The Tribune: Saturday, 22 May 1976
In 1959, when the Bahamas Historical Society came into being, The Bahamas was a far-flung dot on the map of the British Empire and so the big news was the general elections in Britain.
In the Bahamas, the most important news was that “Tourist travel sets all time record” with 194,763 visitors – we now total close to five million. The two main airlines were PanAm and BOAC (Now British Airways).
Before The Bahamas Historical Society was formed in 1959 only British history was taught in Bahamian schools.
The inaugural meeting of the Bahamas Historical Society is still fresh in my memory. It was the sort of gathering which is not easily forgotten, because of the general excitement, the great throng which was anxious to be enrolled as charter members and the prominent and capable men and women who were to lead the organization. Lady Arthur must have experienced the most exquisite feelings of satisfaction, for it was she who had undertaken the task of launching the Society into the cultural arena of Bahamian life.
At last the Bahamas Historical Society had in one building “A Magic Mirror to the Past”,
As though looking into a magic mirror one can see our past encompassed in a single building and in greater detail than has ever before been possible………..
It achieves the true purpose on history as set out by Macaulay: “To make the past present, to bring the distant near, to place us in the society of a great man to vest with the reality of human flesh and blood, beings whom we are too much inclined to consider as personified qualities in an allegory, to call up our ancestors before us with all their peculiarities of language, manners and garb, to show us over their houses, to seat us at their tables, to rummage their old fashioned wardrobes, to explain the uses of their ponderous furniture” . . .
Dr. Paul Albury.