Today, and every day, we remember and honour the Bahamian men and women who have served in armed forces throughout the world, including the Gallant Thirty, the Thompson brothers, and Green Turtle Cay’s own Lewis Lowe.
I received an email today from a gentleman who’s working with the Bahamas Branch of the British Legion to produce a tribute to Bahamians who served in World War I. The piece, which will commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the end of the first World War, will be published as a special supplement in the Nassau Tribune this November.
If any of your Bahamian ancestors served during the first World War, or you’ve got photos or other information that might be of value to those producing this tribute, please contact me and I’ll put you in touch with them. Thanks!
It’s unclear whether New Plymouth’s Loyalist settlers had remarkable foresight or just good fortune. Either way, the tiny settlement was well-situated to capitalize on a series of economic opportunities and by the early 1900s, New Plymouth was a vibrant, prosperous town of 1,500 residents. On September 3, 1932, however, these residents had no inkling of the terror and misfortune lurking beyond the horizon.
In the mid-1800s, Green Turtle Cay’s proximity to major shipping lanes east of the Abaco barrier reef made it the wrecking capital of Abaco. At one point, says Steve Dodge in Abaco: The History of an Out Island and its Cays, more than twenty wrecking schooners and forty fishing vessels were based in New Plymouth.
When the U.S. Civil War stifled the trade that necessitated shipping, locals turned to cultivating and exporting pineapples which, by the late 1800s, were the mainstay of New Plymouth’s economy.
Unfortunately, the cay’s soil was soon exhausted, fruit often spoiled due to weather-related shipping delays, and U.S. pineapple imports diminished with that country’s acquisition of Hawaii. But the economic gap created by Green Turtle Cay’s waning pineapple industry was soon filled.