By Delvardo Emmanuel
Journal Staff Writer
In politics, the late Member of Parliament for West Grand Bahama and Bimini held
many senior offices; one of his first Parliamentary roles was a Senator for the
Progressive Liberal Party (PLP). He was appointed to the Senate in August 1994 by
then Prime Minister, the late Sir Lynden Pindling.
As the news set in on the passing of the political giant and as his colleagues reflect on
his life, he is remembered for his extensive wealth of knowledge and political pride
which was extended beyond his generation.
Deputy President of the Senate Barry Griffin, who was still in shock when he spoke
with The Journal on the passing of Minister Wilchcombe, reflected on some of his
fondest memories, particularly his ability to capture his audience with his speaking
“I like many others, share that void Mr. Wilchcombe has left. Obie Wilchombe was a
once in a lifetime type of politician. A Pindling PLP man, who was synonymous with
the Progressive Liberal Party and politics in The Bahamas.
“My fondest memories of Mr. Wilchcombe will be his oratory skills. When he got up
on stage or a podium, he commanded attention and the way he recalled Bahamian
history in such vivid colours, it brought you to the very moment he was speaking
“I don’t think we have another politician today who can recall and recount history the
way he did. My heart goes out to his family. My heart goes out to the people of West
End and Grand Bahama and to the nation at large.
“We truly lost a giant of a man,” Senator Griffin said.
Senator Darron Pickstock, too shared his sentiments of Mr. Wilchcombe and
remembered him as a greater supporter and a champion of Bahamian history.
“I could remember when I was the chairman of the PLP Young Liberals in 1999,
Minister Wilchcombe just was a great supporter, he supported me through and
“He taught me a lot of things about the party’s history, that I was too young to know
at that time. He [was] one among us, in the party, who always advocated the history of
the PLP, and wanting us to know where we came from”
Chairman of the Bahamas Development Bank and Co-chairman of the Progressive
Liberal Party’s Convention, Senator Quinton Lightbourne, said Mr. Wilchombe was
great role model for the next generation of politicians.
“My reaction was at a shock and disbelief. Knowing Minister Wilchcombe for quite
some time, he was a phenomenal man and dynamic statesman and someone that I
looked up to in the political sphere.
“Someone that was also like myself, a young Senator that progressed through the
party. He has left his mark on the people of West End and Bimini and someone that I
think, you know, his legacy is secured in terms of everything that he’s done,” Senator
He added: “I think that he has made an indomitable mark in our country, and I think
definitely as members of the Progressive Liberal Party.”
Senator Lightbourne committed to keep the memory of the late minister alive, “it’s our
duty to ensure that [he is] never forgotten and highlight the accomplishments of the
statesman and someone that has contributed so much to our country in various ways”.