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11th Annual Conch Festival set for November 29th to feature popular food competition and other activities

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PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands –October 30, 2014 – Plans for the 11th Annual Turks & Caicos Conch Festival, are well underway with a weekend-full of activities on the tropical getaway of Providenciales, home to the World’s Best Beach. The popular beachside event attracts tourists and locals alike to celebrate the islands’ most famous delicacy, historical icon, and number one export…CONCH. The main event will take place on Saturday afternoon (November 29) in the charming Blue Hills area of Providenciales, outside of Three Queen’s Bar & Restaurant.

Friday, November 28: First Annual Calypso Kick-off event.
This year the weekend kicks off with a Calypso event. (More details will be available soon.)

Saturday, November 29: Eleventh Annual Conch Festival
The weekend kicks into high gear on Saturday, November 29 at Noon in the Blue Hills area. The marquee event is the ‘conch-etition’ which pits the island’s best chefs against each other in a hotly-contested tasting competition judged by a panel of experts as well as the Festival attendees. Categories include Best Conch Salad, Best Conch Chowder, Best Specialty Conch and Best in Show. More than 25 restaurants are expected to compete for the cash prizes and bragging rights this year. Tasting begins at Noon and runs until 5PM. . An entry fee of $25 gives Festival-goers a chance to sample all the dishes entered and cast a vote for Best in Show. In addition to the restaurants, the “Home Kitchen” event will take place simultaneously. Home cooks will have a chance to show off their favourite conch recipe and earn a chance to win a cash prize and more. A separate vote will be held in this category and best in show will again be decided by the general public. Home Kitchen participants will receive each receive $75 to help offset the cost of their ingredients. They are urged to bring a BIG pot of their conch recipe so everyone will get a chance to sample what they have prepared.

Major sponsors for this year’s festival so far are Amanyara, Wine Cellar, Villa Del Mar, the Turks & Caicos Tourist Board, Discover Card, Alamo Car Rentals and the TC Weekly News with more coming on board every week, plus a host of others lending their support.

Augmenting the always delectable restaurant competitors is the annual Mojito-making contest sponsored by Bacardi where the island’s best bartenders are on display with their creative twists on this classic Cuban cocktail. This year’s event also features the Turks and Caicos’ own world-renowned Junk-a-Noo, plus other local performers.

Special Conch Competitions for conch blowing and other conch related competitions will assure that chefs and bartenders are not the only ones who can win prizes. Plus the biggest prize of all will be the cash prize of $10,000 drawn at 5:30 on the day of the festival by the Rotary Club of Providenciales as part of its annual Pot-of-Gold raffle. Tickets are currently on sale from local Rotarians and at 3 Queens Bar and Restaurant and will be available on the day of the event. However, buying tickets early is highly encouraged because only a limited number are available.

Henry the Conch and a special appearance by Santa will also be on hand to pass out goodies to the kids. A special kids’ area will be set up with games, face painting and more.

The day’s events will culminate with an after party at Zani Bar featuring DJ music by TCI Most Wanted, DJ Shakes and Unstoppable and DJ Vernam dancing into the wee hours of the night. Admission will be: ladies $10, men $20. This is the ONLY Conch Festival sanctioned after party.

About the Conch Festival
The Conch Festival is a family-friendly event with plenty of games and activities for the kids, including kids games on the beach and a showcase of local culture. There will be games on the beach, and a visit from our mascot, Henry the Conch. In 2008 the Conch Festival donated part if its proceeds to help the fishermen of South Caicos recover after Hurricane Ike, in 2011 over $4300 was donated to Clement Howell High School for much needed equipment and supplies and the Conch Festival also supplies water for their sports day every year. A clean drinking water system for Oseta Jolly Primary School is being undertaken with the proceeds from lasts year.

