I was shocked to learn of what I consider to be the most untimely death of Hon. Obediah Hercules Wilchombe, the MP for West End and Bimini.
Obie, as he was affectionally universally known, was the consummate politician and servant of the people of The Bahamas.
As a very energetic individual, he was a prime example of what the ideal politician should be for his constituents. He served well and will be solely missed.
Obie was a personal friend and benefactor. He was also a household name in The Bahamas for many years as a broadcaster and noted journalist with the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas and was instrumental in the development of professionalism within and beyond the craft.
Later, he ventured into politics as an acolyte of the late Sir Lynden Oscar Pindling, our first prime minister.
He excelled and was appointed to several Cabinet positions, including minister of tourism (2002-2007 and 2012-2017).
In that capacity, he did yeoman’s service for and on behalf of The Bahamas and her grateful people. His political shoes will be big ones to fill.
While I am aware of the nature of politics here in our wonderful nation, I am somewhat taken aback by the premature jockeying by aspirants to the West End and Bimini constituency.
The least that they all should do is to allow Obie to be properly laid to rest and an appropriate national period of mourning observed.
As a lifelong member of the iconic Progressive Liberal Party, Obie was always ready to serve in whatever capacity in which he was deemed useful by consecutive leaders.
With the return of the PLP to high office in 2021, Obie was selected and appointed to the critical post of minister of social services and urban renewal.
He was also appointed leader of government business in the House of Assembly where he, again, served with distinction.
We tend to measure people in a bubble and consign them to cubicles as we see fit.
Well, in Obie’s case, that does not matter any more. He did what he had to do while devoting a life of service to all Bahamians regardless of party politics.
On behalf of my immediate family, especially my beloved daughter, Jasmine, who was privileged to intern within his ministry last year, I extend our sincere condolences and deepest sympathies to the survivors and friends of the late Obediah Hercules Wilchombe.
May his soul rest in peace.
Well done, thy good and faithful servant.
— Ortland H. Bodie, Jr.