John Kenning Died after long illness last night


Nassau, Bahamas –– Breaking News now coming into Bahamas Press confirms the passing of a kindhearted citizen in the Bahamian society, John Kenning.

Former head of Barclay’s Bank in The Bahamas died late last night. He was a decent contributor to many. His wife the lovely, Betty Kelly-Kenning, the only child of Trevor Kelly [owners of Kelly’s Lumber Yard and The Betty K], predeceased him.

The Kennings sought to make reality the dreams of many children in this country. They delivered a world-class swimming facility to the nation by funding the construction of The Betty Kelly-Kenning Aquatic Centre.

They were known for their many benevolent acts toward thousands of people in the Bahamas [including the animals of the Humane Society] and today on this global portal Bahamas Press honours their memory.

May the soul of this loving couple rest in the arms of the Risen Lord and rise into his eternal kingdom, henceforth now and forever more, AMEN!


  1. Bahamas’ Prime Minister’s statement on the passing of Mr. John Kenning, O.B.E.

    Statement by

    Rt. Hon. Hubert A. Ingraham

    On the Passing of

    Mr. John Kenning, O.B.E.

    My colleagues and I were saddened to learn of the passing of Mr. John Kenning, O.B.E. just five months following the passing his late wife Mrs. Elizabeth (Betty) Kelly Kenning O.B.E.

    The Bahamas and in particular our financial industry is saddened by the passing of one of its banking pioneers. Mr. Kenning came to The Bahamas more than 50 years ago, married into one of the leading families of the country and elected to become one of us.

    He will be best remembered for his career at Barclay’s Bank in the Bahamas where he spent more than 30 years of his working life and nurtured and mentored many future Bahamian banking leaders. The business community particularly admired his prudent and disciplined approach to financial matters.

    Over the years he developed a reputation for his advocacy of academic excellence combined with practical working experience as the prescription for advancement of a career in banking which was wonderful encouragement for the many young Bahamians pursuing a career in an industry recently opened to them.

    Following his retirement from Barclay’s Mr. Kenning continued his involvement in financial matters as Chairman of the Bank of the Bahamas at a time when that unprofitable institution needed the guiding hand of a strong experience leader to guide it into profitability which he promptly did one year after accepting the offer.

    Besides his chairmanship of the Bank of The Bahamas, Mr. Kenning served as a member of Government Boards and Committees including the Council of Economic Advisors on which he also served as Chairman and to which he brought his considerable understanding of the Bahamian economy and banking system.

    Mr. Kenning together with his late wife will always be remembered by the entire Bahamas for the unselfish generosity of their time and financial gifts to our country particularly the Betty Kelly Kenning Swimming Complex and the Bahamas Humane Society.

    My colleagues and I extend our deepest sympathy to the family.

  2. Allyson Maynard Gibson
    P. O. Box CB-13442
    Nassau, Bahamas
    Telephone: 323-1234

    4th July, 2010
    The Editor
    Bahamas Press
    Nassau, Bahamas

    Dear Sir,
    The country notes with sadness and a very heavy heart the passing last week of Mr. John Kenning O.B.E., a Bahamian with a big heart and an unquenchable desire for excellence and making a positive difference in people’s lives.
    The Kennings (John and Betty) were well known Bahaman philanthropists. Both were animal lovers and they were largely responsible for the existence of the Bahamas Humane Society as we know it today, a world class organization. The Kennings were also largely responsible for the construction of the Betty Kenning Aquatic Centre, a world class swim training centre in The Bahamas. The late Mrs. Betty Kenning O.B.E., was an avid swimmer (at world class level in her youth). She had and pursued a vision for young Bahamian swimmers achieving their full potential on the world stage. With much reluctance, she allowed the national aquatic centre to bear her name.
    Mr. John Kenning was a banker par excellence. He was an advisor to many Governments, in which capacity he generously gave his time and talent. He never allowed artificial barriers, such as politics, to interfere with his friendships nor his philanthropic efforts. For as long as he was in the financial services sector, he was determined that The Bahamas should be seen to be a jurisdiction of excellence: a blue chip jurisdiction. In his view, all financial services required a strong retail banking sector. He was a proud “Barclays Man”.
    Mr. John Kenning took pride in his ability to spot, nurture, mentor, invest in and otherwise develop Bahamian talent. Many of the nation’s top bankers and business people are protégées of John Kenning. He was a highly principled and conservative man. Excellence was his watchword.
    Mr. John Kenning felt the need to foster Bahamian entrepreneurship. At a time when banks were oriented to consumer loans for the ordinary Bahamian, he took seriously and examined carefully the business proposals of many ordinary Bahamians who wanted to venture into their own business. Many a story has been told by people who never would have received a business loan, but for the fact that John Kenning “knew his customer”. They, grateful to be afforded the opportunity to pursue their dream, did not let him down. Those businesses, and through them John Kenning, helped to create a significant middle class in The Bahamas.
    Innumerable Bahamians have been the recipients of the Kennings’ quiet generosity, whether from enabling their freight to come to The Bahamas either free or at a substantial discount, receiving a scholarship, receiving building materials either free or at a substantial discount and many other examples. The Kennings gave freely without looking for an earthly reward. Many religious communities have also been recipients of their bigheartedness.
    Many people will recall his personal discipline. He used to run on the Cable Beach strip every morning. He was an avid and very competent golfer. During his wife’s illness, he saw to her every need and desire for as long as he could before he too became ill. He was a loving husband.
    Thank you Mr. John Kenning O.B.E., (born in Ireland) for choosing to make The Bahamas your home and for so richly enhancing the Bahamian tapestry.
    May his soul rest in peace.
    Yours sincerely,

    Allyson Maynard Gibson

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