Categorized | National News

Sir Arthur: The Journalist, The Politician, The Governor General

Members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force and Defense Force marched into the eastern gate of Government House on Tuesday Morning in salute to a traditional custom that allowed Sir Arthur Foulkes to conduct a final inspection of the guard before officially demitting office.

This final inspection of the guard came after Sir Arthur’s farewell ceremony at Government House on Monday evening after serving in that capacity for the past four years.

Sir Arthur stood before a packed ballroom and expressed immense gratitude for the extraordinary opportunity he has had to serve as governor general for the past four years.

On a much serious tune he spoke about the future of The Bahamas, lamenting what he called a dumbing down, a coarsening and a vulgarisation in sectors of western society.

“We must keep the faith with the next generation by facing up the challenges which threatens to degrade our social culture,” he said.

“Incivility and the debasing of social culture and habits, together with some structural weakness in our own society, threatens us with what I believe is a perfect storm of social disorder in our country. We ignore or underestimate this toxic concoction to our peril and the peril of future generations.”

Sir Arthur added however, that he has faith in The Bahamas assuring that it will rise to prominence once again as long as Bahamians seek to rediscover the things that make them true Bahamians.

“Just as we are celebrating a new birth and reinvigoration of our Bahamian artistic culture, so too we must reinstate the finer elements of our social culture, elements that some of us have traded in for the low end of other cultures,” he said.

“We must all practice and celebrate again the traditional good manners, kindness, self-respect and respect for others that, for generations past, made us as a people quite as attractive as our natural heritage. I believe in the resilience and resourcefulness of the Bahamian people. Our forbearers climbed high mountains, crossed wide rivers, and negotiated deep valleys in their quest for freedom, for the fullness of democracy and nationhood. I believe that we too can recreate a Bahamas in which the aspirations of future generations can be fulfilled, a Bahamas in which their talents and potential can flourish as they continue to build the greatest little country on the planet.”

According to The Bahamas Government website, Sir Arthur, born in Mathew Town, Inagua to the parents of the late Dr. William A. Foulkes and Mrs. Julie Foulkes Nee Maisonneuve became the country’s eighth Bahamian governor-general in April 14, 2010, upon the retirement of governor-general the Honorable Arthur Dion Hanna.

Sir Arthur drafted the PLP’s petition to the United Nations committee of 24 (on decolonisation) and was a member of the delegation, which presented the petition in 1965.

Sir Arthur was elected to parliament in 1967, serving in various offices over the years.

As a journalist, Sir Arthur joined The Tribune as a linotype operator in 1948 and took up journalism under editor and publisher Sir Etienne Dupuch who made him a reporter and later appointed him news editor.

He was the founding editor of The Bahamian Times and later a columnist for The Guardian and The Tribune and from 2002 to 2007 resumed his popular column To The Point in The Tribune.

The brief inspection and final farewell was held two hours before the swearing in ceremony for Dame Marguerite Pindling as the new governor general for the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

The inspection of the guard ended with the resounding sounds of fired canons signaling the upcoming reign of a new head of state.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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