Why St Catharine’s College Is Flying the Bahamian Flag

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A Bahamian flag is being flown above St. Catharine’s College in the United Kingdom to celebrate its earliest black Bahamian student, Alfred F. Adderly.

As the UK college celebrates Black History Month, the national flag will fly from the college’s flag pole on October 1st and 31st, signifying the start and the end of Black History Month.

The college said following its research project, it found that when Adderley arrived from the Bahamas to study law in 1912, he was the earliest Black member of the college on record.  Adderley graduated and legally trained there. He returned to the Bahamas to practice law.

Who exactly was A.F. Adderly?

thebahamasweekly.com - Personalities: Alfred Francis Adderley
A.F. Adderley Photo credit: Bahamas Weekly
  • Alfred Francis Adderley was born in Nassau on November 16, 1891.
  • He attended Boys’ Central School and the Nassau Grammar School, Denstone College, Staffordshire, England. He worked in New York City for a year and he entered St. Catherine’s College, Cambridge.
  • He was called to the English Bar in 1919 and was called to the Bahamas Bar in August 1919.
  • In 1923 he was elected to the House of Assembly for Eleuthera and in 1928 he was returned for the Western District.
  • He served for several years as Legal Advisor to The House under Speaker Malcolm.
  • In 1951, He was appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. He also presided as Acting Chief Justice that same year at the October Sessions of the Supreme Court.
  • He fathered the Hon. Paul L. Adderley, former Minister of Finance and Minister of External
    Affairs, Education and Culture and Attorney General.
  • He was chancellor of the Anglican Diocese of Nassau, a member of the Vestry of St. Mary’s Church and a member of the Board of Governors of St. John’s College.

What does St Catharine College say?

Professor Sir Mark Welland, Master of St Catharine’s College, said, “This Black History Month, St Catharine’s College is starting the new academic year by embracing over a century of Black students, staff and Fellows contributing to our academic community. We are rightly proud of our Black history, first recorded in 1912 with Alfred F. Adderley, who contributed so much to life at St Catharine’s and in the Bahamas. I’m delighted that the raising of the Bahamian flag today in his memory launches a programme of activities that will enable us all to reflect and build on these important historical experiences throughout October and beyond.”

The Adderley Prize was established by St Catharine’s. The prize is given each year to recognize St Catharine’s law students for outstanding performance in their exams.

Featured Image: St Catharine’s Website

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