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Williams Auditorium transforms with New Community Focus

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PROVIDENCIALES, TCI DECEMBER 15, 2014 — For over 13 years Williams Auditorium has been enjoyed as a premier and community events center in the Turks and Caicos Islands and come January 2015 the use of the facility will alter dramatically. Williams Auditorium will instead offer a low cost wholesale grocery option for the people of the islands.

“It was not an easy decision to shift the community focus of Williams Auditorium, but with the significant slump in business and greatly reduced need for the 10,000 square feet premises for events; we decided it was a good move to allow Sunny Foods Retail & Wholesale to lease the space and move in,” said Hon. Delroy Williams, owner of Williams Auditorium.

Golden Sunrays Ltd or Sunny Foods is nearly done with its modifications to Williams Auditorium and will bring wholesale grocery shopping to Five Cays and beyond. The lease to Sunny Foods Retail& Wholesale will last for ten
years.

Originally, Sunny Foods was hoping to open the doors of its „cash and carry‟ in December 2014. The company, which brokered the lease to operate from Williams Auditorium for at least the next decade has added a new side entrance, overhauled the interior of the structure and graded the parking lot, which is one of the most expansive parking areas in the country.

“I do understand the role Williams Auditorium has played in the lives of my people; Williams has hosted concerts, funerals, pageants, weddings, church services, awards ceremonies, banquets, political functions, events for just
about every ethnic group and there have been graduations – but this was a decision to see the building used on a regular basis,” explained Hon. Williams.

It was in November 2000 that Williams Auditorium began construction; it took Williams eight months to go from clearing the two and a half acres of land, to erecting the steel, constructing the concrete siding and outfitting the interior for any event of any size hosting from locals to international celebrities. Award winning singers and performers like Beres Hammond, Beenie Man, Lucky Dube and Morgan Heritage; Gospel music royalty including Shirley
Cesar, Donnie McClurkin, Israel Houghton and Juanita Bynum; International, regional and local music stars: Zenglen, Ronnie Butler, K.B., Local, Sagittarius “Winston Jennings”, Keno& Kaz, V6, Lee & the Force, Barbara Johnson, Byron
Lee & the Dragonaires, Richie Spice, Washington Williams and the Cooling Waters, Marlin Award winning Gospel artists: Simeon Outten and TCIs own Robyn Hinds and the nation‟s most beautiful, intelligent and talented people.

“It‟s so funny to think about how Williams Auditorium came to being. I was a part of the Provo Day Committee and we needed a venue after some fall out with another spot we had rented. Some members of the Committee were so
upset by the situation that I personally vowed that by the next year, we would have our own place to host Provo Day.”

In July 2001, Williams Auditorium was ready for use and ready for Provo Day. The ability of Hon. Williams to deliver on this pledge has now become a hallmark characteristic for the businessman/politician who is well regarded for his ability to „get the job done.‟ “I know the venue will be missed; particularly for organizations like Clement Howell High School which has held its graduation ceremony here year after year, yet I believe there is hope for a new Williams Auditorium; don‟t count me out. We can come back when there is a market demand; we can build again.”

The official handover of Williams Auditorium to Sunny Foods Retail & Wholesale was on Monday December 15, 2014.

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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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