Edward Francis Small

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Edward Francis Small (born January 29, 1891 in Bathurst (now Banjul), † January 1, 1958 ) was a trade unionist and politician in the British colony of Gambia . He was the founder of the colony's first trade union and the first Gambian to be directly elected to the Gambian Executive Council. He is widely regarded as the "father of Gambian politics".


Small belonged to the Aku population . He was the illegitimate child of tailors John W. Small and Anne Eliza Thomas.

His half-sister Hannah Mahoney (née Small; 1884–1974) married the politician Sir John Andrew Mahoney (1883–1966) and had five children with him, who were also important people in Gambia.

Small completed his schooling at the Methodist Boys High School in Freetown , Sierra Leone , and first worked at the school in Freetown from 1910 before he returned to Bathurst in 1915, where he worked as a teacher.

He joined the Methodist Mission and was sent to Ballanghar. About 18 months later, after a dispute with a local dealer about ringing bells, he was transferred to Sukuta by PS Toys, chairman of the Gambia Wesleyan Methodist Church . He founded the Gambia Native Defense Union (GDNU), which criticized the glaring deficiencies in the administration. He took part in a conference in Accra on the Gold Coast in 1920, giving a speech on the right to self-determination of West Africans. The result of the conference was the formation of the National Congress of British West Africa , with a small Gambian branch established upon his return.

In the 1920s he founded the Gambia Outlook newspaper and the Senegambian Reporter . In 1929 he founded the first union. In the same year he organized the country's first strike. He dominated the local city, winning all six seats in the 1936 election.

Between December 31, 1941 and 1947, Small represented the community on the Bathurst Executive Council. In 1947, the only election in the country's history for a single seat on the local council took place ( British Gambia General Election 1947 ). Small, with his union behind him, was victorious, defeating IM Garba Jahumpa (later founder of the Gambia Muslim Congress ) and Sheikh Omar Fye, and was appointed to the country's executive council on December 11, 1947. He was re-elected to the Council from January 18 to June 12.

He remained in politics until his death. A memorial to him was erected on a roundabout in central Bathurst. On March 21, 2013, it was announced that the Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital had been renamed the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH).

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Perfect, David, 1960-: Historical dictionary of The Gambia . 4th ed. Scarecrow Press, Lanham, Md. 2008, ISBN 978-0-8108-5825-1 .
  2. ^ Edward Francis Small - Watchdog of The Gambia. Retrieved July 19, 2019 .
  3. ^ New name for RVTH ( Memento from January 14, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) The Daily Observer from March 21, 2013

Web links