Prime Minister Davis’ Remarks on the Fifty-Sixth Majority Rule Day

My brothers and sisters,

Today marks the fifty-sixth year that we celebrate Majority Rule in this little island country we call home.

That is fifty-six years of hope, promise, and dignity. Let us all give thanks.

On January 10th, 1967, after more than two decades of struggle and fight, we stood as men and women in this place, as citizens, as a people charting a course for a future full of promise.

Majority Rule is the singular event in Bahamian history that undergirds the formation of this modern nation.

The right of every Bahamian, to have a single, equal vote, is the bedrock of our democracy. 

But it did not come easy or quickly. 

It was hard fought-for, and hard-won. 

And yet the principle that the will of the majority should determine who rules the country, was strongly resisted by the governing minority. 

In the years of struggle, many suffered and much was sacrificed and lost along the way.  

Today we recognize those stalwart, persevering and striving forebears—like our dear Sir Lynden Pindling, who had the guts and the gumption to throw the power to the people on a fateful day in 1965.

It was on April 27th of that year when he crossed to the Speaker’s table in the House of Assembly, took the mace, the symbol of the government’s power and authority, and declared that it deserved to belong to the people.

“The people are outside”, he said—before he flung the 165-year-old mace out of the window.

He was the very definition of progressive.

And certainly, those brave men and women who led the Burma Road riots were not afraid. They knew what was fair, they knew their worth, and so they marched! 

And of course, those founding members of the Progressive Liberal party were not afraid—they stood up for the right and the good. 

Today, let us call their names boldly and proudly.

Let us also call the names of those staunchly defiant women, like Mary Ingraham and Dame Doris Johnson, who refused to “know a woman’s place.”

For their hard work, for their perseverance, their grit, and their determination, we are eternally grateful.

This is our inheritance: a legacy of greatness, a heritage of perseverance and tenacity… it is ours, ours to own, to pass on, to praise.

It is also a legacy to build on.

So it was!

And so it must be!

We cannot ever be afraid to stand in our power. We cannot be afraid to keep pushing forward—bravely, boldly, and without reserve.

We cannot be afraid of the potential that we have for greatness.

Today, on this 56th anniversary of Majority Rule in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, let us commit to upholding and advancing the vision of the freedom fighters who came before us.

Let us celebrate that it is because of them that we stand here today as fully-fledged citizens of this nation, as owners of our own destinies, and the authors of our collective future.

Let us renew our resolve to protect our social and economic dignity, and remain steadfast in our commitment to the founding principles of justice, order, and respect, set down by our foremothers and fathers.

Happy Majority Rule Day to you all, and May God Bless you, and continue to favour the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.