Iconic Clifford Park, the grassy knoll and historical venue where Bahamian national independence was first celebrated in 1973, was named in 1936.
It was named after a man who had spent exactly four years and eight months in the Bahamas. Quite a bit of that time, was spent travelling for personal holidaying, as well as, trying to encourage business links, for the new winter tourist industry, in Nassau.
(Fort Lauderdale News Friday 19 February 1932)
(The Miami News Saturday 11 February 1933)
Frank Munson ran the shipping fleet The Munson Line. The Bahamas Government had been paying Munson $50,000 a month to operate the steamship Munarco between New York and Nassau bringing tourists to the Bahamas during the winter season. Sir Bede Clifford cancelled the contract. Clifford gave the contract to the Cunard Line. Here we see Munson entertaining Governor Clifford in Connecticut 1933
(Hartford Connecticut Sunday 20 August 1933)
Governor and Commander in Chief of the Bahamas, Sir Bede Clifford was appointed in 1931, but did not officially take the position until January 1932. He left in August 1937.
Sir Bede Clifford went on to become the 24th Governor of Mauritius (1937-1942) and then Governor of Trinidad (1942-1947).
When Bede Clifford was appointed Governor of the Bahamas in 1931, he made history. Clifford was the youngest Governor in the British Empire at 40 years old and a Catholic.
(The Catholic Advance Saturday 28 November 1931)
(The Age, Saturday 22 October 1938)
1935 Photo of Governor Sir William Bede Clifford and Mr. George Johnson, Chairman of Nassau Development Board
December 1936 the new Polo Grounds in Nassau to be named Clifford Park
Despite every Governor automatically obtaining the title of Sir, as was custom in the day, British appointed Governors liked to ensure that their brief secondment, as the top official in the Bahamas, would be eternally remembered.
Bahamians were also obliged to show their appreciation to the Crown for having sent a worthy representative. To ensure this, various things in the islands were named for people, who left after their jobs were over, and never looked back.
(The Brooklyn Daily Sunday December 13, 1936)
1937 – Sir Bede Clifford is succeeded by his secretary as governor. Charles Dundas, Clifford’s Colonial Secretary, is appointed Governor and Commander in Chief of Bahamas.
(The Citizen Times Sunday May 30, 1937)
1940 – Bede Clifford is remembered as having been the one to install a pool near the back door of Government House in Nassau in 1936.
(The Orlando Reporter Friday July 19, 1940)
1942 – Now Governor of Trinidad
Sir William Bede Clifford, former Governor of the Bahamas, died on 6th October 1969.