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The Bahamas

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Bahamian art: Presenting. Uniting. Educating.

Mixed Media Blog

Allan Murray’s Book The Colourful History Of The Bahamas To Be Launched This Month

Doongalik Studios will host the Book Launch of Allan Murray’s book The Colourful History of The Bahamas: A Souvenir Guide for Visitors on Sunday, November 15 from 3-6pm.

The origin of this new book can be traced back to the summer of 1972 when John Chaplin, Headmaster of St. Andrew’s School, asked Murray, a newly recruited history teacher, to introduce an 8-week course in Bahamian History. During this time Murray’s job was to prepare students for the British-based GCE examination so no Bahamian History was taught. It was not until 1992 that a Bahamian-based syllabus was finally introduced for the new BJC and BGCSE Exams to test students’ knowledge of Bahamian and West Indian History.


Murray’s preparations for the new syllabus, guided by The Story of The Bahamas by Paul Albury, A History of The Bahamas by Michael Craton, and later the superb Islanders in the Stream by Michael Craton and Gail Saunders, led to the publication by Media Enterprise of his first textbook:  Bahamian History HighlightsCondensed and Illustrated which became available for BGSCE History students in 1999.

About ten years later, on a visit to Vancouver Island, Murray came across a little souvenir guide to the history of Victoria. It had only 34 pages, with just a little explanatory text, but it was illustrated with the most beautiful photographs of the city. An idea began to form - why not a similar little book about The Bahamas?  The history was already there, and plenty of pictorial material was available, thanks to his wife, Stephanie to whom the book is dedicated. Murray has been suitably inspired by her collections of old photographs, documents, prints and maps, some of which are reproduced by permission in the book. Over the next five years, a number of people – family, friends, and associates – contributed to the development of the finished product.

The Colourful History of The Bahamas offers no new history but rather an introduction to many of the interesting characters who have come to the islands in years gone by. With 34 pages and short explanatory text, it is filled with more than 80 illustrations from the past and the present and will be an added bonus to the millions of visitors who come to The Bahamas each year.

At the Launch, when Murray will be available to sign his book, some of the book’s illustrations will be on display as well as a power point presentation which will be followed up later this month with an evening Author’s Talk along with a more extensive power point presentation.


For more information please contact the Gallery at 394-1886. Gallery hours are Monday – Wednesday from 10am – 4pm.