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Fort Charlotte Comes Alive with Period Costumes, Thanks to Historic Bahamas Foundation Council Support for AMMC

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Raquel Davis is selling her wares like her great-grandmother did 100 years before her –from a straw basket made from Andros plait, lifting, gently turning, holding out each sugar apple, soursop and fresh pear for the ‘buyer’ to examine. Eyes brimming with pride for the produce she grew, she is dressed in period costume from the straw hat on her head to the long skirt made of rough-hewn cotton, maybe a potato sack.
Nearby, Shenique is telling the story of Fort Charlotte, built in 1787 to protect Nassau against an attack by the French which never materialized. Meantime, Veronica is welcoming the latest group of visitors to the country’s largest fortress. “Welcome to Fort Charlotte,” her voice bellows, “where the history will intrigue you, the structure will amaze you and the view will inspire you.”
The three women are posted at one of Nassau’s oldest sites, Fort Charlotte, rapidly becoming one of the city’s fastest growing attractions. They’re among a troupe that is giving the hilltop fort new life with guides in period costume bringing living history to hundreds flocking back to the fort by the bus and taxi-load, thanks to support from the Historic Bahamas Foundation Council.
“This is truly living history and it’s fascinating — every sentence packed with intrigue and insight,” said Council Chairman Owen Bethel. “When AMMC (Antiquities, Monuments and Museums Corporation) came to us to request the funds for the costuming, we immediately recognized the potential and it was a unanimous yes, but seeing it in action reinforces what a great asset it is for us to be able to tell the remarkable story.”
Bethel toured the fort with Council members, businesswoman and philanthropist Nancy Kelly, attorney and former jurist Yvette McCartney, Albany Vice President Dr. Tyrone McKenzie, public relations executive Diane Phillips andNew Providence Development Company President Philip Simon.
“This is really interesting,” said Kelly. “I never realized there was a well here or what it took to build this, or that 40 men slept crowded in the small stone dungeon.”
AMMC Executive Director Dr. Keith Tinker had proposed the period costuming along with the firing of the cannon at noon on Wednesday and Friday as part of a broader business plan to bring new life and activity to historic sites while preserving their integrity.
As guards dressed in military uniform prepared for the firing of the cannon, visitors and Council members got a quick history lesson. The original cannons at all three forts on the site were so valuable because of their bronze England shipped them back and between 1844 and 1859 replaced them with steel. One loud Ka-boom accompanied by plumes of white smoke proved the old cannons still worked, but Fort visitors were told, “These cannons have only been fired in celebration, never fired in any anger.”image013

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Health

Shocking changes in UK COVID strategy as demands intensify for PM Johnson’s resignation

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#UnitedKingdom, January 20, 2022 – In a shocking twist Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that come Thursday January 20, the United Kingdom will no longer mandate the National Health Services pass for use in public spaces and offices.

Residents will no longer be mandated to work from home which could see hundreds of thousands of workers returning to shared office spaces. Face masks will no longer be government mandated for residents or in classrooms, the announcement was met with screams of joy from gathered politicians in the House of Commons.

Johnson cited one of the reasons behind the decision as the extraordinary booster campaign. The UK has a booster rate of just over 63 percent.

Meanwhile omicron still manages to evade vaccines and boosters and Pfizer is scrambling to create a vaccine to temper the variant, which reportedly presents as milder in vaccinated individuals.

The news comes as trouble is brewing in the United Kingdom for Prime Minister Boris Johnson even after his shock announcement ending several COVID-19 protocols early this week. Calls for the Prime Minister to leave office have grown louder and louder with even senior conservatives turning their backs on Johnson.

It was said the softening of restrictions were to distract from the Prime Minister ‘bring your own booze’ staff party held at #10 Downing Street during the lockdown of 2020.

One Senator publicly switched sides and a former Minister told Johnson “in the name of God go.”

Johnson is accused of flagrantly touting the rules he himself out into place while fellow Britons were suffering during lockdown.

The BBC reports that so far six Conservative MPs have publicly declared no confidence in the PM, but more are thought to have submitted letters to that effect.

If Johnson does not step down or regain his party’s faith, a leadership election in the Conservative party could be looming on the horizon.

 

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Caribbean News

Unbossed, unbought Mia Mottley leads BLP to historic back to back, full sweep Election Victory

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#Barbados, January 20, 2022 – “They who helped raise me carried me on this occasion…The working class, the workers of this country will remain at the centre of what we do.”

The words of Prime Minister Mia Mottley at her swearing in ceremony early Thursday morning.

Mottley was sworn in for a second term as Prime Minister alongside Attorney General Dale Marshall after a whirlwind of a year in 2021 where she reached international acclaim as one of the strongest and most respected Caribbean voices in the fight against climate change and being named a United Nations 2021 Champion of the Earth.

Mottley who also transformed her country into a Republic was voted in along with all General Election candidates of the Barbados Labor Party (BLP) managing to successfully sweep all 30 seats for the second consecutive time in history.  Local media have dubbed the feat,  “Red Wash Number 2.”

The elections which were called 18 months early faced foul cries and injunctions from opponents of the BLP but Bajan voters put the matter to rest with an overwhelming victory for the party.

A hoarse Mottley had much to say to the Bajan People

“Barbadians are far more perceptive than we give them credit for, we are buoyed by [the win], we are humbled by the confidence, I have given the commitment that I have to be the opposition to the government because I must not in any way break the oath that I just took.”

She announced that a revised Cabinet would be announced to the public on Monday after a weekend of careful reflection and rest. She made it clear that Barbados would be continuing on its track as a regional leader.

“We shall endeavor to continue the process of transformation so our country will be able to face [future] challenges, there is still the aspirations of development that we set as a nation when we became independent in 1966, closing the development gap, eliminating poverty from our landscape, ensuring that our children can be educated to the maximum and above all else that our people shall remain owners in their land and not tenants.”

The general election was contested on January 19th by representatives from  seven parties and several independents. No official data has been released in terms of voter turnout yet but 266,330 Barbadians were eligible to vote.

 

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Health

TCI Ministry of Health slow on Quarantine Orders, blocking NIB payments

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – It is unclear how many hundreds of workers registered with the National Insurance Board are impacted, but the slow issuance of Covid-19 Quarantine Orders by the TCI Ministry of Health is hampering distribution and payment of sickness benefits to quarantined residents who are missing work.

Islanders are finding the process for receiving their money obstructed because the National Insurance Board required the government document in order to verifying their quarantine status.

The Ministry has not yet gone digital with the bookkeeping for COVID-19 records and residents have reported that the contact numbers listed by the Ministry of Health do not work.

The NIB has been offering financial remuneration to its beneficiaries since 2020 for days off work due to quarantine amidst the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

An unemployment benefit was also instituted by the NIB to support workers adversely affected in the pandemic.

Ministry of Health has admitted to manpower shortages, but have issued no comment on how it will speed up the process of qualified residents receiving the essential Quarantine Order.

 

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