Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Reginald Dumont Dies

REGINALD Dumont, husband of former Governor General Dame Ivy Dumont, died on Saturday evening. He was 91 years old. 

 

 

Mr Dumont, originally from Guyana, worked as a police officer for 21 years, retiring with the rank of Chief Inspector.

Later, he worked as Chief of Security at Paradise Island and as Chief Inspector of the Prices Control Commission in the Public Treasury

Last night, he was described as a good police officer and an able sportsman by former colleague, retired assistant commissioner Paul Thompson.

Mr Dumont transferred from "uniform" to the Criminal Investigation Department in 1952, Mr Thompson said.

"When I joined the force in 1951, (Dumont) was here with a few other Guianians. He was a good police officer during his time, he was also a good sportsman. He played cricket and soccer for the police. He was also a good tennis player," he said.

Mr. Dumont emigrated from British Guiana (Guyana) in November, 1946 to join the Bahamas Police Force - now the Royal Bahamas Police Force. About a week after his arrival he met his future wife, 10 years his junior, and three years later - August 24, 1951 -- they were married. She was the former Ivy Turnquest of Long Island, who became the Bahamas' first woman governor-general.

Mr Dumont also served in the army and in the Canadian Merchant Navy during World War II.

During his wife's term as governor-general, Mr Dumont hosted the People-to-People tea party on the last Friday of each month. The tea party is traditionally hosted by the wife of the governor-general. Recalling special memories on leaving Government House in 2005, Mr Dumont said he "had no problem" filling the role when his wife became the first woman appointed to the position.

Mr Thompson added: "He was very well-respected, he was a people's person and a team player."

In her book Rose's to Mount Fitzwilliam, Dame Ivy tells of her husband's involvement in the short-lived "Cuban challenge" in 1956, when "a group of armed Cuban rebels occupied Cay Sal and replaced the Union Jack, the British flag representing the Bahamas' then colonial status, with the Cuban flag."

Notified by the caretaker of the Cay, the Commissioner of Police chose ten men to accompany him to reclaim the Bahamian island, including Reginald Dumont, McDonald Chase and Cardinal Hutcheson.

She wrote: "Reggie and Chase spoke enough Spanish to communicate with the Cubans. According to Hutcheson's recollections of the experience, Reggie ordered the rebels to 'surrender, put your hands over your heads' and the men obeyed. The Cubans were then approached by Commissioner of Police Colchester-Wemyss and Constable Chase who interviewed the men, provided them with fuel for their boats, and sent them back to Cuba.

Although the Bahamian policemen were heavily armed and were considered 'arms specialists,' no shots were exchanged. Back in Nassau, however, I assumed the worst."  

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