Founding Father The Hon. A. Loftus Roker passes at 88

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A. Loftus Roker, 88

NASSAU| Bahamas Press is learning of the passing of the Hon. A. Loftus Roker this afternoon at Doctor’s Hospital.

Mr. Roker served as Minister of National Security and Immigration. He played a critical role in one of the most important moments in our national history. In December of 1972, as one of only fifteen in a national delegation led by then Prime Minister Pindling, he travelled to London to negotiate the terms of our country’s independence. He did this because, in his own words, he ‘believed in freedom.”

The Hon. A. Loftus Roker was born on 25th August, 1935 in Delectable Bay, Acklins, to Elkin and Dolores Theodora Roker. He obtained his early education at the public school in Pompey Bay and the Western Senior High School in New Providence. 

Later, he went on to work at the Bahamas Telecommunications Department’s transmission station. He later pursued a law degree at the University of London and Middle Temple, where he obtained a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1961 and was called to the Bar in 1962. 

Mr. Roker launched his political career at the tender age of 20 and became a Standard bearer of the Progressive Liberal Party. He ran in the 1968 general elections and successfully contested his seat to become the representative for the Nicholls Town and Berry Islands Constituency.

He served as Chairman of the Gaming Board and as a member of the Advisory Council to the Ministry of Education between 1968 and 1971.  In 1971, Prime Minister, Sir Lynden Pindling appointed him to the post of Minister of Health and Housing.

Then in December, 1971, Mr. Roker, along with 14 other Parliamentary colleagues, made history when they signed the nation’s independence constitutional order.  In August, 1975 he was appointed Acting Minister of Works and Utilities and was subsequently confirmed to that post in January 1976. 

Later in 1985, Mr. Roker was appointed Minister of National Security.  During his tenure, the issue of illegal immigration was aggressively addressed. He considered himself to be a ‘black nationalist who believed in black leadership.

PM Davis and Roker in Pompey Bay in 2023.

Long after his retirement from public life, he remained highly sought after as a national voice of advice and reason for sage, critical and frank commentary on a number of matters of national importance.  A devout Anglican, Mr.  Roker is an accomplished mariner and seafarer who also enjoys fishing, swimming and golfing. He is married to Ruby Louise (nee Livingston).

In Pompey Bay, August 4, 2023, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Philip Davis KC and a Cabinet Delegation gathered to recognize former Parliamentarian and Cabinet Minister, the Hon. A. Loftus Roker at the renaming of the Acklins school in his honour, bestowed at the Golden Jubilee Anniversary of Bahamas Independence.

Mr Roker in Pompey Bay back in 2023.