Minister of National Security the Hon. Dr. Bernard Nottage makes presentation to Errol Bethel, Parliamentary Commissioner, along with his wife during Appreciation Luncheon, January 11, at Police Headquarters. (BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna)
NASSAU, The Bahamas --- Minister of National Security, Dr. the Hon. Bernard J. Nottage
lauded former Parliamentary Commissioner, Mr. Errol Bethel, for 50 years
of National Service during a special luncheon held in Mr. Bethel’s
Mr. Bethel retired from the Public Service in October, 2012. Governor-General,
His Excellency, Sir Arthur Foulkes, GCMG, said Mr. Bethel “exemplified
a cadre of public officers who have served their country with distinction
Dr. Nottage said The Bahamas’ global “reputation”
as a country that conducts efficient, effective and free and fair parliamentary
elections, is a direct result of Mr. Bethel’s leadership in overseeing
“Not many Bahamians have had the good fortune of celebrating 50
years of service in any one institution,” Dr. Nottage said. “Fifty
years is a very long time to be working in any sphere or environment.
It requires skills, talents, perseverance, resilience, dedication and
“Mr. Bethel has manifested all of the above-mentioned qualities
through his long and distinguished career in the Public Service,”
Dr. Nottage added.
Mr. Bethel began his career in the Public Service in 1962 when he
was appointed a Classroom Monitor/Teacher at the All-Age School in Mangrove
Cay, Andros. He taught in a number of public schools throughout the
Commonwealth of The Bahamas between the years 1962-1967 before being
promoted to Principal in 1967.
Mr. Bethel served as Principal of the South Andros High School, N.G.M.
Major High School (Long Island), Abaco Central High School, H.O. Nash
Secondary School, A.F. Adderley and R.M. Bailey High School from 1967
In 1992, he was appointed Chief Passport Officer, a position he held
for two years. Mr. Bethel was appointed Acting Parliamentary Commissioner
from August to October 1993 before returning to the education system
as Deputy Permanent Secretary in 1994. He was appointed Parliamentary
Commissioner in 1995, a position he held for 17 years.
Errol Bethel, Parliamentary Commissioner, responds during Appreciation Luncheon in his honour, January 11, at Police Headquarters. (BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna)
“I have known Mr. Bethel for well over 25 years and have always
respected him as a good teacher and educator in the public school system,”
Dr. Nottage said. “Over the years, the Government has sought his advice
as Parliamentary Commissioner on electoral matters particularly with
regards to General Elections, School Board Elections and Family Island
Local Government Elections.
“The Bahamas has been commended internationally for the effective
and efficient conduct of General Elections (free and fair Parliamentary
Elections) by international electoral organisations and Mr. Bethel’s
leadership in overseeing General Elections has played a major part in
this achievement,” Dr. Nottage added.
Dr. Nottage encouraged Mr. Bethel to “continue to do good”
in service to his country.
“When good men do nothing, evil triumphs,” Dr. Nottage said. “With
your wealth of experience in the educational and electoral realms, I
hope that you will find time to document some of your experiences for
generations of Bahamians yet unborn.”
During his tenure as Parliamentary Commissioner, Mr. Bethel has been
the country’s representative at a number of electoral conferences,
workshops and seminars globally. He has also served as an Observer at
elections in Haiti, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago.
Mr. Bethel also oversaw the introduction of Local Government and School
Board Elections; played a major role in the upcoming National Referendum
and was responsible for hosting international observers during a number
of Bahamian General Elections.
His Excellency, Sir Arthur Foulkes, called Mr. Bethel’s contributions
to The Bahamas “immense.”
“Errol Bethel has impacted many communities in numerous Family islands
around The Bahamas,” His Excellency said. “On behalf of a grateful
nation, I sincerely thank Mr. Bethel for the immense contributions made
during his Public Service career.”
Governor General Sir Arthur and lady Foulkes are pictured with Parliamentary Commissioner Errol Bethel and Mrs. Bethel during Appreciation Luncheon January 11 at Police Headquarters. also pictured from left: Minister of National Security Dr. Bernard Nottage, Mrs. Bethel, Mr. Bethel, Sir Arthur and Lady Foulkes. (BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna)