NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Bahamian flag was installed over St Catherine’s College of the University of Cambridge on Thursday in honor of the late AF Adderley, who attended the college in the early 1900s.
October 1 marked the beginning of Black History Month.
According to the university, the college took the opportunity to fly The Bahamas’ flag after a recent research project found that Adderley arrived from The Bahamas to study law in 1912, making him the earliest black member of the college on record.
It said flying the flag commemorates the college’s connections with The Bahamas thanks to Adderley, who received a BA and LLB degrees with honors before returning to The Bahamas to practice law.
Adderley was elected as a member of Parliament for Eleuthera in 1923 and was reelected in 1928 for the western district.
St Catherine’s College Master Professor Sir Mark Welland 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 college noted that at the bequest of Adderley and his son, Paul Adderley, who also studied at the college in 1950 and is a former attorney general and acting governor general of The Bahamas, it established the Adderley Prize.
It is awarded annually to recognize law students of the college for outstanding performance in their exams.
L’myah Sherae, who graduated with a Master’s degree from St Catharine’s and whose research investigated Adderley’s life, said: “Delving into the college’s archives was a very powerful experience for me.
“I was overwhelmed and completely inspired by the achievements of Alfred F. Adderley and the other Black students at St Catharine’s who followed him.
“Knowing that I also followed in their prominent footsteps, as a black student at St Catharine’s, was incredibly motivating. I am thrilled that my research inspired the college to fly the Bahamian flag in honor of this rich history.”
The Bahamian flag will fly over the college again on October 31 to mark the end of Black History Month.