Watkins on Basil Dean
ACP Basil Dean, one of a vanishing breed
On hearing of the sudden passing of former A.C.P Basil Dean a few days ago, I was deeply saddened. I retreated to my favorite spot under a shade tree in my garden and quietly recalled the many moments I spent with him as a young policeman during the late 1960s.
Nineteen fifty eight was the last year in which the Government of The Bahamas sought recruits for the force from other countries in the Caribbean and South America. From 1960 onwards all Islands in the archipelago were canvassed for recruits to complement the ranks of the force. During the early and mid-60s the major portion of the men recruited were from Cat Island.
It was during this period that a massive campaign in public relations in all secondary schools in New Providence and the Family Islands was being conducted by the Royal Bahamas Police Force and the Kiwanis Club of Nassau. It was also during this period that many of the senior echelon of the force during the 80s and upward were recruited, a number of whom served under my command in various sections of the force. These men were indeed, a breed that is fast vanishing from the front lines of the security forces in this nation.
Three from that era became commissioners, B. K. Bonamy, Paul Farquharson and Reginald Ferguson, and in my humble opinion if it had not been for political insensitivity and interference, there was nothing to stop Basil Dean from achieving that feat. Like so many a good officer before him who, like him, were forced to take that path and like them, he is now being given the roses; but, alas, he is unable to smell them.
Nathaniel Rolle, Ashton Miller and Basil Dean were assistant commissioners. These officers of whom I write were dedicated, hard working, loyal to the brand and incorruptible. With Basil’s sudden and inhumane departure from C. D. U and the force, a void was left that is still felt to this present time. The personal tragedy and indignities experienced by this fearless advocate of law and order did nothing to deter him from his goal of ridding our social system of the scourge of criminality. It is sad but true, that men of his quality and ilk are fast becoming extinct in our security forces of today. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family.
Errington W. I Watkins, etc.