Sir Randol Fawkes, Father of Labor-
Sir Randol Fawkes is often referred to as “The Father of Labor” for the work that he did in establishing the trade union movement in The Bahamas. As elder statesman, attorney-at-law, free trade unionist, civil rights activist, sportsman, author and musician, Sir Randol changed the course of Bahamian history. During the 1950’s and 1960’s, he was in the vanguard of almost every progressive movement: – the Citizens’ Committee (1949), The Bahamas Federation of Labour (1955).
A Man For The People
After his first election to the House of Assembly in 1956, Sir Randol consistently served on the Select Committees for Labour Relations and Constitutional Reforms. Association of The Bahamas with the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the Court of Appeal also bear his mark.
The Official Labor Day
Although Labor Day was marked and celebrated in 1956, the first official Labor Day was in 1962. Legislation was necessary to make Labor Day a public holiday and this meant piloting a bill through the House of Assembly. In 1961, he successful piloted through the House of Assembly, the Bill which established Labor Day as a public holiday. Sir Randol thought that a day should be set aside and designated as “Labor Day as a fitting memorial to the contributions made by the working people to the progress of the Colony.”
In 1962 and 1963, Sir Randol was re-elected to the House of Assembly. He represented the Labor Party at the Constitutional Conference in London, England. He was the first representative to raise the question of independence for The Bahamas on the floor of the House of Assembly. In September, 1966, he pleaded the case before the United Nations urging its assistance for the Bahamian people in their stride towards self-determination.
Sir Randol Fawkes Knighted
In 1972, he returned to the private practice of Law. In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the trade union movement and to the country, knighthood was conferred on Sir Randol by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth in 1978. Sir Randol married Jacqueline Rosalie nee Bethel of West End, Grand Bahama. This marriage produced three sons: Francis, Douglas, David and one daughter, Rosalie.
Official Memoir Of Sir Randol Fawkes
Sir Randol documented his memoirs in a book titled: The Faith That Moved The Mountain. This book is available as a free PDF download.