TIMOTHY Baswell Donaldson, 79, a true Bahamian patriot, visionary, and statesman died yesterday at his home in Winton after fighting a long battle with cancer. At his bedside at the time of his death at 3:17 pm were his wife, Yolande, and his three children, Dwight, Kevin and Tatiana.
“He insisted on dying in the Bahamas and he got his wish,” said his wife, Yolande, herself a nurse.
Mr Donaldson had been in Florida for six months
undergoing treatment when he insisted on returning to the Bahamas to spend his final days at home. He returned on January 23.
Prime Minister Perry Christie hailed Mr Donaldson as someone who has served his country with “great distinction and ability” most notably as the first Governor of the Central Bank of the Bahamas and subsequently as the Ambassador for The Bahamas to the United States and Permanent Representative to the OAS; as Chairman of the Securities Commission; and later still as Chairman of the Council of the College of the Bahamas.
“Of special historical note, Mr. Donaldson served as the Economic Advisor to the Bahamas Government at the Independence Conference in London in 1972. He subsequently became the Governor of the Central Bank at its founding, and was made a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty the Queen in 1973.
“In addition to his many diverse accomplishments in the public sphere, Mr. Donaldson was also a pacesetter in the private sector, especially in the fields of education and banking. He served for many years, and until quite recently, as Chairman of Commonwealth Bank, an institution whose worth surpassed the One Billion Dollar mark under his leadership.”
Prime Minister Christie added that Mr Donaldson was widely regarded as the elder statesman of the financial services community serving as a major role model for successive generations of Bahamians in the banking industry.
“A man of great intellect, he possessed superb organisational and leadership skills. He had a passion for giving the very best of himself at all times and he invariably applied himself with great vigour and efficiency to whatever task he had undertaken to perform. He was a high achiever and an inspiration to those he led.”
Also paying tribute was former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham who expressed a personal sense of loss at hearing of the passing of Mr Donaldson.
“I visited with Tim just over a week ago and had plans to see him again this evening. Alas, that was not to be. Tim was a trusted friend, colleague and advisor. He will be greatly missed. On my own behalf and that of Delores and our family I extend condolences to his wife, Yolande, to his three children, Dwight, Kevin and Tatiana, and to his extended family.
“The Bahamas has lost an exceptionally gifted son: A man of tremendous character and a powerhouse in the fields of finance and economics. I was honoured when Tim agreed to serve as Bahamas Ambassador to the United States of America shortly after my first election to lead The Bahamas Government in 1992. He set a standard of excellence and dedication in that post that all who followed him have sought to emulate. He served concurrently as Bahamian Ambassador to Mexico and Colombia and as Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States. We all expected high standards of Timmy,” he said.
Having also been appointed by Mr Ingraham to Co-Chair the Privatization Committee that negotiated the sale of a majority share in the Bahamas Telecommunications Company to the private sector, Mr Ingraham said Mr Donaldson always gave his all to achieve the best for the Bahamas.
“The Bahamas owes T Baswell Donaldson a tremendous debt of gratitude. I will remain always in his debt,” he said.
Mr Donaldson is survived by his wife Yolande Yasmin Parchment-Donaldson and his children Dwight, Kevin and Tatiana.
Funeral services will be announced later.