More information on the Conch Festival can be found at www.conchfestival.com.
Contact Dick Bain, President 242 4553 or Joy MacKenzie, Secretary 241-4465 or email tciconchfestival@gmail.com

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Caribbean News

Barbados bestows Humanitarian Award on PAHO director Dr. Carissa Etienne 

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

#Barbados, November 25, 2022 – The newest recipient of Barbados’ Humanitarian Award is outgoing Pan American Health Organization Director, Dr Carissa Etienne.  The government of Barbados grants this award to frontline workers who were instrumental during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Upon receiving the award, Dr. Etienne expressed her gratitude for the recognition, noting, however, that she was more grateful for the opportunity to have served on the island. She also praised Prime Minister, Mia Mottley for her diligence in leading the country and regional involvement during the pandemic.

Humanitarian medals were also given to Frontline workers who risked their own safety to ensure the needs of the public were met. Those who held supporting roles on the frontline received humanitarian lapel pins, and those who made generous donations were given humanitarian plaques.

Dr. Etienne highlighted one major lesson from the pandemic, “we are only safe when the weakest among us is also safe”.

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Bahamas News

Bahamas and Turks & Caicos Immigration Ministers make appearance on TCI Radio Talk Show

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, November 25, 2022 – “We have a humanitarian concern of course but we can only absorb so much” was how Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Public Service in The Bahamas addressed the issue of the UN constantly nudging Caribbean countries about the deportation of migrants and recommending that it not be done.

He was speaking Thursday November 24 with Cheryl and Zhavargo on First Edition which airs on RTC FM.

While acknowledging that the UN offices likely ‘have to do what they do’ Minister Mitchell  explained that the current irregular migrants trying to get into the Bahamas did not fit the bill of ‘refugees’ as defined by the UN.

“We have a treaty obligation that says that if people have a fear of persecution in their home country that we have an obligation to take them in as asylum seekers. The people who come through on these boats from the south of us are not asylum seekers. They are afraid of poverty and that’s a difficult issue but in a legal sense we’re not obligated to embrace people on that basis.”

He cited a study that had found, on any given day there were around 7,000 illegal migrants in The Bahamas trying to get to the US maintaining that his chain of islands had to take a stand on the issue.  The Foreign Affairs minister acknowledged that  TCI was in an identical situation, citing also the the cultural effects of irregular migration.

“There is a cleavage which has developed in our own society over this; people are very concerned that we could lose our identity if we do not get on top of it.”

Earlier this year Arlington “new sheriff in town” Musgrove, Minister of Immigration and Border Services in the Turks and Caicos had described statements calling on surrounding countries to do more to assist persons fleeing Haiti as “reckless and misguided.”

“Haiti has a population of 11.6 million people. How could any small developing state like the Turks and Caicos Islands assist that number of people or even the smallest fraction of them? We have a population of some 47,000 persons, and our health care, education and other social systems remain fragile and could never withstand an influx of refugees. This would be a risk to our very own livelihood,” he had said.

He was interviewed in the same show on Thursday prior to Mitchell and expressed a similar determination to crack down on illegal migration.

“I want to stress this. If we catch anyone harbouring illegals, it could be my mommy, she’s going up. We cannot tolerate this. We’re catching the sloops so my Haitian brothers and sisters should stress to them don’t waste your money we’re sending you back.”

Turks and Caicos, this year passed a law, doubling fines and prison times for individuals harbouring illegal migrants.

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Bahamas News

Former Bahamian Cabinet minister defends record amid ongoing police investigation

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, November 25, 2022 – Former Youth, Sports and Culture Minister, Lanisha Rolle is reportedly currently under investigation due to several allegations that came up during her tenure; she however knows nothing of this alleged criminal investigation.

After the minister resigned – unceremoniously –  in February 2021 with little explanation, the ministry was locked down by the Prime Minister for an audit of the National Sports Authority, which fell under her ministry.

Auditor General Terrance Bastin revealed that unauthorised contracts had been issued, some of which were later forwarded to the NSA for payment. Three cheques to contractors were also found, which were paid to individuals and then collected by a senior ministry official.

Despite the allegations, Rolle said she upheld cabinet standards and good governance during her tenure. She added that a minister is not always aware of “everything in a ministry at any given time.”

Rolle said she has not yet been approached by the RBPF regarding the audit findings.  Having served as a member of the Police Force for 11 years herself, Rolle told a crush of media on Wednesday (November 23) that she continues to trust that they will follow the legal process and in due time, the truth of her innocence will be revealed.

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