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T. B. Donaldson dies at 79

Donaldson was ‘powerhouse’ in financial world
  • T.B. Donaldson in March, 1980.

  • From left: Hugh Sands, then president of the Bankers Club; Donna Donaldson, then wife of T.B. Donaldson (center); then Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, William Allen; Donald Fleming, then a top official with ScotiaBank Trust. This photo was taken on April 28, 1980 following Donaldson's farewell address before the Bankers Club as outgoing Central Bank governor. FILE

  • T.B. Donaldson.

Guardian Staff Reporter

Published: Feb 27, 2013

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Timothy Baswell Donaldson, the first governor of the Central Bank and former Bahamas ambassador to the United States, died at his home in eastern New Providence yesterday afternoon.

He was 79.

Donaldson had been ailing in recent months.  He died of an undisclosed illness.

A graduate of Government High School and later Fisk University, Donaldson was made Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty the Queen in 1973.

Donaldson also served as the permanent representative of the Government of The Bahamas to the Organization of American States.

He was previously a senator, chairman of the Securities Commission, chairman of the Council of The College of The Bahamas (COB) and chairman of Commonwealth Bank.

Former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said he was deeply saddened to learn of Donaldson’s passing.

“I visited with Tim just over a week ago and had plans to see him again this evening,” said Ingraham in a statement.

“Alas, that was not to be.  Tim was a trusted friend, colleague and advisor.  He will be greatly missed.

“The Bahamas has lost an exceptionally gifted son, a man of tremendous character and a powerhouse in the fields of finance and economics.”

Prime Minister Perry Christie referred to Donaldson as the elder statesman of the financial services community.

“He was a major role model for successive generations of Bahamians in the banking industry,” said Christie in a statement.

“A man of great intellect, he possessed superb organizational and leadership skills.

“He had a passion for giving the very best of himself at all times and he invariably applied himself with great vigor and efficiency to whatever task he had undertaken to perform.

“He was a high achiever and an inspiration to those he led.”

While serving as chairman of the College Council, Donaldson was also the co-chair of the Privatization Committee which negotiated the sale of a majority share in the Bahamas Telecommunications Company in 2011.

Donaldson was the recipient of numerous awards, both locally and internationally, including the W.E. B. Dubois Lifetime Achievement Award from Fisk University and the Financial Services Industry’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Throughout his life, he demonstrated in so many ways that when it came to education there was no other goal with such transformative power,” read a statement from COB.

“He was an uncompromising champion of higher education and his life and work were dedicated to the preservation and promotion of knowledge.”

Donaldson is survived by his wife Yolande and three children, Dwight, Kevin and Tatianna.

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