HIS WEEK IN THE BAHAMAS (9 – 13 JANUARY 2017)
COMMENTARY BY ELCOTT COLEBY
Bahamians celebrate Fifty years of Majority Rule
On Tuesday 10th January 2017, thousands of Bahamians marched in solidarity in a government sponsored march to commemorate 50 years of Majority Rule. The marchers literally traced the steps of giants such as Sir Lynden Pindling, Sir Milo Butler and Sir Cecil Wallace-Whitfield in the first march to celebrate this historic event.
The march commenced at Windsor Park at 7am, travelled north on East Street, west on Bay Street, south on Cumberland and Blue Hill and terminating on the Southern Recreation grounds where a ceremony and gospel concert took place.
Delivering the keynote address was Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie. He said that January 10th is a day on the National Calendar that belongs to all Bahamians, regardless of background, politics, race or social and economic status.
“January 10th must be commemorated and celebrated by all of us because it truly represents one of the great, defining moments in our evolution as a people,” Prime Minister Christie.
He added that, with the exception of the Emancipation from slavery in 1834 and Independence in 1973, there is no event with more consequence and historical importance than the attainment of Majority Rule, which unfolded January 10, 1967.
“It is for us to know and to accept that January 10, 1967 represents the transition from the Old Bahamas to a New Bahamas — the point of transition from minority government to majority government; the point of transition to a modern democracy,” Prime Minister Christie said.
He pointed out that the date was not an end, nor even a beginning.
“Instead it was an important milestone in a journey that was begun centuries ago when some anonymous slave struck a blow for freedom for the first time,” Prime Minister Christie stated. “It is a journey that continued with slaves like Pompey in Exuma and Black Dick in Cat Island who, with others in the early 1830s — against the most overwhelming odds — struck their blows for freedom and for justice.”
The journey continued into the 20th century, Prime Minister Christie said, with men like W.P. Adderley, Etienne Dupuch, T.A. Toote, Gerald Cash, Leon Walton Young, C.R. Walker, Milo Boughton Butler, and others who, each in his own way, “struck a major blow for a better Bahamas.”
He added that the journey continued with Clifford Darling and Clarence Bain; and with H.M. Taylor, Cyril Stevenson and William Cartwright, and, most pivotally of all, with Lynden Pindling, and “that mighty band of brothers and sisters” who joined with him to build a new Bahamas and a new Bahamian — upward-striving and free.
Prime Minister Christie also reflected on the contributions of persons like A. D. Hanna, Sir Cecil Wallace-Whitfield, Carlton Francis, Dame Doris Johnson, Sir Arthur Foulkes and Sir Clement T. Maynard, Paul Adderley, Sir Orville Turnquest, Sir Arlington Butler; Elwood Donaldson, Maurice Moore, and the men and women who played a part in building The Bahamas.
The day of celebrations culminated with a junkanoo rush out and fireworks display at Arawak Cay. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE…