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Those we lost in 2010

With the triumphs of 2010 came tragedies.

People around the country said their farewells to cultural giants, community builders and loved ones who passed away.

This year the nation laid to rest well-known and loved politicians, clerics, patrons and volunteers.

It watched in horror as the effects of the January 12 earthquake in Haiti claimed the lives of over 200,000. Bahamians also grieved with families who experienced unspeakable tragedy in the form of a sudden tornado and a fatal plane crash at home.

Two days into the beginning of the year, former Member of Parliament Oscar Nathaniel Johnson was buried in a state recognized funeral at Bahamas Faith Ministries’Diplomat Centre. A Progressive Liberal Party MP for Cat Island from 1968 to 1977, Johnson died on December 22, 2009 at the Princess Margaret Hospital.

Days later a devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, destroying much of Port-au-Prince.

“Our hearts go out to the people of Haiti at this time,”said Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham in a press statement following the disaster.

On January 24 beloved Roman Catholic Archbishop Lawrence Burke died in Kingston, Jamaica of cancer at the age of 77. Burke, a Jamaican, was named Bishop of Nassau in 1981. He later became the first Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Nassau in 1999.

The first major local tragedy of the year occurred on March 29 when a tornado struck Grand Bahama, killing three employees at the Freeport Container Port and injuring others.

Cleveland Lowe, Michael Young and Shawn Saunders all lost their lives in the storm.

Jane Bethel, sister of the first Bahamian Governor General, Sir Milo Butler, and mother of former Health Minister Marcus Bethel died on April 22. Days later Patricia Lady Isaacs, widow of former Free National Movement leader Sir Kendal Isaacs, died on April 27.

Both stalwart members of the Red Cross, Lady Isaacs and Mrs. Bethel were among a number of such community builders to pass away in the middle of the year. Former Red Cross director general Marina Glinton and stalwarts Sybil Strachan, Ruth Cash and Lady Edith Turnquest all died in May.

Lady Turnquest, mother of National Security Minister Tommy Turnquest and wife of former Governor General Sir Orville Turnquest, died on May 12 at a London hospital at the age of 80 after suffering from a stroke.

The Nassau Guardianfamily said goodbye to one of its fallen members in September. Norman Rolle, a veteran journalist and former copy editor atThe Guardian, passed away that month. Rolle was remembered fondly by his colleagues.

In October nine victims perished in the worst plane crash to affect the country since the crash of the Bimini-bound Chalk’s flight in 2005.

Nelson Hanna, pilot of the ill-fated Cessna 402, and passengers Nat Williams, Chet Johnson, Junior Lubin, Cory Farquharson, Delon Taylor, Devon Storr, Lavard Curtis and Chanoine Mildor were all killed in the October 5 crash.

The flight went down in Lake Killarney moments after take-off from the Lynden Pindling International Airport. The men were travelling to San Salvador.

William Paul Holowesko, husband of Senate President Lynn Holowesko, died the following month at the age of 77. Holowesko, owner of Bahamas Title Research Company Ltd., died at his home on November 12.

Other prominent Bahamians who passed in the latter part of 2010 included Vernice Moultrie-Cooper, a founding member of the Miss Bahamas Beauty Pageant Committee; educator Sylvia Laramore-Crawford and senior nursing officer Ironaca Morris-Baker.

The year 2010 also marked the death anniversaries of prominent Bahamians.

The Father of the Nation, Sir Lynden Pindling, was laid to rest a decade ago. Internationally renowned Bahamian folk singer Joseph Spence’s centenary was commemorated this year. Spence, who died in 1984, was born in August 1910.

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