THE RT. HON. PERRY G. CHRISTIE PC MP
LEADER OF THE OFFICIAL OPPOSITION
On the Passing of Sir Clifford Darling KT JP
(February 6th 1922-December 27th 2011)
December 27th 2011
the passing of our esteemed former Governor-General, Sir Clifford Darling, one
of the major builders of the modern Bahamas and a true national hero.
Clifford was credited with many diverse distinctions in the public life of The
Bahamas. He was a parliamentarian for more than a quarter of a century, during
the course of which he served as a Minister - most notably as Minister of
National Insurance - and then later as Speaker of the House of Assembly before
being elevated to the office of Governor-General, the highest office in the
as impressive as those achievements were, it was Sir Clifford's courageous
leadership during the 1958 General Strike that constituted his greatest single
As the leader of the
Bahamas Taxi Cab Union at the time, it was Sir Clifford who instigated and led
what is rightly regarded as the largest and most successful struggle in the
entire history of the labour movement in The Bahamas, a struggle that began
with the blockading of the airport by Sir Clifford and his fellow taxi-drivers.
greater significance than that, however, it was the General Strike that sparked
the final phase of the political struggle that would lead to the attainment of
Majority Rule in 1967. Clifford Darling was a major figure in that political
struggle as well under the banner of the Progressive Liberal Party.
At a more
personal level, Sir Clifford will be remembered by all who knew him as a man of
exceptional modesty and uncommon humility.
Indeed, it is largely because of that that his achievements, especially
in relation to the 1958 General Strike, are not as well-known as they should
Sir Clifford was also a true
Christian gentleman from the old school who treated everyone with kindness and
He was a wonderful example of
civility, even towards his political foes.
all, Sir Clifford was a man of tremendous compassion, courage and
He was determined to play his
part in the alleviation of human suffering and the upliftment of a long
In all his endeavours
towards these noble ends, he succeeded grandly, and as a nation we are all the
richer for it.
of the Progressive Liberal Party and on behalf of my wife, Bernadette, and on
my own behalf, I extend heartfelt condolences to Sir Clifford's widow, Ingrid
Lady Darling and to all his children and wider family.
soul of this great Bahamian rest in peace.