Because of his age and fragile mobility we decided to photograph Reverend Earle Francis at his home. Reverend Francis is Percy Francis‘ father.
When we arrived the reverend was sitting on the couch wearing a king’s crown. He greeted us with a jovial smile. The house was filled with young people, the youngest of whom were his grandchildren, the others were members of his congregation and choir. When informed of our intent to photograph the reverend for the Bahamian Project, three of the girls stood up and began to sing a song in his honour – “Here’s To A Man”.
“Here’s to a man… We love and adore you,” they sang in unified dulcet tones, “… here’s to a man, we can not repay you… we appreciate you…”
The song continued, “Here’s to a man, and to your wife…” at which point which Reverend Francis chimed in “Sweet Potatah!”. He uttered it in the same way one might have said “Hallelujah!” and ended off with an impish grin, revealing a very likable mischievousness.
The crown suited him so well that we decided to photograph him with it on. He also wore his medals, of which he was rightly proud.
Documentary photos by Lisa Wells. These are not the final images.