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Clash Over Hero Of ‘Racist Regime’

Sir Roland Symonette

Sir Roland Symonette

By MORGAN ADDERLEY

Tribune Staff Reporter

madderley@tribunemedia.net 

FREE National Movement Chairman Carl Culmer yesterday defended the decision to posthumously award Sir Roland Symonette with the Order of National Hero, saying the country’s former premier singlehandedly “did more for black people” than some people of colour. 

Sir Roland’s honour has been met with controversy, including allegations from the opposition Progressive Liberal Party that the former premier led a “racist regime” and opposed the fight for independence.

To this, Mr Culmer said that “no man is without sin” and defended Sir Roland’s legacy.

The FNM chairman also suggested that Sir Lynden Pindling, the first black premier and prime minister of an independent Bahamas, oppressed black Bahamians through political victimisation.

Despite this, Mr Culmer told The Tribune that he was not against Sir Lynden receiving the award.

He added that any Bahamian who contributes to the development of the country should be eligible for the honour, and implored people to move past skin colour or political persuasion.

The first recipients of the Bahamas’ National Honours were announced on Independence Day. Sir Roland received the top honour with Sir Lynden, Sir Milo Butler and Sir Cecil Wallace-Whitfield.  

PLP Chairman Fred Mitchell told reporters yesterday that it is the PLP’s view that Sir Roland was not a “fitting, proper person” to qualify for that award.  

However, Mr Mitchell said that ultimately, the decision was up to Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, calling on the nation’s leader to justify the choice.

In a post to Facebook, Englerston MP Glenys Hanna Martin decried Sir Roland’s award.

“I do not accept that a man who led a racist regime – Sir Roland Symonette – whose deliberate policies obstructed the natural human development and progress of the masses of Bahamian people can ever be deemed a ‘national hero.’ This decision is perverse and highly offensive. It is grotesque revisionism,” she wrote.

Regarding the decision, Mr Culmer said: “My question to anyone: did Sir Roland contribute to development and also to the country? The answer would be yes.

“I had no issues with him receiving national honours. I have no issue with any Bahamian receiving national honours who contributed to the growth and development of our country.” 

When asked about the backlash, Mr Culmer said: “I saw the comments, but the thing is we can say the same thing about the former prime minister from the PLP. He did a lot to black folks as well. Should he not be recognised? My thing is, yes, he should be recognised.”

Mr Culmer clarified that he was referring to Sir Lynden, while also defending Sir Roland’s legacy.

“(Sir Lynden) did a lot for black people. So my thing is, there’s no man without sin. And during that era, I didn’t hear nothing about Sir Roland being prejudiced.

“I heard and read where he did a lot for black people. He was the one that gave a lot of loans to black people, giving them opportunities that they didn’t have normally. If the records are correct, he did more for black people — I’m talking singlehandedly — than many black people did for black folks.” 

When asked to elaborate on the ways Sir Lynden oppressed black Bahamians, Mr Culmer pointed to political victimisation. 

“If you didn’t vote or support the PLP, the PLP went out of their way to ensure that you didn’t get opportunities, employment, educational benefits. If you had a job and you voted against the PLP or didn’t support the PLP, they made it hard and in most cases, you ended up without a job. Or you couldn’t get employment in this country,” Mr Culmer said.

“And I could speak to that from my father and my grandfather, they went through that. I listened and I smile when I hear persons speak about racism. You know, we have some black people who are racist as well. And you have some of them that still exist today in this country.”

Mr Culmer also called for more unity in the country.

Backlash

For his part, Mr Mitchell explained that he is a member of the advisory committee for National Honours, which has 10-12 people. Of those, the PLP has one seat or vote.

He added that the appointments are made by the prime minister, not the committee.

“So whatever the advisory committee advances, the prime minister can do whatever he wishes,” Mr Mitchell said. “So it’s really for the prime minister to defend what he has done.

“It is the (PLP’s) view that Sir Roland did not fit the legal definition in the (law) for a national hero. We made that point clear in all of the correspondence…with the government on this matter.”

Mr Mitchell added that it is the party’s view that the one person who “without question” fit the definition in the law was Sir Lynden.

“That is without question, there can be no argument about it.”

Regarding the backlash, Mr Mitchell said: “I think we have no specific quarrel, except that when we look at the law, we ask the question, how can someone who opposed all of the marches up to independence, all of the historical points up to independence, qualify for having made a seminal contribution to the development of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas? That’s an answer which must come from the prime minister. That’s our position.

“I’m sure that if appropriate, all of the background correspondence and back up to this can be revealed in the public domain. 

“But we are very certain on this point, that that particular name is not a fitting, proper person to qualify for that award. But, the prime minister has acted according to his powers in law, and so he must justify that choice.”

Sir Roland was elected to Parliament in 1925 as a member of the mainly white United Bahamian Party. He became leader of the UBP and was made the first Bahamian premier in 1964 after internal self-government was introduced. He was one of the “Bay Street Boys,” a wealthy group of merchants that opened up the Bahamas to tourism,  investment and casinos. He represented the Shirlea district in the House of Assembly and when he died had been the longest serving member of parliament, having served for 52years.

Sir Lynden and the PLP formed the next government of the Bahamas in 1967.

Comments

proudloudandfnm 4 days, 23 hours ago

Ok. Now. Why is Minnis on that list? The man has never done a thing.

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Dawes 4 days, 22 hours ago

He is not, It is Pindling, Roland, Milo Butler and Wallace Whitfield.

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Dawes 4 days, 22 hours ago

AS a note the UBP were formed after the PLP in 1953, as such Sir Roland was not elected to Parliament in 1925 as a member of the UBP as there was no such thing.

