas Sir Ralph Grey was summoned to England to give an account of his stewardship and to report firsthand on charges of corruption, according to 'The Faith That Moved the Mountain'. This was in December 1966.
The UBP government then called for a snap general election to be held on January 10, 1967. The UBP did this in order to prove to England that the charges of corruption were baseless. Members of the UBP also feared standing before a commission of inquiry. The UBP, according to historians Michael Craton and Dr. Gail Saunders, clearly hoped that by calling the election so suddenly it would catch the opposition unprepared. The UBP obviously had a slight edge heading into the 1967 electoral contest. They had the financial power and most importantly the experience of running a government. At that time no black Bahamian had ever led The Bahamas. This undoubtedly caused many to feel apprehensive about the PLP gaining political power, especially white Bahamians. For over 200 years white Europeans were at the helm. Now all of a sudden it appeared as if a black political party was on the verge of wresting political power away from the white minority who had ruled this country for centuries.
Sir Randol wrote in his memoir that 94 candidates ran for the 38 seats in Parliament. The UBP fielded 36 candidates; the PLP, 29; Paul L. Adderly's National Democratic Party (NDP), 13; and the Labour Party ran four candidates. There were 12 independent candidates. Both the PLP and the UBP each won 18 seats. Of the 17 seats in New Providence, the PLP took 12. Fawkes defeated his black UBP opponent by a huge margin in St. Barnabas. Former UBP member Alvin R. Braynen won Harbour Island as an independent candidate. Braynen would go on to become Speaker of the House. It is interesting to note that of the 36 candidates nominated by the UBP, 14 were black, according to Sir Etienne Dupuch. On the other hand, none of the candidates for the PLP were white. The outcome of the election created a deadlock. Both major political parties courted Sir Randol for his support.
In fact, according to Sir Randol, Premier Sir Roland Symonette propositioned him by offering him whatever he wanted if he would join the UBP. He was even offered a ministerial post within a UBP administration. Had Sir Randol joined the UBP, he would have been rewarded handsomely by the wealthy Bay Street clique. But the labor leader decided to throw his support behind the PLP. This move by Sir Randol gave the PLP a one-seat majority in the House of Assembly, 19 seats to 18. For the first time in its modern history, The Bahamas would be ruled by the black majority, thanks to Sir Randol Fawkes. Had Sir Randol joined the UBP, Bahamian history would have been radically different. Majority Rule Day laid down the foundation for independence in 1973. Majority rule was the catalyst of social and economic transformation for not only black Bahamians, but white Bahamians also. In an interview with The Nassau Guardian that was held on January 11,1967, Sir Lynden stressed that the ''Progressive Liberal Party is for everyone. I hope the white population has realized this and have no fears'' (The Vision of Sir Lynden Pindling, page 23). Yet despite this reassurance from the newly-minted premier, two former cabinet ministers of the UBP government left the country after the devastating loss to the PLP: Sir Stafford Sands and Donald E. d'Albenas. Both couldn't bear the thought of living in a country that was governed by negroes.
That historic day (Majority Rule Day) brought to an end the reign of the Bay Street Boys. Majority rule made it possible for all Bahamians to have a share in the economic pie of the country, instead of just the Bay Street Boys and their special interest groups. Perhaps it can be argued that January 10,1967 was the most important day in the history of the modern Bahamas. Majority rule was a quiet, bloodless revolution. It was a civil rights victory for all Bahamians, including white Bahamians. January 10 should be celebrated by all Bahamians, not just the PLP. The name Sir Randol Fawkes will forever be etched in the annals of Bahamian history as one of the great national heroes of this country. Because of his important political move in 1967, history has been forever changed.
