The Late Former Senator Dr. Doswell Clifton Coakley

Posted on: October 31, 2019



Dr. Doswell Clifton Coakley was born June 21st, 1947 in Cabbage Hill, Crooked Island. He was the only child of his mother Pearl Godfrey nee Coakley, and the eldest child of his late father Archdeacon Murillo Bonaby.

Doswell was raised and adored by his maternal grand-aunt Geletha Cunningham in a loving and nurturing home. From infancy, reverence for God and the importance of education were values that were instilled and impressed upon him. Hence it was no surprise that his life was marked by a personal commitment to God, love for family and friends and an illustrious career of service excellence to country and international community.

“Coaks” as he was affectionately known, possessed a drive and determination to excel academically from the outset of his education which began at Crooked Island All Age School. He then transferred to Crooked Island Central High School for his secondary education. Upon completion of his schooling in Crooked Island, he relocated to New Providence where he enlisted with The Royal Bahamas Police Force. During his tenure as a young police officer he attended C.R. Walker Technical School and Nassau Technical College where he pursued and obtained Royal Society of Arts and Pitman Intermediate and Advanced Certificates.

In furtherance of his tertiary education, during the1970’s he enrolled with the Extramural Department of The University of the West Indies. He then commenced undergraduate studies at Shaw University – Raleigh North Carolina where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Administration and Business Administration in 1976. His academic quest led to the pursuance of graduate studies completing a Master of Science Degree with a concentration in International Law from Syracuse University – Syracuse New York in 1981, a Post-Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice Administration from Atlanta University – Atlanta Georgia in 1983, and a Doctorate degree (Ph. D) in Economics with specialization in International Business, Finance and Development from Union Institute and University, Cincinnati Ohio in 1988.

From modest and humble beginnings, through grit, determination and an insatiable thirst for learning this native Bahamian son, showed that it is possible to achieve your academic aspirations. It was this mindset and fortitude that propelled his professional pursuits to serve his country. Becoming an officer with the Royal Bahamas Police Force was the beginning of his tenure of committed service as a civil servant. He then transferred to the Passport Office in the capacity as Passport Control Officer. After a stint in the Passport Office he transferred to The Department of Immigration where he held long term positions starting as an Assistant Director, then Deputy Director and subsequently Director of Immigration. Extension of his career path resulted in being appointed as Consulate General to New York and Delegate to The United Nations.

Dr. Coakley resolved to contribute to his country and sought to propel its active participation in the global community. This was mirrored by his alacrity to serve in any capacity that supported the strategic development, sustainability and continued economic viability of the Bahamas. Hence he served as a Senator, Member of The National Insurance Board and Chairman of The National Insurance Building Committee, President and Board Member Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of Bahamas Air Sea Rescue (Freeport), President of Rotary Club of Lucaya, President of Lucayan Towers North Condominium Association.

Despite his achievements, integral and important to Dr. Coakley was his love for family, friends and people in general. He was a caring and loving son. To his surviving mate she was not just his wife – but became the love of his life. He was a father who loved and spoke with pride of his children and their achievements. He endeavored to provide as best he could for them the opportunities he had worked so hard to gain. In his interactions and playing with his grandchildren his commentary was always with encouragement, to do well in school and to pursue their dreams. He was supportive and motivating to his cousins and extended relatives. Those whom he considered and who considered him to be a friend, found him to be kind and dependable. His interest in the welfare of people was demonstrated in his contributions to country and any community he was a part of.

Dr. Coakley passed away on October 14th, 2019.

A State Recognized Funeral will be held on Friday, 25th October 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at Christ Church Cathedral, George Street. A private interment will follow.

The body lies-in-state in the foyer of the Senate, Parliament Square, from 9:00am on Thursday, 24th October until the body departs for the church on Friday, 25th October 2019.

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