|Martin Dale and Prince Rainier of Monaco|
|Wednesday, 11 July 2012 15:59|
Martin A Dale joined the Grand Bahama Port Authority in 1965 as a vice-president (he claimed the additional title of ‘Adviser to the President’ which I remember did not go down too well with the other vice-presidents). Dale had previously been economic advisor to Prince Rainier of Monaco. While in the Principality, Charles de Gaulle, then the President of France, let it be known he was not happy with the choice of an American wunderkinder in what was, and is, (arguably) a virtual province of France. The American wife of Rainier, Grace Kelly probably suggested the appointment. Martin’s wife Joan, who was a Grace Kelly look-alike, sometimes stood in for Princess Grace for minor events or when security was likely to be a problem.Groves, through Martin Dale, invited Prince Rainier to visit Freeport since the Prince claimed to be intrigued by a casino in the Lucayan Beach Hotel that was named the ‘Monte Carlo Room’. He visited the casino of course and also the International Bazaar where he visited many shops including the Mexican boutique: ‘Azteca de Oro’. He remarked on the colourful displays and admired some Mexican abalone bottle openers – that were given to him as a souvenir of his visit.
Dale lasted only about two years in Freeport then left to work with Revlon in New York with the same two corporate titles…All of the other executives in the photograph were gone in the following five years.
Grand Bahama Port Authority executives (all expatriate white guys!) a short time before Bahamian independence. From the left: George Moore (Airport Company), General William Fisher (Devco), Keith Gonsalves (President-CEO), Martin Dale (Vice-president), Ray Tower (Legal Counsel), Major Bernie Bernard (Corporate Secretary), Ron Golding (Comptroller).
© Peter Barratt
Island Notes is contributed by Peter Barratt. From time to time, excerpts from his new book, FREEPORT NOTEBOOK, which carries the sub-title: “Pines, Port, Politics, Poems and Prose," are included in this column and come from Barratt’s over 40-years’ experience with the island. He has some very interesting notes on the early history of Freeport but, he admits himself, he should perhaps have taken a correspondence course in poetry writing.
His books are available in Grand Bahama at the Oasis shops, Bahamian Tings and the Garden of the Groves shops. In Nassau his books are available at Media Publications and most bookshops on the island.
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