“He was the most industrious person I’ve ever known, and very meticulous and always checked details. He never seemed to get flustered. He could multi-task better than anybody I know. And he was a workaholic,” long-time friend and former politician Michael Lightbourn told The Tribune ….
Mr Lightbourn was a member of the short-lived Social Democratic Party (SDP), which was organised and led by Mr Solomon in 1979. The SDP served as opposition to the Pindling administration until 1981.
Mr Lightbourn last spoke with Mr Solomon two weeks ago when his “fading” health was evident.
“They were hoping to bring him back, but he was in such ill health, they were nervous about whether he could handle the travel and they got him out in Naples, Florida just before the hurricane (Ike) threatened,” said Mr Lightbourn, adding that Mr Solomon s health was going “downhill” for “quite some time.”
Sir Arthur Foulkes, former Bahamas high commissioner to London, described his counterpart as a “great Bahamian.”
“I’ve observed Parliament for more than half a century now, from outside and from inside, and Mr Solomon was a formidable parliamentary debater and I can think of no parliamentarian who went to Parliament more meticulously prepared for a debate than Norman Solomon.”
Dubbed “Stormin’ Norman” by the press, the one time leader of the opposition is also known for the courageous stance he took in the House of Assembly during the early 80s when he revealed drug lord Carlos “Joe” Lehder’s illicit trade on Norman’s Cay.
Said former Tribune news editor Athena Damianos: “While others were engaged in a massive cover-up that put the country on its present path of lawlessness, Norman told Parliament that Norman’s Cay was the site of one of the largest drug smuggling operations in this part of the world.”
His home and car were later fire-bombed.
He founded the Nassau Tourism Development Board (NTDB) in 1994 and served as co-chairman until his flailing health forced him to step down in February, 2007. He remained an honorary chairman of NTDB until his death.
“The Bahamas has lost one of its true patriots. Mr Norman Solomon was the founding Chairman of the Nassau Tourism and Development Board in 1994. In life and in passing, he has remained our conscience, our motivator, a steady and guiding hand, and a visionary for what we, and in particular his beloved historic city of Nassau, could be. His outstanding contributions to the nation’s development as a businessman, journalist, politician and activist must be celebrated. Our sympathies go out to his family in this time of sorrow,” Charles Klonaris, NTDB Chairman said ….