There recently has been much in the press and on radio and TV about Bahamian Heroes.
I can’t understand why many Bahamians think that politicians and past Governor Generals, who lived on Mount Fitzwilliam are heroes. They filled a necessary function but most of them were in the positions they held, because of their desire to be recognized. Few of them had a genuine desire to serve the Bahamian people.
The true Bahamian Heroes are people like the Gallant 30, who volunteered to serve during the First World War.
The Bahamian Heroes of the Second World War, are people like George Moseley, Warren Lightbourn, Michael McKinney and others who went off to war and did not return. A full list of these heroes are on the walls of the Cenotaph and the walls of the Lynch Gate at the RAF Cemetery.
No Bahamian Government has ever recognised, or paid tribute to the members of the Bahamas Volunteer Defense Force. People like CB Antrobus, AF Adderley, Christopher Foster, G Lunn and George VE Higgs, who gave up all their precious leisure time during WW II, to man look-out stations throughout New Providence and Hog Island (Now Paradise Island).
My father who served in the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and royal Air Force (RAF), during the First World War, thought that Basil Johnson was the epitome of a true Bahamian hero. Basil, the father of Ivan, Felicity, Janet and Jill, left his job at BEC in 1941 and volunteered to join the RAF as a flight engineer. After 25 trips in a Lancaster Bomber over occupied Europe, he volunteered for 25 more. The last 47 of these sorties were in the elite Pathfinder Squadron, which flew the most dangerous missions of the war. The odds that he would survive 25 missions were less than fifty percent. The odds that he would survive 50 missions were infinitesimal.
After the war, and before returning to Nassau, Basil was sent throughout the British Commonwealth, as an example of the heroism that turned the tide and won the war.
I look forward to reading about Basil and seeing a statue of him, among the first group of Bahamian heroes honoured.
JOHN A WANKLYN PE,
September 19, 2018.