Dear Members and Friends,
It is that time of year again. The Annual General Meeting of the Bahamas
Historical Society will take place at the museum Thursday 14th April at
6pm – The reports of the last year will be read and election of
Officers will take place.
And of course it marks the start of the new financial year and membership
fees are due. Thank you if you have already paid for 2011/12. Please note
that we only send the yearly journal to paid up members.
The sharing of a meal together has been a mark of the
great civilized societies through time. For example Plato wrote of the
Symposium, a love feast and Christians share bread and wine reminiscent
of the Last Supper.
The yearly Bahamas Historical Society Lunch Fashion
Show does not pretend to rise to those heights but it is an enjoyable
fun day where members and their friends get together and have excellent
food and a good gossip plus there is the excitement of winning door or
The details of the day are:
Bahamas Historical Society
Buffet lunch/Fashion Show
Nassau Yacht Club
Thursday 5th May 2011 at 12.30 pm
Tickets: Clarice Granger 362-4600 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Aranha sent this interesting snippet which he titled:
“The Man has spoken”
Paul Albury (from "Paul Albury: The Man and his
Writings" by Jim Lawlor – still not published)
In August 1921, the largest Bahamian built four masted sailing schooner
the Marie J Thompson slid down the slipway into the harbour of Harbour
Island. As the band played stirring music to herald that event, Ma Lolly
Albury, watching from under the shade of the fig tree, felt that joyous
stirring in her womb that announced the impending birth of her fourth
son - Edwin Paul Albury was born on the 13th March 1922.
Although moving to Nassau at the age of fifteen, Paul never forgot his
precious upbringing in Harbour Island in the midst of a loving family,
relatives and neighbours, who looked out for each other in times of hardship
and rejoiced at family occasions. The community was made up mainly of
hardy seafaring men and their industrious wives, who ran their homes.
They were typical examples of the protestant work ethic with strong moral
values that St Paul calls ‘the fruits of the spirit’.
Paul carried these ‘fruits of the spirit’ to school at Queen’s
College, Nassau, Her Majesty’s Royal Canadian Navy and at McGill
University, where through self-discipline and hard work he qualified as
a dentist. He settled back in Nassau, setting up his dental practice,
raising a family and finding the time to serve his country as Head of
the Dental Association, Founding member and President of Nassau East Rotary
Club, President of St Andrew’s School Board, Commodore of the Nassau
Yacht Club, Senator in the Legislative Council and as he is best remembered
– as President of the Bahamas Historical Society, of which he was
a founder member.
In his beautiful eulogy on the death of his friend in 1987, Sir Geoffrey
Johnstone wrote about Paul’s love of Harbour Island:
Harbour Island. It never got out of his system. When he could afford it,
he bought as his summer residence "The Battery", perched
on a rise overlooking the harbour and the Eleuthera commonage to the west.
His face would become wreathed in smiles at the mere mention of its name.
Every August it became his retreat for the entire month. It was the wellspring
of his labour, the subtle alchemist that could transmute life's leaden
metal into gold. There he could return to his roots. From this spot, he
could go "haulin" with Robbie and his kinsmen and his friends
in the long boat. Here he held court and rejoiced in the company of old
friends. From this place he could see the boats come and go. And as the
heat of the summer's day subsided, he could watch the incandescent beauty
of a Bahamian sunset staining the waters of the harbour with its
crimson hue. This place gave a man space to breathe, time to think. Time
to think about the meaning of life. About eternity. About the richness
of God's grace and the boundless measure of His love.
The subtle alchemist in his lifetime wrote two books, many articles and
speeches that were published but at his death he left many nuggets of
gold unpublished and some unfinished.
This is Paul’s description of the inaugural meeting of Bahamas historical
Society in 1959:
The inaugural meeting of the Bahamas Historical Society is still fresh
in my memory. It was the sort of gathering which is not easily forgotten,
because of the general excitement, the great throng which was anxious
to be enrolled as charter members and the prominent and capable men
and women who were to lead the organization. Lady Arthur must have experienced
the most exquisite feelings of satisfaction, for it was she who had undertaken
the task of launching the Society into the cultural arena of Bahamian
We would appreciate your support as the donations go toward the maintenance
of the museum which is badly in need of an extreme make-over.
Reminders: Thursday 7th April at 6pm. Dion Hanna - Land and Freedom: One
Bahamas and a Tale of Two Cities.
All talks at our museum corner of Shirley Street and Elizabeth Avenue
Parking at the ex Psilinakis carpark north of the museum on Elizabeth
Ave. Entrance via First Caribbean Bank on Shirley Street.
The Annual General Meeting of the Bahamas Historical Society will take
place at the museum Thursday 14th April at 6pm
AND Membership fees are due in April......If you cannot attend the luncheon
please add a few dollars to your fees to support the cost of maintenance.
