Prime Minister Perry Christie is hoping to get the ball rolling on documenting the history of the men and women who played significant roles in building and shaping The Bahamas.
He has commissioned leading Bahamian archivist, Dr. Gail Saunders, Bahamian writer, cultural critic and educator Patricia Glinton-Meicholas and oral historian, Dr. Tracy Thompson to begin writing such stories which may not be written otherwise.
Mr. Christie said the work will be done at the government’s expense.
“I would like to commission this immediately because time is of the essence. I think the first set of biographies will come out at the same time the University of The Bahamas is launched,” he said.
“We need to get this done quickly.”
The prime minister made the comments while addressing the official opening of a special exhibition space at the Harry C. Moore Library and Information Centre on the College of The Bahamas’ Oakes Field campus.
Named in honour of the country’s first prime minister, the Sir Lynden Pindling Room was officially opened 13 years to the day he died.
The room showcases personal effects, family and political photographs as well as gifts received from world leaders during the Pindling era.
“The donation of these documents and memorabilia will provide students and members of the public with a very appreciation of who he was. The collection is a lasting tribute, a chronology and history of a great Bahamian man. It adds value and interest to this library space and one that will help enrich Sir Lynden’s public legacy,” Prime Minister Christie said.
“I would therefore like to thank Sir Lynden’s wife, Dame Marguerite Pindling and his children for making this gift to the college, which is truly a gift to the country. I would also like to thank the College of The Bahamas for once again working to highlight key Bahamians in our history. It is important that we continue to record their stories…”
Sir Lynden died on August 26, 2000, losing his long battle with prostate cancer.
The concept for the Sir Lynden Pindling Foundation was born during the 10 days of mourning immediately after his death.
The foundation’s primary fundraiser is the Sir Lynden Pindling Legacy Ball, funds from which have assisted in created the Sir Lynden Pindling Room.
A long term goal of the foundation is to acquire a parcel of land for the construction of a library, historical museum, education centre or institute, much like the presidential library in the United States, according to Sir Lynden’s daughter, Monique Pindling-Sands.
It will be a centre of research and knowledge and archive historical papers and documents including the Independence Constitutional documents, Sir Lynden’s speech to the United Nations in 1964 on decolonisation and other important speeches.
It will also display gifts given to the people of The Bahamas from other nations in recognition of Bahamian sovereignty.