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joeblow 4 days, 21 hours ago

There are those who conveniently overlook the fact that blacks have always oppressed their own more than other races have; blacks just use different means to do it!

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sheeprunner12 4 days, 21 hours ago

It is fascinating and amusing to hear racist black Bahamians discuss about Pop Symonette ........ He was discriminated by the UBP "pure breeds" as well, because he had a tinge of blackness ....... So be it.

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Andros242 4 days, 17 hours ago

Roland Symonette's mother was BLACK How you could call that a "tinge"

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DDK 4 days, 16 hours ago

Now are we going to get into shades of black, brown and white? Come on children, we can do better than this, can't we?

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hrysippus 4 days, 16 hours ago

Thank you, Sheeps, people are woefully ignorant. I wonder why The Nassau yacht Club was started and by whom was it founded?

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sheeprunner12 4 days, 20 hours ago

Pindling sure was WORST............ just ask every Conchy Joe who grew up in South Long Island after 1967 ......... He kept that side of the island in darkness, with no roads and no utilities ......... He squeezed the Diamond Crystal Salt Company out of the island .................... He built a packing house 40 miles away from the major farmers on the island ................... Long Island was punished by Pindling for its UBP/FNM stance after 1967...... In Long Island, "PLP" means "Punishing Long Island People" ......... But Pindling could not kill our indomitable spirit.

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sheeprunner12 4 days, 20 hours ago

Well 6 in one, half dozen in the other ....... Both men were pirates in their day ...... Pop and Ping are dead and their royal families still live well today and forever on the backs of the ordinary Bahamian ........ Leave it be.

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licks2 4 days, 20 hours ago

Don't forget how he "killed" the Hatchet Bay farm and the one in Andros. . .that man was a walking disaster where he was so corrupted!! His own DPM. . .Hanna-Martin's father told him in public that he needed to step down as PM because he was too contaminated. . .he refused!!

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Raptor22 4 days, 19 hours ago

BahamasForBahamians:

Its people like you who are prejudiced, you, and all your thieving PLPs who robbed the Public Treasury and VAT money dry, and put The Bahamas back 45 years, beginning with Pindling, Carlos Lehder's man, and many other corrupt PLP politicians who should have also been locked up and the keys thrown away. How our Airport could be named after a drug-dealing PM Pindling is beyond comprehension! All I can say is, "only in the Bahamas", in any other country Pindling would have been locked up. You are so racial and ignorant - read the Commission of Enquiry report. The Bahamas has moved on with racial discrimination, except for racist people like you.

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DDK 4 days, 20 hours ago

So racism is alive and well in our Bahamaland. Too bad. If PING was not a racist and SIR Milo was not a racist, Sir Roland must have been a saint! Isn't it time the PLP and everyone else got over the race issue?

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BahamasForBahamians 4 days, 20 hours ago

Racism is the reason the Kelly's, Lockharts, Symonette's, Holowesko's, Mosko's (white Bahamian families) have a major economic advantage over the inner city blackies today.

No - it is not something that can be "gotten over"

Unless Symonette and his counter parts release some of their ill gotten wealth to level the playing field - blackies should continue to push the issue of Racism in Bahamian history and its effects on life in The Bahamas today.

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licks2 4 days, 20 hours ago

Then what are you going to say to the blacks who became the robber barons after the base street boys were voted out? Check them names out. . .in the commission report for 1984. . .snakes them. . .them big rich blacks. . .who got filthy rich by kissing Pindling political hip!! Ingraham and Christie were fired for standing up and telling him that he was a dirty let down and he needed to leave politics. . .

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BahamasForBahamians 4 days, 20 hours ago

I say it was about time black people gain some economic power in a country that is predominantly black!

I'm guessing you and your conchy joe counter parts preferred for wealth to stay in your white coffers!

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OMG 4 days, 20 hours ago

I know plenty of Black Bahamians who are now regarded as pillars of the community who got their financial leg up with drug money. They to have major economic advantages over whites and blacks

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themessenger 4 days, 19 hours ago

Man, you got racism down in spades,pun intended, where do you think the Pindlings, Maynards, Wilsons , Finlaysons, Gibsons and the list goes on, get their money from if not from the exploitation of dem same inner city blackies and more than a few high and mighty whiteys. Gotta feel sorry for people like you, no life low life!

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joeblow 4 days, 17 hours ago

...and what's the reason the numbers boys are sucking the lifeblood from over the hill, from their own people, selling hope and dreams?

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DWW 1 day, 14 hours ago

All of this money originated in bootlegging. and then it was invested wisely instead of frittering it away a lavish lifestyle. very much unlike the current numbers boys. and why do you not mention all the PLPs who raped the bahamas tax payer's money and left us $8,000,000,000 in debt to the IDB. The UBP didn't stick you with 12% VAT - that is the result of decades of PLP looting and you know it. perhaps you personally benefitted from it too?

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DWW 1 day, 13 hours ago

every single white plantation owner left the country almost pennyless. get you facts straight and stop stoking unneccessary unrest.

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John 4 days, 20 hours ago

Let the dead bury the dead.

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licks2 4 days, 20 hours ago

Yall need to go and read the commission of inquiries 1984 report. . .Sir Lynden was the biggest criminal this nation ever had. . .he was hoggish, oppressionist, discriminatory, victimizing like no other, refused to obey the courts, he destroyed families. . . fired and destroyed the lives and careers of his opponents and friends!! He started and supported the criminal ways of this current PLP mentality!! Yes. . .he did some good. . . but he birthed and ran the most corrupt organization ever existed in this nation's history!! His accounting for the government involvement in the disappearance of the government share from the big company that paid out dividends for dem shares owned by the people. The commission report shows that over the period investigated. . .Sir Lynden's bank accounts had a huge amount deposited that no salary or legitimate business dealing could account for!! The country was corrupted and used as a drug running heaven. . .with our nation leader at the helm. . .

