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Arts & Culture : Books Last Updated: Feb 13, 2017 - 1:45:37 AM

New coffee table book by Bahamian author Amanda Diedrick details Green Turtle Cay’s intriguing past
Dec 8, 2016 - 4:58:15 PM

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Green Turtle Cay, Bahamas  – Lucayans, Loyalists and Eleutheran Adventurers. For centuries, these and other populations have sought safety and refuge on Green Turtle Cay, a tiny island in Abaco, Bahamas. Propelled by fate or by force, most ultimately moved on. A resilient few remained.

Their stories are the focus of Those Who Stayed: The Tale of the Hardy Few Who Built Green Turtle Cay, a new hardcover book by Bahamian writer, Amanda Diedrick.

The full-colour, 185-page publication features close to 200 historic images of Green Turtle Cay, oil paintings by world-renowned Bahamian artist and historian, Alton Lowe, and never-before-published, first-hand accounts of 20th century Abaco life.

In 2012, Diedrick – a ninth-generation Bahamian -- and her husband, Canadian journalist Tom Walters, purchased her family’s ancestral home on Green Turtle Cay. Shortly after, she began documenting the cottage’s restoration and the cay’s history on her weblog, Little House by the Ferry.

“So much of Green Turtle Cay’s past isn’t immediately obvious,” says Diedrick. “You’d never know, for example, that there was once a large Lucayan village near Bita Bay, on the island’s east coast. Or that pirates like Calico Jack Rackham, Anne Bonny and Mary Read hid out in Black and White Sounds. Or that in the late 1800s, the cay’s population was four times what it is today and New Plymouth’s streets were lined large, elegant homes. There was a dance hall, a theater and even an orchestra. It’s difficult to reconcile all of this with the quaint, low-key town we know today.”

Those Who Stayed will be officially launched on January 7, 2017 at ”A Night to Remember,” a cocktail reception commemorating the 40th anniversary of Green Turtle Cay’s Albert Lowe Museum, being held at the cay’s Bluff House Beach Resort & Marina.

Book signings will also take place January 10 at Hope Town’s Wyannie Malone Museum, and January 13 and 14 at the Sand Dollar Shoppe in Marsh Harbour.

Part proceeds from the sale of Those Who Stayed will benefit Green Turtle Cay’s Albert Lowe Museum. “Alton Lowe, who founded and has operated the Albert Lowe Museum for 40 years, was instrumental in putting this book together,” says Diedrick. “His passion for Bahamian history has long been an inspiration, and he’s been incredibly generous in granting me access to rare photographs and documents from the museum archives. He’s created an important national resource in the museum, and I’m delighted to be able to support it.”

For more information about Those Who Stayed, visit www.littlehousebytheferry.com. To learn more about the Albert Lowe Museum, visit www.albertlowemuseum.com or call (242) 365-4094.

Tickets for “A Night to Remember” may be purchased online at the museum’s website, or through Molly McIntosh at the Bluff House Beach Resort (242-365-4247), Julie Farrington at Island Property Management (242-365-4047), or Mandy Roberts (242-365-4402.)

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