Saturday, September 24, 2016


Me participating in a fancy head dress competition on the SS Ryndam
from Southampton to Montreal, on what I thought was the first stage
of my journey "around the world"!

It was during the month of September fifty-one years ago that Erskine and I first met. I was “travelling around the world” – or at least, that is what I intended!

I had emigrated to Canada by ship, worked in Toronto as an editorial assistant for about five months, and then decided I didn’t want to go through a harsh Canadian winter. My uncle’s secretary said to me, “Why not go to The Bahamas?” I said, “The Bahamas? Where’s that?!” I got out the atlas and looked at what seemed to me to be tiny pin pricks off the coast of Florida!

At that time, being a qualified secretary, the world was my oyster. Good secretaries were in demand everywhere. I saw that The Bahamas was still British, so being British myself I thought I should be able to get a job in Nassau.

I could have gone to Freeport, Grand Bahama, which is where my uncle’s secretary had visited, but I always liked the bright lights of a city. The cheapest way I could get to Nassau was by Greyhound coach down across the U.S. from Toronto to Miami. Then I flew from Miami to Nassau, arriving that August, right before Hurricane Betsy.

Taking in the Miami sights before my flight to Nassau

I got secretarial temp work and a work permit right away. My plan was to work in Nassau for three months, and then head back to England where my family lived, for Christmas. After that I wanted to enlist a friend to join me on my trip around the world and we would work our way towards Japan. I longed to experience as many different cultures as I could.

However, I fell in love with The Bahamas and a Long Island Bahamian named Erskine Knowles. I flew back to England for Christmas that year, but I quickly returned. Erskine proposed and we were married in July. I never did make my way around the world!

Footnote: Erskine has written and recorded a song "Young Hearts", about when we first met. This song will be released at a later date.


  1. How adventurous of you Fay! This piece could have been titled....And then love happened! But it just shows how taking a leap of faith can change the course of your life, in a good way. Thanks for sharing!