Sunday, July 14, 2013

Commentary: 40 years later, Pindling remembered as Father of Bahamian Independence

Miami International Boat Show Week (1989): Bahamas Consul General Winston D. Munnings (right) with Prime Minister Pindling at a press conference in Coral Gables, FL, launching a Bahamas initiative to attract boat owners and big game fishing interests to The Bahamas. Sir Lynden Pindling passed away in August, 2000 after an unprecedented 40 years as a member of parliament, of which 25 years was spent as prime minister. (Photo: Martin Aranow)

By Winston D. Munnings

As if it were just yesterday, I can well recall witnessing the Union Jack being lowered on Fort Charlotte in Nassau for the very last time 40 years ago this Wednesday to mark the birth of a new nation, the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, and a Bahamian flag hoisted for the very first time.

At that moment, Bahamians by the thousands shouted approval and sang the nation’s new national anthem March on Bahamaland with a sense of awe-inspiring pride unthinkable as former “British subjects.”

That was 40 years ago when The Bahamas (established as a British Crown Colony in 1718) became a sovereign nation on July 10, 1973. This week, Bahamians are celebrating the 40th anniversary of independence with similar enthusiasm and hope for a better tomorrow as they did four decades ago.

None of this would have been possible had it not been for the leadership and determination of Lynden Oscar Pindling, architect of majority rule in 1967 and the father of Bahamian independence in 1973