- Kevin Evans
Tuesday 2nd April 2013 6:30 PM
Tuesday, April 2nd World Autism Awareness Day –Start of Light It Up Blue Campaign To promote autism awareness a blue lighting ceremony will be held in Rawson’s Square at 6:30 p.m. Where Bahamians will come together to shine their blue lights to bring awareness for autism & related disorders 2013 Autism Awareness Month Calendar of Events Tuesday, April 2nd World Autism Awareness Day –Start of Light It Up Blue Campaign To promote autism awareness a blue lighting ceremony will be held in Rawson’s Square at 6:30 p.m. Where Bahamians will come together to shine their blue lights to bring awareness for autism & related disorders Saturday, April 13th Community March at 9:00 a.m. The march will begin at Windsor Park-East Street- Ross Corner-Chapel Street-Meadow Street-Augusta Street-Meeting Street-Nassau Street-Arawak Cay For more information call 328-4123 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Sunday, April 14th Televised Church Service at St Barnabas Anglican Church at 11:00 a.m. For more information call 328-4123 or e-mail email@example.com Wednesday, April 17th Parent Support Group Meeting at 6:30 p.m. at REACH Office (New Parents Welcome) For more information call 328-4123 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, April 19th Autism T Shirt Day For more information call 328-4123 or e-mail email@example.com Saturday April 20th Information Booth at Mall at Marathon from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday April 27th Outreach Day Away Boat trip to Habour Island Rates follows: Adults $91.70 & $63.70 kids (ages 2-11yrs) Interested persons can call 328-4123 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Throughout the month of April Open House Wednesdays 12 noon to 6:30 p.m. For more information call 328-4123 or e-mail email@example.com
When God sent down the 10 commandments with Moses on Mount Sinai it was done specifically to instruct His people on how to conduct themselves in their everyday relationships and duties. Serious biblical scholars would notice that the first few commandments in this list of spiritual laws found in Exodus 20 are dedicated solely to the treatment and honoring of God, and the remainder to treatment of your fellow man. To ministers of the Word studying these rules is especially important to the believer who truly aims to improve their spiritual well-being. They say an important key to mastering spiritual well-being is to not only know the 10 commandments but how to live by them daily. They are as follows:
o I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; do not have any other gods before Me.
o You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My Commandments.
o You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
o Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work; you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
o Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
o You shall not murder.
o You shall not commit adultery.
o You shall not steal.
o You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
o You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.
The best way to jump-start your spiritual journey is knowing how to properly honor God, says a number of religious leaders. They say it is the one of the most important parts of being a Christian but many people neglect the commandments that help to guide them in their duty.
The third commandment found in Exodus 20:7, "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain," is one such guideline. It may seem like one of the most straightforward and unnecessary of the 10 Commandments, but religious leaders say this commandment is a powerful one that clearly promises unwavering punishment from the most high for those who go against it. Even with this in mind many Christians may still not fully comprehend just what calling the Lord's name in vain means.
Canon Basil Tynes, rector at St. Barnabas Anglican Church, says understanding this commandment is not as literal as some Christians would think.
"What it means when you talk about the wrongful use of God's name has to do with witchcraft or using it for evil purposes. This is not referring at all to people who call out to God in distress as a kind of prayer or call for help. I am talking about looking back at the original context in which it was meant. In the old days there was a lot of witchcraft and people practicing evil. God was commanding persons not to involve His name in their practices as His name is powerful and should not be used for evil. Even in saying this, a lot of people misunderstand what calling the name of God in vain means still. They think that just because someone calls out to God, "Oh Lord" that it is blasphemy -- it is not. People need to understand that using His name for evil or other unsavory practices is what is wrong."
Using God's name for your own personal gain is also another means to dishonor the third commandment, says the priest. He says using your religion, faith and God's name to get around life for free, or to pressure people to support you because they don't want to displease God is an example of misuse that he has witnessed throughout the years. While it is okay to call on God for His assistance in your time of need, he says do not misuse His influence to force someone's hand.
On the other hand, although it may sound silly to some people that there should be a whole commandment dedicated to not using the Lord's name in vain, Pastor Daniel Simmons, pastor of Carmichael Bible Church, says it is an absolute necessity.
