First mate

My grandfather, Howard Lowe, had a brief life on this earth.  He was born on April 20, 1898 in Green Turtle Cay, Abaco.  According to the entry in the Bahamas Death Register on November 11, 1927, he died at the age the age of 29 of chronic rheumatism.  He married Bessie Caroline Curry on March 3, 1924 and fifteen months later they became the proud parents of a baby boy John Wesley Lowe, my Dad.

Howard Lowe
Passport photo of Howard Lowe – 1919

The only tangible item that Dad possessed from his father was a passport.  Howard was twenty-one at the time his passport was issued.  The photograph inside was the only picture of Howard in our possession for years.

The passport denotes “given at Government House, Nassau, in the Colony of the Bahamas, the 15th day of September 1919.”   The Description of Bearer includes the following interesting features of Howard:  blue eyes (a Lowe staple), dark brown hair, a sharp nose, a prominent chin, and a “tear on left cheek.”  His height…five feet seven inches.  Two officals stamps tell us he  travelled to Miami, Florida for work as a fisherman, one trip from September 16 through September 30, 1919 and a second in May 1920.

In March of 1914, a month prior to his sixteenth birthday, Howard was added to the Green Turtle Cay Church of God assembly.  The church was organized in July 1913 and Howard’s father, John Aquila Lowe, was appointed as the first pastor.  In 1915, Howard was appointed Clerk of the church and continued in that role until his death in 1927.

Howard Lowe Death Register
Bahamas Death Register Howard Lowe – November 11, 1927

In May 2013, the church celebrated its 100 anniversary and has the distinction of being the oldest Church of God assembly outside the United States (Oldest World Missions Congregation Turns 100 Today).  My wife and I had the privilege to attend this anniversary service where my grandfather, Howard, was honored for his years of service as Clerk of the church.

Howard Lowe, my father, the youngest son of John Aquilla Lowe and Minnie Curry, grew up on the tranquil island of Green Turtle Cay, Abaco in the Bahamas.  As a young man, he enlisted with Hartley Roberts, his brother-in-law, working as the first mate on the mail boat, Priscilla.

I have no recollection on my father.  His journey on this earth was brief. Five months prior to his thirtieth birthday, he was called to his heavenly home.  His cause of death remains somewhat a mystery.  An infected knee, perhaps an injury on the mail boat, could have played a role.  At his funeral, two British pennies were used to keep his eyes closed.

Journals of John W. Lowe

The minutes of the church noted the following on November 11, 1927…

Brother Howard Lowe, Clerk of the Church of God at Green Turtle Cay, fell asleep in Jesus.  He left a bright and glorious testimony saying it was well with my soul.  He leaves a loving wife and one little son to mourn his departure.

W.A. Barelis, Pastor

A formal tombstone was also commissioned by the Church of God for the 100th anniversary celebration.  My cousin’s recent blog post  (Green Turtle Cay’s Historic Cemetery – Little House by the Ferrygives a fantastic picturesque synopsis of this historic cemetery, where many of her and my ancestors are laid to rest.



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