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NEWSLETTER December 2010

Our next talk: Thursday, 2nd December at 7pm
“Excavations at the Farquarson Plantation, San Salvador” by Dr Jane Baxter.


Please note the later time.

Jane Eva Baxter is Associate Professor and Chair of Anthropology at DePaul University. She completed her doctorate degree in 2000 from the University of Michigan where she wrote her dissertation on the archaeology of childhood, a topic on which she continues to publish. Dr. Baxter began working on the island of San Salvador in 2004 with her project co-director John Burton where they have excavated at Polly Hill Plantation, Kerr Mount Plantation, and most recently at Prospect Hill (Farquharson's) Plantation. She also has an ongoing project on historical and industrial archaeology of the Pullman Community in Chicago. Her most recent book is Archaeological Field Schools: A Guide for Teaching in the Field (Left Coast Press 2009) and she is a regular contributor to the Journal of the Bahamas Historical Society.

Between 6pm and 7pm we will have a Bahamas Book Christmas Sale ....we can save you a few dollars. We will serve refreshments from 6pm and fellowship again after the talk with eats and drinks.

The 2010 Journal of the Bahamas Historical Society was mailed this morning to all paid up members. Thanks to the assistance of Postmaster General Leslie Cartwright and to Mr Greg Carroll of Nassau Paper for their generous donations to the Society.

Thanks also are due to Christopher Eve and wife Frances for their kind donation of an artist’s impression of the Cotton Gin designed by his great great grandfather, Loyalist, Joseph Eve. Pictured below are the Eves presenting the artwork to President Jim Lawlor, flanked by Craig Mortimer and Janet Johnson of Ministry of Tourism. (Thanks to Andrea Major for Photo)

Here are the youtube links to the presentation by Christopher Eve and his wife last week Thursday. (Thanks again to Robert Dorsett our faithful camera man)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ok3ZnXG_Ptg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyVqHdPx3Zg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIaVL0wrzwE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_VuZBsZxjQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sHBi6G50eo


One of my previous newsletter credited Joseph Eve with building St. Matthew's Church. Paul Aranha writes: “While this might be a basic truth, the church that one sees today looks very different from the structure that Eve erected. Eve's church had no steeple and, as reported in 1886, the present appearance of St. Matthew's is thanks, not to Eve, but to my great grandfather: - F. J. Aranha was awarded the contract to build a new chancel for St. Matthew's Anglican Church, extending the original building to the east, the north and the south. The laying of corner stone was reported in the May 8, 1886 edition of The Nassau Guardian & Bahama Islands Advocate & Intelligencer." After the choir had sung "The Church's one foundation ... the trowel was handed to the Bishop by Mr. F. J. Aranha, the Contractor ..."


These fresh young smiling faces are the students of DePaul University, Chicago, who visited The Bahamas Historical Society Museum on 1st December.

Dr Jane Baxter (green shirt) and Dr John Burton (red shirt) were the hard task masters, who created a museum quiz to ensure the students learned their lessons.

The students buckled down to the work!

And actually enjoyed themselves doing it.

Other students, who have enjoyed a visit to our museum this school year:
27th October – St Andrew’s Grade 3 – 60 students
27th October – St Andrew’s Grade 6 – 63 students
25th November – Kingsway Academy – 61 students.

Hopefully these visits will foster a new awareness of our rich history in young people.


We had a wonderful evening last Thursday Evening 2nd December. A good crowd came out to celebrate our Christmas Fare and Book Sale (which we have held open for another week).

Pictured below with President Jim Lawlor are Dr John Burton and Dr Jane Baxter, who described their archaeology research on San Salvador in general and on the Farquarson Plantations.

We had an appreciative audience. (Thanks to Andrea Major for the photos)

And we really enjoyed the food and drinks aferwards thanks to the Management Committee led by Beryl Strachan.

And thanks also to June Maura, Sarah Oenbring and Cora Carey for their hard work on the book sale.

And another expression of gratitude to the volunteers who keep the museum during the year

Here are the links to Jane Baxter's and John Burton's presentation last Thursday.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2bT8EgZmxg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLP2kDa-ugI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6bW2zjPU_0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vc2sGdSWZCM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MS_PIWq2syg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqGz5QAY8vE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIJ9NdRsdrY

It might be of interest to know that the Dictionary of Bahamian English by John Holm and Allison Schilling is now on line.

http://www.dloc.com/IR00000128/00001


Hobby Horse Hall

The museum of the Bahamas Historical Society is a magic mirror to the past. The outer reflections on the walls are the bones of history but in the inside the draws and cupboards we glimpse the folk and the world they lived in.

I recently unearthed these images that not only show our historical past but evoke strong emotions from the memory of an entertainment facility that gave employment to many people.

