Reverend Robert Dunlop

Reverend Robert Dunlop

After Woodcock’s death, the Buena Vista passed to the Reverend Robert Dunlop (1832-1891). He was the son of Samuel Dunlop, Minister of Hillhall Presbyterian Church in Lisburn, Northern Ireland. He is best known for enacting the Presbyterian Church Property Act in 1875 which regulates the management by the minister and elders of the Presbyterian Church (Act No. 19 of 1875). His tombstone at the Western Cemetery, within walking distance from Buena Vista, reads; “Minister of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church for twenty-five years he occupied a prominent position as a citizen of this colony”.

A Buena Vista Restaurant publication from the 1960s tells us that;  “‘As the years passed, Buena Vista mellowed into a beautiful and graceful mansion, watching the hectic scenes below from its serene vantage point on the hill above Nassau’s harbour.’ In his will, Mr. Dunlop left the house to Mary Emily Johnson, subsequently Mary Emily McLean, younger daughter to the late Otis Johnson who, with his family, lived next door in Hillsboro.’ [Sic] The house now known as “Los Cayos,” is the present home to Mrs. Arthur S. Vernay.’”

Arthur Vernay, Robert Porter Allen and Elgin Forsythe

Arthur Vernay, Robert Porter Allen and Elgin Forsythe

Mrs. Vernay’s husband, Mr. Arthur Stannard Vernay (1877-1960) was the leader of the Society for the Protection of the Flamingo. He worked with Audubon expert Robert Porter Allen who scoured the Caribbean searching for flamingos. In his popular book, On the Trail of Vanishing Birds, Allen found that the colonies on the island of Andros in The Bahamas had already disappeared. He determined that the largest surviving group of Caribbean Flamingos inhabited the isolated back-waters of Lake Rosa on Inagua. That is where Allen and the Audubon Society decided to make a stand. A group of influential backers were recruited in Nassau to form a Society for the Protection of the Flamingo, with Arthur Vernay as its leader. Two wardens were hired on Inagua, brothers Samuel and James Nixon, and Audubon helped finance the entire operation. Today the park is administered by The Bahamas National Trust.

Exterior and Interior of Hillsboro aka Los Cayos, home to Arthur Vernay

Exterior and Interior of Hillsboro aka Los Cayos, home to Arthur Vernay

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