By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Staff Reporter
DAME Marguerite Pindling, the widow of the country’s first Prime Minister, has been officially appointed as the new Governor-General of the Bahamas.
Dame Marguerite, 82, will be sworn in tomorrow at Government House. A farewell ceremony will be held tonight for Sir Arthur Foulkes, who will formally demit office tomorrow, according to a statement released by the Cabinet Office yesterday.
The statement read: “Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, acting in her capacity as the constitutional head of state of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas and pursuant to Article 32 of the constitution, has been pleased to appoint Dame Marguerite Pindling to be the next Governor-General of the Bahamas.”
Dame Marguerite will be sworn in by Chief Justice Sir Michael Barnett, the statement added.
In addition to being the high-profile wife of Sir Lynden Pindling for 44 years, Dame Marguerite spent several years as the chair of the fund-raising committee of The Bahamas Red Cross. She has also helped with fund-raising for the Hope Dale School and the Children’s Emergency Hostel. The self-described “barefoot girl” from Andros was born in Long Bay Cays on June 26, 1932.
She has served as deputy to Sir Arthur when he was out of the country.
For weeks it was speculated that Dame Marguerite was the front runner to replace Sir Arthur when he demits office; however, officials last week were tight-lipped over whether or not she had been chosen. The recommendation for Governor-General is made by the Prime Minister.
Last month, Prime Minister Perry Christie confirmed that Dame Marguerite was under consideration for the post. However, her consideration was brought into question after it was revealed last month that the real property tax account for her home in western New Providence was in arrears.
According to documents obtained by this newspaper, payments had not been made since 2000, the year Sir Lynden died.
The bill of more than $306,000 was paid in full after the information was made public, according to a well-placed source in government.
In an interview with The Tribune last month, Mr Christie said he did not think the tax delinquency was indicative of a double standard for high-profile Bahamians, but rather evidence of a political agenda. He added that what he saw as a politically-motivated leak of her tax information was “impeccably” timed.