Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Poet Earlin Williams


 “Silence! Silence? In this house”,

Mama said.

Her little transistor radio pressed to her head,

Ed Bethel demanded attention

To an about to be born new nation.

We were teenagers;

In love with James Brown, Little Eddie, Diana and the Supremes,

Tony McKay, Priscilla, Elton and Barry White.

Ed was intermission at the 7am, 12 noon, 1pm and 7pm hour;

Our first current events lesson,

Our first international tongue twister,

How Ed sang Valery Giscard d’Estaing,

Ho Chi Min City,

Washington Dee See,

Nyerere, Kaunda, Manley,

Biko, Billie Jean King, Muhammad Ali

And Sidney with the pot in the hay.

 ‘Mama’s lil transistor’

Made our world smaller

With Ed at the controls;

Taking on us on this journey;

From colony to country

From British Subject to Citizen free

From Hail Britannia to March on Bahama land

We all grew up to comprehend

Our place on the planet

Our dignity and identity


Looking back at Ed’s hurdles:

The nastiness of a hate campaign

Against his staff and crew,

The off years when his boldness

In an editorial on Parliamentary conduct

Suspended his voice

But strengthened his bounce back.

He is gone now

As one writer says,

 “He belongs to the ages”

Yet we aged with him

And we all the better

As a people,

As a nation,

As a culture;

Because Ed from West End

Once led us from 3rd Terrace Centreville Hill;

A rite of passage,

 ‘Only the sun covers the Bahamas better than…’

Ed poured into Mama’s ‘lil transistor’ every day

He will always be on air.

 “Good morning. I’m Ed Bethel.”

James E Williams

14 March 2023