In the heart of Governor’s Harbour, tucked in a quiet corner of the bay, there is a church, and a bell, that has served as a beacon to the community for 125 years.
Originally built in 1847, a hurricane swept the original sanctuary away, calling residents to construct a stalwart structure in its place. On January 2, 1892 willing hands went to work, creating walls 2 feet thick: The building would come to be described as “A very substantial, large and beautiful church.” Naturally, savings were spent. Written reports state the stone with the alabaster columns cost 2,500 pounds, a sum collective of the children’s Sunday School savings for the past 8 years. And the cost to construct, not including building materials, was about 1,000 pounds, “money gathered from the pervious eight years by means of church sales, collections, donations from residents of Governor’s Harbour and from friends in England.” Shockingly, St. Patrick’s Anglican Church took little more than a year to build. The short timeframe a true reflection of the sheer determination shared among locals and the like.
Easily recognizable by its louvered green shutters and big buttressed corners, I find myself in the sight of the shrine each time I visit Eleuthera. For no the more reason than my great-great-uncle’s grave is situated a stones throw away, a skip from the harbour’s edge. Having never heard the songs sung by the church’s 145 year old organ, one of the oldest in the Bahamas, I wonder if it produces the same “shrill sound” as the one heard at Christ Church Cathedral.
For his sake, I surely hope not.