I am deeply saddened to learn of the death of my friend, fellow Toastmaster and Parliamentary colleague, Sir William ‘Bill’ Allen.
I have known Bill for many years, having worked closely with him as part of the original members of Toastmasters Club 1600 during its formative years in the 1970’s.
A trained accountant by profession with a keen and an incisive financial mind, Bill was one of those members of the Bahamian Diaspora who were professionally accomplished, working in the United States as an executive with a major Fortune 500 company.
As part of the Bahamianization policy of the PLP government, Bill was invited to return home by then Prime Minister Sir Lynden Pindling to assist in the country’s national development.
Sir William accepted the clarion call to public service, serving at the precursor to the Central Bank of The Bahamas, the Bahamas Monetary Authority, before becaming Deputy Governor and eventually the Governor of the Central Bank. Bill was also instrumental in the capitalization and establishment of the country’s national flag carrier, Bahamasair.
Sir William will later enter public life in 1992, serving in the Senate and as the State Minister for Finance in the first FNM administration.
With the ascension of Sir Orville Turnquest, then Deputy Prime Minister, to Government House as Governor General, Bill was successful in the Montague by-election and served out the balance of his public life as the substantive Minister of Finance until 2002.
Sir William Allen clearly loved and served his country with pride, honour and distinction. He was always a gentleman and the consummate professional in his deportment and elocution. His national and public service was officially recognized with a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth ll.
He was a good man, a good friend and our beloved country benefitted measurably from his talents and contributions – even as he offered public advice and analyses on any number of public policy matters of national import well into his retirement years.
You ran a good race my friend. Go on to receive your eternal reward. Take your well deserved rest my friend.
You will be sorely missed.
I have reached out to the Allen family on behalf of the Progressive Liberal Party.
On behalf of my wife Ann Marie, Deputy PLP Leader I. Chester Cooper and Mrs. Cooper, National Chairman Senator Fred Mitchell, officers and members of the Progressive Liberal Party, I extend heartfelt condolences to the family of Sir William ‘Bill’ Allen on his passing during this very difficult period.
May he rest in peace.