Timothy Gibson

Timothy Gibson photo from Bahamas Archives

Educator, Composer of the National Anthem

Timothy Gibson, a composer-lyricist and educator was born in Savannah Sound, Eleuthera in 1903 and is best known for composing the National Anthem of The Bahamas “March on Bahamaland”, but his songwriting didn’t begin there, his career started in the 30s with “Nassau Calling” in 1938.

He wrote other songs such as “Sailor Prince”, for the visit of Prince Philip, “Your Majesty” for the visit of Queen Elizabeth II, and “Hail Princess Britannia”, for the visit of Princess Margaret. This title has since been changed to “Beautiful Bahamaland”. He and his brother C.I Gibson were very close.

After his early education in Savannah Sound, he joined his brother who was a head teacher and was given a job as a monitor. He kept his post until he was 17.

When his brother was transferred to Buckley’s Long Island he went with him and again worked as a monitor for one year. The following year he received a job as head teacher in Scrubb Hill, Long Island. He later came to Nassau as a student-in-training at the Boys Central School.

He was later transferred to the Sandilands School as acting head teacher for eight months and then to the school in George Town, Exuma, where he stayed for seven years, returning to Nassau for a refresher course at the Eastern Senior School.

His time then was divided between the junior and senior schools where he taught music theory and singing.

In 1961 he was made Assistant Inspector of Schools for Music. He worked with the Family Island Schools and also The Bahamas Teacher’s College as well as with schools in New Providence.

Mr. Gibson received most of his music training from his brother C.I. Gibson who taught him how to read music and play the organ. Gibson studied music theory at Trinity College London and attended Seminars in Delaware.

He was a choral conductor accredited by the University Conservatory of Chicago through a Correspondence Course. Mr. Timothy Gibson died on January 2nd, 1978 at the age of 74.

Written by: Alexis Clarke