Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham pays respects to the late David Kelly



<<< Family members, friends and dignitaries gathered at Christ Church Cathedral to celebrate the life of David Kelly owner of Kelly’s at the Mall at Marathon. In photo below Governor General Arthur Hanna greets Mrs Nancy Kelly (Wife) after the funeral. Photo by Peter Ramsay

The following is the tribute by Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham at the funeral service for the late Mr. David Kelly on March 19th.

PRIME MINISTER: David Kelly was in his 77th year when he succumbed to an illness in a New York hospital. He lived a full and productive life and seemed to have so much life left to live. He was fully involved in the family business and in the social life of our Bahamian community and so, though death is inevitable for all of us, his passing was a shock.

I enjoyed immensely the chats we had over the years, especially our annual encounters at Sir Geoffrey Johnstone’s colourful Christmas parties and Delores and I took special pleasure from joining him and his wife Nancy at the annual Christmas Party for the staff at Kelly’s Home Centre.

David was not an absentee owner but was very intimately involved in the day-to-day operation of the business. It says something about the man that he seemed to have earned the genuine affection of those who worked with him.

I am also aware of the contribution he made at so many levels in the development of The Bahamas, but most especially in sports, in commerce and in philanthropy.

He was amongst those like the legendary Sir Durward Knowles — happily still with us — who very early helped to put what was then a little colony on the map in a most positive way by competing in world class international sports.

He built an early reputation for excellence in wrestling at military academy in Maryland where, I understand, in 1950 he was voted the best wrestler in the State of Maryland and received the Babe Ruth Award for Sportsmanship.

He represented The Bahamas in international Star Class yacht racing beginning with the championships in Cuba in 1955 and 1957 and in Rio in 1960. He represented his country at the Olympiads in 1968 and 1972.

For the rest of his life he remained a great friend and benefactor of Bahamian sports.

David was a member of a distinguished Bahamian family that made an indelible imprint on the Bahamas in business and politics.

He chose not to follow other members of the family into front-line politics but he most certainly held up the family tradition for successful entrepreneurship and management.

Kelly’s Home Centre which, along with his wife, he nurtured and hugely expanded over the years is well-known to tens of thousands of Bahamians in New Providence and the Family Islands for elevating the Bahamian Retail Industry to another level.

Many individuals and institutions benefitted from the generosity of David Kelly including national institutions like The Bahamas National Trust and the College of The Bahamas.

He generously supported many good causes including the fight against cancer and Sir Durward’s pet movement, One Bahamas.

I am indebted to him for his political support over the many years.kellydavidfuneral

The Kelly family and indeed the Bahamian community can be proud of a life well lived. I trust that Nancy and their sons, Andrew, Gregory and Scott, will carry on David’s work in the commercial and social development of our Bahamas.

On behalf of the Government and people of The Bahamas and on behalf of Delores and myself, I extend sincere condolences to Mrs. Kelly, her sons and the extended Kelly family.

May he rest in peace.


  1. Jimmy Knowles Dies…

    Prime Minister sends his condolences:

    My colleagues and I are saddened by the death of our friend and former colleague, Jimmy Knowles.

    I had known Mr. Knowles for many years both as a member of the Bahamas Bar, as a Member of Parliament and as a Cabinet Minister in the Government I was privileged to head.

    Mr. Knowles played an important role in the political history of The Bahamas and especially in the affairs of the Free National Movement.

    He was one of those who contributed to the building of a unified opposition in the late Seventies and was one of the 11 elected as FNM Members of Parliament in 1982.

    Mr. Knowles served his country well, and especially his beloved Long Island. We shall miss him.

    At this time of their bereavement our hearts go out to Mrs. Knowles and other members of the family and we extend to them our deepest sympathy.

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