Nassau, Bahamas — Breaking News coming into Bahamas Press confirms Sir Clifford Darling has died at PMH at 5am this morning after a long illness. He was the fourth Bahamian-Born Governor General of the Bahamas. He was 89.
His Excellency Sir Clifford Darling, Kt., J.P., is the fourth Bahamian-born Governor General of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
Sir Clifford was sworn in at Government House on January 2, 1992, by Chief Justice Joaquim Gonsalves-Sabola, succeeding His Excellency Sir Henry Taylor, Kt., J.P., who retired on January
Sir Clifford had served as Speaker of the House of Assembly from 1977 until November 13, 1991, when he resigned.
A former Progressive Liberal Party Member of Parliament for Englerston, Sir Clifford was born on February 6, 1922, at Acklins Island to Charles and Aremilia Darling. He attended the Acklins Public School and public schools in New Providence.
The former taxicab driver served as general secretary of The Bahamas Taxicab union for eight years and as president for ten.
In the early 1950s Sir Clifford bargained with hotels for better treatment for taxi drivers. The hotels had their own buses to transport visitors to and from the new Nassau International Airport and other destinations. As a result, many taxi drivers had no passengers, except residents to take from the airport.
The problem reached a boiling point November 1957, when the cab union, with Sir Clifford as President, blockaded and closed the airport. A general strike followed in January, 1958. With Sir Clifford’s help, an agreement among hotels, tour services and taxicab operators was reached.
Sir Clifford was an early member of the PLP. He served as a senator from January 1964 to January 1967, when, in a general election, he was elected to the House of Assembly for the Englerston constituency. He served from January 1967 to October 1969, when he was appointed to the Cabinet as Minister of State.
In November 1971, he was named Minister of Labour and National Insurance. He was responsible for the introduction of the National Insurance programme on October 7, 1974. Sir Clifford was re-elected to the House for the Englerston constituency in the 1977 general election and was elected Speaker of the House. He was also knighted by the Queen the same year.NIB HQ Building on Blue Hill was named in Sir Clifford’s honour.
In the general elections of 1982 and 1987 Sir Clifford was re-elected as the Member of Parliament for the Englerston constituency and re-elected as Speaker. He is a Stalwart Councillor, the highest honour that can be bestowed on a member of the Progressive Liberal Party.
Sir Clifford is married to the former Ingrid Smith.
He is a member of Zion Baptist Church, of the Masonic Prince Hall Lodge and of the Improved Benevolent Protective Order of Elks in the World.