Jockeys weighing in at Hobby Horse Hall
(Photos Freddie Maura c1945 and the pictures were donated to the Bahamas Historical Society by Mr Soldwedel)

At about this same time last year Harold Munnings wrote a group letter that brought response from some individuals:

Dear All,

In 1937, my grandparents' horse, Morning Star, won the Duke of Kent Cup at Hobby Horse Hall. On Sunday I went rambling about the old race track and took these pics. I've been wanting to do this for years

His pictures reflected his thoughts

Approach to the grand stand. I'm somewhere near the spot where the prize was presented to my grandmom I think

Standing under the balcony

Overgrown stairway entrance

It was deathly quiet but there was lots of evidence of crack addicts using the place

View down the main straightaway. Decaying steel girders overhead and in the deathly quiet I kept listening for sounds of collapse. A rusted and broken spiral metal staircase led to an observation deck above the roof. Even I was not crazy enough to try get up there.

View from the stands

And I am sure one year later Harold’s greeting is still valid - Best wishes to all the Christmas and in the coming year.

The good old days are good and gone.
Cheers, a toast to the good times past. Robin Roberts

I have been looking at these ruins for years and always wished to explore them as my father, the late Basil North and my cousin Angela Archer Scott rode in the gentlemen's and ladies' races at some point and I think that my mother , the late Audrey Isaacs North used to work there part time as many Bahamians did in those days. The next time you go exploring there let me know.

All the best for the New Year.

Gail S.

My maternal grandfather, Johnny Saunders,was a horse owner and avid patron of Hobby Horse Hall.His horse was named Anne , after one of my cousins (his granddaughter) and his jockey's colours were red and white in recognition of St. George's Sporting Club which represented "Out East PEOPLE".
Further, one of the first jobs my wife, Sandy, got was at the race track where her bosses were the late Reg Labosky and Garth Kemp.
Hobby Horse Hall holds a lot of memories for many Bahamians as it opened employment opportunities for many Bahamians as horse owners, horse trainers, jockeys, veterinarians,HANDICAPPERS,ticket sellers and a range of activities. In essence it created a sustainable industry and acted as well as a social outlet for thousands.Hobby Horse Hall represented an era-an epoch ,which ,in many ways, came to an abrupt end.How sad?
Maybe there should be a "movement" to revive the Aura of a new Hobby Horse Hall.
Godfrey Eneas

AND there were a more longer letters from Jackson Burnside and Larry Smith

Here is a good one for Hobby Horse Hall Memorabilia... From Chrisopher Goodfellow

My mother, Ann Treglown Goodfellow on left, Errol Flynn (Orginal "Robin Hood") and my Aunt Betty Treglown Goodfellow on right.

I believe the date was 1952 or1954 but cannot be certain. I have another photo of Alexis Nihon, my grandfather, WIlliam Treglown and my mother as well somewhere and I will try and dig it up.

My family's association with Hobby Horse Hall goes back a long way. My father, John Tiliacos, owned stables of race horses, many of them cup winners - among them Venus and Mr. John. I still have the first cup my father's horse, Venus, won, as well as a photo of him with the horse and trophy during the presentation. My sister, Irene, also has a trophy from another win.

I spent many a long afternoon down at the stables with my father and the trainers and jockeys. In the 60's and 70's my father, along with the late Si Amoury and George Ageeb owned ATAC racing stables. They built new stables for their horses down at Hobby Horse Hall. I can remember going to the races with my father and sitting in his box in the stands. It brings back such happy memories.

My father really had a passion for horses and horse racing. I can even remember the first Hobby Horse Hall, before it burned down. I believe it was rebuilt late 50's early 60's.

Ann Marie Tiliacos Hanson

Jim, I worked at HHH in the early 1950s . I will find the time to write about some of the experiences. My dad also worked there.
J. Barrie Farrington, CBE Sr. Vice President – Administration Kerzner International Bahamas Ltd.

From Juliana (Esfakis) Horne
Hobby Horse Hall was where The Bahamas Pony Club was formed in 1961. One of the original members was Linda Hensler, now deceased, myself and others. Our first meetings were held there and we rode horses that that track no longer considered racing prospects. Lady Greta Oaks gave the club use of a piece of land behind the Hobby Horse Hall by the swamp - there we kept horses for the club and club members.
Diane Plummer (Taylor) was the District Commissioner of the Club. She lived in the Westward Village neighbourhood, and often in heavy rains had to move the horses to her back yard.
The club remained here until 1964 when Huntington Hartford offered us space in the barn at Paradise Island. Several of the grooms from Hobby Horse Hall also came to Paradise Island to care for the horses and watch over the club members, Otis Gray and Cubby, are two I remember. A few years later when the club moved its quarters to the old pig sties at Orange Hill, where Fawlty Towers now is located, Otis Gray came too. The club folded in 1967 after many of the original group had gone away to college/university.
I have some old photos of the club members and sure there are some in my father's photo and film collection.

Have a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year!

Kind regards,

Jim Lawlor,
President.

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