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Remarks by DPM Hon. Philip Brave Davis at the Straw Vendors Appreciation Day

DSC_4458Salutation….

It is said that, “yesterday is already a dream and tomorrow is only a vision. But if today is well lived it makes every yesterday a reflection of satisfaction coupled with happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope.”

A very good afternoon to each of you as we celebrate the 2nd Annual Straw Vendors Appreciation Day!

As Minister with responsibility for the Straw Market Authority, I am proud of my association with such a powerful and influential group of proud Bahamians.

I do not know of any other single group of Bahamians who love their job so much. When addressing the concerns of the Straw Market Authority, I am reminded that our lives are filled with simple joys and blessings and one of the greatest joys in life is to have a job that you love. That would be the job of our vendors.

It is truly a splendid thing to create beautiful work that brings joy to others. People just love beautiful things!

Recently, I presented gifts to the president of New Zealand and his wife on behalf of the people of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. These gifts were indigenous Bahamian items made in this Straw Market by a Bahamian straw vendor and a wood carver. I beamed with pride while presenting.

Vendors ought to be happy and know how privilege they are to be working in an environment that is always full of excitement… especially as so many countries are so unsettled and full of turmoil.

Honourees, the joy that you have given to others through your craft is coming back to you today. We love you, respect and appreciate you for all that you have done and continue to do.

Brotherly love is a fruit in season at all times and within reach of every hand. I admonish you to create a peaceful work environment, showing love to neighbouring vendors and visitors. If only we could learn to love like God… for God loves each of us as if there was only one of us.

I have charged the Straw Market Authority to work with straw vendors ensuring that 90% Bahamian made products be sold from the markets in the near future, with the ultimate goal of 100%. In achieving this feat, you will cause there to be an increase in the amount of straw practitioners and crafts people, the net result being more jobs created for Bahamians.

Joy come from simple and natural things: a clean environment together with honesty, integrity, respect and good manners should all be practiced to become normal and natural characteristics.

Today as we recognize some vendors for their stability and service to the straw and wood carving industry, it is truly our sincere way of showing gratitude and giving thanks for what you have done and continue to do; bringing them into clear focus.

When we celebrate the years behind us, they become strength and joy for the years ahead.

I challenge each of you to make the remainder of 2014, and all of 2015 a new beginning of something great in your life.

Continue to create a positive culture within the various straw markets that visitors are anxious to experience. All vendors are encouraged to get involved and strive to get all visitors to our shores to purchase goods from our straw markets. In doing so, please adhere to the rules of the Straw Authority.

Another realistic goal should be to raise your standard in the ensuing year. I guarantee you that it can easily be achieved. You must never be happy to settle for mediocrity.

You are encouraged to be vibrant, energized, visualize, improve your product, become motivated and invigorated.

To all vendors, I say that you are privileged to occupy a booth. You are renting space that others are appealing for daily. Therefore, create your own ideal space, with thoughtfulness and cleanliness being of paramount importance.

Having a well organized booth within your boundary gives you the freedom to decorate tastefully and present your products creatively.

“A space for everything and everything in its place.” Decorate with purpose, to keep your space beautiful and clean.

Vendors, even when you are complaining about business affairs, dress appropriately. Take personal pride and care in how you present yourself to the world. Your craft is your life insurance, control your destiny.

To the Board of Directors, Management and staff, I commend you for having had a very productive year. The Straw Market Authority’s new secret ingredient is self-sufficiency. By developing a cohesive team spirit you have become more spontaneous and flexible in your business relationship with vendors.

Once again I say congratulations to all honourees.

Good Morning…Enjoy your day!

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