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The Royal Bahamas Police Force Band, A Bahamian Gem

Updated: Jul 5, 2023

There were three persons who witnessed that I was the first female invited to join the all-male Royal Bahamas Police Force Band. The invitation was verbally extended by the Director of the band, the late Mr. Morgan, who was an expatriate from England. Present were the late Mr. George Annan, Director of the A.F. Adderley High School Band (at the time, the high school was named Harold Road Secondary School). Mr. Morgan became aware of my musical abilities from his exposure to me playing second chair French Horn in The Bahamas Musician and Entertainers Union Symphonic Band, along with Mr. Annan, who was the first French Horn player in the band, and of course played first chair. Also present was the late Ms. Erna Massiah. She was in charge of the Department of Music for Harold Road Secondary School/ A.F. Adderley Secondary School.

I considered the invitation to become the first female member of the band an honor but took the advice of Ms. Massiah to pursue a college degree instead. The honor was relevant to the band's incredible history. It was formed in 1893 with at least 12 Non - Commissioned Officers, and by the early 1960's had performed in every major country in the world. The band performs for state events, such as the Changing of the Guard at the Government House and the Beating Retreat on Bay Street.

Woman Police Constable 1028 Douglas was the first female to be officially accepted to the world-famous Royal Bahamas Police Band in 1983.

In July 1973, The Bahamas celebrated becoming an independent nation. George Annan and I were, respectively, 1st and 2nd chair French Horn in the Symphony of The Bahamas in those celebrations. The following week, having received a full scholarship from the Government of The Bahamas, I was on a plane to Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Texas.

I never spoke of the invitation because, since it was verbal, I have nothing to substantiate that it actually happened. However, over the years, I've reflected on that incredible event (invitation) in my life, with a sense of pride, but because there's no documentation of it, I've likened it to a fallen tree in the middle of the forest. The only sound is in my heart… but I'm okay with that!

National pride and the fact that over 90% of the Royal Bahamas Police Band in 1973 were graduates of Harold Road Secondary School/A.F. Adderley Secondary School's Band, including the present Director, Superintendent Ronald Campbell, I have been their biggest fan…well, as much as I would love to own that status, every Bahamian has a love affair with the Royal Bahamas Police Force Band. For these reasons, I consider the Royal Bahamas Police Force Band a Bahamian Gem.

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