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Today In History: August 18th

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – On this day in Bahamian history, Keva Marie Bethel (née Eldon) was born in Nassau, The Bahamas.





NASSAU, BAHAMAS – On this day in Bahamian history, Keva Marie Bethel (née Eldon) was born in Nassau, The Bahamas.

The second child of Sidney Alexander Eldon and Rowena Beatrice Eldon of Delancey Street, she is the sister of Michael Eldon, the first Bahamian Bishop of the Diocese of The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands.

She received her early education at Queen’s College, graduating in 1950.  In 1953 she enrolled at Kirby Lodge, Little Shelford in the United Kingdom, a school specializing in preparing young women to enter Cambridge University. There she studied modern languages with emphasis on French and Spanish. Six years later in 1959 she graduated with Bachelor of Arts degree in Modern Languages from Cambridge’s Girton College and in 1963 she earned her Master’s Degree.

After earning her BA, Bethel returned home in 1959 to take up a teaching position at Government High School teaching Modern Languages. In 1962 she married Edward Clement Bethel with whom she had two children, Nicolette and Edward.

In 1966, she was appointed Head of Modern Languages, followed by a further appointment to Deputy Headmistress in 1972. In 1975 she was transferred to the newly opened College of The Bahamas where she would remain for the next twenty-three years serving in different positions including principal from 1982 – 1995 and the college’s first president from 1995 – 1998.

In 1982 while Vice-Principal she studied abroad and received her doctorate in Educational Administration, from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.

Dr. Bethel was also a leader in the civic and business community. She served on a number of local boards including Doctors Hospital, Queen’s College her alma mater and The Lyford Cay Foundation. In 2009 she was named one of The College of The Bahamas’ first Scholars-in-Residence.

On February 15th, 2011 Keva Bethel died; she was 75 years old.  Posthumously, the main administrative building at The College of The Bahamas was named in her honour on 17th August 2012.


Also on August 18th 1970, The United States Navy dumped nerve gas off near Bahamian waters – 150 miles north of the coast of Abaco, Bahamas.

The SS Lebaron Russell Briggs sailed from Sunny Point, North Carolina, United States to the Bahama Islands to be sunk in the Blake Bahama Basement. Its cargo was 67 tons of encased nerve gas to be sunk in the three mile deep basin in the North Atlantic Ocean near Abaco.

Despite protests from the Bahamian government, the British government and a suit by Governor Claude Kirk of Florida and the Environmental Defense Fund the U.S. Navy proceeded with the operation.

This event was one of the catalysts that furthered the cause of many Bahamians to push for independence from the United Kingdom. 


And finally on August 18th, 2018 James Julius Catalyn died in New Providence at the age of 78.

Catalyn was an actor, writer, director and producer