SAC gives PM Alumnus of the Year award

Saint Augustine’s College Alumni Association’s Inaugural Lighthouse Awards & Gala Ball on Saturday evening at the Hilton. Prime Minister Minnis, pictured centre, was named ‘Alumnus of the Year.’ Mrs. Patricia Minnis is pictured centre left. (BIS Photo/ Yontalay Bowe)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis received top honours from his Alma Mater, during Saint Augustine’s College (SAC) Alumni Association’s Inaugural Lighthouse Awards & Gala Ball at the British Colonial Hilton on Saturday.

The association views the awards as the first step in galvanizing SAC alumni talent, and recognizing those held in high regard for contribution to the development of the country in various areas.

The prime minister received the ‘Alumnus of the Year Award’.

Following the ceremony, he said he wished his mother was able to witness the event. He credited both his parents, but especially his mother, for encouraging him to complete high school, when he wanted to drop out at 10th grade because it was financially difficult to complete.

“My mother insisted that I finish and [be the first of her children to go to college],” Dr. Minnis said.

He noted that when he started SAC it was an all boys’ school, and after girls started attending, the monks admonished them to be gentlemen. He also credited SAC administration for instilling discipline in its students.

Minnis was born in Bain Town to Rosalie North and Randolph Minnis on April 16, 1954.  He earned his early education at Our Lady’s Primary and Western Junior schools, and secondary education at St. Augustine’s College, which he graduated from in 1971.

He graduated from the University of Minnesota, USA, with a Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in Bio-Chem, and an MBBS degree in Medicine from the University of the West Indies; he further matriculated in London.  He is a member of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (MRCOG) and a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (FRCOG).

Dr. Minnis served as a consultant and head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Deputy Chief of Staff at the Princess Margaret Hospital.  He established a stellar career in private and public medicine having delivered an estimated 5,000 babies.

The prime minister first entered frontline politics in 2007 when he was elected a Member of Parliament under the Free National Movement ticket for the Killarney Constituency. He served as Minister of Health under the FNM from 2007 – 2012.  He was re-elected to Parliament on May 7, 2012 as the Member of Parliament for the Killarney Constituency.

He was sworn in on May 11, 2017 as the fourth Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, after the general election resulted in the Free National Movement winning an overwhelming majority of 35 of the 39 elected seats in the House of Assembly.

The prime minister is dedicated to the promotion of Bahamian ownership, and the expansion of wealth in the economy through the redevelopment and transformation of traditional Over-the-Hill communities.

He is married to the former Patricia Beneby, and has three children.  A Junkanoo enthusiast and member of the Saxons Superstars Junkanoo group, he is often seen rushing on Bay Street during the Boxing Day and New Year’s Day Junkanoo parades.

Other Lighthouse Honourees were: Oscar Francis, Alumni Achievement/Sports (posthumous); Bishop J. Rodney Roberts, SAC Spirit Award (posthumous); Eugene “Geno” Nairn, Lifetime Achievement Award; Kiki Davis Carter, Entertainment; Frederick Albury, Alumni Achievement/Business; Dr. Rodney Smith, Alumni Achievement/Education; Maryann Clarke (Higgs), Alumni Achievement/Sports; Dr. Kim Scriven, Alumni Achievement/Medicine; The Cargill Family, Legacy Award; Bishop Walter Hanchell, Humanitarian Award; Alpheus “Hawk” Finlayson, Spotlight Award; and Shaunae Miller-Uibo, Rising Star Award.

This article was contributed by Lindsay Thompson – Bahamas Information Services