All Mr. Mitchell did was again show us that group of criminal pirates are never going to change. . .THEY CANNOT EVER ACCOUNT FOR THEIR CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES. . .THEY WILL LIE ABOUT THEM RIGHT IN OUR FACES. . .

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sheeprunner12 4 days, 20 hours ago

Pindling did not create the PLP ......... Long Island Conchy Joes did that ....... He usurped their ideals and created a Marxist, Black Panther-like cult that still stains our society today.

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Alex_Charles 3 days, 16 hours ago

Piddling became a monster after his first 10 years. No matter which side of the divide you reside on, that's indisputable. He didn't facilitate a system of oppression and segregation, but he facilitated rampant victimization and excluded certain families from most economic activities in the country.

Both Pop and Pindling had their dirt, both were gangsters.

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alfalfa 4 days, 20 hours ago

So if you are a "white" Bahamian, Bahamas for Bahamians, you are automatically a racist?

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BahamasForBahamians 4 days, 20 hours ago

If you support Roland Symonette and his policies, yes.

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licks2 4 days, 13 hours ago

Then Bradley Roberts and Paul Adderley were and are!

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OMG 4 days, 20 hours ago

Really sick of this racism stuff. I am white, I dislike some black people not because of their color but their personality, the same goes for white folks. Get over it and remember some of the biggest oppressors of the black man were their own people whether they be tribal chiefs, or your own politicians. Racism is often defined by color because that is easy to identify but racism includes denying access to employment due to political beliefs, religious beliefs, culture and so on. Didn't see these same people complaining making an issue when Nassau airport was called the Sir lyden Pindling airport despite his large bank accounts and other dubious acts.

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sheeprunner12 4 days, 20 hours ago

Yep .......... look at that white trash Donald Trump who is running USA

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BahamasForBahamians 4 days, 20 hours ago

White people get so upset when black people state facts...

When we recognize the economic imbalance as a result of slavery and continued oppression from the likes of Sir Roland, The kellys, the Moskos, The Holowesko's. The Lockhart it upsets them.

It infuriates them to an extent that they attempt to create black on black strife (the divide and conquer tactics they've been using since slavery) by painting the successful black man as the villian.

You expect us to be upset with the 25 years of Pindling Rule when UBP and White Minorities have been oppressing for hundres of years through slavery and then UBP rule.

Newsflash we have brains now.

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sheeprunner12 4 days, 19 hours ago

You have a point BFB ........ But the Bahamian "elite" now is an oligarchy of the rich ......... regardless of colour, creed or sex ..... The rich will protect their interests and the colour of money is a far stronger force than skin tone.

Snake and his cohorts work in tandem with Brent and his cohorts ......... SMH

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themessenger 4 days, 19 hours ago

Brains? In your case the jury still out on that, only people like you and Fred on dat run.......

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Sickened 4 days, 18 hours ago

You will have to prove that you are included in your last line BforB.

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realfreethinker 4 days, 17 hours ago

It is obvious that BforB is brain dead. he /she needs to get over the race card,we aint checking fer dat right now. the only color progressive Bahamians see is "green" baby. And while you are at it BforB. get a life.

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licks2 4 days, 12 hours ago

That's Fred man. . .only Big bad Brad can get much "dud on race" like that. . .oh don't forget Birdie. . .a whole lot of hot air but lil bit of reasoning power. . .useless beyond their own "nose". . .absolutely useless to be honset when it comes to the PLP!!

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OldFort2012 4 days, 17 hours ago

Hey, BforB, can you tell us when slavery ended in the Bahamas? Do you know the date? I am sure you don't. Let me give it to you: full emancipation was 1st August 1834. So, what exactly oppressed you between 1834 and the UBP? In your own words, now...

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Andros242 4 days, 17 hours ago

wow, that's a good bit of history!

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licks2 4 days, 12 hours ago

Boy. . .don't anybody read any more? Was there ever a British slavery trade in the Bahamas? Bahamas blacks were seen as maroons. . .black slave came to the Bahamas after the British-American war when British loyalists brought their slaves from America and settled in the islands. Before that all the blacks here were Maroons and not slaves! The white people in the free Bahamas came from England, Spain and France. . .through Bamuda and South of the Bahamas. Before Woods Rogers his place was a renegade state. . .nobody owned anybody. . .the lil bit of blacks were their own boss and just as much pirate as the next pirates!

The loyalists left the Bahamas shortly after and return to America and Europe leaving their freed slaves in some out Islands! Besides the Gulla who were brought here from America. . .who whites them you are talking about? Ignorant and loud is a dangerous combination!

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Raptor22 4 days, 6 hours ago

BahamasForBahamians, you wrote:

"White people get so upset when black people state facts..."

Why is it BFB that Black people like YOU obviously aren't proud of being black? Why can't you be proud of the colour God made you? I am. Like the saying goes "I'm Black and I'm Proud.

You got a lot of hate in you, get over it !

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hrysippus 3 days, 9 hours ago

BananasForBahamians is both woefully ignorant and a malicious twister of the truth. Moskos? They arrive in the colony 100 years after all slaves were granted their freedom by a white English government. Holeweskos? They arrived in the Bahamas approximately 140 years after the abolition of slavery. BananasForBahamians is just another pathetic black PLP supporter who has never worked a day in his life apart from his jokey government job that he was never qualified to do. May the Good Lord smite him down along with all the other evil-doers in this land.

