Published on Jan 10, 2013
PM Christie declares Majority Rule Day as a milestone of equality.
The Journey To Majority Rule
Nassau, The Bahamas -- On January 9, Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie in his communication to the House of Assembly announced that Majority Rule Day belongs to all Bahamians, black and white, rich and poor, young and old, city dweller and Family Islander, PLP, FNM, DNA and independent alike.
"It belongs to all of us," said PM Christie.
"January 10th should be commemorated and celebrated by all of us because it represents one of the most singular moments in our evolution as a people. Indeed, Mr. Speaker, with the exception of Emancipation from Slavery in 1834 and the attainment of Independence in 1973, there is no event of greater consequence and historical importance than the attainment of Majority Rule on January 10th, 1967."
The Prime Minister pointed out the meaning of attaining Majority Rule to Bahamians who participated in making it become a reality in 1967. He said Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes has long been on record with the view that the historical significance has more social impact on Bahamian culture than either Emancipation or attaining Independence.
"There is much to commend that point of view because in truth January 10th, 1967 represents the moment of transition from the old Bahamas to a New Bahamas; from minority government to Majority Rule; from an oligarchy to an authentic democracy founded on the principles of true universal adult suffrage; principles which only achieved expression in The Bahamas on January 10th, 1967 - forty-five (45) years ago tomorrow," said PM Christie.
"January 10th represents one of the highest peaks in the historic - and still ongoing - struggle of the Bahamian people for economic empowerment, for equality of opportunity, and for social justice. It was an enormously important milestone in a continuing journey that was begun centuries ago when some anonymous slave struck the first blow for freedom in our land."
Prime Minister Christie supported his statement by highlighting the 200 year plight of slaves such as Pompey in Exuma and Black Dick in Cat Island who, with others, in the early 1830's, struck their blow for freedom and for justice against the most overwhelming odds. Mr. Christie said the plight to overcome social inequity continued with pioneers like Stephen Dillet, Thomas Minns and John P. Deane who struck their blow for racial equality when in 1834, following years of agitation and struggle for the right to vote and the right to stand for election, they won election to the House of Assembly - the very first men of colour to do so in our history.
"The journey continued with fearless warriors like James Carmichael Smith who, in the 1880's, struck his own blow by agitating for a more just and equitable society. He did so both as a Member of this Assembly for the Western District of New Providence and as a tireless advocate outside the House for Black empowerment and social justice," said the Prime Minister.
"The journey continued in the 1920s, and 30s and 40s, with men like W.P. Adderley, Etienne Dupuch, T.A. Toote, Leon Walton Young, C.R. Walker, Milo Boughton Butler, and Maxwell Thompson, who, each in his own way, struck a major blow for a better Bahamas. The journey continued in the 1950s with men like Clifford Darling and Clarence Bain; H.M. Taylor, Cyril Stevenson and William Cartwright; and Randolph Fawkes who, as the Father of the trade union movement, galvanised the labouring masses."