Categorized | Featured, National News

Politicians Scolded

The Very Reverend Harry Bain, Rector of Christ Church Cathedral

Licec Bastian
Journal Staff Writer

Rector of Christ Church Cathedral The Very Rev. Harry Bain scolded politicians yesterday,
warning them to be careful of the promises they make as they are selling Bahamians too many
As he delivered the eulogy at the State Funeral of the late Obediah Wilchcombe, Rev. Bain told
politicians, “The expectations some of our people have are far beyond the scope and pay grade of
our elected officials. And to be fair and balanced, some of our elected and appointed
government officials sell too many pipe dreams. In the midst, be careful what you promise.”
Rev. Bain also told politicians that it’s never too late to serve others, and added that everyone
should be compassionate to others.
“Let us open our eyes to recognize the least of these in our communities, those who are hungry,
those who are homeless, those who are thirsty, those who are lonely, sick and imprisoned. They
may be physically or emotionally suffering and it is our duty as Christians to extend a helping
hand, a listening ear and a loving heart. We are called to embrace the ministry of compassion in
out daily lives,” he said.
“All of us, reaching out with love and kindness to all of those we encounter. This includes not
only our family, friends and fellow believers, but also the stranger, the migrant, the illegal
immigrant, and those who may be different from us in whatever way. May we be known for our
acts of love and service, shining the light of Christ in a dark and broken world.”
The late Obediah Hercules Wilchcombe, Cabinet Minister and Member of Parliament for West
Grand Bahama and Bimini was memorialized in style in a State Funeral on Thursday at Christ
Church Cathedral, George Street. Hundreds, if not thousands of Bahamians lined Bay Street and
George Street to pay their finals respects to a broadcasting and political giant.
Dignitaries including Governor General Cynthia “Mother” Pratt, Prime Minister Philip Davis,
Cabinet Ministers, the Official Opposition and Members of Parliament and former
Parliamentarians all gathered at Christ Church Cathedral, bid final goodbyes to their colleague
fondly known as “Obie”.
The late Minister of Social Services, Information and Broadcasting died unexpectantly on
Monday, September 25; the country is still in shock.
In a State Funeral, befitting a Statesman, Thursday morning was solemn in Parliament and
Rawson Squares; around 10:15 a.m. activity began for the funeral procession to the Cathedral.
The late minister’s body left the halls of Parliament for the last time flanked by a law

enforcement Colour Party as members of all armed forces made up the procession that included
Parliamentarians and the Judiciary.
Former Prime Minister Perry Christie paid tribute to the late minister and reminisced on a young
Obie Wilchcombe when he first joined the world of politics as a speech writer for the late prime
minister, Sir Lynden Pindling and then as a senator before being elected to parliament and
serving twice as minister of tourism, under the Christie administration.
“Obie Wilchcombe was a dear friend of mine. When one aspires to hold higher office, there is a
compelling necessity to seek support, and to support that will be a sustaining support. Loyal
support, knowledgeable support especially, if that person also has political ambition and
aspirations,” Mr. Christie said.
“The record would reflect that in the two non-consecutive terms that I served as prime minister,
Obie Wilchcombe served in the capacity of the minister of tourism. I did it because his
personality was conducive to carrying out one of the fundamental duties of a minister of tourism.
“Having a field for marketing, his broadcasting prowess, his exposure to becoming one of the
more eloquent broadcasters in our country, ability to fashion a message and communicate it
stood him in good stead. But more importantly, he had the qualities that enabled him to mix well
with the leadership of the tourism industry.”
He also remembered the M.P. for his work in West Grand Bahama and Bimini.
“I will never forget, and I will always cherish the memories of when disaster impacted his
constituency, how he would have us his colleagues walk with him house to house; where we
would watch the oneness between himself, and his constituents and I was not surprised because
he was a student of politics,” former prime minister Christie said.
“He had an extraordinary adoration and adulation for Sir Lynden Oscar Pindling to the point
where he collected his speeches; some of them he could quote having memorized them.
“The way in which this country responded to the passing of Obediah Hercules Wilchcombe left
no doubt as to the level of appreciation that he enjoyed amongst the people of our country.”
Opposition leader Michael Pintard in his tribute remembered the late Minister Wilchcombe as
one who sought to lower the political temperature, noting that Obie was a skillful communicator.
“Members of the Opposition respected late Obediah Wilchcombe and we will miss him,” Mr.
Pintard reminisced.
“We will miss him in large measure because he sought to bring the political temperature in the
country down. The tribalism and the level of anger we often displayed has been
counterproductive to our development and Obie sought to lower the temperature.

“And no matter how fierce our exchanges were in the House of Assembly while I would seek to
hold on to the anger for at least that day, that week, maybe that month, Obie immediately upon
completing that exchange would sit down and lean around the clerk so he could see and would
say ‘Marco City, you okay?’
“He did not carry the grudge, at least not publicly.”
Mr. Pintard described the late minister as a quintessential, cool, calm and collected statesman.
“That’s precisely why PLPs and joined by FNMs and others who mourn his loss. Who today feel
the pain of having lost a Bahamian son; though not perfect, certainly loved his people,” Mr.
Pintard said.
Prime Minister Philip Davis, in his tribute, also remembered the late minister in his younger days
as a reporter eventually becoming a man that dedicated his life to public service.
The prime minister noted that Minister Wilchcombe had so much more in life to offer, making
reference to legislation that was piloted by the late minister of social services and urban
development – the Protection Against Violence Act 2023.
“State occasions such as these allow for national mourning and expressions of grief. We come
together to celebrate the lives of our statesmen and women to offer appreciation for their
contribution and reflect a little on the lessons taught by lives that dedicated so much to public
service,” the prime minister said.
Prime Minister Davis challenged young Bahamians to follow in the footsteps of the late
“There is so much to be learnt from Obie’s boundless optimism and his profound belief that
politics are a force for good; one of the best agents for positive change. Cynicism and narrow
self-interest will not produce the kind of country that we all hope for. The kind of country that
we are all thriving for,” Prime Minister Davis said.
“An important lesson is also to know when it is right for the mentorship to end. When the student
must fly freely to shape the world for the next generation.
“It is fitting, that at this state service, that is being held today October 12 the anniversary of the
recorded landfall of Christopher Columbus in The Bahamas, Obie had a keen sense of the thread
of Bahamian history winding through the landmark moments.
“He would no doubt have enjoyed the irony that his life, dedicated to progressive values and
ideals is being celebrated on the very day that marked the arrival of one of the great oppressors
of those values.”
The late minister’s state funeral ended with a 21-gun salute in Parliament Square and a sunset
ceremony closing out three days of mourning.

His body will be flown to his beloved hometown of West End, Grand Bahama where a funeral
service will be held on Saturday October 14, at 10 a.m. at the Pro-Cathedral Christ The King
Church, Pioneers Way East Atlantic Drive.

Interment will be held in the West End Public Cemetery.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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