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Andros242 4 days, 19 hours ago

Amen to that Alex_Charles:

"Where did Pindling get all that Coke money from? Half his flipping cabinet was collecting illegal numbers money and coke money. Don't pretend like that never happened. Every flipping premiere and PM was a goddamn crooked cocksucker that became multimillionaires as a result of their office. They and their cabinet became rich off the fat our our collective land. They've allowed monopolies on various industries, given contracts to their friends and families etc etc. Then there was the scourge of Pindling's victimization of not just people, but also their families. We had a whole election in 1992 where people cheered in the streets that for the first time we had a "Government in the Sunshine". "

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TalRussell 4 days, 19 hours ago

Ma Comrades, truth is Sir Stafford Sands become the first De Factor Premier over colony islands - not Pop Symonette. Nor was Hubert first “Papa” leader of colony - that was reserved for colony's Governor HRH Duke Windsor who was called ‘"Sweet Papa HRH’ by the colony's local "Negroes."

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Socrates 4 days, 19 hours ago

He that is without sin, let him cast the first stone. We spend so much time in this country trying to rewrite history. i guess it is what it is...

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TalRussell 4 days, 18 hours ago

Ma Comrade Deuteronomy 17:7 speaks about the hands of the witnesses shall be the first in putting him to death, and after that, the hands of all the people. You must purge the evil from among you. Truth is our colony islands didn't start off our long history with blank canvas... nor should we attempt erase past. Let's focus on why the Lunch Vendors who feed our school children's are not being paid by this red shirts government.

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Andros242 4 days, 18 hours ago

ANDROS needs tourism, most tourists who come to Andros are white. Stop this racial talking cause this goin to cause the Bahamas to lose tourism. I can't afford this to happen to my livelyhood. So BahamasForBahamians stop your racial foolishness.

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Alex_Charles 4 days, 18 hours ago

South Andros needs Tourism and infrastructure more than most places in the country.

What Andros can use more than anything is local government and planning with lots of investment and Bahamian ownership. Andros is beautiful but massively underpopulated like most of the country!

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licks2 4 days, 12 hours ago

The point exactly. . .South Andros was represented by LOP for all his political life. . .and the FNM had to give them light when they came to government in 1992!!

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sheeprunner12 4 days, 18 hours ago

Bahamian tourism is still controlled by white foreigners .......... 50 years later.

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hrysippus 4 days, 16 hours ago

Thank you Andros. BahamiansForBananas is the alias a former crooked PLP Cabinet minister famous for being caught in a gay bar in London by the British Secret Service.

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Raptor22 4 days, 6 hours ago

Lol, I was thinking that earlier...umm, his first name has 4 letters and begins with "F" and rhymes with "Dread"....

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Sickened 4 days, 18 hours ago

I vote for forgetting our past because it is not one that we should be particularly proud of. Our country has prospered from pirating to gun running to rum running and drug running. Our economy, infrastructure, healthcare and legal system is in a shambles. We have not advanced as a nation. We should NOT be proud of how far we have gotten since independence. WE MUST DO BETTER!!! When we start to advance as a country THEN we can start handing out awards.

I AM proud to be Bahamian but I am NOT proud of our achievements so far.

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OldFort2012 4 days, 17 hours ago

Most sensible thing written here in a long time. Congratulations.

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TalRussell 4 days, 18 hours ago

Ma Comrades, listening in disgust live now Guardian Talk Radio and they have this foreigner on talking how our colony islands is all white broken...cry shame on the" two' with serious white Axes complex hosting the talk show live right now Guardian Talk, Pray colony islands when some foreigner is being propped up by "two talk show hosts" talk down we colony of islands peoples. What F--- does Muammar Gaddafi and Robert Mugabe have do with we colony islands. Cry, cry shame these two comrade man's... how dare you three man's insult by calling we some third world islanders. Yes, we need economic "Revolution" but not kinds lead by talk these three man's... There Grandma's has be embarrassed what they is talking live on Guardian Radio.

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DWW 1 day, 13 hours ago

why are you unable to make any coherence? its all gibberish and not amusing.

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bogart 4 days, 17 hours ago

Whatever the views are of Pop Symonette is done in the History books.....the issue of him receiving the award is not for the deceased who cannot answer back..RIP Pops......but take the issues to the Awards Committee who only just recently makes drcisions... .and ask dem da questions......if dey cannot give satisfactory answers to justify da criteria required...den dey all should do da Westminister ting an resigns..!!!!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 days, 17 hours ago

Most of you posting here just don't get it. Minnis has deliberately played the race card by honoring Sir Roland in an effort to deflect our attention away from the VAT increase and the myriad of other major issues presently facing the pathetically incompetent Minnis-led administration. This is a classic politician's trick whenever they begin to feel heat from the public. Don't let yourself be so easily bamboozled.

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DDK 4 days, 16 hours ago

Well Mudda, that's an interesting take on things, and quite possibly accurate. Rather surprised you think doc has it in 'im, lol! That would put him in the company of the likes of Trump and May.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 days, 14 hours ago

Sadly, the dimwitted Doc is only proving he is little different from Pindling, Ingraham and Christie when it comes to tricks, but with much less intellect and political acumen as we have all come to know.

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licks2 4 days, 12 hours ago

Hehehehehehehehehe. . .the more you try to make doc look stupid. . .we see you in "dim witted land". . . just like you say doc een gat the intellect to be smart. . .like we become to expect the smarts from WHOM? The three persons who brought this nation to its knees? If that is the politics you expose for the DNA. . .dead on arrival is your lot!! So are you really saying that doc so smart that he "doin it" with less breen power used by the three PMs them we ever had? "Well-muddled-up" you be for sure!

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DDK 4 days, 16 hours ago

By the way, did anyone hear of a knife attack on visitors on Rose Island on, maybe, Tuesday by jet ski thugs, or is that fake sip-sip?

