Haitian diplomats to The Bahamas, in the early 1900s, were enormously distinguished men. More than career civil servants or political appointees, some of Haiti’s most accomplished intellectuals became Consul diplomats to The Bahamas.
The reason for this may be found in the fact that Inagua, considered the southern gateway, by the year 1900, held strategic significance for the British government and the Bahama Islands, British West Indies, as it was known then. By 1913, one particular government initiative indicated Inagua’s significance. It was the only Family Island with a government hospital.
Haiti in turn, despite tremendous poverty and political turmoil, had a well established educational system from the late 1800s. More advanced than the Bahamas’s educational system would be by 100 years. Haiti’s educational institutions ensured that many blacks were taught to the highest level, in a number of key professions, either on the island or in France. There was no better way to show off their best and brightest, than by sending them abroad to represent all their country had to offer the world.
1918 – Haiti’s School of Medicine
Haiti’s School of Medicine personnel 1918-1922. Le Personnel de l’Ecole de Medecine de 1918-1922 Source: https://ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00010107/00001/1x
HAITI’s SCHOOL OF MEDICINE PERSONNEL (1918-1922) Dr Justin Dorsainvil, Dr Paul Salomon, Dr Horace Perigord, Dr Charles Mathon, Dr Lebrun Bruno, Dr Kernizan, Dr Catts Pressoir, Dr Edouard Roy, Dr Moliere Civil, Dr Benony Hyson, Dr Emmanuel Day, Dr Lamartine Camille, Dr Louis Baron, Dr. Laurenceau.
Dr. Horace Perigord, Surgeon and Haitian Consul to The Bahamas in Inagua (1909 -1911)
Little is known about the life of Dr. Horace Perigord. He returned to Haiti after his consul appointment to The Bahamas ended in 1911. He may have returned as Medical Officer at the Inagua Hospital. However, by 1930, Dr. Perigord was appointed Haitian consul to London, presenting his credentials at Buckingham Palace. Dr. Horace Perigord and Dr. Alonzo Holly were friends. Perigord was appointed consul to The Bahamas a few short years after Holly held the position. At one point, it was announced that Dr. Perigord was engaged to Haitian writer and political thinker, Theodora Holly, sister of Dr. Alonzo Holly (photo below).
Dr. Alonzo P. B. Holly, Haitian Consul to The Bahamas
Author, teacher and political thinker Theodora Holly, sister of Dr. Alonzo Holly was among prominent Haitians in the early 1900s May have also been engaged to Dr. Horace Perigord
Inagua, the Southern Gateway to The Bahamas
Britain’s relationship with the southern Caribbean and its other colonies undoubtedly underscored Inagua’s key position, laid out by British governors, to the House of Assembly. More so than any of the other Family Islands, Inagua was considered the country’s southern gateway for other countries, most notably of which, were Haiti, Jamaica and Cuba. Situated at the head of the Windward Passage, Inagua is only 60 miles from Haiti and 48 miles from Cuba. It was noted in 1941, that on a clear day, one could see the lands of both Haiti and Cuba from Mathewtown.
In 1913, there were only two government owned hospitals. One was in Nassau; and the other, was in Mathew Town, Inagua. According to a letter to the Tribune in January 1913, government expenses for the Inagua hospital were noted to be £600 per year and salary of the Doctor was £200.