Close up of MLK Bust in the heart of the city (Photo: WanJira Banfield)

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Martin Luther King Jr.

These are the compelling words of the late civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who has faced tremendous challenges throughout his life yet found immeasurable solace amid the exhilarating essence of Bimini, Bahamas. Dr, King first visited the island in 1964. This is where Dr. King’s legacy continues to live on.

Because Dr. King’s presence so significantly impacted the people of Bimini, the city honored his character, his sacrifice and his journey with a bronze bust of his image, which was mounted right in the heart of the island at the Bimini Craft Centre in Alice Town.

Honored by the dedication and tremendous love Bimini has continually shown for Dr. King, his son, Martin Luther King III arrived on the island for the first time ever with his wife, Arndrea Waters King to accept the tribute on behalf of his father.

“This is an extremely special visit because I knew my mom had shared the experiences that my dad went through coming down to Bimini,” King III shared, “It’s one thing to talk about this and hear mom tell the stories. It’s totally different thing to visit. It’s really quite fulfilling. To get a true understanding of what a tranquil, peaceful and exhilarating place Bimini is.”

Much like the eloquence of Dr. King, many of the nation’s dignitaries and representatives were brought together in Bimini for this grand commemoration and plaque unveiling. Guests included Prime Minister Perry Christie, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Fred Mitchell, Minister of Tourism Obie Wilcombe, Chair of the MLK Plaque Project Joyce Danford, representatives from the country’s U.S. Embassy and other attendees.

The Prime Minister has always been moved by the sacrifices of Dr. King and the common ideals and aspirations.

“This event marks the establishment of an international memorial in Bimini honoring the transforming work and great legacy of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Dr Martin Luther King Jr.,” the Prime Minister stated, “His extreme sacrifice, brilliant life, his vision of non-violent change while impacting the United States of America and the international community, inspired the founding fathers of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, led by our first Prime Minister, the Honorable Sir Lynden Pindling in this nation’s struggle for self-determination and independence.”

Local boat builder and fifth-generation Bimini native Captain Ansil Saunders’ eyes always light up when he recalls the profound conversations he shared with Dr. King through the mile-long stretch of sea known as Bonefish Creek.