"It was necessary for God to make this specific commandment because as with all things that people are unfamiliar with, there will be misuse and abuse of it without proper guidance. So while God does want you to know His name, He wants you to know how to use it and not use it as well. But in order to understand what the third commandment means you need to understand what the name of God is in the first place be it Jesus, Christ, God ... Our Father," says Pastor Simmons. "To say the name of God is to say the name above all names. He is holy, righteous in all He does and He is the almighty. What God meant when he stated that we should not use His name in vain is because His name is to be regarded as precious and it is not to be used frivolously. This is not to say calling the Lord's name at all is out of the question, but it all depends on the context. For instance, calling out to God by saying 'Oh Lord!' or 'Oh Christ!' when you are in a moment of distress and in need of His strength and guidance can be seen as a prayer. Praying is always legitimate and good, but sometimes we use His name frivolously to joke or swear and this is not acceptable. I remember that there was a man I had met a while ago who jokingly said 'Oh Christ, I don't eat no rice!' and while it was a joke it was not appropriate. God's name is powerful and you shouldn't play with it."
Taking the Lord's name in vain is one of the worst things a Christian can do, says Ann Higgins, co-pastor of Creative Christians Arts Ministries International.
"The third commandment where God commands people not to use His name in vain is very important. He made a point to make this commandment because His name has power and to misuse it is a very bad thing. There is healing in that name. Demons flee at His name. So when you are going to use it, you have to use that name with authority so that God will be glorified," said Pastor Higgins. "You only use that name when you have authority. If you don't have it then you are using it in vain. It will have no effect and you are wasting your time. Demons are cast out in the name and the sick is healed in that name which means if you are not doing something to honor God and do His work when you are calling His name then you are using His name in vain."
Pastor Higgins says not just anyone can use the Lord's name without His authority and that it is a serious, powerful thing. She says no matter what you do whenever the name of the Lord comes out of your mouth that you should ensure that it is to the glory of the Father.
Over the next eight weeks, The Nassau Guardian will engage a number of ministers of religion on the topic of the 10 Commandments, as they dissect each one and talk about the relevance of the Commandments to the twenty-first century society.
Nassau, Bahamas - The second annual Battle of the Bands took place at
Rawson Square on December 23rd with the
best youth marching bands in the Bahamas.
Participating bands included the Church of God
of Prophecy Junior Band, the Police Youth Band, the Golden Gates Assembly Youth
Band, St. Barnabas Concert and Marching Band, and the Church of God
of Prophecy Youth Band...
Funeral Service for Carl Michael Davis, 76, of Sutton Street off Kemp Road and formerly of Harts, Exuma will be held on Saturday 7th January, 2012 at 10:00am at St. Barnabas Parish, Baillou Hill Road and Wulff Road. Officiating will be Cannon Basil Tynes assisted by Father Roderick Bain and other ministers of the gospel. Interment will follow in Woodlawn Gardens, Soldier Road.
He is predeceased by his daughter: Debbie;
Cherish memories will always remain in the hearts of his 6 sons: Stanford of Los Angeles California, Charles, Earnest, Phillip of Vera Beach Florida, Donald and Minister Samuel Davis; 5 daughters: Astrid Brown, Karen Thompson of Freeport, Grand Bahama, Terry Burrows and Sharon Dav ...
Last rites for Doreen Thompson, 89, of Duncombe Corpus , South Andros will be held on Saturday at 10:00 A. M. at St. Mary’s Anglican Church Mars Bay, South Andros. Officiating will be Rev. Fr. Michael Maragh assisted by Fr. Andrew Toppin. Interment in St. Barnabas Cemetery, Smith Coppice, South Andros.
She is survived by her Son: Richard Gibbs, adopted children Arabella Forbes, Joycelyn Wallace, Samuel Murray, Coralee Christie (deseased) Ashton Miller former commissioner of police.
Daughter-in-Law: Beryl Gibbs; Grand children: Sandra Beneby, Lashan, Devaughn, Ashley and Kadeem Gibbs , Kirkland & Dornell Forbes, Rochelle Thompson, Michelle and Zonoica Wallace, Debbie Coleby, ...
WHITFIELD Hutcheson and Richard Allen Wood were ordained to the order of Holy Order of Deacons last week Thursday at St Barnabas Anglican Church.
The Feast of St Ninian, the founder of the Christian church in Scotland, was also celebrated that day.
In attendance were Anglicans, Baptists and persons from the wider community who gathered to share in the special moment in the life of the Anglican Church and the newly ordained deacons.
