Oddly enough, the UBP were celebrating in September 1967. They were circling, the House of Assembly, like a shark that tasted blood in the water.
Despite their narrow defeat at the polls in January, and later, the hurried defection of their key man of business, Sir Stafford Sands – by September, the United Bahamian Party was funding a grand banquet for their triumphant negro candidate, Cleophas Adderley.
Cleophas, had successfully kept the coveted City District seat, vacated by Sir Stafford, on the UBP constituency tally sheet.
This by-election defeat may not have been wholly unexpected for the PLP, but still, it was worrying. The UBP won, in a year that they should have been continually losing. Understandably, new Premier Lynden Pindling, was reading this turn of events like a soothsayer reading tea leaves. What did it all mean for the Progressive Liberal Party’s tenuous hold on political power?
Though happy for the PLP victory, Pindling expressed his fears and trepidations to a 500 strong membership at the national convention. It was the first convention, as the governing party, of the Bahama Islands.
Pindling admonished new Assembly Members to remain vigilant and to stop talking Party business
‘Club that hooked fish,’ one Andros constituent tells Premier Pindling, ‘lest it gain strength, jump out the boat and cause trouble.’
Seasoned fishermen know that, just because a fish may have a hook in its mouth, there is still a long way to go before dinner. The sea had fed The Bahamas ever since the Lucayans came. Those turquoise blue waters yielded its fruits, as well as its philosophies.
So when, one of Pindling’s grassroots Andros constituents said to him that the UBP was still a force to be reckoned with, Pindling believed it. The City District by-election defeat was still ringing in Pindling’s like tinnitus.
‘Club the UBP on the head, finish it off or risk it escaping.’ Easier to deal with a fish in the boat, rather than in the water. Pindling came to feel an affinity with such fishing philosophies and used them on several occasions in his speeches.
By 1968, Lynden Pindling, would do just that.