Friday, October 11, 2019
By RIEL MAJOR
Tribune Staff Reporter
FAMILY, friends, and members of Parliament gathered at Christ Church Cathedral yesterday to mourn the death of Tennyson Wells, a former Cabinet Minister and BAMSI's Chairman.
Mr Wells had suffered from prostate cancer, hypertension and diabetes. The 72-year-old, former MP died on September 24.
Tributes were paid to him and his funeral service was punctuated with praise and worship songs. During his funeral, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis spoke about Mr Well’s character and life.
“On behalf of the Government and the people of The Bahamas, and on my own behalf, and that of Patricia, I offer condolences to the family of Tennyson R. G. Wells, who served his country in the House of Assembly for two terms and who also served in the Cabinet of The Bahamas.“ said Dr Minnis.
“I extend the prayers and sympathies of the nation to Stephanie and to Tennyson’s children: Cleveland, Tennyson R.G. Wells III, and Stephanie A. T. Wells Darville, and to other family members and colleagues of our departed colleague and friend."
He added: “We have lost a fierce Bahamian patriot. Tennyson loved the land and the sea and the beauty and bounty of our country. He was devoted to the farmers and fishers of the Bahamas. He believed Government should work to better the lives of all Bahamians, and that Bahamians should have the opportunity to thrive in all fields of endeavour.
Dr Minnis praised Mr Wells for his devotion to the Free National Movement and the Bahamas.
He noted: “Tennyson was an attorney by profession. He was a noted and capable businessman. By vocation and calling he was also a politician, who gave devoted service to his country and to the party he called his political home.
“Tennyson Wells was an FNM warrior who early entered the front lines of national politics in order to secure democracy and freedom in The Bahamas. Along with the Founders and other Freedom Fighters in the Free National Movement, he demonstrated the courage and the tenacity to enter the arena and to fight for what he believed.”
He added: “He fought against victimization and other threats to our democracy. He played his role in the FNM’s first election to office in 1992, and in the Bahamian renewal under FNM governments. Tennyson served as Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, as Minister of Transport and as Attorney General and Minister of Justice.
The prime minister said Mr Wells understood that political parties, constituted and populated by the citizenry, are essential for a vibrant democracy.
“Indeed, this is a central tenet of our system we should recall as we celebrate 290 years of parliamentary democracy this year. Like many others, Tennyson took up the call of responsible citizenship, lending his energies and talents to build the party and the country he loved,” Dr Minnis said.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to individuals like Tennyson Wells, who offer themselves for public duty and service. As I have noted on a previous occasion, for our parliamentary democracy to work, there must be cohesive, disciplined political parties in parliament, parties whose members are bound together generally by a set of objectives and principles …”
He added: “Like other democracies, our party-based system requires loyalty, fortitude and political maturity by those who answer the call to service their fellow-citizens in government and politics. Tennyson answered this call. He sacrificed for what he believed.
“He did not just sit on the sideline and complain about what was wrong with The Bahamas. He made a contribution and had a distinguished career. May our departed brother rest in peace.”
In Well’s obituary, his wife expressed her love to her late husband.
The tribute read: “Tennyson my mentor decisive in life, decisive in death. Bargaining not to dwell in the weakened shell, no worries no toils a burden to none.
“Knowing that going and leaving as one, telling and showing that if life is not good then going is better than where he stood. Delivering his body and soul to the gates of his goal. Leaving and cleaving to a pace of no toil. No blundering no fumbling faithful to a flaw.”
The tribute added: “Patiently waiting on the peaceful shore. Love you my mate, you preferred not to wait. Love Stephanie.”