Bahamian Suffragettes Honoured
Nassau, The Bahamas – More than 70 women were honoured on Friday, July 6 for their efforts in advancing the cause of women in the country. The five principal honourees, which included Mrs. Mary Ingraham, Mrs. Mable Walker, Mrs. Georgianna Symonette, Mrs. /Eugenia Lockhart, OBE and Dame Doris Johnson, fought feverishly to gain equal rights for women.
During the National Pride Day ceremony, held in Rawson Square, Minister of Youth, Sports & Culture, Dr. Daniel Johnson said that it is ‘important’ that we pay homage to those who paved the way for future generations.
“It is significant that now as we celebrate – almost 40 years later after independence – that we get to the point where we give worthy mention and praise to the women of that movement who did a yeoman’s job of getting us where we are today.”
Minister Johnson also pointed out the significance of the Afro-Bahamian Woman sculpture located at the entrance of Festival Place on Prince George Wharf. He said that the stature accurately depicts the struggle of the Bahamian, which continues even today.
“So as people congratulate people like myself, this (the statue) symbolises whose shoulders we stand on. That’s the beauty of it. So while, many of us may not realise and appreciate some of our privileges today, we must remember that it is on the shoulders of our ancestors that we stand and for that they should be honoured and indeed, praised for all of their hard-work, from which we (the descendants) benefit.”
He added that in order to ensure that the legacy of the suffragettes continue to live on, he will do his part through his work as Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture. He said that there are major plans in the pipeline for the ministry. He said that his goal will be to continue to ‘tell the Bahamian story through the youth, sports music and dance.
“Everybody knows that if you know where you come from and know where you are, it sets the course for where you are going,” he said. “Over the next few months, we will charter a course for youth development for The Bahamas. We will be spending a great amount of our energy, time and resources on the youths. This year also you will see the greatest show ever – the 12 days of Christmas. It will be the largest show ever to tell the story of Christmas. Next year, you will see a change in youth development like you’ve never seen before. Of course, we anticipate that we will bring in some gold (Olympics) and the story will get better and better.
By Betty Vedrine
Bahamas Information Services
Caption: Minister of Youth, Sports & Culture, Dr. Daniel Johnson is pictured with the Johnson Family. Pictured left to right: Gladys R. Sands, Cora Johnson-Cooper, Minister Johnson, R. Italia Johnson (first female Speaker of the House), Cathleen Johnson-Hassan and Khadra Hassan. The statue of the Afro-Bahamian woman and child was created by Oscar Johnson and erected on Prince George Wharf in l973. The statue depicts the struggle of Bahamian women in the development of the country. (BIS Photo/Derek Smith).history, society, vote, women