We are profoundly saddened by the untimely passing of our brother, comrade and pioneering broadcaster, Mr. Eldred “Ed” Bethel. Ed began his distinguished career in journalism in 1959 at The Tribune, working under the late Sir Etienne Dupuch but it was in 1963 when he began his broadcasting career with Radio Bahamas in our News Department. A gifted and skilful writer with superb interviewing skills, and impeccable delivery, Ed covered many of the stories that marked the life and times of The Bahamian people.
He was the reporter that brought the story of the famous burning and sinking of the SS Yarmouth Castle. He was on the scene as a reporter for Black Tuesday, that fateful day when Sir Lynden Pindling threw the mace out the windowing of the House of Assembly, a key moment in the attainment for majority rule. He covered the 1967 General elections that saw the Progressive Liberal Party win and was the coordinating producer and lead broadcaster in 1973 when The Bahamas became an independent nation.
In 1977 when the government of The Bahamas decided it was time for television to come to the Bahamian people, it was Ed Bethel, along with the late Sir Charles Carter and the late Calsey Johnson who hosted the very first broadcast on television in the history of The Bahamas.
He held many positions at the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas, most notably as Manager responsible for The Northern Service and Deputy General Manager but he would always say his greatest joy was being behind a microphone brining stories to the people. Ed was the long time host of the ZNS program “Perspective”.
Upon his retirement from ZNS, Ed went on the assist in the training and establishment of a number of media organisations in The Bahamas, as a mentor and senior presence in newsrooms at The Bahama Journal/Love 97 and Guardian Radio. Hundreds of working reporters can tie their professional lineage to the legacy of Ed Bethel.
Ed was a willing teacher and a considerate listener who valued the interests of others while at the same time, offering his input in the most diplomatic and welcoming way. Ed was a bridge in so many ways.
His service to country extended to two separate tours of duty as Bahamas High Commissioner to the United Kingdom under the Christie Administration of 2002 and 2012. He was an example of excellence when he represented our country in that role.
Known and beloved for his ready smile, his steady and encouraging guidance and his incredible generosity, Ed “Mr. B” Bethel will forever be a giant in Bahamian journalism and an inspiration to us all at the BCB. On behalf of the Board of Directors, the Executive Managers, staff and our retirees association, all of whom would have worked with Ed, I wish to give my deepest condolences to his beloved wife Dawn and the entire Bethel family. He is now rejoined with Charles and Calsey and Elva and the others who have gone on before.
May his soul rest in everlasting peace.