Categorized | National News


Letter To The Editor:

Dear Sir/ Madam:


I am just sick and tired of the foolishness that is allowed to go on in The Bahamas. Why is it that we are always so eager to bring so called experts into this country to tell us what to do and how to define who we are as Bahamians?

I was very disappointed that the Government of The Bahamas capitulated to Disney in their quest to desecrate Lighthouse Point. Then, following quickly upon that sad saga, I was truly incensed when I received an email message from Holly Byone, the Chief Curator at The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas – NAGB (who is from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines), inviting me to be a part of a walking tour of Over-The-Hill, and including a link to the NAGB’s website that showed a collage of centuries old pictures of dilapidated thatch huts and poor people. I found the use of those images very offensive because this is the information that our National institution is sending out to the world, and gives the wrong impression that we live in huts. I was born Over-The-Hill, spent thirty-two years there, still have very strong ties to the area and, in all of my life, never saw any Over-The-Hill people living in thatched huts. Here is what Ms. Bynoe wrote in part:

“On Saturday, Nov 3 from 10 – 1 we will be doing an Over-the-Hill photo walk and tour with several artists, the wider public and experts who are connected to the space.

Of course, your name came up seeing that you have done the film and we would be delighted if you can join us on the tour. We do know that you frequently walk with a cane, and that long walks or mobility might be an issue. Either way, maybe we can make it so that we stop by your house and you do an informal presentation to our group.


We are open to suggestions, to figure out how best to include your expertise. The link for the event can be found here:


I declined Ms. Bynoe’s invitation (also copied to the Director Amanda Coulson who replied that she had not seen the graphics before they were posted) and cited my reasons for doing so. Here’s part of Ms. Bynoe’s condescending reply:


Thank you for your response. I am sorry that the images were not to your liking and we acknowledge that the usage of them upset you. However, to clarify we typically use images from the National Collection in our promotional material and as there is quite the synchronicity to speak about the history of Over-the-Hill and the way the space has continued to change, evolve and flourish. This is the hope for the tour and the walk, for people to get a sense of the history and its uniqueness while clarifying how culturally significant OTH is to the identity of Bahamians. 


As such, we thought it a good fit. To note we are working with more contemporary imagery from artists who will be joining us on the tour which will be employed in other promotional work as we move further into production for the event.


I am the first to admit that Over-The-Hill has deteriorated significantly and I have been documenting and lamenting that fact for many years via photographs, my book “Pictorial History and Memories of Nassau’s Over-The-Hill” the documentary movie “Nassau’s Over-The-Hill”, TV show “The Bahamas – then and NOW”, and various social media sites.  However, Over-The-Hill is the bedrock and birthplace of most of the significant leaders in every sphere of life in this country, and I take serious umbrage with the manner in which Ms. Bynoe and her team have depicted us. The people from the Department of Archives and the “experts who are connected with this space” should know better!


I have several questions:


  1. Who is actually in charge of the NAGB?
  2. Are the head people working in the best interest of the Bahamian people or are they making contacts and working to enhance their personal agendas?
  3. What are the criteria for submitting photographs to the National Collection?
  4. Kishan Munroe’s magnificent 2013 Swan Song of the Flamingo exhibition at the NAGB, which depicted the sinking of HMBS by the Cubans in 1980, was by far the best ever because it memorialized a significant event in the history of The Bahamas. Are any of his works included in the National Collection?
  5. Are those charged with archiving our nation’s culture and heritage sensitive and educated enough to act in the best interest of our country?


A big part of the problem in this country is that the leaders have no respect for our own, and that is why so many educated Bahamians who are excelling in various fields all over the world, including the USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East and the African continent do not return home. So the brain drain continues as more and more professionals are opting not to return because they fear finding themselves frustrated by the “all for me baby” attitude in some quarters; and this is often compounded by the backward thinking of others who are still trapped in the colonial era quagmire of mental slavery. Many persons who came back home to contribute to the country returned overseas in frustration, while other professionals who have worked here for years, such as nurses, are jumping at the opportunities to emigrate offered by countries like Canada. The other day I was speaking to someone who told me that his grandson graduated with first class honours from medical school in the UK and when his mother asked if he planned to return home the young doctor’s reply was “What for?” I have no quarrel with those persons who have opted not to come back home or have moved away, some of my family members being among them, and I wish them well.


Successive governments of The Bahamas have allowed uninformed outside “experts” or “consultants” to come here and pay them huge salaries while they would quibble about paying a comparative pittance to Bahamian professionals who could provide the same or better advice because they know the nature, history and culture of the place.

In view of the Prime Minister’s announced plans for the redevelopment of Over-The-Hill I’m copying this letter to him as well as to the Minister of Education and the Minister in charge of Culture.


When are we as Bahamians going to learn how to respect and appreciate our own?


Yours sincerely,



Rosemary C. Hanna

Written by Jones Bahamas

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