PLP remembers William ‘Bill’ Cartwright
Published: Jun 09, 2012
The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Mr. William “Bill” Cartwright CMG, the last of the founding members of the oldest political party in the history of The Bahamas, the PLP.
Mr. Cartwright was born in Long Island, Bahamas. He is the son of England Cartwright and Eva Strachan Cartwright. He was educated in public schools in Hope Town, Abaco and Long Island. He also enrolled successfully in correspondence schools in the United States and the United Kingdom and held certificates in journalism from the Magazine Institute, New York.
Affectionately known as “Bill” by friend and foe alike, Mr. Cartwright is hailed as a revolutionary, a national hero, a freedom fighter, a drum major for social justice and a trailblazer as his political activism shaped and figured prominently in the modern political history of The Bahamas.
Mr. Cartwright devoted some 20 years to public life. He was elected to the House for the Cat Island District in 1949 and served in Parliament for seven years. It is recorded that with no model to go by to start a political party and at great financial expense, he traveled to London in June of 1952 to attend the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. It was in Jamaica on the return leg of this trip that he gathered valuable information and guidelines in establishing the first political party, The Progressive Liberal Party, which made its debut in September of the same year.
As a sign of the times, Mr. Cartwright paid a heavy price for his bold and revolutionary stand as he was crushed by the political and economic power of Bay Street. History now records that the maturity and embellishment of the party system in The Bahamas and its indelible influence on our democratic development place Mr. Cartwright on the right side of history.
Further, the history of the PLP and its inextricable link to the creation of the modern Bahamas and the continued growth and development of this country are testaments to the relevance and timelessness of the vision of Bill Cartwright. The Bahamas is a better place because of Bill and we owe him a debt of gratitude.
We express our heartfelt condolences to his family and our thoughts and prayers are with them during this very difficult time.
May his soul and the soul of all the dearly departed rest in peace.
— Progressive Liberal Party