The Right Excellent Sir Lynden Oscar Pindling, NH, ON, PC, KCMG, OM, JP National Hero; First Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas
Sir Lynden Oscar Pindling (22 March 1930 – 26 August 2000), is regarded as the "Father of the Nation" of the Bahamas, having led it to Majority Rule on 10 January 1967 and to independence on 10 July 1973.
Early life and education
Lynden Oscar Pindling was born on the 22 March 1930 to Mr. Arnold Franklin Pindling and Viola Melba Bain Pindling in the home of Captain Frederick Bain (Lynden's grandfather) in Mason's Addition, in the City of Nassau, The Bahamas. Lynden grew up in East Street. He initially schooled at the Eastern Primary School, which was located on School Lane, between Shirley and Dowdeswell Streets, and also spent some time at a small Adventist primary school on Hawkins' Hill.
Between the ages of seven and nine, Lynden attended Eastern Junior School on Bay Street, Southern Junior School on Wulff Road and Western Junior School at the corner of Meeting Street and Hospital Lane. He later attended Government High School (1943-1946), situate in downtown Nassau. Upon completing his studies at GHS, Lynden at the age of 16 took a job as a junior clerk in the Post Office Savings Bank and worked there until 1948 when he traveled to London to commence his legal studies. Pindling received his LLB from King's College, London University in August 1952, was called to the bar of the Middle Temple in February 1953 and returned to Nassau at the end of June, 1953 to be called to the Bahamas Bar.
Pindling's speech at his call to the Bahamas Bar not only demonstrated his eloquence but revealed his political agenda as he dedicated himself to the service of the Bahamas and the Bahamian people within and without the realm of pure law.
By the end of 1953, Pindling joined the Progressive Liberal Party as its legal advisor and later became Treasurer of the Party in 1954 and Chairman in 1963.
On 5 May 1956, Lynden Pindling married Marguerite McKenzie of Long Bay Cays in southern Andros at St. Ann's parish church situate at the northern end of Fox Hill Road. The following month, Lynden Pindling successfully contested Nassau's Southern District in the 1956 General Election. Party Chairman Henry Milton Taylor (later Sir Henry Milton Taylor and the third post Independence Governor General) was defeated in the 1956 General Election. His electoral defeat resulted in the Executive Board of the PLP choosing between Lynden Pindling and the dynamic and popular labour leader Randol Fawkes (later Sir Randol Fawkes) to elect a Parliamentary leader of the PLP. Lynden Pindling was chosen as parliamentary leader of the PLP and effectively led the PLP inside and outside the House of Assembly from 1956 until his retirement in 1997. He led the PLP to election victories in 1967, 1968, 1972, 1977, 1982 and 1987 and was elected to the House of Assembly on ten consecutive occasions.
Under the leadership of Pindling, the PLP was a major catalyst for the attainment of majority rule in 1967 when he also became The Bahamas first black Premier, having successfully led the PLP in the 1967 General Election. Pindling led The Bahamas into independence, which came about on 10 July 1973, caused the Bahamas to join the United Nations (1973) and is the architect of the modern Bahamas. The PLP under the leadership of Lynden Pindling, brought about prosperity which has given The Bahamas one of the highest standards of living in the Western Hemisphere.
Known by Bahamians as "the Father of the Nation", the PLP government under the stewardship of Sir Lynden Pindling established Bahamasair, the Central Bank, the National Insurance Board, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force and the Hotel Corporation.
Sir Lynden Pindling retired from active politics and leadership of the PLP in July 1997 and was succeeded by Perry G. Christie in the 1997 PLP Convention.
Honours and awards
He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1983 and was the longest serving elected head of government in the Commonwealth.
In 2018, he was posthumously confered with the Order of National Hero (NH) and the Order of the Nation (ON).
Three years after retirement, on 25 August 2000 Sir Lynden Pindling passed away after a prolonged battle with prostate cancer. He was laid to rest on 4 September 2000 and today, even in death, he continues to be revered as the most dominant figure in Bahamian politics.
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Date of Birth
22 March 1930
Place of Birth
Date of Death
26 August 2000 (aged 70)
Place of Death
Premier of the Bahama Islands: 16 January 1967 - 1969
Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of the Bahama Islands: 1969 - 10 July 1973
Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas: 10 July 1973 - 21 August 1992
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