50th Anniversary Of Women’s Suffrage Movement

Monday 20th, February 2012 / 09:49 Published by

Mary Darling

As 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the Women’s Suffrage Movement in The Bahamas, The College of The Bahamas in conjunction with the Bureau of Women’s Affairs, Ministry of Labour and Social Development, will co-host a symposium under the theme “Commemorating the Past, Reflecting on the Present, Envisioning the Future: 1962 and Beyond.”

The Women’s Suffrage Symposium is a four-day event to be held at the Performing Arts Centre, The College of The Bahamas, from March 6-9, 2012. An important part of the symposium is the essay competition. In this regard, COB students are invited to submit an essay related to the symposium theme.

And The Bahamas Historical Society have already contributed to women’s suffrage movement with our last talk on Female Slaves in The Bahamas by Dr Jennifer Bethel (view on YouTube) and today we have historical news of yet another  pioneering liberated woman Mary Louise Darling, the great grandmother of Moses Daxon. He has donated the book Inagua by Gibert C Klingel and newspaper cuttings to The Bahamas Historical Society under the heading:

Some Important Bahamian History – the Island of Inagua …

Mary Darling (opp page 217 Inagua by Gibert C Klingel)

My Great Grandmother – Mary Louise Darling was an explorer, a sailor, a naturalist, in the days before woman’s liberation. She was a self-made independent woman. We have pictures of her walking around Inagua with a shotgun and a machete. Her parents came from Acklins and Crooked Island to farm and fish. To the best of my ability I figured her birth to be in 1895 – some important aspects of her life took place when she was about 35 years of age – in 1930.

In 1920 Mary Darling came across Spanish Gold as it was being offloaded onto the Island.

In 1930 two American Naturalists sailed across the Atlantic from Chesapeake Bay, and ended up shipwrecked in the Straights between Little Inagua and Great Inagua. They were Coleman and Klingle.

The shipwreck was confirmed by an article in the New York Times. Upon his return to New York, in 1931 Coleman brought the first specimens of species that resembled ancient animals.

Mr. Gilbert Klingle searched for someone who had knowledge of the Flamingoes, and he was told to seek out Mary Darling for her knowledge of the nesting place of the Flamingoes. She had been there before and she was too busy to take him there, she made him wait a few days. They made a three day journey into the interior of the island to reach the nesting place.

Klingle interacted with the Daxon Family of Inagua, as well as Mary Darling. Later on, Mary Louise’s Granddaughter, Erma, married Felix Daxon, and then these two families were united.

We believe that Mary Louise Darling is the first Bahamian to located the nesting place of the flamingoes and therefore the true discoverer of the Flamingoes, our National Birds

I would like to express my gratitude to the Bahamas Historical Society for their interest in my Great Grandmother’s story.

Moses F. Daxon, Inventor

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