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sheeprunner12 4 days, 16 hours ago

No ........ that was for real ........... So ad that this 15-35 year old generation is so messed up .......... That is a direct product of the Pindling drug era

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DDK 4 days, 16 hours ago

Thank you. Wow. I have not seen the report...........

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Alex_Charles 4 days, 15 hours ago

it happened. Our jets business is run by degenerates and high school drop outs with little to no educational background. That isn't the case universally of course, but most if not all the bad apples are dumb as a box of rocks.

We need to regulate who is approved. People will cry discrimination but the requirements need to be a clean police record, clean bill of health with all shots and a business license. All employees need to wear name tags and have an official MOT badge. That way there is some rigidity and accountability when and if something goes wrong. Tired of hearing stories about fellas raping tourists, AND BAHAMIAN WOMEN. You rape, you should be put to death.

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The_Oracle 4 days, 15 hours ago

Did you know the vote for independence in Bahamian Parliament was unanimous? Not one dissenting vote. From the Hansard, May 1973, British Parliament: "The people are deeply perturbed at finding themselves involved in this kind of black nationalism. They refuse to take part in it and are denounced by the leaders of the PLP, the present ruling party, as "Uncle Toms and Aunt Chloes." That is a quotation from the Minister of Health in Parliament following the election and the question of independence becoming an issue.the Deputy Prime Minister, said: To all the Uncle Toms and all the Aunt Chloes I say—your days of prosperous destruction"— I do not know what he meant by that— are numbered and a doom, swift and terrible, is upon your behaviour—for we have overcome you and to the victor goes the glory. He had previously said the same thing at his party's convention a month after the election. By "Uncle Toms and Aunt Chloes" he and his colleagues mean people of colour who are not anti-whiteThat perfectly sums up the population of Abaco. Political victimisation is the first thing they have to fear and they have already experienced the appropriate 1405 threats and, more than that, examples of it. The election was hardly over before individual cases of victimisation of the most alarming kind began to be manifested. I will not weary hon. Members, as I shall in Committee, with the specific examples. There are all too many of them. There is no lack of evidence. When I say in general terms that political victimisation is feared I can prove it with ample cases after the General Election in September. When I speak of black nationalism I can again justify it by specific quotations from Ministers of the Crown, as they are at present in the Bahamas. When I speak of corruption I can illustrate it with precision.

Contracts have been given to the highest tenderer instead of the lowest, because that tenderer is a PLP supporter. Abaco is a good case. A very big road had to be built there, 120 miles long. The contract was given to a company formed by a PLP supporter which owned no equipment at all and which put in the highest tender by a big margin. The company did not even own a wheelbarrow and had never built anything. It was given the contract and immediately sub-contracted the work to another company in the construction business. The first company put in a bid of 30,000 dollars a mile and sub-contracted for 20,000 dollars a mile. The two companies pocketed the difference. That kind of case can be multiplied in the island. This has produced a sense of profound depression among the people of Abaco. What are they to do? They do not want to become part of a black nationalist State of sharp antagonisms between black and white." Quite the legacy. The destruction has not been swift, but it has been sure, and at the Hands of Bahamians, of many hues.

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DDK 4 days, 15 hours ago

There's ALL KINDS of history out there for those who are interested and not just drivel from those with selective memories! It seems quite common these days, and not just in our country, to rewrite and reteach history to suit the strategy of the politicians of the day. If something from the past is deemed non-politically correct, the trend is to erase it, rather than to remember and learn from the past.

I always found it interesting that we despised and destroyed the Royal Victoria Gardens but, to this day, so love the titles bestowed upon us by Great Britain.

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sheeprunner12 4 days, 14 hours ago

The Queen Victoria Statue still sits proudly in Parliament Square overlooking every important political and civic function hosted there ....... from the Opening of Parliament to Beat Retreat.

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DDK 4 days, 14 hours ago

I do know! Don't give them any ideas!

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John 4 days, 15 hours ago

"A pat on the back is only a few vertebrae removed from a kick in the pants, but is miles ahead in results."

"People always clap for the wrong things".

J.D. SalingerElla Wheeler Wilcox

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birdiestrachan 4 days, 15 hours ago

Sir Lynden Pindling College of the Bahamas now University of the Bahamas. NIB. Bahamas Air.. Free high school education PLP BAMSI urban renewal. What has the FNM done.? doc says he want Free University education but he and his Government nor the UBP have ever done anything to advance the masses. poor black people from over the hill.

doc has no idea as to how he will pay for the free University or the over the hill free Zone. he doc blunders on. until such time.

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sheeprunner12 4 days, 14 hours ago

Everyone must admit (except hardcore old FNMs) that Pindling's first 10 years in power was the greatest era of social advancement for this country ........ everything went downhill for SLOP after that ........... Then the Delivery Boy propped up the country for a time ....... then 9-11 and Christie and the hurricanes put us in a spin that we have not recovered from yet ......... Minnis?????????

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licks2 4 days, 12 hours ago

Pindling had a good, fresh and talented team from 67 to about 70. . .read the history. . .independence was his "hope to grace" card after his cabinet started to questioned his sanity. . . he was at war with the better leadership and backbone of Wallace Whitefield and became a sniveling joke. . .Wallace Whitefield was the "mind" in the PLP. . .innovator in schools and other things like taking on the conglomerate in Grand Bahama!! Persons knew that Pindling was not the great mind in the PLP. . .after Wallace left LOP had enough bold plans to coast to a distance of popularity. . .running out of steam by the mid to late 70s. . .where the COI shows he was already involved in the drug running events!!

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Alex_Charles 3 days, 22 hours ago

he was undoing the damage that Roland had done. That man and his regime gave us economic apartheid.

