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Hubert Ingraham on The Passing of Hon. George A. Smith

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – George A. Smith is inscribed in the annals of our history as a signatory to The Bahamas Independence Constitution.



NASSAU, BAHAMAS – I was saddened to learn of the death of my former colleague and friend of many years, George A. Smith.

His name is inscribed in the annals of our history as a signatory to The Bahamas Independence Constitution.

His public life made him a founding father of our country.

George was the much-loved member of Parliament for Exuma for 29 years beginning in 1968.

An Exumian by birth, his dedication to his constituents was early recognized, and he was returned to the House of Assembly at six consecutive general elections.

George’s political ambition was singular: the advancement of Exuma and of ordinary Bahamians.

His constituents will attest to the personal help and assistance lent by their MP, quietly and regularly, not for public attribution.

He was especially generous to Exumians studying abroad and in need of financial assistance.

He made important contributions to agricultural development in the country when he served as a minister in the Pindling-led government and proved early on to be a friend of the environment.

I served in cabinet for two years along with George. Of those who served with us then, only five, including myself, remain – the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie, the Hon. Loftus Roker, the Hon. Phillip Bethel and Kendal Nottage.

A lifelong faithful and committed PLP, George never permitted his political affiliation to colour his personal relationships.

I can never forget the political ridicule that he received from some of our PLP colleagues when he defended my right to express my strong views on the government’s mishandling of the illicit drug trafficking problem besetting our country in the 1980s.

Even after I called for his resignation from the Cabinet, he refused to support my expulsion from the Party.

Our friendship persisted in the years following my expulsion from the PLP and my assuming the leadership of the FNM and then of the country.

I last saw George in Exuma where we were both enjoying the return of the Annual National Regatta at the end of last month.

He was in good spirits, happy to be home in Exuma and looking forward to the 50th Anniversary celebrations of our country’s Independence for which he served as a Consultant.

He will be sadly missed.

On my behalf and that of my wife Delores, I extend heartfelt condolences to George’s children, Gina, G. Andrew, and Gigi Smith, to his brothers Philip and Robert Smith and to his nieces and nephews and extended family including the entire Exuma community.

May he rest in peace.