Providenciales, 10 Jun 2015 – The door was flung open, the way was cleared and the curious filed in to see what was left of the inside of the famous Junkanoo Club on Goode Street in Grand Turk. The site, built in the early 1970s and where political talks birthed the People’s Democratic Movement and ushered in deeper democracy for the Turks and Caicos has held up well over the years. PDM Leader, Sharlene Robinson said there are serious talks underway to elevate the status of the spot, which is still owned by the McCartneys.
Deandrea Hamilton: “Should this be an historical site, should this be a stop on a tour?”
Hon. Sharlene Robinson: “Absolutely, absolutely and I am so happy again that the McCartney Family has decided to create a museum and certainly his tomb, his site, the memorial site. That is one thing as party leader I am going to be pushing for because there is no way on my watch, that the young people will not know the history of this man and this movement and not appreciate the lives and the sacrificial service that were laid on the line and the persons who died fighting for a better Turks and Caicos.”
Rev Terrance Smith was there in 1975 when the ‘incident’ involving a gun battle standoff with what were called, ‘oppressive’ and ‘victimizing’ members of the Police Force took place.
Deandrea Hamilton: Were you scared, what was the mood like on the inside of the building?
Terrance Smith: “Never was afraid in my whole life, ain’t never been afraid of nothing; never.”
Deandrea Hamilton: Police are shooting at you…
Terrance Smith: “Yes but we’re shooting too. Best man win. We were never afraid of the police, the police were afraid of us and that was the problem.”
Smith, who remains the party’s chaplain after the weekend convention, was joined by others from that era, including women; we spoke to Rosabelle Adams who with baby in her arms stood watch outside on that fateful night June 6, 1975.
“They told JAGS to let him go, JAGS said not until I get what I want for my people. They reported it to the Governor and the Governor came down here and he stood right over there and talked to JAGS. He (Governor Arthur Watson) sent to call JAGS, but JAGS told him (the Goveror) he must come to him; so he came to JAGS and JAGS told him that he wouldn’t let Commissioner Blaze go until he got what he wanted for his people. Now there were other people here in the Junkanoo, but they came of their own free will.”
The story goes that JAGS, a cool-headed, determined strategist etched his demands on bits of paper, invited the Governor to come to his turf for negotiations and finally saw the demands of the people acquiesced to – the British warship retreated, an inquiry found the police officers who were from the Eastern Caribbean guilty of firing first in the standoff and by 1976, James Alexander George Smith McCartney was elected the country’s first Chief Minister. A powerful story… as for what was inside the Junkanoo Club when we went in on the 40th anniversary over the weekend; a combination of things old and new, more like a storage space now, pretty much forgotten despite its heavy history, with one token of those times still handing on the wall, a dart board which the likes of Charlie Garland, also a part of the JAGS era believes may have been from the hay day of the club. You can see our One Caribbean TV news report; go to MagneticMediaTV.com
Blue Hills Man Charged with Manslaughter
#TurksandCaicos, February 8, 2023 – A 48-year-old man has been charged with two counts of manslaughter.
He appeared before a Magistrate on January 30th. Following his court appearance, the matter was committed for sufficiency hearing on April 06th.
Andre was charged in connection with an incident which occurred on December 24th at the Residence Yard, Five Cays.
Two female minors -ages six and seven- died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Press Release: RTCIPF
Press Release: Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) Bahamas
February 3, 2023 – ILM Bahamas Centre held its Certificate Presentation Ceremony for Cohort 7. The cohort consisted of fourteen (14) Senior Immigration Officers from the Department of Immigration. This Cohort was a hybrid of in-person and online learning. Four of the Immigration Officers were from the Family Islands (Grand Bahama, Abaco, Berry Islands and Eleuthera).
Present at the ceremony were: The Hon. Keith Bell, Minister of Labour and Immigration, Madam Justice J. Denise Lewis-Johnson, Permanent Secretary Ms. Ceceila Strachan, Executive Chair of NTA Ms. Agatha Marcelle, Executive Director of NTA Mr. Terry Murray, Director of Immigration Mrs. Keturah Ferguson, Deputy Director of Immigration Mr. Dwight Beneby, Ms. Esther McKinney Office Manager at the Department of Immigration.