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licks2 3 days, 19 hours ago

IGNORANCE IS BLISS ONLY IN THE HEAD OF THE PERSON WHO INSISTS IN STAYING IN IT. . .I suggest that you start with the book PINDLING and TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN. . . two books that tells about the belly of Pindling dirty politics. . .then move on to COI report 1984. . .

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Alex_Charles 3 days, 16 hours ago

after Pindling's first ten years, he became the same thing he opposed.

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BahamasForBahamians 4 days, 14 hours ago

These comments are very telling

The only defense these racist supporting commenters have is to call LOP's name.

they've totally missed the point that progressive Bahamians, yes BLACK bahamians have no value interest in the legacy of either of these pirate, drug smuggling, disappointments.

If your only defense for this KKK-Like premier who opposed any progress for blackies is that Pindling did bad as well - it is very telling of your moral compass.

Roland Symonette was the most corrupt leader this nation has ever had. LOP isnt any better.

Lets you guys defend your white boy now..Lol

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sheeprunner12 4 days, 13 hours ago

You do not have to believe our comments ........ Go and sit with Hubert Ingraham for a few hours and discuss the SLOP regime 1977-1992.

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Greentea 3 days, 10 hours ago

sheeprunner12- you smarter than this- why are you choosing to miss the point?

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DWW 1 day, 13 hours ago

why are you inciting hatred and division? Is it a fair statement that the Bahamas had the most peaceful transition to majority rule and independence in the world. can you explain why? Maybe Symonette helped the country to transition peacefully and smoothly have you ever considered that?

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The_Oracle 4 days, 14 hours ago

Bahamas air was created by driving 2-3 other local airlines out of business! COB was created and staffed by mostly expat teachers culled from other Government schools, And the level of education has never been what it could have been! You think the D average is limited to our high schools? You got the FNM living rent free in your head Birdie, it is holding you back. Looking at history through the eyes of today is problematic at best, downright dangerous at worst.

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DDK 4 days, 14 hours ago

Good laugh out of that one!!!

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licks2 4 days, 12 hours ago

BA was started by Pindling goons hijacking a legitimate airline, running it into the ground and the government buying it out. . .ergo. . .BA! And the COI 1984 shows that Pindling was tied into getting money from the sale of that airline to government!!

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SP 4 days, 13 hours ago

Unquestionably Roland Symonnet did some good for the country, however, he was also a victim of time and circumstance as racism and segregation were the order of the day in the U.S.A. and carried over to the Bahamas.

Like Adolf Hitler, Roland Symonnet should be remembered for the good he did as well as the bad. He did run a racist regime and certainly is a far cry away from a hero status.

https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1531967-Hitler-and-his-achievements

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sheeprunner12 4 days, 13 hours ago

Is Adolf Hitler a National Hero of Germany???????? ....... Bad analogy

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Alex_Charles 3 days, 16 hours ago

What... you're comparing Symonette to Hitler? Wow...

I may dislike some things about Pop Symonette, but never would I compare him to Adolf.

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sheeprunner12 3 days, 14 hours ago

No, even the post-Cold War democratic Germany did not rewrite their post-WW1 history to acknowledge the "good" of Hitler .......... because he was part of a regime that (at its core) was antithetical to modern civilization .... that is my point.

You cannot put lipstick (honours) on a pig (Pop) and call it beautiful (hero).

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The_Oracle 4 days, 12 hours ago

One distinction is that Pre 1973 MP served at the queens disposal, and were not paid. It was the queens treasury. First thing SLOP did was give themselves salaries, ostensibly to thwart Corruption and graft. Right. And converted the treasury to the Cookie Jar! Made Permanent secretaries temporary, got rid of the expats with experience, Appointed cronies who did their bidding without question. Gave dedicated expat teachers days to leave, The list goes on and on, the evidence is all around us. We crapped on a really good start and deal.

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sheeprunner12 4 days, 12 hours ago

What did the Pop Symonette Cabinet (1964-67) achieve????????? ...... Compare that with the Pindling Cabinet (1967-70) ......... That is the best comparison that can be used to measure these two national leaders.

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DaGoobs 4 days, 9 hours ago

RT presided over a racist regime because that was the order of the day. Only men who owned land could vote. Women had no right to vote and married women for a long time had no right to own land. Black Bahamians could not eat in every restaurant or drink in every bar or watch a movie in every moviehouse. Such was the lot of blacks at one time in our history, a history that cannot be changed in hindsight. That was how it was in those days. RT owned land south of Wulff Road that he sold to black Bahamians and that's how we wind up with subdivisions like Coconut Grove. At the end of the day was RT any more racist than Pindling who when you fell out with him he used every political and economic tool at his disposal to bury you alive? Carlton Francis - all suit and no man. The Dissident Eight - mashed down as much as possible in any which way, shape or form for daring to oppose the no longer square deal. FNM supporters - no government contracts, no government work, nothing. We can't change the history of the times that RT and Pindling and even Christopher Columbus lived in. The only criteria that seemingly is being used to designate RT, Pindling, Sir Milo and Cecil as national heroes is that they had some role to play in Bahamian politics before and/or after 10th January 1967. Seems that we have little history and no national heroes prior to then. This to me is lazy people making these designations and once again putting the politicians over all other people as if we have no other national heroes besides politicians.

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DWW 1 day, 13 hours ago

Well said. and as others have said, why is this posthumus? why not use it on living persons? do you have to die to become a saint? yes. do you have to die to become knighted? no.

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juju 4 days, 7 hours ago

Sir Roland should not have been made a “national hero” without other leaders of the past such as Sir Stafford Sands for example.

Secondly, the Mosko’s are Greek immigrants. Now third and four generation who have all worked hard to be “successful”.... and Mr. Holowesko married a Bahamian Pyfrom. They too have worked hard for financial success... just to set the record straight with those of you who don’t really have a clue about what your posting.

