Fifty-five years ago the late Muriel Eneas, an American who was married to Bahamian dentist Dr. Cleveland Eneas, himself a member of a fraternity, petitioned the head office of the Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority Inc. to establish a chapter in New Providence. She had gathered together like-minded women who were committed to the high ideals of the organization. On September 21, 1963, Julia Parnell, then national president of AKA, officiated at the chartering of the first Greek-lettered organization in The Bahamas and the organization’s second chapter outside the continental United States.
Other charter members were Delores Smith, Donna Donaldson-Towns and Shirley Vanderpool.
“The local chapter, Eta Psi Omega, continues to give sterling service to the Bahamian community in New Providence,” said Ida Turnquest, local chapter president. “This year we observed the 40th year of our scholarship program, Honours Day, through which we have given out more than $200,000 in scholarships to graduating high school females.”
In the aftermath of Hurricane Joaquin, the chapter donated 55 doors for homes damaged in the Family Islands.
In recognition of the sorority’s accomplishments and thousands of hours of service to local charities, the Princess Margaret Hospital, the Willamae Pratt Centre for Girls, The Bahamas Red Cross and others, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis declared September as Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Charter Month.
“The Alpha Kappa Alpha program today still reflects the communal consciousness steeped in the AKA tradition and embodied in AKA’s credo, ‘To be supreme in service to all mankind’,” said Minnis in his proclamation.
In observation of its 55th anniversary, during September, members devoted more than 55 hours of service collectively to charitable organizations favored by the chartering members of the chapter.
Anniversary activities culminate this weekend with a joint conference event with other chapters from Freeport and the University of The Bahamas; worship at the St. Marks Native Baptist Church and a leadership awards luncheon. The organization will pay tribute to its members who have given loyal and committed service to the organization for more than 20 consecutive years as well as those members who have provided leadership at the regional and international levels. A highlight of the weekend will be the participation of Danette Reid, newly elected international first vice president, and Joy Elaine Daley, newly appointed international regional director. They will join local members at a courtesy call on Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling and the president of The University of The Bahamas.
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