From the beginning I knew that it would be hard for fifty dollars to overcome nine million dollars, but I said let me give it a try anyway.
I knew that with nine million dollars you could purchase radio, print media, private bloggers and any amount of social media hounds to push your agenda and yes they did, but I kept on trying, just for the sake of protecting and preserving our fragile culture.
So when I saw the live stream of the so-called Carnival event in Grand Bahama, I was happy to see that they emulated the template of the successful “It’s A Bahamian Ting” show that we put on a week prior at Arawak Cay (April 11th, 2015). They had an all Bahamian cast, like we did. They had Rake-N-Scrape, like we did. They had a Junkanoo Rush Out, like we did. They had a super-sized Goombay Summer Festival, like we did.
It was awesome and I said to myself, this is what I was asking for all along, Bahamians and visitors enjoying our Bahamian Culture. What I did not want was a Trinidadian type carnival-styled event and from all indications, the Trini Road Fever thing never happened in Grand Bahama. Again great, that is not Bahamian Culture. So all in all, Grand Bahama held a complete Bahamian Festival and there was no need for the word ‘carnival’ to be added to it. No one came to Grand Bahama looking for a carnival. No one purchased Road Fever Trini costumes.
No one carried on vulgar in the streets. No fights, just like the Arawak Cay show. Bahamian music is peaceful. I was very proud of that; I was glad that they took our advice. I can see us renaming this event to Bahamas Junkanoo Festival or Bahamas Goombay Festival going forward.
In Grand Bahama we are used to crowds of Bahamians showing up at Taino Beach for special occasions, this is nothing new. This was my experience since I was a child, and up to today. Taino Beach is still that spot.
With six months to a year of internet ads, posters, billboards, radio ads, and a million or so dollars injected into the event, actually there should have been more visitors and Bahamians than what was at Taino Beach. Grand Bahama’s Tourism Office does just as well with regards to crowd numbers with a budget of thirty to forty thousand dollars, or so, for the Goombay Summer Festival. When we brought the “Best of the Best” shows to Grand Bahama there was standing room only and those were private functions. Those crowds went insane! It was like the Beatles were in concert, so let’s not get it twisted.
Grand Bahamians are always hungry for sweet Bahamian music, just like the rest of the country. Once it is presented properly, in a safe environment, given enough time and funding, we could have a successful Bahamian concert on every island in this country utilizing every Bahamian artist, musician, dancer etc. and be able to spark their economies also without the word carnival ever being used. Now on the issue of hotels, car rental and no food on the island because of this Carnival event in Grand Bahama, I leave that up to the reporters to make some calls and find out the truth and not allow the spin doctors to dictate to them.
This discussion, at least from my vantage point, was never about making money. It has always been about the Bahamian taxpayers’ monies being spent on Bahamian things, Bahamian people, Bahamian entertainers, and Bahamian Culture but the political operatives are trying to change the topic and mislead us. It amazes me how we would pull down our own and protect the foreigner just because our own would stand up to a government that said they would put Bahamians first. Go to Crab Fest, Cat Island Rake-N-Scrape Festival or any of the many festivals throughout our country; the only thing we need to do is promote these festivals internationally. Give it half of, or just as much as we are giving to this foreign festival and see what happens.
I have noticed that no one is addressing my main point of the Bahamian people’s money being spent only on Bahamian Culture. The Minister of Culture is suppose to defend and protect our culture, where is he on this matter? I am disappointed in him. We need leaders that will look out for us, to protect our heritage. I think we need a thorough forensic audit on how and where our monies were spent and are being spent.
