Bahamas the
This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

EDITORIAL: A time to mourn and to remember

IT was the faces that told the story yesterday.

The death of the Minister of Social Services Obie Wilchcombe – who lately had Information and Broadcasting added to that title in the recent reshuffle – was a shock.

It was news that the country woke up to, and such was the shock that senior sources could scarcely believe it was true.

But as confirmation took place, shock turned to grief – and it could be seen clearly in the faces of those who arrived to mourn.

It was on the faces of those who gathered outside the Rand Memorial Hospital in Grand Bahama.

It was on the faces of Mr Wilchcombe’s colleagues in Cabinet, some of whom seemed truly heartbroken at this loss.

Mr Wilchcombe was a bastion for his party. A Parliamentarian who attracted praise from across the political divides.

On social media, many took to praise him for personal moments in their lives where he had helped – be it steering careers or offering support during his time at the Ministry of Tourism, or for the help he has provided in his stint at Social Services.

Others praised his debating skills and his ability with rhetoric.

Mr Wilchcombe comes from a background in journalism – even from his early days as a boy selling newspapers on street corners.

He also had the courage of his convictions in the profession – refusing to reveal his source for a suicide note allegedly written by convicted murderer John Higgs, Jr. Higgs was due to be executed, but instead seemingly killed himself before the state could do the job. For refusing to reveal who gave him the suicide note, Wilchcombe was sent to prison for four days.

In a statement, Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis made reference to that moment, saying: “He was resolute and courageous in his reporting and his defence of the Fourth Estate. He is perhaps the only journalist in the country to have been sent to prison for refusing to reveal his sources, an episode that continued to traumatise him many years later.”

He attracted praise too from the other side of the political aisle – former Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis calling his death “a profound loss to our nation”, and FNM leader Michael Pintard describing how “one of Minister Wilchcombe’s most notable attributes was his incredible ability to speak extemporaneously on a wide array of subjects”.

There will, of course, be political moments to come – a by-election will be held and there will no doubt be rivalries resumed when that time comes. But that time is not now.

For now, it is a time to pay respects to Mr Wilchcombe.

And to look again at the faces of those who mourn him.

May we all be as cherished in life and loved in our passing.

Our condolences to Mr Wilchcombe’s family, and may he rest in peace.