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Farewell to Dr. Nottage – -Touching Tributes to Father, Friend and Politician

Farewell to Dr. Bernard J. Nottage (5) - Top Photo

Farewell to Dr. Bernard J. Nottage (5) - Top PhotoAn overflowing St. Agnes Anglican Church listened intently last Friday morning as a shaken up Brian Bernard Nottage, son of the late Dr. Bernard Johnathan Nottage reminisced on the life of his father, a husband, political figure, athlete and hero.

At times choked with emotion, young Nottage admitted that although his father was not always there, he was always there for the pivotal and challenging moments in his life.

“In my first year of college when I learned that I was having more fun than actually studying, he laid out his expectations and was there for me,” Mr. Nottage said.

“When I first had my conversation with him about getting married, he may not have agreed that I was ready, he thought I was crazy. But he supported me.”

To a teary eyed congregation, before ending his tribute he called on family members specifically to continue his father’s legacy.

“Let’s have his back. Do what he would have you do for him. Work hard, make your own way, be selfless, care for others, give to others, have a higher purpose, know your gifts and know how to use them,” Mr. Nottage said.

“Be first in your class without a doubt. Be first in everything that you do. Win every race. Break every chain. Do it his way, the Nottage way.”

Prior to this very moment and just two weeks after his death, Dr. Nottage was hoisted onto the shoulders of Royal Bahamas Police and Defence Force officers and meticulously placed on a bier on what would be his final journey from the House of Assembly.

It was here that he for nearly 30 years of his life occupied a seat as a Member of Parliament.

Now while his political ties were deeply rooted within the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), his death brought together all sides of the political divide.

Former Prime Minister Perry Christie was one of those who knew him best and who following his June 28 death has not only also been mourning the loss of a colleague, but grieving the loss of a long time friend, a friend he says he will remember as one of the most able men he ever met.

“Not only was he able to grapple with the strategic and intellectual challenges, but as the son of a police officer, BJ also had a feel for the job,” he said.

“He was one of the most able men I have ever met, in both training and discipline, with an unmatched tenacity and determination to fight for what he knew to be right.”

That was more of BJ the politician, according to Mr. Christie and as a husband he depended on his wife Portia far more than the public realized.

“She was the wind beneath his wings, a constant source of support and solace for him. She shared BJ’s suffering through his illness and in so doing made his burden so much more bearable,” he said.

“She did so with a grace and dignity that was truly inspiring.”

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis knew a different BJ.

In his tribute he spoke of a man who was his teacher and mentor who even shared with him words of advice after being fired by Free National Movement parliamentary colleagues in 2015.

He said the greatest tribute to Dr. Nottage would be to pick up his baton and continue his endeavor of passing it on to the next generation, a better country.

Dr. Nottage’s remains were interred at Lake View Memorial, JFK Drive.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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