The guest speaker at the ceremony was Dr. Donald M. McCartney a Leadership and Management Consultant with Motivation Incorporated Bahamas and the United States. He was a former senior public servant. He was also a First Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service with responsibility for the Northern Bahamas. He was also a former educator and professor at various colleges in the United States.
In his address to ILM Cohort 7, Dr. McCartney spoke about having the courage to lead and that leadership goes beyond SELF. It’s not about you or your ego but rather more about contributing to nation building. He said, “We must be prepared to take the bold steps that would not lead us into the abyss of despair but on the road that leads us to lift up our heads to the rising sun and press onward to the mountaintop experience, which will lead us to become the proud and productive people we were destine to be.” He also expanded on the four fundamental virtues: COURAGE, TEMPERANCE, JUSTICE AND WISDOM. Additionally, he expanded on the focus and influence of courage, on the ego and discipline.
The Hon. Keith Bell, Minister of Labour and Immigration brought brief remarks on the occasion. Some of the highlights of his speech were that Immigration is one of the highest revenue earners, challenges within the Department of Immigration such as lack of autonomy from the Public Service as compared to the other armed forces. He also talked about that the fact that the top tier is going to be retired within two years and this would be an opportunity for many of the graduates of this Cohort 7 to gain upward mobility.
He also stated that there needs to be a complete overhaul of the Immigration Act, and a review of the Asylum Bill. Furthermore, he discussed the inevitable need for the relocation of the Department of Immigration from its current location. Lastly, he stated that we must tread a delicate balance between enforcing the law and being humane, in regards to shanty towns.
It is noteworthy that the ILM Centre at the National Training Agency recently obtained a Centre upgrade. The ILM Centre Bahamas now hold the statue of Direct Claim Status with City and Guilds of London. Additionally, the Centre is now registered with the National Accreditation and Equivalency Council of the Bahamas (NAECOB) for all of its current course offerings. The ILM Department is lead Miss Pamela Gomez as the ILM Centre Coordinator. Registration is now open for Level 2 Certificate in Leadership and Team Skill and Level 3 Certificate in Leadership and Management. Our mission statement is, “Helping people, organizations, and economies develop their skills for growth.”
For more information, contact the ILM Centre Bahamas located in the Gladstone Road Business Centre by calling 461-6021 or 461-6008.
Sugar and salt tax campaigns gaining steam
By Dana Malcolm
February 7, 2023 – A global battle on sugar and salt is ramping up as the United States joins The Bahamas and Barbados in creating proposals for historic sugar and salt laws.
The country’s Agricultural Department for the first time in history, proposed a cap on the amount of sugar to be allowed in school meals.
The World Health Organization has found that North America and the Caribbean have the highest rates of childhood diabetes in the world and based on the International Diabetes Federation’s Diabetes Atlas we also have the second highest prevalence of Diabetes overall for all global regions at 14 percent or 51 million people with a projected 24 percent increase in just 22 years.
Barbados, the United States, Canada, Haiti, Mexico, Belize and St. Kitts and Nevis are all suffering from incredibly high rates of diabetes.
Barbados and The Bahamas announced sugar taxes last month; the hope is to reduce the importation and sale of sugar and salt rich foods.
Advocates across the Caribbean including Jamaica, Trinidad, and others have been campaigning for sugar taxes in their own countries with support from the public.
Now the proposed nutritional rules for the United States would set firm boundaries on how much salt and sugar can legally be added to meals, setting a new standard as most food imports for countries like The Bahamas are from the US.
The plan for the US is expected to be rolled out by 2025.
The rules, are unapologetically an attempt to cut down incidences of diabetes and other diseases fueled by unhealthy diets, according to media reports.
For now, the quantities on sugar and salt additives is an idea waiting wider consultation.
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