Mrs Karen Cargill of Kerzner International asked if we
had any information on the little chapel on Club Med grounds on Paradise
(Hog) Island. She sent the pictures below:
Charles Stronach who worked on Club Med told me it was
built by the Killams of Grey Leath and that it was French. I met Mrs Clap
(a former teacher of English at Queen’s College with Roger Kelty)
at the airport and she also said that the stones came over when Huntington
Hartford built the Cloisters.
I researched the following about it and Anne and I will write something
in the upcoming 2nd update of the Paradise Island Story.
What is going to happen on the Club Med property?…Barrie Farrington
says it is not decided yet.
Research So Far:
Izaak Walton Killam (July 23, 1885 – August 5, 1955) was one of
Canada’s most eminent financiers. Born in Yarmouth Nova Scotia,
Killam rose from paper boy in Yarmouth to become one of Canada's wealthiest
After prohibition Graycliff was the private residence of
Canadians Mr. & Mrs. I. Walton Killiam. They summered in Montreal
and wintered in Nassau. They completely renovated the mansion and built
the swimming pool and tropical gardens next to the pool cottage. After
her husband’s death Mrs. Killam stayed on at Graycliff until her
death in 1964.
Was Gray Leath Paradise island built by the Killams in the 1930s along
with the French Chapel (was it the same stones as the cloisters?)….The
pool of Grey Leath was used to film the shark scene in the James Bond
Scott Campbell, executive chef of Vince & Eddie's and
Fishin Eddie, believes so strongly in the curative and health-promoting
properties of garlic that for the past six years he has had a Garlic Festival
in August at Vince & Eddie's in New York, creating special recipes
for the event.
Taking this garlic interest a step further -- from August
23-30, Chef Scott will test the superstition that garlic keeps ghosts
away during his visit as part of Club Med's "Finer Things in Life"
celebration at Club Med Paradise Island, Bahamas.
The ghost in question is millionairess Mrs. Killam, the
former owner of one of the three elegant estates (Killiam, Mcclory and
Sam Clap) that make up the 23-acre Club Med property. Locals have confirmed
sightings of Mrs. Killam's ghost floating in the luxuriant estate gardens
and the million-dollar swimming pool at Greyleath.
To keep Club Med's ghost away, Chef Scott will demonstrate
and provide samplings of a variety of unusual and tasty garlic specialties
around the same swimming pool and manor house during a week of epicurean
events. Featured recipes include: Garlic Ice Cream; Mexican Scallop Ceviche
ce·vi·che or se·vi·che
Raw fish marinated in lime or lemon juice with olive oil and spices and
served as an appetizer.
[American Spanish, from Spanish cebiche, fish stew, from
with Sweet Garlic and Cilantro; Garlic and Scallop Flan with Lobster Tarragon
Sauce; and Roasted Garlic.
On Hog Island is the Porcupine Club, for swanky and exclusive
food, drink and bathing. Nearby is also the home of Nassau's greatest
dowager, Lady Williams Taylor
1913 Porcupine Club, an elite club for the "very rich," opens
on Hog Island. Members would include Andrew Mellon, J.P. Morgan, Howard
Hughes and Vincent Astor.
The Cloisters (Excerpt from “The Paradise Island Story” by
Paul Albury and updated by Anne and Jim Lawlor
The gardens (at Shangri-la now Ocean Club) are indeed a scene of singular
attraction and timeless beauty. Across the roadway from the gardens and
up a flight of stone steps stands an interesting structure on the very
crest of the hill. This is The Cloister, an edifice of great interest
to visitors. A fourteenth-century Augustinian cloister, this structure
was purchased in France a number of years ago by the American newspaper
magnate, William Randolph Hearst, who had it taken down and brought to
Florida where the pieces remained in crates. The lot was subsequently
purchased by Hartford who employed J J Castreman, an expert in the recreation
of stone structures, to reassemble the cloister on Paradise Island.
To Castreman's astonishment there was not a single written clue as to
how the stones were to be put together. Consequently, the reconstruction
took a full year. It is a roofless structure with multi-columned sides
and many arches which lend grace and beauty to the austere interior. In
the centre of The Cloister stands a white marble statue of a meditating
madonna. In its original time and place, the cloister had a fountain in
the centre, round which monks walked while engaged in prayer. We are unable
to say how many people go there to pray or meditate today, but a large
number of bridal parties look on The Cloister as a romantic background
for the taking of wedding pictures.
Down the other side of the hill, looking across the harbour
and on to Nassau is a small Greek gazebo which once stood in the garden
of Shangri - La. Hartford had it moved to its present commanding position.
It is called a love temple with rounded seats for those who like just
to sit and think about the days gone by and the inscrutable future which
Any further information would be appreciated