The Long Islanders’ Association is gearing up to commemorate a major milestone, celebrating 50 years of its existence – uniting the people of Long Island, supporting the community, and advancing the sport of sailing.
The 50th Celebrations include week-long events that promise to be exciting, igniting an even greater sense of love and pride for Long Island. The Long Islanders’ Association (LIA) President Taynia Farquharson invites Bahamians and visitors to the country to enjoy events that will showcase Bahamian culture, providing fun and entertainment for all. The LIA is proud to launch its 50th anniversary celebration in tandem with the Golden Jubilee – celebrating 50 years of Bahamian independence. This shows the rich legacy that Long Islanders have and the significant contributions they have made to nation building.
Events kick off on Saturday, October 28, 2023 with The LIA Souse Out at R.M. Bailey Park at 7am, offering a wide variety of souses, as well as boiled and stewed fish and conch. On Saturday, November 4, a Sip & Paint event will be held from 6pm to 8pm at the Big Picture Sip & Paint Studio, Sandyport. On Sunday, November 5, the LIA will give thanks to God for reaching this golden milestone with a church service to be held at St. Agnes Church, Blue Hill Road at 10:00am. Wear your favourite Long Island T-shirt on T-Shirt & Trivia Day on Thursday, November 9. Follow The Long Islanders’ Association on Facebook and Instagram, and listen out to local radio stations for trivia time throughout the day to win prizes. The 50th Celebrations will culminate with an elegant Cocktail Soiree on Saturday, November 11, beginning at 6:30pm at the Nassau Yacht Club, East Bay Street.
The Long Islanders’ Association has a rich legacy to be celebrated. From as far back as 1898 when the first organized race was held at Deadman’s Cay, Long Island, there have been sailing races in Long Island. Eventually, interest in this grew so much that it was decided that a three-day regatta should be held in June 1968. This was a great success and the name “Long Island Regatta” was coined for this race by the organizing committee. It was at this point that Mr. Hugh Cottis, the Commodore, conceived the “Long Island Sailing Club”.
After the races that were held on the Whit Monday holiday in 1969, some Long Islanders who were at the regatta, visiting from New Providence, thought that there should be some
encouragement for the sailors to want to return to race at Long Island. Fundraising events were organized, the most popular being the “Steak Outs” at the Nassau Lions Club, and for the 1970 regatta, they were able to assist with the financing and trophies.
Finally in August, 1973, “The Long Islanders’ Association” was formed and was incorporated on November 9, 1973. Since its formation, The LIA Presidents were: Edmund Knowles; Carl G.Treco; Frank Watson; Leon Knowles; Tex Turnquest; Geoffrey Treco; C. Henderson Burrows; Stephanie Harding; Coolidge Cartwright; Ruth Sumner; Gina Coakley; Taynia Farquharson (Present). Over the years, The LIA has made scholarships available to students from Long Island who were not financially able to further their education. Funding was also made available for sports equipment for Long Island schools, and a science classroom was built at NGM Major High School. The Association also helped with the sports field at Clarence Town, provided copying machines and other equipment for the schools throughout the island, and sponsored various schools with field trips. It has also funded the refurbishment of the Deadman’s Cay Health Centre, installed an X-Ray machine, and built and equipped the only mortuary cooler on the island at that time.
The Association has donated thousands of dollars to people who were ill or in desperate need at some time or the other. The major events each year are the Mini Regatta at Montagu Beach and the Annual Fair & Raffle, held on the first Saturday in May at R.M. Bailey Park. This fair has become one of the biggest and most popular events in New Providence as most patrons look forward to tasting delicious Long Island mutton.
The most cherished accomplishment of the Association to date is the construction and dedication of the Long Island Library and Museum building in Buckley’s, Long Island. Ground was broken on this site in May 1988 and after many walkathons, raffles, steak outs, boat cruises, dollar days and donations from people across the length and breadth of The Bahamas. It was dedicated on May 26 th , 1996. The complex is now leased to the Ministry of Education.
More recently, The LIA has transformed the regatta site with the addition of a new bathroom block, a stage with offices for the Paymaster and Police, the addition of a wood deck and stairway, as well as many covered cabanas. At Regatta 2014, the site was officially named “The Long Island Cultural Site” and has been tagged by the Minister responsible for Regattas as “The Best Regatta Site in The Bahamas”.
The LIA also established the Ivy Dumont Scholarship Award” in February 2021 to provide
financial assistance to an outstanding student from Long Island or of Long Island descent, either enrolled or planning to enroll in the University of The Bahamas with plans to major in Education and willing to teach in Long Island for two years upon completion.
For more information on The Long Islanders’ Association’s 50th anniversary Celebrations or to purchase tickets for events from the Directors, call (242) 467-0504; 803-3285; or 535-4064. Look for The Long Islanders’ Association on Instagram and Facebook, or email: