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The Old Colonies are Really an Improvement After All

A retired British diplomat finally breaks down and admits it:

On Sunday I got up and went to church. I can’t really call myself a regular churchgoer, but for some reason I am getting up about three hours earlier than normal while on holiday in the Bahamas, so it involved no real overcoming of sloth…

I don’t think the Bahamians would claim to be any better people than anyone else; there is crime, drunkenness, illegitimacy etc. here as much as everywhere. But their firm claim to be a God-fearing nation is perfectly genuine; and I don’t think it a coincidence that a God-fearing nation also happens to be a jolly nice place to live. God bless the Bahamas.

God bless the Bahamas, indeed!  Having spent some of my childhood cruising the Bahamas (with experiences like this and this) I heartily agree, and put this in something I wrote (and probably quote too often) from this:

On coin and paper alike, British, colonial and Commonwealth currency customarily depicts the sovereign, as do many other currencies in the world.
“Knowing their hypocrisy, Jesus said to them: ‘Why are you testing me? Bring me a florin to look at.’ And, when they had brought it, he asked: ‘Whose head and title are these?’ ‘The Emperor’s,’ they said.” (Matthew 12:15b-16) Depending upon where we live, we only need to look at our pocket change to get some of the impact of what Our Lord was trying to get across.

The use of Bahamian paper explains how many of the pounds, shillings and pence got on this page; it came out of having to learn how to count it and spend it while in the Bahamas. The good news was that this education could be had in a place with a warm climate and people. This also illustrates one of the characteristics of the old British Empire: many of the colonies were improvements over the mother country. Why else would two small islands be able to populate two entire continents with the people who either wanted or had to leave, to say nothing of the “expatriates” in places such as South Africa and India?

What I was referring to was having to learn the old British system of pounds, shillings and pence when first travelling the islands, before their independence.


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