No one in this world, was more obsessed with what colour Sir Roland Symonette was, than white British people. From the 1940s arrival of the Duke of Windsor, as the new Bahamas colonial governor, to almost 30 years later, in a 1966 brief complied by British officials, during the Queen’s official visit, the snipes, jibes and innuendos regarding Sir Roland’s possible ancestry, dogged the first Bahamian Premier of the Bahamas.

Maybe it was the snobby social exclusions and the polite turned up noses by British Governors and British administrators, is what drove Sir Roland Symonette, island boy from Eleuthera, to succeed in business and in politics.


British 30, 80 and 100 Year Declassified File Rule

For obvious reasons, certain British Parliamentary government files and files that would have passed through Buckingham Palace must remain restricted or confidential for a set period of time. This is of course to protect British national security and the national security of any number of nations and national personalities. Some may never declassified.

In 2001, a 1970 file was declassified under the British 30-Year-Rule for sensitive government documents. In it, was a document written for the 1966 official visit, to the Bahamas, by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. These documents would have been read by Her Majesty’s private secretary and by the Queen herself, as a part of a comprehensive review on the Bahamas, prior to meeting various political and social figures on her official visit.

In it was a brief summary on the history of the Bahamas and biographical summaries on a few political, business and judicial figures.


YEAR STAMP 1970 – DECLASSIFIED 2001

For Arthur D. Hanna, first Deputy Prime Minister of the Bahamas under the PLP administration, he was assessed as an anti-white, angry man. His anger, it was confidently judged, as being a factor of his marrying a white British woman.

Member of Parliament in 1966, Roy Solomon was assessed as a man who overcompensated for his small physique by being aggressive.

Wallace Groves, Freeport, Grand Bahama creator, was a ex-convict from a US Federal Prison, who spent his time in the Bahamas, trying to overcome this volcanic fault of character.

Sir Ralph Campbell, Chief Justice, was as deaf as a doorknob, but wouldn’t admit.

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