Bahamian American Association Celebrates 111th Anniversary

President of the Bahamian American Association Mary J Sweeting, center, with members and awardees during the association's 111th anniversary celebrations.

The Bahamian American Association Inc (BAA) of New York City recently commemorated its 111th anniversary with the second annual Legends & Leaders Awards Luncheon. Bahamians making meaningful contributions in The Bahamas as well as throughout America were honored during the special event, which also celebrated 50 years of Bahamian Independence. 

Bahamas Consul General to New York, Leroy F Major, commended the BAA for hosting another successful event, year after year for over a century, noting that “it is undoubtedly on the strength of the diaspora that, in part, new opportunities for our people are realised”. According to BAA president Mary Sweeting npted that going forward, the association would focus on revitalising its organisational structure, forming collaborative relationships, and restoring its beloved headquarters, Bahama House.

To date, the Bahamian American Association is the only organisation founded by foreign migrants to own a building in New York City.  Affectionately known as “Bahama House”, the Association’s headquarters is located in a brownstone at 211 West 137th St. near to the famed and historic Striver’s Row in Harlem.

The second annual Legends & Leaders Awards Luncheon was held on Saturday, September 23, 2023 at Sofrito Restaurant, 670 Riverside DriveNew York, New York. Remarks came from Mark Levine, Manhattan Borough President; Al Taylor, New York State Assemblyman, Bahamas Consul General Leroy F Major; and Gregory Ford, president of Teamsters 237, IBT.

The awardees celebrated include: Wendell Joseph Bain; Bethany Baptist Church; Dr Jessie Fields; Dr Anthony Hamilton’ Leroy F Major; Mark McpHee; Wendell Newton; and Rev Robert Royal. 

The Bahamian American Association, Inc was officially organised on September 17, 1912 under the name: The Nassau Bahamas Association. It was instrumental in uniting Bahamians in New York and surrounding areas, especially during the period of time when Bahamians migrated to America for work, known as “The Contract”. Since then, Bahamians have gone on to make meaningful contributions to American governance and society, and have remained connected to their roots in the islands.

Source: Felicity Darville

(left to right) Bahamas Consul General to New York Leroy F Major, Bahamas Ambassador to the US Wendell Jones, and President of Civil Society Bahamas and awardee Dr Anthony Hamilton, attending the Bahamian American Association’s 2nd annual Legends & Leaders Awards Luncheon, New York City

Members of the Bahamian American Association and awardees of the association’s second annual Legends & Leaders Awards Luncheon in New York

Dr Anthony Hamilton proudly holding his awards from the Bahamian American Association with his wife Dr Valderine Hamilton during the awards ceremony in New York