Rt. Hon Hubert
Passing of Sir Clifford Darling
I was saddened
to learn of the passing of Sir Clifford Darling this morning.
Sir Clifford, the fourth Bahamian Governor-General of an independent
Bahamas is a hero of the labour movement and for the rights and dignity
On behalf of
the Government and people of The Bahamas I extend heartfelt condolences
to Igrid, Lady Darling, to Sir Clifford’s children: Clifford Darling
Jr., Andrea Darling-Thompson, Sharlene Hanna, Theresa McPhee, Rushena
Darling, Lakreisha Darling and Charles Darling, and to his extended
family, and many friends.
passing brings to a close another remarkable career of an early nation
builder and pioneer for equality.
A son of Acklins
Island, Sir Clifford was shaped and formed by conditions prevailing
on that far flung island in the early decades of the last century. He
attended public schools in Acklins and then in New Providence.
His entry into
public life was driven by his strong desire to secure equity for fellow
disadvantaged taxi-drivers. He became Secretary General of the
Taxicab Union in 1949 and held the post until 1957. He subsequently
was elected President of the Union becoming a central figure in the
1958 General Strike.
he helped win for taxi drivers set the stage for dramatic political
change in our country; a change that began in 1967. A lifelong
member of the Progressive Liberal Party, Sir Clifford first entered
Parliament as a Senator in 1964 and was elected to the House of Assembly
in 1967 representing the historic constituency of Englerston.
Two years later
in 1969 he was appointed to the Cabinet. As Minister of Labour
and National Insurance he oversaw the introduction of the National Insurance
programme in 1974.
was elected Speaker of the House of Assembly in 1977, a post he held
2nd 1992 he was appointed Governor General, serving as head of state
until January 2nd 1995.
He was knighted
by Her Majesty the Queen in 1977. In 1994 during a visit to The
Bahamas, Her Majesty made Sir Clifford a Member of the Grand Commander
of the Victorian Order (GCVO).
a debt of gratitude to Sir Clifford for his half a century of public
service marked by honesty, industry, loyalty and integrity. His
proud legacy will not be forgotten.
Even as we
mourn his passage, we celebrate his life of service and dedication to
The Bahamas. May he rest in peace.