Nelson Mandela always valued his relationship to The Bahamas. Below are a few memories. Special thanks to Candia Dames and Torrell Glinton for their contribution from the archives.
Share a comment or story of how Nelson Mandela impacted your life here in The Bahamas.
JULY 20, 2013 -- PERCY "VOLA" FRANCIS, KING OF JUNKANOO & LEADER OF THE SHELL SAXONS SUPERSTARS
The year was 1993 when Mr Nelson Mandela visited Nassau, Bahamas just in time for our annual parade. It was Christmas Day when I got a frantic call at home from members of our group that Nelson Mandela was in Mason's Addition on Saxon's Way (Home of the Saxons) looking for me. Our parade theme that year was "Famous Legends In Time - Be The Best You Can Be." In that presentation we had a lead costume with Nelson riding a black panther with a carving of him in almost true likeness. He must have heard what we were doing for the Junkanoo Parade and came to our shack in the yard of Peter Minnis our designer and decorator, to view the piece. Peter freaked out when they said Mandela came by to see his work. It was an unbelievable moment for all of us. During that patricular moment I (Percy) did not get a chance to see him then, because I was at home putting the final touches on my costume. It was not until we got to Bay Street and Parliament Square, in the heart of the parade when Mr. Mandela sent for me for a photo opportunity. With me was my son Julio who was only 3 years old at the time also experiencing his first Junkanoo parade. We were dressed as knights in shinning armour for that particular parade presentation. What a thrilling and memorable moment. Still being kept as a memorabilla. Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela from the king.
JULY 19, 2013 - TERRINIQUE PENNERMAN, MARIO CAREY REALTY
For the next 67 days, our company has pledged to perform individual acts of kindness. To track our deeds, we have created a chart that hangs in the lobby of the office. We will post our names on the chart each day we perform a good deed.
JULY 16, 2013 - GARETH JOHNSON, CLEAR CHOICE POOL SERVICES
Hello sir, hope all is well with you. Heard you on Mr Miller's show yesterday, and thought you did a great job. Continue bridging the gap between races...and being that beacon of light...that all men would know that there's still hope in mankind, because of men like yourself. Job well done Mr Gruner.
Johannesburg, July 18th, 2013
To the people of The Bahamas,
A few years ago I had the pleasure of traveling to The Bahamas. The Islands of The Bahamas are probably one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to in my life and I must say the hospitality was great. A place I can comfortably say, if there was a heaven on Earth, it would probably look like The Bahamas.
I would like to encourage the country to get behind Nelson Mandela day as its not only a day in which we follow the example of Nelson Mandela by giving back to our communities but a day in which we celebrate his birthday. This year marks his 95th birthday and we would like you to join us in this celebration of his life and legacy.
This day is an important day for our family as well as our country, the Republic of South Africa. We would be happy if the people of The Bahamas could join us and make this day a real international day.
I would like to thank you for recognizing this day, Nelson Mandela day, and acknowledging the great work our grandfather has done for being instrumental in liberating the people of South Africa, for being an exemplary leader for African people across the world and a beacon of light, hope and inspiration for all humanity.
My grandfather on his birthday would love nothing more than to see people doing their part for their community. Mandela Day is not limited to charity but promotes that we should do something, anything that will benefit anyone accept yourself. This will allow our society to he more in touch with one another and by so doing create a more united world.
My wish for humanity is that we celebrate ourselves as humans and try to create a more just world where people have equal opportunities to express themselves in a constructive manner and are able to live a lifestyle deserving of all human beings, everyone having access to education, shelter and food and opportunity to pursue their dreams.
Lets us show Nelson Mandela how much we care for him and how much we value him by following his example and let us all contribute to making a more just and peaceful world.
Together we can achieve anything.