Dr. Bernard J. Nottage, Giant in Regional Athletics Administration Passes
After a brief illness Dr. Bernard J. Nottage, former president of the Scottish Universities Association, ninth president of the Bahamas Amateur Athletic Association, and president of the Central American and Caribbean Athletics Confederation died on Wednesday, June 28th.
He was seventy-three years of age.
B.J., as he was affectionately called attended the Government High School in Nassau and Aberdeen University in Scotland.
A sprinter Nottage participated in the 1962 Central American and Caribbean Games in Kingston; the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Kingston; the 1967 Pan American Games in Winnipeg; the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, where he was a member of the legendary 4x100m relay team of Norris Stubbs, Kevin Johnson, and Thomas Robinson that made the semi-final, setting a Bahamian national record of 39.45 seconds in the quarter-final.
That record lasted for twenty-five years.
Nottage finished his athletic career at the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Nottage qualified as a physician in 1969 and returned to The Bahamas in 1974. He concentrated in obstetrics and gynecology, one of the first Bahamians to do so. Nottage had quite a successful practice.
While in Aberdeen Nottage participated in Athletics and was head of the Scottish Athletes body.
He was provided the opportunity to be the chairman of the 1976 Carifta Games, the first international athletic event held in The Bahamas.
Those Games were quite successful and Nottage became president of the Bahamas Amateur Athletic Association a few months later. He was the longest serving president of The BAAA, retiring in 1989.
During his presidency The Bahamas would host :
– 1978 Carifta Games
– 1980 Central American and Caribbean Jr. Championships
– 1981 Carifta Games
– 1984 Carifta Games
– 1985 Central American and Caribbean Senior Championships
– 1987 Central American and Caribbean Age Group Championships
Elected to the presidency of the Central American and Caribbean Athletics Confederation in 1982, Nottage was the first Bahamian to head a regional sporting association. He served two terms retiring in 1990.
His presidency was known for the introduction of technical and coaching education. The IAAF adapted some of the CAC’s ideas for coaching education.
At the 1987 IAAF Congress in Rome, Nottage was one of the leaders of the successful “One Country, One Vote” campaign in the IAAF.
At the Rome Congress Nottage was awarded the IAAF’s Veteran Pin, the first one awarded to a Bahamian.
In November of 1988 NACAC was formed in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Nottage was elected Vice President, along with Neville “Teddy” McCook from Jamaica.
Nottage brought knowledge, passion and energy to sports administration.
After many years away from the sport he is still remembered warmly.
Nottage got involved in politics at an early age. In 1977 he was the campaign manager of his childhood friend Perry Gladstone Christie, who would become Prime Minister in 2002.
In 1987 Nottage was elected to Parliament and served for ten years.
He was elected again in 2007 and 2012, serving as Minister of National Security.
On May 10th of this year only four members of his party, the Progressive Liberal Party were returned to office. He was not lucky to be one of them.
Nottage is survived by his wife Portia, son Bryan, brothers Kendal and Phillip, and sister Sandra Sherman.
By Alpheus Finlayson
June 29th, 2017