I have been privileged to have known Algernon SPB Allen, known as “Bulgie”, and his lovely wife, Dame Anita Allen, for all of their lives.
They are both a few years older than myself but I well remember them from the days when we were all at “the” Government High School, then located at Poinciana Drive where the University of The Bahamas is now situated. It would appear that the love affair began way back then.
A few years later, they were married and have produced children. Algernon Jr. currently serves the nation as a magistrate.
Their daughter, Aliya, has been in the securities and financial services industry for many years, successfully.
Last week, the Allens celebrated 48 years of what Dame Anita implied were “good years”. This speaks volumes for Bulgie as a good husband and father. They have demonstrated what the Bahamian family used to be like, which should be emulated.
Bulgie, of course, entered front line politics way back in the 1960s when he served as a campaign advisor and worker for the late Sinclair Outten for what is now the St. Barnabas constituency. Sinclair was successful.
Years later, after he had departed from the PLP, Bulgie was elected as the MP for Marathon. He was appointed to several ministerial posts, including minister of youth, sports and culture.
I was privileged to work with him at the then Ministry of Social Development & Housing, at the behest of former Prime Minister Hubert A. Ingraham.
Bulgie coined the phrases “little darlings” to refer to the country’s youth, and “precious pearls”, elderly Bahamians.
He was also instrumental in obtaining the then cabinet’s approval and funding for Peace on the Streets and Operation Redemption, according to Pastor Dave Burrows of Bahamas Faith Ministries.
Allen excelled as a practitioner at the bar and was, in my opinion, almost as smart as I demonstrated when he was my “rival” at the bar. The rivalry, if it could be called such, was always professional and respectful.
Algeron also mentored outstanding practitioners like former Chief Magistrate Roger Gomez, and Barry Sawyer, who both emerged from his chambers.
His wife, of course, served in numerous roles in the judiciary, including a justice of the Supreme Court and president of The Bahamas Court of Appeal. She serves on The Bahamas Law Reform Commission.
And so, I congratulate the Allen family and the whole clan.
Both of the Allens have been honored by successive administrations but they have much more contributions to make to the advancement of our wonderful nation.
May The Lord Jesus Christ continue to bless you both and your family.
— Ortland H. Bodie, Jr.