On November19, 1952, on Buke Street in Dunmore Town, Harbour Island, Peter Allen Saundersand Frances Leona Saunders nee Major, welcomed there fourth child, a baby boyand named him Joseph Wilmore Saunders. He was baptized at St. Johns AnglicanChurch Harbour Island and would begin his ministry to God, serving as Boat Boyand Thurifer around the altar.
Josephattended the Harbour Island All Age School and was a very smart but also aheadstrong young man. He took serious any task or chore he was given andperformed it to the best of his ability.
Life on thisquaint island was carefree and unrestricted. He would go fishing and divingwith his friends and took in many adventures that “Briland” offered as it was atourist mecca of sorts, having been made famous for its shipyard and sugarrefinery. Suffice it to say that the island drew many to its shores toexperience the balmy tropical breeze and the pink hued sands.
From hismother’s prospective all play and no work would make Joe a lazy boy and thiswas not the life she intended for her son. It was time for him to continue hiseducation and find gainful employment. With this in mind she sent Joseph toNassau to live with his aunt, Hatti Belle Sturrup. This would be the beginningof life as an adult with responsibility. Aunt Hatti did her best to instructand guide Joseph, she encouraged him to continue his education and soon hefound employment at Nassau Motor Company in the Parts Department. This jobwould allow him to meet people from all walks of life and would be the firsttenant in a network of friends and associates.
Wanting topursue his passion for drawing and creativity, he was offered a job as aDraftsman at Lands and Survey, this job he thought was the ideal job for him asit allowed him to travel and be outdoors, you must understand Joseph was asocial and charismatic creature. However, one day while waking on Bay Street,he saw one of his “Homeboys” directing traffic, he said now if I became apoliceman and was in the middle of Bay Street directing traffic, everyone in “Briland”would know and be proud of me. So on in July 1970 Joseph Saunders enlisted asan officer on the Royal Bahamas Police Force, a career that would span overforty years.
As anofficer detailed at the Central Police Station in Bank Lane, he would be drawnto the lovely Agnes Campbell, the Sergeant in charge of the Station, who toquote Bumpy, was “smart on her mouth”. He said nothing he would do would makeher notice him, so he went on a mission to court her. This was the hardestchallenge of his life but in the end he prevailed and they were married onDecember 4, 1999.
When askedabout his career on the Police Force, Bumpy (a name given to him by his fellowofficers) would say “As brilliant as I was, I only rose to the rank of CrownSergeant, and I am fine with that because, I never licked anyone boots andnever carried news or told lies on my comrade. I came to work each day and didmy best, even when the fire hose knocked me down and I was told to remain homefor ten days, I still reported to work”.
The truecalling on Bumpy’s life was ignited when at the Funeral Service for his AuntHatti Belle, The Reverend Timothy Stewart made an altar call. It was at thistime that he gave his life to the Lord and from that time until his death, hewas a faithful Soldier in the army of the Lord. Preaching the gospel andwitnessing about the goodness of the Lord. He was fervent in prayer for all ofhis family and would get up at midnight to petition the throne of God on theirbehalf.
As time wenton Bumpy became ill and had to take early retirement, he said he was gratefulfor the opportunity to serve and for those who called and visited him duringthe ten years he was at home.
Bumpy lovedpeople and had a large network of friends, family and associates, all of whomhe catered to respectively. He knew everything about everyone and if he thoughtsomething important was happening in your life he was there to support you. Heobeyed Jesus as he loved his neigbours as himself. A life well lived in serviceto God and man.
Left tocherish his memories are his Wife:Agnes Saunders;
Children: Patrice,Peter and Joni Saunders;
Adopted Children: Cheresa Roach, Inell Maycock, Neca Octave and AlfredCampbell;
Grand Children: Valencia Bowleg, Kai Wells, Patreka and Patiko Roach,Ashland Storr and Avery Davis;
Adopted Grandchildren: Patreka and Pateko Roach, Ashland Storr & AveryColby;
Sister: KatherineRose (Wendell);
Sisters-in-Law: Rose Marina Forbes, Elcina (Cleveland) Duncombe,Frances Butterfield, Phyllis (David) Johnson;
Nieces: KaylaScantlebury (Sean) USA, Khori Smith (Renaldo) Staniel Cay, Kevinique and RudiaSaunders;
Niece-in-Law: Renae Saunders;
Nephews:Parrish Rose (Nathalie), Khamaal Rose (Diamond), Ulysses Saunders (Jacqueline)Grand Bahama, Kevin McGuyver Saunders;
Grandnieces: Kayniesha Saunders-Mackey, Katheryn McKenzie, SeannayaScantlebury, Khole Rose, Janaye and Jayna Saunders, Jannean and JonnellSaunders, Cheryll Saunders;
Grandnephews: Cohen and Cameron Rose, Shakhori Rose, Khamaro andKhamaai Rose, Dominic and Jamie Saunders, Moses Saunders and Darneiqo Cambridge;
Great Grand Niece: Khaithlyn Mackey;
Great Grand Nephews: Ulysses Saunders Jr. and Caesar Saunders, Sharad andShahiem Bowe, Khaidyn Hepburn, Shiloh and Samuel Mackey;
In Laws: Rose Marina Forbes & Family, Edmund Campbell & Family, Elcinaand Cleveand Duncombe, Frances Butterfield & Family, Phyllis and DavidJohnson & Family;
A host of otherrelatives and friends including: Fr. Dwight &Rochelle Rolle, Dorothy and Percival Johnson, Mr. & Mrs. H.L. Rolle, Neville& Ives Curtis, Rosalee Curtis, Miriam and Delores Curtis, Ethelmae Moss& Family, Wilfred Hanna, Mr. & Mrs. Peter Rolle & Family Veta Brownand Suzette Hanna, St. Ambrose Prayer Ministry, Glinton, Miller, Newbold,Mackey and Ferguson Families.