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Bahamas DNA Project

NEWSLETTER December 2011

Dear Members and Friends,

The Christmas spirit is upon us. The Christmas Reminiscences evening went very well last Thursday.
I recounted my arrival in The Bahamas in the Christmas season (1968), Paul Aranha recalled the adventure of cutting a tree from the pine barrens. Gail Saunders fondly remembered cakes her father baked and June Maura told of the disaster when her newly decorated tree fell over. And we all talked about Junkanoo past and present. Then we enjoyed ‘liming’ over the good food provided by the Management Committee. (liming is West Indian slang for a party or any get-together/to hang out telling stories and chatting)

We received a wonderful gift from The Lyford Cay Foundation - $10,000 grant toward the publishing 1,000 booklets featuring the Diana Pullinger The History of The Bahamas in pictures. We still need about $2000 more to publish an extra 1,000.

On the Lighthouse Service:


Ron Lightbourn sent in this picture of the Imperial Lighthouse building

And his wife Joan added to our knowledge:

Further to your discussion of the Imperial Lighthouse Service, my great uncle, Lambert S. Johnson, was the Lighthouse Inspector in the 40s and maybe before then. He would travel around on the Firebird, I believe, and he collected wild orchids from the Islands. He lived in Colebrook Lane, was married to Belle French, and his sisters were my paternal grandmother Eunice Julia (Johnson) Bethel and Ellen Menendez Johnson, MBE who was the Parcel Post Mistress. He and his sisters were all born in Harbour Island. His children were: Arnold (who married & lived in Canada--Halifax, I believe), Norman (lived in California), and Grace (who served in the British Army and subsequently became the second wife of Capt. Chris Brown, Harbour Pilot. Their son, also Chris, succeeded his father as Harbour Pilot and he lives in Lightbourn Lane.) Joan Bethel Lightbourn

And on the War Graves

I am researching former members of my old school - Llanelly Boys Grammar School - killed in World War 2. One of them is Sqn Ldr Donald Jeremiah who died on 11.01.44 and is buried in Nassau.

I am trying to establish the cause of his death - indeed the cause of so many deaths in the Bahamas would be interesting to know too - and any other information which may be available about him and his service there.

I am aware that No 111 OTU was located there and your recent newsletter provided much detail about that and the cemetery, all of which is extremely useful.

I would appreciate any help you can provide. Many thanks David Mathias

Name: Lt Col D A Mathias DL

Address: Uplands, Carmarthenshire, UK phone: e-mail: dmathias59@hotmail.com

The National Archives in London have a very full record of the # 111 OUT and maybe we have information in the Dept of Archives here.

And on the IODE gifts to the Bahamian Community:

Jim, there are not many of these left on the island; this one donated in 1908 by the Daughters of the Empire! I must look and see if the trough on the Eastern Parade is still there. Ron Lightbourn

The horse trough is still there at Eastern Parade and I have many pleasant memories of washing down there after the Paradise Soccer team training sessions in 1969 - 1972. The coach at that time was Treffor Davies, who I met up with recently at his home in Spanish Wells. He was followed up as coach by Pepi Terelli, who is back living in Nassau (His son Dario is the DNA candidate for the Blue Hills Constituency). Other players still in Nassau are Stan Bocas, who owned the Buena Vista restaurant for many years) and Jerry Symonds, who donates much of his time in charity work. Not sure if Luis Reynosa is still here.

I was surprised the other day to see that the Red Pillar Post Boxes are still used – I saw the one on Montrose Avenue being emptied, since then I noticed there is one beside the Main Post Office and one on Parliament Street. Ron Lightbourn sent me a photo of this one at Dick’s Point.

I must thank Postmaster Leslie Cartwright for once again assisting in the mailing of the BHS Journals.

On Thursday 26th January Dr Jennifer Bethel PhD will speak on her journal article “Female Slaves in the Bahamas”.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to those it applies to and Happy Holidays to all


Kind regards

J Lawlor

Jim Lawlor, President

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