The late doctor Bernard Nottage was an accomplished doctor, an amazing politician, a government minister, as well as an outstanding sports icon and Bahamian patriot.
At a very early age, Bernard Nottage affectionately known as “BJ” exhibited extraordinary ability in academics and sports. As a student of the Government High School and as a member of the St. Bernard’s Sporting Club, BJ demonstrated his athletic prowess as a standout sprinter – he was the top athlete during his era.
BJ became one of the elite athletes of his day and advanced to participate in regional and international competitions. He participated in the 1962 Central American and Caribbean Games in Kingston, Jamaica; the 1966 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Kingston; and the 1967 Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Canada. His crowning moment was as a member of the 1968 Olympic team which participated in the games held in Mexico City.
He was a key member of the legendary 4x100m relay team which included Norris Stubbs, Kevin Johnson and Thomas Robinson. Not only did this team qualify for the semi-finals, it also established a Bahamian national record of 39.45 seconds in the process — a record which lasted for a quarter of a century! Nottage finished his athletic career at the 1970 British Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, Scotland.
- He was promoted to Consultant Physician and eventually Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at PMH.
- He establish his own medical facility — St. Luke’s Medical Centre — the first major 5 multispecialty practice that included offices, a laboratory, and a pharmacy.
- Dr. Nottage championed the cause for good reproductive health and family planning, serving as the founding President of The Bahamas Family Planning Association.
- Believing that the remuneration received by doctors and their working conditions should reflect their professional status, Dr. Nottage established the Doctors Union to bargain on their behalf.
- He was also President of the Bahamas Medical Association and served as a member of the Bahamas Medical Council.
The Statesman – A True Nationalist Dr. Nottage’s public life, which spanned thirty years, transcended party politics.