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Aegeaon 4 days, 7 hours ago

Roland's legacy is bathed in corruption and that's something that needs to be done. His involvement tainted the reputation of the country.

What makes the case of Lynden's legacy even worst for us is that he broke the chains off of black people, yet he enslaved us to the drug cartels that ran their smugglers through our waters, revolutionized the Bahamian drug trade, and killed 3,000 people. Yet NO ONE hits out on the PLP on anything on that.

If anything. I hope Trump would finally see the corruption of the Bahamas, and sends his military to end this dark crusade once and for all. Lynden's legacy is over!

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licks2 3 days, 19 hours ago

Beside the Meyer Lansky scandal which other major scandal you can find under the UBP government. . .? Yinna running ya mouths with little knowledge about yinna topic. . .either check ya facts or sit this one out. . .please. . .ignorance een funny!!

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Alex_Charles 3 days, 18 hours ago

They ran an apartheid regime in the Bahamas, opposed majority rule, opposed women voting, opposed a bill to end discrimination against black Bahamians led by Dupuch.

You wanna be a cuck for the UBP? go ahead. But don't talk fool around here making them out to be heroes. The Bahamas never had heroes. Eery single government we've had has seen their cabinet Ministers and MPs become millionaires while the average Bahamian scraps by to get through.

It wasn't about scandal, it was about the system they put in place, like the Sir Stafford Sands model of plantation economics which will still follow today. The Bahamas has been and still is a plantation.

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The_Oracle 3 days, 23 hours ago

DaGoobs is right, self serving Political failures self dealing awards after self dealing spoils. Trying desperately to re-write history.

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John 3 days, 22 hours ago

So basically what is being said is that Pop Symnonette was the Pablo Escobar of the Rum running Era. He was doing nothing more with rum than Samuel 'Ninety' Knowles or Austin "Ossie" Knowles or Sean Issacs was doing with drugs. And even more than Sebas Bastian or Criag Flowers were doing when numbers were illegal. But the country (current government) sees the need to bestow the highest honors on this man. Not let the dead rest in peace. And so this is not new and should not upset or shock anyone. After all, one of the most notorious pirates of the time was asked to clean up his act, and even without polish, he was made governor of these islands. Same shift, different day. Many do not know that two of the most celebrated presidents of the United States (prior to Barak Obama) lost their lives for illegal drugs. And in those cases they were elected to shut down international drug operations their father had started but had now grown out of control. That was in the 60's. And today illicit drugs is a multi-trillion business. The Bahamas is still listed as a narco-trafficking state even as most of the proclaimed drug lords of the current era are either dead or in jail. None being left to become premier or prime minister even...no sir!

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licks2 3 days, 19 hours ago

Anybody understand this mixed-up . . .I don't know what to call this. . .the only thing makes sense is that Woods Rogers was given amnesty and because of his "pirate skills" was commissioned as GG to the islands and was given the mandate to clear out pirates!! As for the rest of that post. . .where do you get your information from. . . I know that it is in your head. . .but I want to know where you get it from before it is "jumbled up" in you head?

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DWW 1 day, 12 hours ago

there is just so much wrong with this gibberish, John. The kennedys were assassinated for reasons related to the Vietnam War and not the illegal drug trade. Alcohol was completely 100% legal in the Bahamas and british empire so Symonette did not do anything illegal or wrong. rum runners were not pirates because they weren't doing naything wrong. the american side to ran the leg from ship to US shores were doing the illegal stuff. Bahamians just provided an off shore store. read some real books for a change John.

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John 3 days, 18 hours ago

@licks2: Maybe you can tell what part of the post you are having trouble with so I can help you with your problem.

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licks2 3 days, 16 hours ago

Another example, two American president killed for drug involvements when Abraham Linclon April 14th, 1865; J. A. Garfield Sept. 1881; William Mckinley 1901 and J. F. Kennedy 1963. . .besides those four no other USA President was killed before Obama became president.

You may be eluding to the accusation that "Big Joe Kennedy" was involved in rum running out of Canada during prohibition. . .the Warren commission/CIA/FBI and multiple conspiracy groups could not tell clearly why JFK was killed. The prevailing theory is that he was killed for "pulling the plug" on the Bay of Pigs Invasion planning!! You seem to know what the rest of the world don't know. . .

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John 3 days, 12 hours ago

Maybe you should dig just a little deeper and uncover the truth for yourself. The documents have been declassified and now available to the public. Then if you can't find them my own are in safe keeping.

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licks2 3 days, 15 hours ago

Let me help ya some . . .woman suffrage came to the Bahamas 1952 (pushed by the Elkes Lodge of USA who got their own in 1950). . .the PLP was born 1953 with the UBP Caucasus forming in 1950. . .becoming government 1958 to 1967 UNDER BRITISH GOVERNMENT!! The Mr. Symonette became Premier in 1964 when Britain granted self-rule in the Bahamas. Britain gave up government of the Bahamas in1964. . .the UBP was government from then to election 1967 where L.O.P. took over the lead of government! The UBP had 3 years of ruling this nation as government. . .1964 to 1967 election! Neither the UBP and PLP had power of local/self rule until 1964 when this power was granted by the British. No vote for woman was under the British government. . .never under any Bahamian governments! Ay advantage the bay street boys had when they came into government in 1964 were given directly by the British government. . .Symonette took over home rule in 1964 with the PLP at 11 years old. . .with L.O.P. and THE FIREY BUNCH IN THE PLP there alive and kicking! The UBP had 3 years with the PLP in their faces at all times, every step of the way! During the battle you speak of, L.O.P. joined the PLP 1953 and was appointed party legal advisor until he became party parliamentary leader in 1956 after the PLP lost the election with Stevenson as leader.
The Britain gave home government to the UBP(PREDOMINATLY WHITE) in 1964. . .who held and unpaid parliament since the time of pirates. . .they made no laws, controlled no monies, were responsible for no government services or protections whatsoever. . .they were just that. . .a bunch influence peddlers hob knobbing with the British elite. . .who were all overseas colonial public servants. . .influential blacks had the same paneling power as well to better their states. Many of them did!! So you can see. . .if you want to. . .MOST OF THE CRAP THE BLACK MAN HAVE TO DEAL WITH WAS PUT IN PLACE BY BLACK AND WHITE INFLUENCE PEDDELERS TO THE BRITISH POWER TO GET AHEAD FOR FRIENDS, FAMLIES AND LOVERS. . .

