| NEWSLETTER October
Our New Jubilee Journal will be coming soon free to paid up members!
We also have for sale previous Journals from 1979 to 2008 for a price of $5 ($3 for students) each. And we have only six full sets for sale at $100 per set.....more sets can be made up with a CD of 1991 Journal. Two gentlemen, who are enjoying full sets are the Honourable Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham and former Governor-General Sir Orville Turnquest.
Dont forget our next talk: Thursday, October 15, 2009, at 6 pm - Dr Ronald V. Shaklee - "In Search of San Salvador: A Cartographic Odyssey." Christopher Columbus made his first landfall in the New World on October 12, 1492. Columbus affixed the name of San Salvador to the island that served as the site of his first landfall. Columbus left the island behind in search of the gold and riches of the Indies and never returned. The island of San Salvador, quite literally, fell off of the face of the earth following its role as the landfall of Columbus. The controversy over where Columbus first landed continues to this day. In an effort to determine if early maps of the region might have recorded the island of Columbus’ landfall I surveyed 16th, 17th, and 18th century maps available from various internet sites to determine how the island we currently identify as San Salvador was portrayed on these early maps.
Parking in the ex Psilinakis car park north of the Museum on Elizabeth Avenue – entrance via First Caribbean Bank entrance on Shirley Street.
Don't forget to get your tickets to the Jubilee Banquet on 7th November at Sandals.
It is with great sadness we feel the loss of Sir Clement T Maynard but celebrate his talk to the Society in September 2007. I had the pleasure of introducing him on that evening.
Our condolences to the family and friends.
I am no James Joyce but sometimes I find that I find myself in a ‘stream-of-consciousness’ mode. Anthony ‘Skeebo’ Roberts mentioned to me one day that he would like to research and write about the ‘Gallant Thirty’ and I coincidently found the ship they sailed out on. Out of the blue Paul Aranha sent me a list of the contingent and then in one of my recent letters I wrote about the IODE and their Poppy Day Dances. All this reminded me that it will soon be Remembrance Day and that we that know what it is all about should do something to raise public awareness of the debt we owe these heroes.
The Gallant 30 Go Off to the First World War
(The text is mostly taken from The Story of the Bahamas by Paul Albury)
The Bahamas received the news of the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 via the year old Marconi wireless system.
Crowds milled about the government bulletin board to catch every scrap of information as soon as it was posted. Newspapers were quickly bought up as sellers moved along the streets shouting: 'Extra! Extra! Latest War News!' Sponge and sisal merchants were informed by telegram that the markets of the world had collapsed in the face of a possible global upheaval and the resulting uncertainty.
On 7 August, three days after Britain entered the war, the Legislature was called into special session. The Governor, Mr Haddon-Smith, informed members that a bill would be introduced to legalize the issuing of necessary proclamations. He spoke of the blow to trade, the probability of hard times for Bahamians, and the possible necessity of relief measures. And he requested the Legislature to authorize the Governor-in-Council to provide what relief might be required.
That same evening, a public meeting was held in Rawson Square. The Governor pointed out that imported food might soon become scarce, and that Bahamians should exercise economy and do all they could to make the colony self-sufficient. A War Relief Committee was formed under the chairmanship of the Speaker of the House of Assembly. The first job this Committee set itself was to undertake a monetary collection. Voluntary contributions came from the well-to-do and the not so well-to-do. Gold sovereigns were mixed with widows' mites. Many workers gave a day's pay; children gave their pennies and half-pennies. Before the end of the year £3000 had been sent to London.
The economic gloom came to be overshadowed by a buoyant spirit of patriotism, the likes of which had not been known since the war of 1812. Many Bahamians were anxious to get into the actual fighting and, after undergoing preliminary training, the first group of selected volunteers turned out on the Eastern Parade for all the town to see. The Governor's wife presented them with a silken flag bearing the colony's Coat of Arms. The flag was attached to an historic staff which had once carried the colours of the old Bahama Militia. On 1 September 1915 this first contingent known as the 'Gallant Thirty' sailed. They were followed by a second contingent of 105 men in November 1915 and, in the following May, by a third contingent of eighty-seven men.
Altogether, 486 volunteers departed officially to become a part of the British West India Regiment. Other Bahamians joined the regular British, Canadian or American forces, making a grand total of about 700 men. Of those who enlisted in the colony, six were killed in action, three died from wounds and twenty-eight died from other causes.
The cost to the Treasury of recruiting, equipping and despatching Bahamian volunteers was £27,621. Expenditure for a Home Defence Force amounted to £8655. To these two items must be added other contributions made by the Government, which collectively totalled £47,292. Voluntary contributions from the people amounted to £10,316. The economy of the colony did not suffer as much as had been anticipated. Exports to European markets were adversely affected, but those to the United States held up well. In fact some products forged ahead of pre-war years. For example during 1917 sponge sales at the local Exchange totalled £152,000, exceeding the best previous year, 1913, by £53,000. And sisal did better still, bringing in £181,700.
Government revenue, in 1913, amounted to a little more than £100,000. But that was an exceptional year, being more than £23,000 greater than the average of the preceding five years. During the war years it hovered between £77,000 and £90,000, which compared most favourably with pre-war receipts. However, there were annual deficits due chiefly to expenses connected with the contingents. These were met by loans which increased the public debt from £43,000 to £69,000.
Rosemary Hanna wishes to alert our members to the St Agnes Anglican Church website at www.stagnesgt.com. You might find the "Church History", "Biographies" and "Feature Articles" sections of particular interest.
Also for religious music lovers: Fourth Annual Festival of Hymns & Anthems - 15th November 2009. Under the direction of Rosemary C. Hanna. Accompanists: Edward Cox, Allison Dean & Dexter...
We had such a wonderful turnout at our last talk with Prof. Shaklee. Thanks to Andrea Major for photos:
Don’t forget our Banquet: A Gala Golden Jubilee Banquet under the distinguished patronage of His Excellency, The Hon. Arthur D. Hanna, Governor General of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas, is planned for Saturday, 7th November, 2009, at Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort Ballroom, Cable Beach, and New Providence, Bahamas. Cocktails at 7 pm. Dinner at 8 pm. Dancing and serenading music by Doc's Melody Makers along with other entertainment. Donation $100.00 per person. A souvenir programme is being produced and ad spaces are still open. Tickets are available at BHS and through Committee members. To reserve banquet tickets, and for further information, telephone (242) 322-4231 (daytime).
Eight deserving BHS faithful members, supporters and volunteers will be honoured during the Banquet. These prominent Bahamian citizens, some of whom were past presidents of the Society, are: Geoffrey A. D. Johnstone, KCMG, Dr. Vernell L. Allen, MBE, Dr. D. Gail Saunders, OBE, Mr. David Cates, Miss June Maura, OBE, MVO, Mr. Donald Venn-Brown, Miss M. Barbara Brown, MBE, and Mrs. Dorothea "Dollie" Foster.
And our Next talks: Thursday, 26th November, 2009 Presentation by: Darius Williams, on Liberated African Settlements in the Northern Islands of The Bahamas.
Thursday, Dec. 3/09 Presentation by: Jane Baxter along with co-author Michael Marshall: Historical Cemeteries and Burial Practices on San Salvador. An "Archaeological" Study.