Man-O-War Heritage Museum

Preserving History & Heritage on a tiny Island.

41st Independence



Independence means different things to different people. For some it is breaking away from tradition and for others it’s starting new ones. On July 10th, the Bahamas celebrated its 41st year of independence from Great Britain and the Monarchy. Although we still are a British Commonwealth and Elizabeth is still “our” Queen,

we are definitely independent. And at the risk of sounding political… I’m not so sure independence is all it’s cracked up to be. But that’s a story for another day.

Man O War Cay celebrates independence BIG TIME! If you have not been here on July 10th you are missing something special. Old fashioned family fun day at its best!

Let the games begin, and I mean that literally!
Sack races,

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egg & spoon,

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tug of war,

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and running.


start in the morning around 8am. Then when it feels like it can’t get any hotter everyone moves to the harbour for the swimming races.

Next are the competitions for manly men, like sawing wood


hammering nails and


conch cracking.


All leading up to the most exciting event of the day……. The slippery pole!!

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The goal is to rip that tiny piece of canvas off the end of the pole, which by the way is nailed into the end of the pole!! This is no easy task! You (the contestant 😀) are shimmying out to the end of a very long pole which is dangling over the water. Oh and did I mention that the pole is greased with TONS of crisco. Yes you read it right….lard. So not only is it a challenge just because your opponents are trying to knock you off the pole and into the water, but you have no leverage because your hands feel like you just ate a bucket of KFC. And the grand prize is the satisfaction of beating out all the others and WINNING at all cost.

The day ends with the awards ceremony,

And a fabulous fire works display put on by Lucas Albury.

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He always does an awesome job!
I have been working on this for a few days now, and I really didn’t think it would be too difficult to write all this down, but it has been a big challenge. I mean how do you put into words how awesome it is to be part of a community that knows the real meaning of community. An island that is the envy of all 700 islands when it comes to celebrating independence. And honestly no other island does it better, not even the Capitol! People from all over come to Man O War for this day. It’s the way independence should be celebrated. Happy and grateful for the place we live, and free to celebrate the way we choose…. with family and friends.

This day is made possible because of the hard work of many people. Too many for me to mention for fear of missing anyone. But I can say that all of the photos in this story are from Charmaine and would like to thank her very much.


Author: Man O War Heritage Museum

5 thoughts on “41st Independence

  1. Chana, excellent reporting, as usual, putting into words what we feel in our hearts about our island. we are grateful for yours and Billy’s addition to our island family. Thanks so much, Martha

    On Tue, 15 Jul 2014 01:55:33 +0000

  2. I’ve been a US citizen for 71 years & I’m beginning to wonder if this Democracy was such a good idea after all. Maybe the original (Tory) settlers of MOW had it right.

  3. Good job Chana! How long have you and Billy been in MOW?

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