Bahamians who defend foreign over their own, who are willing to pay the foreigner more and not bat an eye when destroying their own countryman for political mileage, should be ashamed of themselves. When a foreign government starts paying for us Bahamians out of their treasury to perform at their national festivals I would jump on board with this head first. Our leaders duck away from the subject of wasting the Bahamian people’s money. We don’t need anyone else’s culture to make a dime off, our culture is just fine. I would like to thank Mrs. Ginger Moxey and her crew for being brave and putting on an all Bahamian event in Grand Bahama with no foreign elements or entertainers. New Providence should take note and follow suit. Carnival is not our culture, and you all are wrong for trying to push it down our throats at our own expense. #BahamianCultureFirst
Kirkland H. Bodie
Cuban Nationals Apprehended in Bahamian waters
#TheBahamas, June 24, 2021 – A group of Cuban Nationals are currently being detained at the Carmichael Road Detention Center after they were apprehended in the south west Bahamas by a US Coast Guard vessel earlier this week.
The fifteen individuals were captured after being sighted on Anguilla Cay on Tuesday 22 June. They were taken aboard the US Coast Guard Cutter, CHARLES SEXTON, and handed over shortly after 7:00 pm to the Defence Force patrol craft, HMBS DURWARD KNOWLES, under the command of Senior Lieutenant Jataro McDonald.
The Cubans were subsequently brought into the capital early Thursday morning, where they were handed over to the relevant authorities. The Cuban Embassy has since been notified.
The Royal Bahamas Defence Force continues to maintain a vigilant presence while patrolling and protecting the territorial waters of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, and working with other law enforcement agencies.
Photos shows: Cuban nationals shortly after their arrival at the Defence Force Base, Coral Harbour on Thursday June 24, 2021. (RBDF Photo by Petty Officer Al Rahming)
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS GOVERNOR ASKS FLORIDA COUNTERPART TO CONSIDER VACCINATION CHECKS FOR CRUISE PASSENGERS
Governor Albert Bryan Jr. cites concerns around unvaccinated cruise passengers arriving in the Caribbean
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS (June 11, 2021) – Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands Albert Bryan Jr. has made a plea to his Florida colleague, Governor Ron DeSantis, to honor Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and reconsider the state’s legislation, which could impact the health and wellbeing of millions of Caribbean residents when cruises to the region resume.
As increasing numbers of Americans receive COVID-19 vaccinations, Governor Bryan believes that ensuring the cruise industry reopens with vaccinated passengers is essential to the tourism economies of the U.S. Virgin Islands and the wider Caribbean.
Congratulating the Florida governor for his commitment to health, civil liberties and economic revitalization, Governor Bryan called for an exception – one that would enable vaccination checks for outbound passengers on cruise ships, which do most of their business on the open seas and directly impact the multiple Caribbean islands they visit.
“The bill you signed into law (which goes into effect July 1, 2021) may negatively impact the United States Virgin Islands and other port of call destinations in the Caribbean region,” said Governor Bryan, who highlighted CDC approvals for cruise ships to begin sailing this summer from U.S. ports with strict health and safety guidelines, such as the vaccination of 95% of passengers and crew members
With Florida serving as the nucleus and biggest embarkation point for cruises in the United States that dock in the U.S. Virgin Islands and throughout the Caribbean, the Governor indicated that “our ports … are in direct line of fire,” adding that while the two hospitals in the U.S. Virgin Islands are equipped to care for the Territory’s residents, they lack the resources to address a potentially larger public health crisis. “The lack of infrastructure puts us at a disadvantage for any crisis – health or mother nature. This is true of not only the Virgin Islands but most of the countries in the region,” the Governor penned.
With this reality, the governor expressed his concern for all citizens in the Caribbean region: “This is why I implore you to reconsider with a lens to the negative impact that your legislation may have on residents in the Caribbean … the cruise line and tourism employees, many of whom are of Caribbean descent, are now almost fully vaccinated and ready to get back to work.”
