Roberts addresses 46th Anniversary Church Service on Majority Rule

Bradley Roberts

Sunday, 13th January 2013

Apostle Raymond Wells and Mrs. Wells;
Mr. Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie;
Cabinet Ministers and Parliamentarians;

Party Officers, ladies and gentlemen, a pleasant and brisk Good Morning

The Psalmist David said in his 122nd song, “I was glad when they said to me, let us go into the house of the Lord.”

I come in peace and bring warm greetings on behalf of the Progressive Liberal Party.

I am truly glad to be here this morning to celebrate the 46th anniversary of Majority Rule in the house of God and to give thanks to Almighty God for His many blessings both on a personal and a national level.

On Thursday of last week, the 10th of January 2013, the nation celebrated the 46th anniversary of Majority Rule. This singular event in Bahamian history played a significant role in shaping the modern Bahamas we experience and live in today. The significant events leading up to and emanating from Majority Rule must become permanently etched in the Bahamian historical landscape as these events collectively define us as a people, reveal what we believe in as Bahamians, and serve as constant reminders of our vision and values.

It is widely believed that with the exception of Emancipation from Slavery in 1834 and the attainment of Independence in 1973, there is no event of more consequence and historical importance than the attainment of Majority Rule on January 10th, 1967.

You get no argument from this Bahamian on that ascertain.

As courageous Bahamians stood in the vanguard of social change as far back as 1942 and beyond, I am confident that God at all times dispatched His guardian angels to offer protection and to secure victory in this righteous cause for social justice, human dignity and unconditional universal adult suffrage.

I am pleased that today there appears to be bipartisan support for this day to take its rightful place in the annals of Bahamian history. The Progressive Liberal Party fully supports the proposal advanced by the Prime Minister that January 10th should be observed as a national holiday. This day must be recognized as a major victory for justice, equality, freedom and human dignity.

I thank the Governor General for his national address on Majority Rule and his message of unity and responsibility.

I also thank the Minister of Education for elevating the level of participation in all of our schools in recognizing this important national event. This gesture will no doubt lead to better educating our children on their history and who they are as a people.

The president of the College of The Bahamas, Dr. Betsy Boze is commended for her commitment to encourage greater intellectual discourse and social awareness in this country on great historical events such as Majority Rule. The Art Exhibition at the Harry C. Moore Library was a great start and I encourage all to view the exhibition.

It pains me however; to witness the careless, reckless and wanton disregard that too many of our people, especially by a number of our young black men, have for these precious and hard fought freedoms. The level of crime, carnage and general disregard for human life and personal property are clear evidences of their unwillingness to accept responsibility for these priceless gifts: Gifts such as freedom, self-determination and the opportunity for real democracy to come to The Bahamas, underpinned by equality, tolerance, economic justice, social justice – all important elements in the creation of a free, modern, democratic state.

My brothers and sisters, you cannot put a price on these gifts and make no mistake about it – with freedom and opportunity come great responsibility.

Majority Rule ushered in the opportunity for all Bahamians to have constitutional, political, social, cultural and economic rights ordained by Almighty God. Where these rights were not readily accessible, the Government of the day created laws and implemented policies to enable these entitlements.

It is therefore the responsibility of every Bahamian to contribute to the continued development of our democracy and we cannot have a successful democracy without the prevalence of the rule of law.


I implore the government to hasten the expansion of Urban Renewal to the far flung corners of our archipelago. The arm of the government must touch and be felt by all Bahamians in its attempt to bring about social transformation and an arrest to this scourge called crime and the fear of crime.

And so, my friends, we come here to mark a critically important milestone in our progress as a people – and to re-commit ourselves to a struggle that never ends.

As we look to the future, it must be that the average man, making the average salary, with children to educate to university level; that they see not a glass ceiling but boundless opportunities that give rise to hope and optimism as we work together to build the best little country in the world. This is the essence of the promise of Majority Rule.

So in closing I simply say that we in this generation of leadership stand on the shoulders of giants and have a responsibility to safely deliver this country to the next generation of Bahamians stronger, richer and more civil.

We cannot fail in this solemn national duty and by God’s grace and mercy we will succeed. Our forebears have sacrificed too much for too long for us to callously disrespect their legacy through ignorance, selfishness and indifference.

On behalf of the Progressive Liberal Party, I congratulate The Bahamas on its 46th anniversary of Majority Rule and may Almighty God continue to bless The Commonwealth of The Bahamas.