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Sir Lynden Remembered

It has been 14 years since the country lost Sir Lynden Pindling and yet his legacy hasn’t waned one bit.

Sir Lynden, the country’s first prime minister, died on August 26, 2000 following a lengthy battle with prostate cancer.

The former leader of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) stood at the forefront of the quiet revolution in The Bahamas, ushering in political freedom, social change and hope of economic prosperity for all Bahamians.

On Tuesday, as she has done for the past 14 years, Sir Lynden’s widow Dame Marguerite Pindling, laid a wreath at his gravesite.

Dame Marguerite stressed the importance of keeping her husband’s legacy alive because generations to come have to know how their country developed.

“Some young people just feel like the country just got here but that’s far from the truth,” she said yesterday.

“There was plenty, blood, sweat and tears put into this country and I know because I was there. So we have to teach them and I believe it starts with the parents in their homes. We fought hard and people need to remember just how far we have come.”

Fox Hill MP Fred Mitchell also attended the wreath laying ceremony with Dame Marguerite.

“The story of how the modern state of The Bahamas has to be told over and over again and one of the ways you do that is by remembering these occasions,” he said.

“Fourteen years ago the funeral was a massive national event. This is the father of the nation and the country is a free, democratic and sovereign state and has great potential for the future largely built upon what men and women of his generation did so those of us who have the privilege to lead today have to make sure his legacy lives for those that will come after us.”

Sir Lynden, a British educated attorney from Mason’s Addition, joined the newly formed PLP as legal advisor in 1953 and eventually led the charge to bring about social and political freedom for a people oppressed by a small oligarchy of businessmen.

Sir Lynden was elected to the House of Assembly in 1956 at the age of 26 along with five other PLP candidates known as the ‘Magnificent Six.’

He subsequently became the parliamentary leader in the House of Assembly for the PLP and leader of the PLP.

The succession of events that transpired leading up to Majority Rule, including the 1958 General Strike and Black Tuesday in April 1965, is well documented.

Sir Lynden later went on to lead the PLP to victory at the polls in 1967 defeating the United Bahamian Party (UBP).

He also made history by becoming the first black premier of The Bahamas and forming the first black majority government in Parliament.

He later led the PLP to victory at the polls in six consecutive general elections and was elected to Parliament nine consecutive times until his retirement from frontline politics in 1997.

Sir Lynden led The Bahamas to independence in 1973 and orchestrated and implemented multiple economic and social reforms.

The former prime minister has been honoured over the years in The Bahamas with the Nassau International Airport (NIA) being named after him; his portrait appears on the Bahamian one dollar bill, a housing subdivision has been named in his honour and more recently the PLP’s headquarters was renamed in his honour in 2011.

Sasha Lightbourne

Written by Sasha Lightbourne

Journal Staff Writer

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