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Govt Committed to Science and Technology

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By SIMON LEWIS

Bahamas Information Services

FREEPORT, G.B. – Both Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry Gladstone Christie and Education Minister the Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald are fully committed to science and technology throughout the country, said Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville.

Dr. Darville’s comments came as he officially opened the 15th Annual SECME Mousetrap Car and Bottle Rocket Competition at the St. Georges High School on Thursday, March 28. The event is attracting participants from schools throughout Grand Bahama.

According to one of the event organisers, Dennis Knowles, SECME was established in 1975 as the South Eastern Consortium for Minorities in Engineering by the engineering deans at six Southeastern universities.

SECME, according to Mr. Knowles, has since grown into the largest pre-college alliance in the United States, bringing together 40 universities, 70 industries and government agencies, and 107 school systems representing 900 schools and 20,000 students in 17 states plus the District of Columbia.

It now reaches beyond the Southeast to include school systems in New York, Indiana, Jamaica and The Bahamas.

The winning Senior and Junior teams in the competition will travel to Emery-Riddle Aeronautical University and its College of Engineering in Daytona Beach, Florida, where they will compete at the 37th Annual SECME National Student Engineering Competition.  That event is schedule for June 16-23.

Addressing a large group of participants assembled in the St. George’s High School Gymnasium, Dr. Darville who, in addition to his medical career, is also a Canadian trained engineer, said he truly understands the importance of science and technology and what it  means to the overall growth and development of the country, especially Grand Bahama, regarded as the industrial capital of The Bahamas.

“As Minister for Grand Bahama I have seen first hand the importance of technical training and how it is tied directly to our economic growth and development.

“Our vibrant industrial sector is certainly playing a vital role in job creation but now we must all put our best foot forward to ensure that we develop the manpower resources to capitalise on these new and exciting jobs,” he stated.

Minister Darville noted that companies like Grand Bahama Power, the Bahamas Oil Refining Company, Grand Bahama Ship Yard and the Grand Bahama Container Port, are all projecting growth in the industrial sectors over the next 10 to 15 years.

“They are also recommending career paths in science and technology for our high school students is a must, and they are constantly expressing the need for young professionals in all engineering disciplines.

“As public servants, educators, councillors we must capitalise on what is happening in our local economy and encourage our students to choose careers in science and technology and ultimately capitalise on these well paying jobs that will become available,”  he stated.

Dr. Darville to commended the committed organisers of the program me “who have taken the bull by the horn for many years.”

He said about five years ago he was introduced to the programme at the Professional Engineer’s luncheon where one of the mousetrap’s winning design was displayed by one of the competitors and that he was amazed to learn about the level of competition involved.

“Students, your intelligence, your ingenuity, your determination, and your ability to work cooperatively as a group to achieve one common goal are valuable skills that you will carry on into adulthood,” he added.

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SECME OPENING – Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville is pictured with several students from various schools on Grand Bahama competing in the Mousetrap Car event of the Grand Bahama SECME Competition. (BIS Photo/Simon Lewis)

MEDICAL TALK – Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville welcomes Dr. Kevin T. Bowe, Medical Officer/VP Medical Services at the National Insurance Board (Nassau) to Grand Bahama. Dr. Bowe and Minister Darville held talks on matters involving NIB and healthcare assistance on Grand Bahama.  Officials from the Ministry of Labour, Department of Environmental Health Services, and top management for NIB’s Freeport office participated in the meeting. (BIS Photo/Simon Lewis)

 

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Health

Woman dies on Tuesday; 32nd Covid Death for Turks & Caicos

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos has recorded its 32nd death related to COVID-19.

A Ministry of Health press release informed that the individual who was in quarantine in Grand Turk and requested emergency aid on Tuesday; response came from the public health team in Grand Turk.

The person, who we are told is a special needs young woman – was unvaccinated and had underlying medical conditions.

The death rate in the Turks and Caicos of both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons has climbed alarmingly this year.  In the 21-month period from March 2020 when the country recorded its first case to December 2021, there were 26 deaths recorded in the TCI.

In the 19 days since the start of 2022 that number has increased to 32; which means six deaths already in January.

 

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Bahamas News

Cruising should slow down says PAHO

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.

Dr. Ciro Ugarte Director of Health Emergencies at the PAHO was referring to the Bahamas but made sure to note that the advice was highly relevant to many countries in the times of omicron.

“In the context of intense transmission, due to the Omicron variant as we have highlighted several times. It is just logical to suspend or at least limit the cruise ship traffic as an outbreak on board might end up exceedingly high and probably will go beyond the capacity of local health services”

Both the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are experiencing a massive uptick in cases and several warnings regarding cruise travel have been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control.

Cruising just resumed for many regional countries this past Summer, Turks and Caicos was among the latest to restart on December 13.

A stop to sailing would be devastating to economies, however, ports of call like Grand Turk which are reeling with rocketing case numbers of COVID are urged to consider the suggestion of slowing down on ships by PAHO.

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Caribbean News

Cayman gets its second ‘Sir’; former Premier Alden McLaughlin knighted on Jan 1

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#Cayman, January 20, 2022 – Former Premier of Cayman Alden McLaughlin was knighted at the start of 2022; named in the Queen’s New Year Honors List. He is only the second Caymanian to have ever received a knighthood from her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Sir Vassel Johnson, received the honour in 1994; he was Cayman’s first Financial Secretary; he died in November 2008 at the age of 86.

Current Governor, Martyn Roper extended congratulations saying, “This is an outstanding personal achievement for former Premier McLaughlin, one of the most important and impactful political leaders in Cayman over the last 21 years. It is a significant moment for our islands. This historic award is only the second ever Knighthood to a Caymanian since the first in the 1990s. It is a strong signal of the respect in which Cayman is held and a visible demonstration of the progress Cayman has made as a vibrant democracy with strong good governance foundations.”

Sir McLaughlin, who is also now a QC attorney, served two terms as premier and had a career in politics that spanned 21 years. McLaughlin is known for his role in modernizing Cayman’s constitution.

Current premier G. Wayne Panton described the occasion as a unifying moment for the country saying, This is a day of celebration and great pride for all Caymanians as a son of our soil has been bestowed one of the highest honour.  Today marks a new and most unique storyline in the history of the Cayman Islands.  In considering the rarity and magnitude of this occasion, this is certainly a unifying moment for our community.”

Sir Alden McLaughlin, 60, was appointed as a Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George on January 1, 2022.

 

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