The combined ordination took the form of a Concelebrated Mass, with Rev Laish Boyd Sr, Bishop of the Diocese of The Bahamas and The Turks & Caicos Islands, serving as chief celebrant.
Both Hutcheson and Wood are products of the public education system. Mr ...
Funeral Service for Ivan Jerome Bonaby, 62, of East Wood and formerly of Coopers Town, Abaco died at the Princess Margaret Hospital on Wednesday 24th August, 2011 will be held on Saturday 3rd September, 2011 at 10:00am at St. Barnabas Parish, Baillou Hill and Wulff Roads. Officiating will be Father Roderick Bain assisted by Canon Basil Tynes. Cremation will follow.
Left to cherish his loving memories is his wife: Uneta Bonaby; son: Sherman Bonaby; daughter-in-law: Samantha (Peachie) Bonaby; grandchildren: Shae, Shianne, Shania, Sherman Jr. (S.J.), Shamar, Skye Bonaby; sister: Rosamae McIntosh; brothers: Sylvan McIntosh, Charles Adderley, George Bonaby Jr., Daniel, Brian, Tyrone Bootle; aunts: Mary Why ...
Funeral service for Andrew Locksley Knowles, 48 yrs., a resident of Ragged Island Street who died on 3rd April, 2012, will be held at St. Barnabas Anglican Church, Wulff & Baillou Hill Road, on Friday at 11:00 a.m. Officiating will be Canon Basil Tynes. Interment follows in Woodlawn Gardens, Soldier Road.Left to cherish his memories are his 2 sons: Adrian Fernander and Andrew Knowles Jr.; 1 daughter: Andrewnique Knowles; very special friend: Monique Rolle; 2 grand daughters: Janiah Knowles & Makayla Fernander; 1 brother: Trevor Turnquest; 2 sisters: Andrea Michelle Knowles-Missick & Zoraida Higginbotham of Atlanta Georgia; 3 step brothers: Phillip Turnquest, Herman Smith Jr., & Sean Gaitor; 1 brother-in-law: Joseph Missick; stepfather: Roscoe Turnquest; 10 aunts: Ruth Cash, Violet Kelly, Rosmal Fowler, Doral Larrimore, Dorothy Knowles, Ruth Knowles, Ivy Burrows, Lottie Rahming, Anne Knowles & Eloise Ritchie; 4 uncles: Stafford Larrimore, Wilfred Knowles, Phillip Knowles & Rudolph Knowles; 1 grand aunt: Matriarch Maria Carey; 2 nephews: Ramont Knowles & Tayshawn Turnquest; 1 step nephew: Christie Hart; 3 nieces: Alexis Missick, Serenity & Symphony Turnquest; 2 grand nieces: Tiana & Gabriella Knowles; 1 god daughter: Robin Sealey; 29 cousins: Diana, Joy, Janet, Almarie, Lowaine, Vaginel, Lisa, Peachie, Margo, Denise, Genette, Deborah, Joann, Edith, Craven, Danny, Raymond, Richard, Norman, Desmond, Hulbert, Kim, Dr. Rev. Lewis Cash, Rev. Ortnell Cash of California, Ronald, Adolphus, Andrew & Priest Michael Maragh including Elizabeth, Demetra, Charmaine, Donna, Sharon & Linden; 6 best friends: Robert Sealey, Patrick Whylly, Terrance Taylor, Stanley North, Alfred Taylor & Kevin Jones; other loving family & friends including: Karen Fernander, Monique Knowles, Demetra Sweeting, Denise Fowler, Brittany Hinkle, Edlyn Philippe, Faye Rolle & family, Thelma Knowles & family, Alicia Gibson, Denise Sands & family, Fabian Rolle & family, Allan Butler & family, Senekah Basden & family, Deandra Sands, Tia Ferguson, Ashton Knowles, Cranstonique Johnson, Debbie McPhee, Rashawn & Rashad Clarke, Ingrid & Tia Suazo & family, Gloria & John Morris & Tammie Thompson of Miami, Florida, the Grier family - Alfreda Brown, Patricia Grier, Jeanette Pinder of Miami, Florida, Carolyn Smith & family, Betty Adderley & family, Althea Adderley & family, June Archer & family, the Bullards, the Archers, the Halls & the Gaitor families, Stephen Wilson, Dr. Eugene Gray, Francis Chong, Carlton Russell, Tanya Dames, Siatra Knowles, the Millers, Davis & Neilly families, the entire Atlantis Resort staff, especially Uniform Services, entire Coral Towers staff, entire Cove staff, Casino Credit staff, RIU family, Paradise Utilities, A.F. Adderley class of 1980, Queens College class of 2009, the Bahamas Taxi Cab Union, Mr. Phillip "Brave" Davis, Hon. Perry Christie & the Office of the Opposition, Hon. Cynthia "Mother" Pratt, Former Senator Paulette Zonicle, Commodore