A photo exhibition detailing the life, struggles and career of former Speaker of the House of Assembly and Governor-General of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, Sir Clifford Darling is expected to highlight activities planned to celebrate November as Sir Clifford Darling’s Month by the Englerston community.
The exhibition is being coordinated by members of the Advisory Committee of the Englerston (East) Urban Renewal Project Office and is scheduled to open November 15.
Advisory Committee Chairman, Bishop Harry Collie, said the exhibition will provide Bahamians with an opportunity to “revisit the contributions this National hero has made to the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.”
“Sir Clifford’s contributions to the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, in general, and the community of Englerston which he represented for so many years, in particular, are many and varied, and so we wanted to take this month; take this opportunity, to showcase some of the contributions through a pictorial exhibition,” Bishop Collie said.
“The exhibition would not have been able to take place without the kindness of Lady Igrid Darling who has provided a pictorial of Sir Clifford’s life beginning in Acklins, to the Taxi Cab Union; the Blockade; Sir Clifford’s Parliamentary career, his experiences at Government House, and his interactions with Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth and Freedom Fighter and former South African President, Mr. Nelson Mandela. This exhibition is really going to be special, as was Sir Clifford’s life,” Bishop Collie added.
Bishop Collie said the exhibition will be held simultaneously with a Sir Clifford Darling Essay Competition for Primary and Secondary Schools in the Englerston community. He said the exhibition and the essay competition have the same goals.
“One of the sad commentaries of our educational system in The Bahamas is that while many of our children can tell us whom Christopher Columbus, Plato, or Marcus Aurelius were, many more cannot tell of the contributions persons such as Cecil Wallace-Whitfield or Clifford Darling. As a matter of fact, some cannot even tell you who Sir Lynden Oscar Pindling was.
“We want to help to begin to change that through our essay competition and the exhibition. The essay competition will put them (students participating in the competition) to work; allow them get to know who our heroes are through research.”
Prizes will be awarded in both categories.
The community’s observance of Sir Clifford Darling Month began on Sunday, November 4, with Divine Worship Service at Zion East Street after which a wreath was laid at his tomb by members of the Advisory Committee and Lady Darling.
A battle-of-the-Bands Competition and Food Fest was held November 10 to officially kick off the remainder of the activities on the schedule. Those activities include the Exhibition, a Gospel jamboree scheduled for Englerston Park on Sunday, November 18; a Rake-n-Scrape Festival (Saturday, November 24, at Englerston Park); a Senior Citizens Luncheon; Battle of the DJ’s Competition and the Exhibition and Essay Competition.
“We have also partnered with schools in the area to hold a forum on teen pregnancy, crime and drugs and sexuality each Wednesday during the course of the month,” Bishop Collie said.
“This is very, very important, especially to an area such as ours, and other inner-city communities where teen pregnancy is a problem. As a matter of fact, it is our belief that the main problem for a lot of the deviant behaviour from our young people is because we have a lot of ‘parents’ who are children themselves and do not know how to raise children which in turn, helps to create some of the challenges we face,” Bishop Collie added.
By Matt Maura
Bahamas Information Services