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NEWSLETTER September 2010

Dear Members and Friends,

It is hoped that we have all benefitted from a wonderful summer break. It has been tinged with sadness at the death of long time member and volunteer Joan Johnson.

I receive many interesting e mails – some that I would like to share. From Dee Allott: "I have a framed picture (large) that my father (who worked for the National Geographic magazine at the time) took in Nassau, I would think in the 30's." - In fact it was the then Governor Sir Bede and Lady Clifford with Prince George, Duke of Kent, and his wife Marina.

From Evan W. Lowe: "Stumbled across your website and was interested to know if you had any information on historic George Street in Nassau. I have collected several photos and have read excerpts from Valeria Moseley Moss but none seem to go into depths of the families that lived on the east side of that street. Oral family indicates that two sisters Nellie Saunders and Mabel Louise Griffin, nee Hall, lived there until the fire that destroyed the property. Mabel Louise Griffin was my great grandmother and my mother recalls visiting her on King & George Street opposite Christ Church Cathedral. My mom states that Nellie Saunders lived in the other half of the block extending to Bay Street. My mom recalls that Griffin portion of the estate had to be destroyed by dynamite in order to save the church. As a teenager back in the late 1980's I started to do some research but did not get very far. A photo in the July 30, 1987 Tribune "Looking Down George Street" references these 2 sisters and their families. This was a result of my visit to the Tribune. I do not recall who I spoke with. Any information on these families or the fire that detroyed this estate would be appreciated. I would also love a copy of the photo in the 19876 articled in the Tribune (by Stanley Toogood)."

Tatt & Embroidery

Last Thursday week I arrived home to find a cardboard box containing Tatt and Embroidery and two phone messages. One was from Jonathon Murray inviting the Society to become involved in a Carribean Film Festival (October 1st - 11th) and the other from Nancy Cole. Nancy was very influential in the Bahamas Historical Society for many years until she moved to Exuma seven years ago. She is particularly remembered for the fine fashion shows she organized for the yearly luncheon fund raiser. Nancy Cole paid us a visit last Saturday Morning to discuss what we might do with the box of Tatt and Embroidery produced by her Grandmother, Gertrude Higgs. She thought that it might be a useful addition to the BHS Museum and that it could be a topic at one of our meetings. Anne and I learnt a lot from our chat with Nancy. We already knew that Anne’s great grandmother, Henrietta Bethel taught Tatting to Patsy Fountain (the late Lady Isaacs) but Nancy informed us that Anne’s grandma Florrie Brown and Gertrude Higgs used to Tatt and chat on the Brown’s porch. They were also were members of the Ebenezer Methodist ladies, who up to this day still produce fine crafts and needlework for their annual fair. Nancy drew the various items out of the box a baby’s cap, dress and a table cloths all Tatted and explained that Tatting was produced by poking thread through the cloth and drawing thread through to form a pattern of holes. Each pattern has a name. She pulled out cloth, coasters, handkerchiefs and christening dresses embroidered and used for many generations of the Higgs family. Some dated back to the late 18th century and from 1936 – fixed in Nancy’s mind as the time she joined her grandma on her Tatting periods on the front porch of members of the Ebenezer Ladies Tatting and Embroidery team.


Opening talk of the season: Thursday 30th September at 6pm.
"A Tribute to Diana Pullinger, Artist and Illustrator" by Jim Lawlor.

Many artists do not receive the recognition they deserve during their lifetime. One such artist is Diana Pullinger, who lived and produced some of her greatest work in the Bahamas. Visitors to the Bahamas Historical Museum marvel at the two illustrated Bahamian History Screens painted by Diana Pullinger. We later found out that she also painted the Stations of the Cross at St Phillip’s Anglican Church, Inagua, and a large mural at the Nassau International Airport. For many months we tried to discover more about the identity of Diana. In late March 2010, a telephone call from Lee (Erickson) Ingram created a buzz of excitement as she revealed that she knew Diana and had in her possession sketch books that gave some information about the artist’s background. The Bahamas Historical Society has decided to publish a booklet of the History of the Bahamas in Pictures and we are asking our members to make a donation toward the publishing cost. We feel that visitors to the museum will buy a souvenir booklet and that it would be useful as a Primary School reader. Lee Ingram has already donated $1000 toward the project.


Some interesting e mails I have received:

From John Bethell: Jim, further to Evan Lowe's email to you, my grandfather and grandmother lived on George Street. Their house number was 29 and it was situated immediately south of the Cathedral. I spent many Saturdays there in my childhood and have fond memories of George Street.
Kind regards,
John Bethell

From Eric Wiberg: Dear friends – I had a pleasant surprise in that the leading Russian TV station called today to interview me about “the history of the Bahamas in World War II”, having found me through my ongoing book research site, www.uboatsbahamas.com. If you don’t mind I would like to suggest you as possible contacts/resources for their research, since you are all knowledgeable about the subject, or could point them in the right direction. If you do NOT want them to contact you, please let me know soon, as I would like to help them on their research and presume you might have an interest. They will be interviewing the Governor-General in October and a short show will air to as many as 150 million people this fall.
Eric

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