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Rev. Dr. Hervis Bain, A True Bahamian Legend
By Bahamas Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture
Nov 5, 2015 - 12:30:21 AM

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The late Rev. Dr. Hervis Bain in 2013. Rev. Bain was the designer of The Bahamas' Coat of Arms. (BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna)

The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture wishes to extend sincere condolences to the family of the late Rev. Dr. Hervis Bain, a great cultural legend, who has made numerous outstanding contributions to the nation of The Bahamas.

As a nation builder, he ushered The Bahamas onto the scene with his exemplary creation of our National Symbols, the Flag and the Coat of Arms; for an Independent Bahamas in 1973 which gives him a special place in our national history.

Dr. Hervis Bain was a significant fixture in the worlds of Education and Culture, particularly Junkanoo, having influenced many of the past Great Icons we now know.

He served as the Arts Master at Government High School influencing renown persons such as Peter "Gold" Turnquest and Dr. Emmanuel "Manny" Francis during the early 1960's. He was later appointed to the post Education Officer for Arts and Crafts in the Ministry of Education and Culture (1969 - 1972) and represented The Bahamas on many occasions at Art/Art Education Conferences, Exhibitions and Festivals.

He was also instrumental in the development of Junkanoo and Junkanoo legends such as Brian "Boldy" Gibson and Percy "Vola" Francis, who consulted him on many occasions for advice on various aspects of the Junkanoo production during the 1960's and 70's.

He began his direct involvement in the management of Junkanoo parades in 1967 when he served as an integral member of the 'Masquerade Committee', a body formed by The Bahamas Development Board in 1933 to manage the parades on Bay Street. His perception of Junkanoo as "social drama" was based on the belief that "true" Junkanoo was an experience predicated upon social interaction between performer's and spectators alike. Using this concept as a guide, he articulated and strengthened the management foundation that as created to promote the total involvement of Junkanoos and their audience.

In 1973, Dr. Hervis Bain was asked to serve as a member of the organizing committee for an Independence Junkanoo parade. This special event was the highlight of the independence celebrations and worthy of the innovations and initiatives put in place by members of this management committee.

Following the success of the 1973 Independence celebrations parade, Dr. Bain was asked to join a new committee, the National Junkanoo Committee, appointed under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism in 1982 to manage Junkanoo. During his more than a decade long tenure on the committee, he was influential in improving the production of the parades: the route was extended and the direction flow was reversed, prizes were increased, new categories for competition were added, first aid stations were added, rule of governance of the parades were clarified and documented, the judging system was improved by adding quantitative measures for more objectivity and a Junkanoo Awards banquet was implemented to celebrate and honour groups and individual winners.

His curriculum vitae includes the following: Graduate in Art Education and Fine Arts from Nova Scotia College of Arts and Design -1967, Post Graduate Diploma in Arts Administration Harvard University- 1971 and M.B.A. Degree (UM - 1978).

His many highlights are as follows:

· Designer of the National Flag

· Designer of the National Coat of Arms of The Bahamas

· Designer of several Insignia of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force

· Honoured by Queen Elizabeth II as a member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire

· Founding Chairman of The Bahamas Art and Crafts Exhibition

· Chairman of One Bahamas 1995

· Bahamas Representative, Carifesta

· Bahamas Representative, Carib Art

· Bahamas Representative at the XIX Cultural Olympiad in Mexico

· Bahamas Representative and winner of the "Gabriela Mistral" InterAmerican prize for Culture in Plastic Arts and Sciences at the Organization of American States 1993

· Member of The Bahamas National Junkanoo Committee 1973 - 1983

· Member of The Bahamas National Advisory Committee

· Lecturer at the Extra Department of the University of the West Indies

· Recipient of the Sir Lynden Pindling Award for Excellence

· Recipient of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas Silver Jubilee Award for Public Service

· Recipient of the Horace N. Wright Award of Excellence for art Design and Education

· Inductee of the National Junkanoo Legends Circle for the advancement and development of Junkanoo.

His accomplishments extend further to holding many positions in various organizations and his receiving many accolades during his lifetime, including the 1960 Art Prize of his Alma Mater, St. John's College. He was an ordained Minister, Marriage Officer and Counsellor and Justice of the Peace serving as Pastor for St. John's Native Baptist Society of Churches. He was also the Chief Personnel Officer at the Bahamas Electricity Corporation, the General Manager of The Bahamas Agriculture and Industrial Corporation and finally the President of the Swarovski (Bahamas) Ltd. He served as Governor and made contributions to the Kiwanis organization in The Bahamas , the Caribbean and Canada. His paintings have been displayed both privately and publicly throughout the Caribbean and Canada. He also published several books, manuscripts and articles.

Rev. Dr. Hervis Bain, married to the former Beverly Blair, father to Hervesa, Revered Hervis III and Heather,


May His Soul Rest In Peace.

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