Remembrance Day Bahamians To Be Honoured

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Basil Johnson was a bomber in the Royal Airforce in the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is the father of Ivan Johnson of The Punch. Unfortunately, the son pales in comparison to the father.
A press conference was held on November 4, 2019 at Cabinet Office, Churchill Building, to announce the official events commemorating Remembrance Day. A church service will be held on Sunday, November 10, at 11:00 a.m. at Christ Church Cathedral. A procession will follow immediately afterwards en route to the Cenotaph, Garden of Remembrance, for a wreath-laying ceremony. Pictured are members of the committee organizing the events for Remembrance Day. Chairperson is Ms. Antoinette Brown, centre right. (BIS Photo/Kemuel Stubbs)

NASSAU, The Bahamas – Remembrance Day will be observed on Sunday, 10th November and will commence with the traditional church service at Christ Church Cathedral. The planning committee for Remembrance Day events held a press conference on Monday, 4th November at Cabinet Office to make the announcement. 

Chairperson the Committee, Ms. Antoinette Brown said that this year’s event will highlight two Bahamian pilots.

“This year, as we observe the ending of World War II in June 1944, we pay special tribute to our two Bahamian pilots, Squadron Leader David Lester Brown and Warrant Officer, Basil Ivan Johnson, who had the opportunity to be a part of the historical battle of Normandy,” she said. 

Chairperson of the British Legion Bahamas Branch, Mrs. Adina Munroe-Charlow said that currently only seven veterans are still alive, four on the Family islands and three on New Providence.  She also said there are 23 war widows still alive.

“We have been losing our veterans over the years, and just this year alone, four of our veterans passed away. They are: Comrade Reuben Hamilton, Comrade George N. Collymore, Comrade Cyril Albert Johnson and Zoe, Lady Maynard (nee Cumberbatch).” 

The Very Reverend Harry Bain, Dean of Nassau, Rector, Christ Church Cathedral said that this year’s service would also focus on the victims of Hurricane Dorian, which devastated the islands of Grand Bahama and Abaco.

“This year, we will also pay our respects to all of those persons who lost their lives and homes during Hurricane Dorian,” said Dean Bain. “The country is still grieving from the storm and so we also need to pray for all of those families who suffered and are still suffering from the effects of the hurricane.”

Remembrance Day events included several wreath-laying ceremonies over the past week. 

The church service will be held at Christ Church Cathedral at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, and will culminate with the ceremony at the Cenotaph in the Garden of Remembrance at 12:15 p.m.  The ceremony will include formal wreath laying by Governor General His Excellency the Most Hon. Cornelius A. Smith, Prime Minister the Most Hon. Hubert A. Minnis, and other public figures and organizations.  Diplomats, dignitaries, civic and service organizations, school students and members of the public are expected to attend the ceremony.   

A procession will leave the church immediately after the service and parade to the Cenotaph, Garden of Remembrance, led by Royal Bahamas Police and Defence Force Bands. 

There will be road closures in the downtown area to accommodate the service and parade.

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