Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Duke Hanna Remembered: Part One of Two

A Husband, Father and Dear Friend

   Leroy 'Duke' Hanna came into the family of Small Hope Bay Lodge in the early 1960's when the Lodge was in it's first years of operation. Almost immediately Duke fell in love with Joan (former wife of Dick Birch- founder Small Hope Bay Lodge). Duke, with Joan by his side became a father to many, a friend to everyone and a bedrock of Small Hope Bay Lodge and Androsia.

"We lost a part of the history of Small Hope and of course the greater Bahamas in the death of my father Duke. He was a wonderful father, mentor and friend and will be forever missed."   - Jeff Birch 

    It was common to hear the sounds of Duke around Small Hope...even when he wasn't there. As a former president of the Bahamas Musicians and Entertainers Union it was no surprise that he should possess musical talents. One of the few bands successful in finding and securing work in the Bahamas was Duke and His Caribbeans. The band even recorded a few records. The album, entitled "A Perfect Day at Small Hope Bay" was always playing around the lodge or during cocktail hour. Jeff managed to secure a few of the last remaining records and has complied the songs to share with everyone and allow the memory of this great man to live on forever through his music.      

Follow the links below to download all of Duke's music

  Duke was a exceptional man who cherished life and loved his family. As the founding president of the National Congress of Trade Unions Bahamas (NCTUB), he worked hard to make a difference everyday. An excerpt from a tribute to Duke says;
"He had spent his adult life fighting for the rights of the Bahamian workers. Duke did what he did for working people to help improve their lot and their dignity because he knew it was the right thing to do."
"Words of condolence cannot begin to approximate what this separation must mean to Joan and her family. We can only exult in the honor that this great and noble, sovereign Bahamian did his duty and has quietly departed to a better place. Sleep on Sovereign warrior." 
 click here for the full tribute
   Life itself is very fragile and very short. It is important to cherish the moments in your life and the people that surround you. Family, and the belief that there is nothing in this world more precious has always been the cornerstone of Small Hope Bay Lodge. Small Hope lost a dear family member with the passing of Duke Hanna. He is not one we will soon forget and we are comforted in the fact that his memory will live on forever in the hearts of all who loved him. To Joan and all of Duke's family our hearts are with you in this time of grief. 

Mr. Leroy Stephen 'Duke' Hanna

"Duke has fought a good fight, he has finished his course, and he has kept the faith. May his soul rest in peace." - Jennifer Isaacs-Dotson   full tribute here

Click here for memorial video of Duke

A Perfect Day at Small Hope Bay with Duke Hanna
Right Click and select 'Save As' to download any song
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SeattleSusieQ said...

I only met him once but I loved to listen to his music.

RIP Duke, and my sincerest condolences to Joan, Jeff and the rest of the Birch and Small Hope families.

Jane Photo said...

I am so sorry for your loss, Joan, Margo and Jeff and families. I am holding you all in my heart.

Tom H said...

Jeff - I think about Small Hope often and mostly because of you and your love of humanity and people in general. I don't fully understand your realtionship with Duke, but my sense is that some of this caring, at least, came to you from him. My condolences, of course, to you and all who knew Duke. I think I'll download some of his music now. Thanks for allowing me and anyone to do so. Take care. Tom (and Melissa)Harclerode - recent (satisfied)guests.