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Bahamas Independence salutes forebears

NASSAU, The Bahamas – The Bahamas 34th Independence Celebrations on July 10, will pay homage to the nation’s ancestors, particularly those who were instrumental in changing the course of history.

According to chairman of the Independence Committee Celebrations, Peter Deveaux-Isaacs the theme, ‘Celebrating our Forebears’ was selected to recognize the importance of – the 200th Anniversary of the Abolition of the Atlantic Slave Trade.

“We thought the Independence celebrations should somehow tie into that very, very significant event in our history,” Mr. Deveaux-Isaacs said during a press conference held earlier this week.

“Our ancestors in this regard are really the bridge between the two significant events,” he said. “We intend to recognize people, who at the turn of the last century, played a very, very important role in building a consensus, fighting for liberty, fighting for education, the right to co-exist.”

Mr. Deveaux-Isaacs was accompanied by members of the Independence Committee who shed light on the events leading to Independence Day, July 10. The cost for this year’s activities is $500,000.

A series of schedule of events will take place around the Island.

Regarding the Independence theme, Director of Culture, Dr Nicolette Bethel recalled that in 1807 the British Parliament the transhipment of slaves from Africa across the Atlantic.

“For The Bahamas, that time began a period toward independence which continues today,” she said. “So what we have decided to do with our theme is to keep in our memories the fact that we are a society that was created by the institution of slavery.

“In 1973 we got our independence from Great Britain. We want to keep in people’s mind that Independence in not one day, it’s a process. We are looking back at the turn of the century to the people who made independence possible.”
Such people are R M Bailey, L W Young, C H Reeves, Stephen Dillet, Dr C R Walker, T A Toote, Sir Etienne Dupuch, Dr Cleveland Eneas, Timothy Gibson, D W Davis, Charles Rodriquez, Bert Cambridge, A F Adderley, amongst others.

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