Today, alongside my wife Ann, I stand in mourning and reflect on the life of a great son of the Bahamian soil, Dr. Elwood Donaldson. His passing is not just the loss of a seasoned politician but the departure of a visionary leader and a cherished mentor to many.
Dr. Donaldson’s journey in public service is a tale of resilience, innovation, and unyielding commitment to our beloved nation. From his early days in the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) to his integral role in the historic House of Assembly from 1967 to 1972, Ellie was a key architect in advancing Majority Rule, a cornerstone of our modern democracy. His contributions during this period were not just acts of political participation but brave statements of his belief in a just, equitable Bahamas.
Dr. Donaldson showcased his indomitable spirit and unwavering dedication to his principles as one of the Dissident Eight. His role in forming the Free National Movement (FNM) through the amalgamation of the Free PLP and the UBP was a testament to his belief in the power of unity and collaboration for the greater good of our nation.
Yet, his journey did not end there. Returning to his roots with the PLP during the first Christie administration and serving as a non-resident Ambassador to UNESCO, Dr Donaldson demonstrated that true service to one’s country transcends party lines and political affiliations. His work in these roles further cemented his legacy as a statesman who put country above self.
His loss marks the end of an era. With his passing, Sir Arthur Foulkes and Maurice Moore remain the only living members of the 1967 House of Assembly, a reminder of the passage of time and the importance of preserving the history and lessons of our past leaders.
He was not just a politician but a husband, father, friend, mentor, and, above all, a true patriot. His legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of all Bahamians who strive for a better Bahamas. Future generations will study his contributions to our nation, serving as a symbol of hope and a guide for aspiring leaders.
Ann and I offer our deepest sympathies to his family, friends, and all who had the privilege of knowing him. May we all find solace in celebrating his extraordinary life and contributions. May Dr. Eldwood Donaldson’s soul rest in eternal peace, and may his memory continue to inspire us all.