The Bahamas Press Club is deeply saddened over the death of the veteran noted journalist Eldred (Ed) Edison Bethel who died Monday, March 13, 2023. He was 82.
“His death certainly leaves a void in journalism – broadcast and print – in The Commonwealth of The Bahamas,” said President Anthony Capron.
“He was a consummate professional, a gentleman and was instrumental in preserving the integrity and standard of the profession, characters which his peers and upcoming journalists strived to emulate,” Capron said.
For him, being honoured with the Etienne Dupuch Lifetime Achievement Award capped off his long and outstanding career, for which he sincerely thanked the Press Club and his peers during the awards ceremony in 2020.
“Ed will b sorely missed by all in the profession locally and regionally,” said Capron. “Our condolences to his family.”
Journalist and Diplomat Eldred Edison “Ed” Bethel received The Etienne Dupuch Lifetime Achievement Award – the highest honour presented at the Fifth Annual Bahamas Press Club Media Awards held on Saturday, February 29, 2020, at the British Colonial Hilton. He was also a Past President of The Bahamas Press Club.
Ed Bethel began his journalistic career in 1959 at the Nassau Tribune under the tutelage of Sir Etienne Dupuch and Sir Arthur Foulkes. He went on to join ZNS in 1963, and spend many years there, working at JCN and other news agencies; at Bahamas Information Services as its Executive Director and served as Consul General to New York and as High Commissioner to the Court of St. James’s, London, and Ambassador to the European Union.
Moving on to broadcast journalism, Bethel joined ZNS as a sports reporter in 1963. He has had a busy media career in which he was active until his retirement in 2012.
Bethel covered many of the major events in The Bahamas namely the 1962 Nassau Conference which included the United States President John F. Kennedy, British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, and Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker; the 1962 General Election in which women voted for the first time; the 1965 disastrous fire and sinking of the SS Yarmouth Castle; the 1965 “Black Tuesday” demonstration by the Progressive Liberal Party when then Opposition leader Lynden Pindling threw the mace out of the window of the House of Assembly, and the 1967 General Election when the Progressive Liberal Party became the new Government of The Bahamas defeating the United Bahamian Party.
As coordinator of ZNS coverage of the 1973 Bahamas Independence, Bethel along with the late Sir Charles Carter and Carl Bethel were the broadcasters at Clifford Park on the historic night of July 9, 1973, who told the world that a new nation named The Commonwealth of the Bahamas was born.
In 1975 Bethel provided blow-by-blow coverage of the Elisha Obed vs Miguel de Oliveira championship bout from Paris, France.
Bethel along with Charles Carter and the late Calsey Johnson inaugurated local television, ZNS, Channel 13 in July 1977.
He was the coordinator of ZNS coverage of the 1985 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) hosted by The Bahamas Government in Nassau.
Bethel also served as Deputy General Manager of the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas and Manager of ZNS Northern Service.
He served as Sports Editor at The Counsellors, Executive Director of Bahamas Information Services (BIS), News Editor at Love 97 FM and The Bahama Journal, and News Anchor of the Evening News at Star 106.5 FM
As a diplomat, Bethel served as Consul General to New York, The Bahamas High Commissioner to the Court of St. James’s in London, and Ambassador to the European Union.
Bethel is also a founding member and president of then, The Bahamas Press Club, during the late 1990s.
Bethel is married to the former broadcaster Dawne Adderley. He has four adult children and 10 Grandchildren.