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News Last Updated: Mar 7, 2022 - 6:33:09 PM

FIDA Grand Bahama Spotlights Ms. Constance Elrone McDonald, Queen's Counsel (QC)
By Hadassah A. Swain
Mar 7, 2022 - 2:24:17 PM

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International Women's Day (IWD) is a global holiday celebrated annually on March 8 to commemorate the cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements of women. It is also a focal point in the women's rights movement, bringing attention to issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence and abuse against women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.

Aligned with the overall campaign theme for IWD 2022 “Break The Bias”, the theme for the United Nations (UN) Observance of International Women’s Day 2022 is “Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow.”

The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) is an international non-governmental organization (NGO) in consultative status with the UN. In March of 2011, the UN launched UN WOMEN, an organization within the UN which focuses on the progress of the world’s women, in the pursuit of justice. FIDA was organized in Mexico City in 1944, to promote the principles and aims of the UN in their legal and social aspects. With members in over 73 countries around the globe, FIDA works to establish friendly international relations on a basis of mutual respect and equality and to promote the welfare of women and children.

On this International Women’s Day 2022, FIDA Grand Bahama Chapter joins with the UN and the rest of the world in celebrating the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future for a sustainable tomorrow.
FIDA Grand Bahama Chapter takes this opportunity to spotlight a woman who has broken the bias in the workplace and in our community, a woman who epitomizes the goals and objectives of FIDA and UN WOMEN, Ms. Constance Elrone McDonald, Queen’s Counsel (QC).

Ms. McDonald was born in Bennetts Harbour, Cat Island and is the eldest daughter
of 10 children from parents Rev.’d Norris Holman McDonald and Margaret Loretta
McDonald neé Thurston. She is the mother of one adult son, Michon McDonald.
She went to Nassau for her high school education and in 1965 entered the famous Bahamas Government High School where she excelled academically. In 1972 she moved on to study Law at the University of the West Indies in Bridgetown, Barbados where she obtained her LLB Degree on the 1st August, 1976. She then moved on to the Norman Manley Law School in Kingston, Jamaica where she obtained her Legal Education Certificate on the 22nd of September, 1978.

Her illustrious legal career began when she was called to The Bahamas Bar on the 25th August, 1978. So, for the past 43 and a half years she has been engaged in the practice of law. She started off at the Office of the Attorney General as Assistant Legal Counsel for 4 years before moving on to become the first Legal Counsel at The Bahamas Development Bank where she remained for some 3 years.

In 1985 when she relocated to Grand Bahama Island. She took up employment for 5 years as Legal Counsel with the Grand Bahama Port Authority Limited. She left there in 1990 to enter private practice. From 1990 to 1991, she was the Attorney in charge of the Freeport Office of Maynard & Co. before becoming the Partner in Charge of the Freeport Office of Gibson, Serville & Co. until 1994.

In April 1994 she opened own practice at McDonald & Co. in Freeport, Grand Bahama where she has been operating for the past 28 years.

When one examines Ms. McDonald’s legal career, one would agree that the honour she received on the 17th December, 2021 was most befitting. She was officially recognized for her long years of esteemed counsel and service in the administration of justice in our country when the highest honour in the legal profession was bestowed upon her, that of Queen’s Counsel. She is the first and only female Attorney in the Northern Region in the history of The Bahamas to receive such an honour.
Despite her demanding legal practice Ms. McDonald always finds the time to do her civic duties.

In 1991 she served as an Acting Stipendiary & Circuit Magistrate, and she was also appointed Acting Vice President of the Bahamas Industrial Tribunal Northern Region from 1997 to 1999.

For the past 40 years, she has been a part-time lecturer with the College of The Bahamas now University of The Bahamas, lecturing in Business Law, Banking Law, Principles of Liability, Ethics, Family Law and Social Welfare.

