Long Island road renamed in honor of Joseph B. Carroll

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation the Hon. Chester Cooper along with some of the children of Joseph B. Carroll cut the ribbon to signify the official renaming of Joseph B. Carroll Highway. Also shown (4th from left) is Mr. Adrian Gibson, MP for Long Island.  Pictured from right is Luther Smith, Permanent Secretary; Tyrell Young, Executive Chairman, BAMSI; Neil Campbell, Acting Director, Local Government (back); Bacchus Rolle, Parliamentary Secretary and the Hon. Alfred Sears, Minister of Works and Utilities. 

LONG ISLAND, The Bahamas – The community of Long Island honored the memory of nation builder, community leader, war hero and son of the soil — Joseph Benjamin Carroll – by officially naming a road in his honor. 

King’s Highway (from Scrubb Hill to Pinders) has been officially renamed Joseph B. Carroll Highway.

The family of Mr. Carroll, students, teachers, representatives of government departments and a large cross-section of the community attended the ceremony held outdoors at NGM Major High School Friday, May 12, 2023. 

Also in attendance were Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation, the Hon. Chester Cooper; the Hon. Alfred Sears, Minister of Works and Utilities; Adrian Gibson, MP for Long Island; Bacchus Rolle, Parliamentary Secretary; Earl Campbell, Director of Local Government; Tyrell Young, executive chairman, BAMSI; Jandilee Archer, Administrator for Long Island; and Local Government representatives.

Participants included: Sharon Cartwright, deputy chief councillor; Fr. Berkley Smith, priest in charge of St. Paul’s Long Island; Administrator Archer; Mr. Gibson; and Justice Norris Carroll, former Senator and son of Mr. Carroll. The NGM Major Vocal Ensemble performed during the event. 

Representing Prime Minister the Hon. Philip E. Davis, the Hon. Chester Cooper, Acting Prime Minister, described Mr. Carroll as a “remarkable” man who is remembered for his commitment to family, his business acumen, and for his service to the nation. 

Said Minister Cooper, “From his pioneering of the Community Food Store to his advocacy on financial inclusion, which led to the first banking institution – the Royal Bank of Canada — establishing a permanent branch on Long Island, Mr. Carroll’s legacy is certainly an impressive one. 

“By renaming this road in central Long Island, we do more than honour his memory. We make the much bolder decision to recognize our own. To commemorate the builders of this nation, who were born in this nation. 

“As we approach our Golden Jubilee, a truly momentous moment in the history of this country, we must strive do even more to celebrate our own. Today, we rename a road but tomorrow, we have endless opportunities to shape the nation we want to call home.”

Reflecting on the contributions of Mr. Carroll, Minister Sears cited a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson entitled ‘What is success?’ 

He recounted, “He appreciated beauty; found the best in others. He gave generously of himself and he left this world better by his witness, by his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. That is the legacy that we celebrate today. Therefore, it is within this context that we are here to honor a Bahamian hero, son of the soil and legend of our time who epitomized the definition of success.

“For a life such as his, where in all things Joseph Benjamin Carroll found it more blessed to give than to receive, more honorable to build than destroy, it is therefore fitting that this portion of  the road from Scrubb Hill to Pinders be named in honor of this Bahamian patriot.”

Ms. Cartwright said, “Here we are today, some 18 years later, witnessing a dream come true. 

“Today is by all means a defining moment in the history of Long Island. Soon and very soon we will be walking, driving or riding down J B Carroll’s highway instead of the King’s Highway.”

Mr. Carroll’s accomplishments include:

 -Served as an elder in Cartwright’s Gospel Chapel beginning in 1958 until the time of his death in 2010;

-Honored by her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (received the British Empire Medal) for meritorious civil/military service;

– Member of the local School Board and the Parent Teachers’ Association of NGM Major High School;

-A member of the local Board of Works for over 30 years;

-Led fundraising efforts to construct a Science Building at NGM Major High School;

-Helped raise funds for the Deadman’s Cay Health Centre and led the effort to raise funds for the Medical Clinic and Nurse’s residence.

A ribbon cutting, blessing of the road and benediction followed the ceremony.