|“Please consider the exemption proposed above so … Caribbean (destinations) can feel safe on arrival and disembarkation of cruise passengers and crew. This will be a big win for the people of the Caribbean and the Caribbean expatriates that live in your state. It is my hope that you can assist us in moving in the same direction while respecting regional health liberties,” he affirmed. Governor Bryan has also shared a communiqué with the leadership of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) inviting support from regional leaders to work with the USVI in finding an agreeable path forward to welcoming cruise ships and their passengers back to the islands in as safe a way as possible.|
|About the U.S. Virgin IslandsFor more information about the United States Virgin Islands, go to VisitUSVI.com, follow us on Instagram (@visitusvi) and Twitter (@usvitourism), and become a fan on Facebook (www.facebook.com/VisitUSVI). When traveling to the U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S. citizens enjoy all the conveniences of domestic travel – including on-line check-in – making travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands easier than ever. As a United States Territory, travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands does not require a passport from U.S. citizens arriving from Puerto Rico or the U.S. mainland. Entry requirements for non-U.S. citizens are the same as for entering the United States from any foreign destination. Upon departure, a passport is required for all but U.S. citizens.|
Turquoise Gold; how TCI’s slice of the Atlantic Ocean does more than boost Tourism
#TurksandCaicos, May 18, 2021 – Dig ten feet down and you will find turquoise gold! Hidden in the porous limestone bedrock of Providenciales is same stuff which has rocketed Turks and Caicos Islands to superstar status when it comes to luxury tourism. It may surprise Provo residents that the enveloping commodity and pristine natural resource serves another practical purpose; it is the same safe, tasty, reliable drinking water flowing from our taps.
Turks and Caicos’ slice of the Atlantic Ocean is also the life sustaining water used to clean, cook, drink and grow gardens thanks to Provo Water Company, which has been supplying city water since 1997.
As the company commemorated its 10th year of Drinking Water Week, executives agreed to a throw-back to a decade ago with Magnetic Media and it is a refreshing story.
“Ten years ago we had probably 120 miles of pipeline, currently we have 136 miles and there is additional pipeline scheduled for the next two to three years in various areas. Communities like Five Cays, Blue Hills, Chalk Sound – just about everywhere and that is just additional pipeline that we’re putting in to make sure we can connect new customers,” said Robert C. Hall, the personable Managing Director of Provo Water Company.
Mr. Hall, during the interview, often referenced the company’s 20-year development plan; a plan which embraces the liberties of being wholly, a privately owned company.
Just under a decade ago, Provo Water Company bought the Turks and Caicos Islands government’s 46 per cent stake in the water company for a reported $7.5 million; today it is a healthy set-up which in 2018 peaked at distribution of two million gallons of water in a single day.
“We are looking at how we are going to supply the islands for the next 20 years and the major component of that plan is a second water plant on the northwest side of the island,” explained Mr. Hall at the Provo Water Company’s accredited laboratory overlooking western Leeward Highway.
The 20 year plan obviously does more than look at expansion, it also considers contingency.
“The objective is to be able to supply the island from either director if that need arises. So if we had a catastrophe in Grace Bay, we would be able to supply the island from northwest end and vice versa,” said Mr. Hall, who is an engineer by profession.
Ten years ago there were 3,500 consumers in the system; today there are 5,500 and technology is helping to manage these customers in Providenciales. Provo Water Company does not tally per recipient of the service; they count their consumers by how many subscribers are signed onto the service. Which means, there are far more households and businesses than reflected in 2021cumulative customer figure.
“We are able to produce just under four million gallons of water per day. Currently we are using about – in this particular time – 1.1 to 1.2 million gallons per day. So we’ve got built in capacity obviously to accommodate any growth in the short to medium term.”
Reverse osmosis of the salty ocean water is the process used to transform our turquoise gold into nourishing, drinking water; a process which requires its own story. Suffice it to say, what is produced by source and sister company: Turks and Caicos Water, would be meaningless if there was nowhere to store it.
Right now, there are 2.5 million gallons stored at the plant in Grace Bay. Another one million gallons is held at the storage tank near FortisTCI, the electricity supplier, off Leeward Highway.
“We are currently the owners of the land on the roundabout near CIBC, and there are some additional storage and pumping facilities that will be built there very shortly; we are hoping to start that this year. So that is a part of the project of trying to get water to and from both ends of the island.
We always have to be ahead of the curve, because the demand will always be there and the capacity to supply that demand has to always be ahead.”
In our series, we explore more advancements in the past ten years; including the biggest splash for Provo Water Company: the introduction of artificial intelligence and technology.
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