Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling, widow of the first Prime Minster of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas the late Sir Lynden Pindling, was sworn in as the tenth Governor General of The Bahamas, on July 8, 2014.
She had previously served as Deputy to the Governor General, being sworn in for the first time in June, 2012.
When the Progressive Liberal Party won control of the government for the first time in January, 1967, she was one of her husband’s hardest-working campaign helpers. “My dual life began just after our marriage,” she says. “We were married on May 05, 1956, and my husband was first elected to the House of Assembly on June 8th the same year.”
Dame Marguerite played an active role in the long, arduous efforts of Sir Lynden and his colleagues that eventually led to Majority Rule in The Bahamas, culminating with Independence on July 10, 1973. Dame Marguerite campaigned in and out of her husband’s Kemp’s Bay Constituency in Andros and on many other islands of The Bahamas.
On March 21, 2007, she was honoured for her contributions by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, being named a Dame Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George(DCMG). She received the honour for community service and her work in charity and politics.
Between 1976 and 1991, Dame Marguerite served as chairperson of the Fundraising Committee of The Bahamas Red Cross Society, and was the moving spirit behind the panel’s unprecedented success.
“I knew the Red Cross was a national organization, and as such, every Bahamian should be given the opportunity to contribute towards its operation,” she says. “In the past, the Red Cross directed most of its determination to change this policy.” Dame Marguerite, therefore, organized successful Red Cross fairs in Grand Bahama, Bimini, Eleuthera, Abaco, Exuma, Andros, Long Island and Inagua.
When the decision was made to erect a new Red Cross headquarters in New Providence, Dame Marguerite secured from the Oakes Estate a donation of four acres of land on John F. Kennedy Drive. Dame Marguerite also assisted in raising $200,000 for the $800,000 building, with the organization taking out a mortgage for the remainder of the funds required.
She continues to actively help the Red Cross despite curtailing her civic duties.
Additionally, she has an interest in the young and handicapped people of The Bahamas. She has personally solicited funds for, and taken part in, fund-raising efforts on behalf of the Children’s Emergency Hostel, the Ranfurly Homes for Children and Abilities Unlimited.
Dame Marguerite also worked as chairperson and official spokesman of the Texaco National Library Project, in which the oil company attempted to collect 30,000 books for libraries in Elizabeth Estates, South Beach and Carmichael Road. The project received books as well as funds to be used to purchase books.
Dame Marguerite is one of 11 children born in Long Bay Cays, Andros, to Mr. and Mrs. Reuben D. McKenize, both of whom are deceased.
A member of St. Agnes Anglican Church, Dame Marguerite has two sons and two daughters – Obie, Leslie, Michelle and Monique. She is extremely fond and proud of her six grandchildren and their accomplishments. She continues to enjoy cooking and gardening.