Categorized | Featured, National News

Life and Legacy of Obie Wilchcombe Honoured — MP’s pay special tribute in HOA

The Late Obie Wilchcombe

Licec Bastian
Journal Staff Writer

An emotional day in the House of Assembly (HOA) on Wednesday as
Parliamentarians honoured and paid tribute to the life and legacy of the Late Member
of Parliament (MP) for West Grand Bahama and Bimini Obediah Hercules
Returning to the HOA to do the people’s business – the first since the official opening
of Parliament on October 4th and the passing of the late Cabinet Minister who died on
Monday, September 25 members of parliament met an empty seat adorned with a
wreath, draped in black and a picture of the late minister.
A moment of silence was given for the late MP Minister of Social Services,
Information and Broadcasting as Minister of Education and Technical and Vocational
Training Glenys Hanna-Martin and MP for Englerston and close friend of the late
minister emotionally moved a resolution acknowledging and honouring the memory
of the broadcasting and political giant.
“Now, therefore, be it resolved that we the members of the House of Assembly in the
Commonwealth of The Bahamas do hereby express and publicly put on the record of
this House our profound condolences to the family and friends of Obediah Hercules
Wilchcombe and the constituents of Bimini and West Grand Bahama.
“And be it resolved that in recognition of the significant contributions Obediah
Hercules Wilchcombe to our nation’s growth and development we honour his
memory today [Wednesday] and further resolve to cherish his memory and to
preserve his legacy in a tangible way,” Minister Hanna-Martin read from the
In her tribute to him, Minister Hanna-Martin remembered the leader of government
business in the HOA, and his ministerial portfolios including Minister of Tourism, a
portfolio he held under the Christie administration from 2002-2007 and then again
from 2012 to 20017; Minister of Social Services and Urban Development and his
most recent portfolio following a Cabinet shuffle, Minister of Social Services,
Information and Broadcasting.

“His life and service, his love, his energies, his passion, his sacrifice, brought
incredible value to our national life and we are the poorer for his death.
“In his tenure as Minister of Tourism in 2002 to 2007 and again on his new
appointment in 2012 to 2017 his contribution was fresh and groundbreaking. First and
foremost, he fully understood the significance of a thriving tourist industry not as a
pursuit of a statistical end unto itself but as a vehicle, that must of necessity, serve as a
pivotal force to the overall social and economic well-being and progress of the
Bahamian people.
“Secondly, he understood that the industry could not be an objectified enterprise but
instead had to be an organic integrated undertaking,” Minister Hanna-Martin said.
Minister Wilchcombe, during his tenure, as Minister of Social Services brought to the
floor of the HOA the long-awaited legislation the Protection Against Violence Bill
that was enacted in August this year.
Minister Hanna-Martin added that “His life and service, his love, his energies, his
passion, his sacrifice, brought incredible value to our national life and we are the
poorer for his death”.
An emotional Minister of State for Housing and Urban Renewal Lisa Rahming and
MP for Marathon remembered the late Minister Wilchcombe whom she worked
closely with as more than a boss but a mentor and friend.
“Madam Speaker, today I find myself grappling with an overwhelming sense of loss,
but more than the grief, there’s gratitude – gratitude for the wisdom he imparted, the
laughs we shared, and for the countless lessons he bestowed upon me.
“Every day with him was a master class in leadership, compassion and resilience.
“Many criticized the progress of social services, but they never took the time out to
see the invisible side that others cannot see that he had to face and navigate through in
that ministry. He was a giant of a man. He never ever sought to promote himself or
elevate himself. He knew it was in God’s time and he waited,” Minister Rahming
Minister of Labour and the Public Service, Pia Glover-Rolle and MP for Golden Gates
in her tribute said that the late minister was an honourable member and his name
symbolic to the role he played in nation building.
“I hesitate to say that we are now honouring him because truly the honour was ours.

“Obediah Hercules Wilchcombe possessed the strength of his mythical namesake. His
strength of character was certainly Herculean; he was a statesman to his core. A
uniter, a leader with true compassion in his heart for all people.
“I watched him take the reigns in Social Services and grow so quickly into that role
you would think that he served as minister of social services and urban development
throughout many administrations. He was a fast learner; he was determined to make a
difference for all Bahamians and in doing so, those who relied on socials services
support to make it through each day, he wanted to make it a thing of dignity.
“Even the day before his passing he spoke passionately about the protection of our
women and children and how he would go about pursuing that goal,” Minster Glover-
Rolle said.
The resolution will be shared with the late minister’s family and a copy saved in the
archives of the House of Assembly.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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