Sir. Lynden Oscar Pindling former “Primer Minister and Father of the Bahamas as a Nation.”

Sir Lynden O. Pindling – Address at the National Conference on Independence, April
12th, 1972

“This National Conference has served to outline and explain to you all what our
steps in building our Nation would be. We have been considering how we would give
formal constitutional, legal, social, economic and religious expression to being a
Bahamian. What does it take to be a Bahamian? Loyalty to our Bahamas over and above
all other; zeal for our Bahamas unmatched by any other; concern for other Bahamians
over all others.

“One of the greatest psychological changes that has overtaken the Bahamian
people in the years since 1967 is their sense of pride in being ‘Bahamian.’ There was a
time when being a Bahamian did not count for much. The Bahamian was tolerated but
not recognised. Now he is given full recognition and cannot be just tolerated. But we
Bahamians have a responsibility to our Country not to let our new-found sense of pride
go to our heads. Instead, we should always use our heads to make the most of our pride
of being. Independence will mean work for us all, self reliance for us all, dignity for us
all, and reward for us all; but the mere fact of Independence will not promise us a rose
garden.

“Those who wish to be Bahamian also have a responsibility. They have a
responsibility to try to be like us; to try to share our hopes and aspirations; to help us
build and achieve. They do not have a responsibility to try and remake us in someone
else’s image; they have no responsibility to retard our progress or to destroy everything
Bahamian.

“The commitment and dedication to the Bahamas of those who wish to be
Bahamian must be no less than our own and no less than Ruth’s was to Naomi. Hers was
total. Ruth stated her case as follows: ‘Intreat me not to leave thee or to return from
following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will
lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die,
and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part
thee and me.’ And, if we demand that kind of commitment from those who would wish
to be Bahamian, we who are Bahamian can have no less a commitment for each other.

“Our Bahamian Nation is unfolding before our very eyes as we ring down the
final curtain on this great Family Drama in which all of us have played star roles. And as
the curtain falls, I commend to you the words of John Fitzgerald Kennedy spoken at his
inauguration: ‘In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than mine, will rest the final
success or failure of our course…. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with
history the final judge of our good deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking
His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our
own.’

“You have come, all of you, from far and near. You have come to refresh your
memories about the past; you have come to examine the present; and you have come to
plan the future. The future – what does it hold? Sometimes the best laid plans of man go
astray. That happens in countries that are independent and countries that are not and
being a colony is no saving feature. But have we no faith? Our Brother Clarence Alfred

Bain would have reminded us that ‘God moves in mysterious ways His wonders to
perform. He plants His footsteps in the sea and rides upon the storm. ‘

“Living as we are on these Islands we are children of the sea. Living on these
Family Islands, we are one Family. As our Islands are part of God’s great Universe we
are children of the Universe, no less than the trees and the stars. Yes, we do have a right
to be here. And whether or not it is clear to all of us, the Universe is unfolding as it
should.

“God bless you all!”

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One thought on “Sir. Lynden Oscar Pindling former “Primer Minister and Father of the Bahamas as a Nation.”

  1. Our Nation has gone far astray from these principles of Nationalism. Our aspirations have encompassed all others other than our own. We praise the achievements of foreign entities while we do nothing much to advance our very own cause for commonwealth of every citizen. We must revive our spirits, turn our pruning hooks into spears and reclaim what is rightfully belonging, was earned through slavery and servitude, therefore restore your conscience people of The Bahamas and let us all confide in each other, hold on to each other, and believe in the strengths of each other , that together we cannot be defeated, and the knowledge to know that by ourselves we give away all that we have to another who shares not our ambitions.

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