PLP: 27 April is Black Tuesday

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Posted by Kimberly on April 25, 2001 at 12:03:04:

In Reply to: Re: HUMOUR posted by Still Puzzeled on April 22, 2001 at 16:50:09:

From Sen. Fred Mitchell's column []:
Friday 27 April will mark the 36th anniversary of Black Tuesday, the Tuesday 27 April in 1965 when the late Sir Lynden O. Pindling, the founding Prime
Minister of The Bahamas, threw the Speaker's Mace out of the window of the House of Assembly. The Mace is the metal object that precedes the Speaker
into Parliament as a symbol of the Speaker's authority. The protest by Sir Lynden was the culmination of a set of plans by the PLP's National General
Council, plotted by the National Committee for Positive Action (NCPA). The late Leader of the Opposition Sir Cecil Wallace Whitfield led the protest
outside in the streets. Thousands gathered to support what was going on inside. Inside Sir Lynden told the House that the then governing white merchant
oligarchy, known as the Bay Street Boys would not listen to the voice of the people and reason with regard to the Boundaries Commission report for that year
1965. The distribution of seats in favour of the Family Islands was not acceptable to the PLP when the majority of the population lived in New Providence.
Sir Lynden often described how afraid he was on that day. Some say that Sir Milo Butler, the late former Governor General kept urging Sir Lynden to go
ahead or he would do it. Eventually Sir Lynden did, threw the Mace out of the Eastern window of the House where it fell in the streets below and was
destroyed. Arthur Hanna, the former PLP Deputy Prime Minister who was in the House on that day says that someone brought the pieces to him and he
buried them somewhere that he can't remember. Arthur Hanna, Paul Adderley, former Attorney General, Sir Orville Turnquest, now Governor General and
Cyril Stevenson former PLP MP are the only MPs of that era still alive. The PLP left the House and led a massive crowd to the Southern Recreation Grounds
from Bay Street. The riot act was read commanding them in the name of the Queen to move from Bay Street. Conscious of the riot that happened in 1942, the
PLP led the crowd from Bay Street south. The name Black Tuesday is said to have been coined by Arthur Foulkes, former MP and now Ambassador. It is
borrowed from the expression from the American usage for the day of the Wall Street crash in 1929. Sir Lynden said that the thousands that came out that day
were not planned. It was spontaneous given the police and other excitement in the streets. But it was the height of his political career in Opposition and made
him a legend in the minds of many. Sir Milo Butler, the people's champion, followed the Mace out the window with the Speaker's Hour Glass that was used to
time the speeches of MPs. In those days, each speaker in the House was limited to 15 minutes. While the rule is still on the books, when the PLP came to
power in 1967 they stopped enforcing it and it has not been enforced since. Paul Adderley, Orville Turnquest and the late Spurgeon Bethel, all PLP MPs at the
time were not told of the PLP's planned action. They did not agree with the subsequent decision of the party to boycott the House after that. When they
returned they were suspended from the party. They formed their own party the National Democratic Party. That party was defeated in the 1967 election.
The PLP won the government that year. The rest as they say is history.

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