Roderick Bowe & family, Mr. Gersham Pratt & family, Rev. Cleveland Wells, Mr. Jemeson Hanna, St. Barnabas Church family, including Archdeacon Gilbert "Father" Thompson, Father Basil Tynes, Captain Curry & the Boys Brigade family, Fred Bowleg, Jeff Ambrose, Rodelle Bethel, and famly, Mrs. Katrina Soutsas, the Gardiners, the Careys, Mr. McKenzie of DMW Holdings, Freeport Ltd., the Atlanta Georgia family - Monique Perdue & family, Ms. Debra, Mr. Thomas Dixon & the Echelon 3000, Pearl Bistro & Taboo 2 families, Mrs. Agatha Williams, Barbara Duncombe, Mrs. Whyms & family, Denise Carey & family, Helen, Colleen Scavella of R & J Quick Printing, Chippingham & a host of other relatives & friends too numerous to mention.Friends may pay their last respects at Demeritte's Funeral Home, Market Street, from 1-6:00 p.m. on Thursday & on Friday at the church from 10:00 a.m. until service time.
After the victory that ushered in majority rule, a concerted plan was set in motion to place one person at center stage and push all others off. That might have caused the early fracture in the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) after majority rule. That fracture has caused a distortion of the nation history; but if history is our guide, where do we go for guidance?
Let us go back to January 10, 1967. Now let us see where we are. We are at a juncture where the action of two outstanding patriots would change the course of history for this nation. In that election, with a 38-seat assembly, the two major political organizations were locked in an 18-seat tie. The others were won by the member for Saint Barnabas Randol F. Fawkes and the member for Saint John's Alvin R. Braynen. Those two members, one a former member of the United Bahamian Party (UBP) and the other a former member of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), were at a crossroad in their political journeys. Fawkes could have walked into the sunset a wealthy man. He was offered millions, but refused to compromise. His faith has moved the mountain, he made this nation proud. But soon the system that he helped bring into being would have him ostracized.
Every Bahamian old enough to understand what was going on was wondering, what if? What would have happened if Braynen had returned to the UBP and Fawkes to the PLP? It would have changed to a 19-seat tie; and if they had remained true to their causes, it would have remained a standoff and an eventual return to the polls.
To go back to the polls would have posed a challenge for the under-funded PLP against the well-funded UBP who had seen the handwriting on the wall and was in a position to launch an all-out blitz against the under-funded PLP. With its war chest to capitalize on the vulnerability of a segment of the majority who were not yet convinced that we were ready to govern ourselves, the UBP could have won.
Now 45 years later, Fawkes and Braynen, whose actions prevented the preceding narrative from happening, have gone on into eternity without receiving their just rewards. We do not tell our story. But who will tell it if we do not tell it ourselves? It will be told. And when it is, Fawkes will be at center stage. A famous historian, Marcus Garvey, who was inspired by a great Bahamian, Dr. Robert Love, said that, "A people without knowledge of their history, is like a tree without roots".
A tree without roots will surely wither and die; so will a people without a connection deep into their past. Because so much of our history is hidden, our culture is slowly dying.
When we fail to teach our history we rob our people of the past and the knowledge of what was. For example, if a question is asked as to who was the first medical doctor to represent the constituency of Killarney, a majority might say Dr. Hubert Minis; but that answer would be incorrect. Killarney was represented by Dr. Elwood Donaldson in 1967. That was the year of majority rule.
- Prince G. Smith