SIR Lynden Pindling envisioned that one day the College of The Bahamas would become the University of The Bahamas, a dream realised with the university’s charter on November 10, 2016.
At its historic inaugural commencement held on May 25, the university posthumously conferred upon Sir Lynden its first honorary degree.
Acting on behalf of UB trustees, upon the recommendation of faculty, UB President Dr Rodney Smith presented the degree, Doctor of the University Honoris Causa, to Sir Lynden’s daughter Monique Pindling.
According to a press release from the University of The Bahamas, Sir Lynden “deserved the honour because he served the country with distinction as prime minister; he became the ‘father of the nation’ and under his leadership sovereignty for The Bahamas came to fruition July 10, 1973; and as a significant part of his vision for a better Bahamas and its citizens, he spearheaded the establishment of COB which has transitioned to the University of The Bahamas.”
The release continued: “This year, UB started a new tradition of conferring honorary degrees upon deserving Bahamians who have contributed significantly to the development of the University of The Bahamas and made a lasting impact on the country.
“One of the longest serving heads of government in the commonwealth, Sir Lynden served as prime minister of The Bahamas for nearly 26 years, during which he led the country to independence from Great Britain on July 10, 1973. Additionally, he served as a member of the House of Assembly for 41 consecutive years.
“The grandson of a Bahamian seaman and son of a retired policeman (Arnold F Pindling), Sir Lynden was born March 22, 1930. He attended Government High School from 1943 to 1946. At the age of 18, Sir Lynden left The Bahamas to attend King’s College London, where he received his Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in 1952. He was called to the English Bar, Middle Temple, in January 1953 and to the Bahamas Bar in August of the same year.
“Sir Lynden joined the minority Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) shortly after its formation in 1953 and in 1965 was elected to the House of Assembly for the Southern District, New Providence. He was elected senior member for the South Central District in 1962 and the following year became chairman of the PLP.
“In the general election of 1967, he chose to run in an Out Island constituency and his victory helped secure a majority for his party, without which, the formation of a government would have been impossible,” the press release noted.
“Under Sir Lynden’s leadership, The Bahamas became a sovereign nation on July 10, 1973. The following year, the College of The Bahamas was established through an Act of Parliament and in February 1977, Sir Lynden officially opened the institution, foreshadowing that it would one day become the University of The Bahamas.
“Sir Lynden led the PLP to election victories in six successive polls: 1967, 1968, 1972, 1977, 1982 and 1987. On July 9, 1997, one day before the 24th anniversary of independence, Sir Lynden resigned from Parliament, bringing to an end a political era in The Bahamas,” the university noted.