EDITOR, The Tribune.
Prime Minister Perry Christie missed a golden opportunity at the funeral service for the late Edmund Moxey last week. To say that it was an unusual funeral service would be an extraordinary understatement.
Anthony “Ace” Newbold, a respected Bahamian journalist, in the presence of Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling, courageously told the truth about how Mr. Moxey and his family were viciously victimized by the PLP because he dared to stand up for what he believed was in the best interest of his people and so incurred the wrath of Sir Lynden Pindling.
Victimization became fully a part of and was ingrained in the culture of that party ever since a cult of personality was created around Sir Lynden shortly after the achievement of majority rule in 1967.
It became virtually treasonous to stand up to him. Many who dared to differ with or to criticize the Maximum Leader and some close to him were brutally set upon.
Many families were destroyed. Fortunately, Mr. Moxey and his family were strong enough to endure the persecution and to survive the worst that Pindling’s PLP could throw at them.
The great tragedy was that they not only went after Mr. Moxey personally but they destroyed his vision of a permanent cultural exposition that would have been of untold cultural and economic benefit to the Bahamian people for generations to come.
Just imagine if Jumbey Village had been allowed to survive and develop over the last three decades. Millions of cruise ship passengers, who can hardly find anything to do in Nassau except go to Atlantis, would have been streaming Over the Hill in tour buses and taxis to Jumbey Village.
Now here is where Mr. Christie missed the boat. First of all, he should have started with an unqualified apology for what his party did to Mr. Moxey and his family. Instead he tried to paint Mr. Moxey as a lone wolf and ahead of his time and such rubbish.
Mr. Christie seemed to have forgotten that eight of those who were elected with Mr. Moxey in 1967 had already become disillusioned with the betrayal of the movement and had parted company with Sir Lynden, and that others like Carlton Francis followed afterwards.
But Mr. Christie really hit rock bottom when he suggested that culture was in those days “a dispensable side line” for many in the movement.
That is utter nonsense and a gross injustice to those sincere men and women who fought for majority rule and had the social and cultural development of their people at the top of their agenda.
Even the hated Stafford Sands fully appreciated the value of Bahamian culture – at least for tourist purposes – as he supported Over the Hill nightclubs and took many young Bahamian performers like Peanuts Taylor all over the world promoting the Bahamas.
As if trying to see how low he could crawl, Mr. Christie then suggested that Jumbey Village “did not stand the test of time”.
What a crude and disingenuous attempt to cover up a great national wrong! What a naked and obvious attempt to revise the history he always pays such lip service to!
The failure of Jumbey had nothing to do with lack of interest on the part of many and nothing to do with time. It had to do with a cruel and spiteful attempt to destroy Edmund Moxey, his family and everything he tried to create, especially Jumbey Village.
Jumbey Village was destroyed when Sir Lynden cut off funding in the budget and then sent the bull-dozers to the site to tear down the buildings.
That is what happened and Mr. Christie should be ashamed of himself for trying to cover up and get around the sad and tragic truth of that astonishing betrayal.
August 3, 2014.