In 2002 she was appointed by the Minister of Labour as a member of the Labour and Employment Law Review Commission and charged with reviewing the Labour Laws of The Bahamas. She published a Minority Report RE: The Family Islands.
Ms. McDonald’s community activities and membership in professional and civic organizations include:

➢ 1987 – Participated in the American Legal System and Court Structure, a program sponsored by the United States Information Agency
➢ Inducted as First Female Member of the Rotary Club of Freeport on the 1st August, 1996
➢ Past President – Zonta Club of Freeport
➢ Pat President – Guild of Graduates, University of the West Indies
➢ Guild Representative on the University of the West Indies Council – Meeting of Ministers f Education throughout the Caribbean. Attended meetings in Jamaica and Trinidad
➢ Past Director – Grand Bahama Tennis & Squash Club
➢ Past Director – Grand Bahama Players
➢ Past Legal Representative – Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce
➢ President – Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce (1997-1999)
➢ Featured in the Woman of the Decade Exhibition for outstanding service to the legal profession
➢ Coordinator – Single Ministry, Zion Baptist Church, East Sunrise Highway, Freeport, Grand Bahama
➢ Sunday School Teacher – Zion Baptist Church
➢ Assistant Coordinator, Sunday School – Zion Baptist Church
➢ Member Organization of Commonwealth Caribbean Bar Association (OCCBA) Representative at CARICOM Meetings
➢ Member National Council of Black Lawyers (NCBL)
➢ Past Member of Bar Council – Bahamas Bar Association
➢ Member of Commonwealth Lawyers Association
➢ Director - Board of Directors, Bahamas Telecommunication Company Ltd. 1992-1997
➢ PLP Candidate for Lucayan Constituency in the 2007 General Elections
➢ Vice Chairman – Progressive Liberal Party (2007–2012)
➢ National General Counsel – Progressive Liberty Party - 2017
➢ 2009 - Recognized by Bureau of Woman Affairs for Outstanding Achievement in Woman’s Rights
➢ President of the Grand Bahama Chapter of FIDA (acronym for International Federation of Woman Lawyers) (2009-2010). Continues to serve on the Board of Directors
➢ Double Paul Harris Fellow Rotary Foundation
➢ President Elect – Rotary Club of Freeport (2009-2010)
➢ President of Rotary Club of Freeport, (2010-2011)
➢ President – Aglow International Freeport Lighthouse 2014 – Present
➢ Invited to participate in the Gender Policy of the Bahamas 2012
➢ Member – Judicial and Legal Services Commission (2013-2017)
➢ Member – Cat Island Development Association
➢ Member – PLP Woman’s Association
➢ Lawyer Assisting the Government in informing the Public about the Inheritance Laws
➢ Lawyer assisting the Government in informing the Public about the Constitutional Referendum (2016-2017)
➢ Global traveler – Travelled extensively throughout the world with various organizations, friends and Travel Clubs – South America – Caribbean (Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, St. Lucia, Antigua, Virgin Islands, St. Thomas, Martinique, Guadeloupe), – Hawaii, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bali, Canada, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, United Kingdom, Mexico, Honduras, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, etc.
➢ Commonwealth Lawyers Association Vancouver – Alaska
➢ Rotary Club – Australia, Brazil, U.S.A.
➢ Zonta Club – Finland, Norway, Denmark Sweden
➢ Marilyn Hiding Ministries – Russia, South Africa, Mozambique and Tanzania
➢ Baptist World Alliance – Korea, China, Japan, England Scotland, Wales, South America, Bermuda
➢ Aglow International – Tobago, various cities in the U.S.A., Cayman Islands
Ms. McDonald is an accomplished individual. Her academic achievements extend beyond the legal field and include:
➢ Banking Management Certificate - University of Miami, 16th May, 1984
➢ Advanced Management Certificate - University of Miami, 18th July, 1986
➢ 1992 Commercial Crime – Oxford University – England
➢ Education for Ministry – Anglican Church – Trained Mentor
➢ 2002 – Teachers Training in Advocacy – England
➢ 2007-2008 Studies in Theology, Access Bible College
FIDA GB Chapter was established in 1993 with Constance Elrone McDonald as one of

its founding members. She continues to serve on its Board of Dircetors.
On this International Women’s Day 2022, FIDA Grand Bahama Chapter proudly celebrates and salutes a woman who continues to make a positive impact on the lives of women and children; a fierce advocate who holds fast to her convictions; a woman who tells you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear; a woman who is not frightened to take on challenges; a leader who continues to fight to “Break The Bias”, eminent Attorney Constance Elrone McDonald, QC.

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