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DWW 1 day, 12 hours ago

thank you. the clarity is needed in this brogadagious comment stream.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 days, 18 hours ago

Most of you posting here will have your attention similarly diverted away from the much more serious issues of the day when Minnis believes it's a good time to play his next race card - PUTTING SIR ROLAND'S FACE ON OUR ONE HUNDRED DOLLAR BANK NOTE!

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CaptainCoon 3 days, 17 hours ago

exactly where this man should be! We've disparaged his name for too long!

He was a man of the people.

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Greentea 3 days, 16 hours ago

I just want someone to list the accomplishments of these fellas- their contributions to the country - I don't care if they are yellow, red, black or white- what did they DO to deserve this honor? Being first premier or prime minister ain't enough for me. What did they do? I don't think Mr. Symonette can claim much. I want someone to prove me wrong.

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DDK 3 days, 16 hours ago

Biography[edit]

Roland "Pop" Symonette was one of nine children of Methodist minister Edwin Symonette and his wife Lavania (née Weech) on the small island settlement of Current, Eleuthera.

Although he had only six years of formal education, Symonette became one of the wealthiest men of his generation. An autodidact and lifelong advocate of education, he was a school teacher early in his career, but, during Prohibition, Symonette transported whiskey to the United States. With the profits from bootlegging, he invested in real estate, hotels, a shipyard and eventually a wide range of philanthropic interests, including Camp Symonette, originally built for the youth of the Bahamas. The Symonette family's holdings have never been publicly confirmed, but public speculation has placed it between $700 million and $2.5 billion USD.

In 1925, Symonette campaigned successfully for a seat in the Bahamas' House of Assembly. He served in the House, representing the Shirlea district until his retirement in 1977. His 52 years as a Member of Parliament is the longest record of service in the House of Assembly.

Symonette served as the head of government of the Bahama Islands from 1955 to 1964 and in 1964, when the country achieved internal self-government, he became the first Premier of the Bahama Islands. In 1959, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

The 1967 British Royal Commission of Inquiry reported that Symonette received 5,000 pounds from the U.S. casino interests who had left Cuba and were seeking a greater presence in The Bahamas. This sum was so modest to a man of Symonette's wealth that it is thought that he was acting as an informant to US intelligence agencies, who were concerned lest mobsters reestablish enterprises like the ones they operated in Cuba before the revolution. (See article on Prime Minister Lynden Pindling, who succeeded Symonette in 1967, his $57million+ involvement in Illegal drug trade in the Bahamas See also Sir Stafford Sands.

Source: Masters of Paradise: Organised Crime and the Internal Revenue Service in the Bahamas by Alan Block page 41 as quoted below:

"…Of those on the executive council who were lobbied so in intensely and extensively, Sir Roland Symonette was the most reluctant and disturbed. Soon to become the first premier of the Bahamas with the passage of a new constitution in 1964, Symonette was morally opposed to gambling. And even though he finally accepted a modest consultancy agreement with DEVCO, he still could not bring himself to vote for the certificate. Shortly after this difficult and morally ambiguous period, Symonette became premier and resigned his consultancy, having collected only 5,000 pounds.(21)"

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licks2 3 days, 15 hours ago

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. . .what a breath of fresh air. . .laying down the facts as they are and holding the torch for nobody!!!

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realitycheck242 3 days, 14 hours ago

OVER 100 COMMENTS FOR THIS ISSUE >>>THIS MUST BE A RECORD FOR THIS "Clash Over Hero Of ‘Racist Regime’" article

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sheeprunner12 3 days, 14 hours ago

Even the post-Cold War democratic Germany did not rewrite their post-WW1 history to acknowledge the "good" of Hitler .......... because he was part of a regime that (at its core) was antithetical to modern civilization .... that is my point.

You cannot put lipstick (honours) on a pig (Pop) and call it beautiful (hero).

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John 3 days, 12 hours ago

The facts are there may be no White Bahamian worthy of receiving an honor or, in the alternative, willing to accept one. Not because there are none worthy, but because many have shunned politics of the form of public life that would allow them to be called to the podium over the past decades. So they have to dig up the dead to balance things out.

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sheeprunner12 2 days, 19 hours ago

We are again missing the point ........... the modern Bahamas began with the settlement of Eleuthera in 1648 ......... Some in that colonial age put their lives on the line to defend these islands ........ but we are stuck with the PLP history of this country now.

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licks2 19 hours, 12 minutes ago

The key word for blinded PLPs is seminal contribution. . .establishing our two primary economic pillars (tourism and banking) which brought us to 3rd highest GDP in the western atmosphere. . . formed a family conglomerate that is the biggest in the country. . .without tiefing of poor people lands. . .heritage is the biggest loan component for a cross-section of Bahamians. . .something all the PLPs put together did not get even close. . .THE PRIMARY NATIONAL HERO HE IS. . .THE FACTS SPEAKS FOR ITSELF!!

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