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Tour of the Junkanoo Club, McCartneys vow to establish a Museum

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Junkanoo Club Tour 2Providenciales, 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

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

Government

Washington MISICK challenged, and holds onto Leadership of the PNP

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#TurksandCaicos, February 24, 2024 – Magnetic Media can report that WASHINGTON MISICK has emerged and remains LEADER of the governing Progressive National Party.It has been a contentious battle today at the PNPs National General Congress (NGC) for party leadership with interest coming from: Jas Walkin, the party’s 2021 campaign manager who this week publicly withdrew his bid; Dameko Dean, former Wheeland candidate who had published an article revealing his quest to lead the PNP and E Jay Saunders who today unsuccessfully challenged MISICK for the role.Saunders has tried for leader before and has served as the party’s deputy leader, at the pleasure and selection of Washington Misick since June 2019.The run for party leader was a risky maneuver by Saunders, son of former PNP Party leader and Chief Minister Norman Saunders.Delegates cast votes, giving E Jay Saunders 58 votes and Washington Misick 88. The elder statesman convincingly retaining delegates’ confidence.It is also reported that, based on the PNP Constitution, Saunders needed 70% support from delegates in a preliminary run off.  He was unable to secure that much backing.A constitutional motion to change the selection process of the deputy leader to a delegate vote reportedly failed.It is therefore unclear what the immediate future, politically is for Saunders whose party and government roles are hinged on Washington Misick’s prerogative to have him or someone else in these posts.However Misick is already promoting a strict focus on uniting the party following the NGC meeting held at the Shore Club.

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Crime

TCI Community College staff struck and robbed, another chased in car by attackers

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Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 

 

#TurksandCaicos, February 23, 2024 – Attacks against several of its staff members last week have forced the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College to reassess its security.

“The college is robustly ending in immediate steps to review and reinforce our campus security protocols,” said a February 16 letter to staff seen by Magnetic Media.

The letter puts the date of the incidents as February 15th at one of its Providenciales campuses.

In the first,  a male member of staff was attacked and his car stolen after he left a meeting. When Magnetic Media queried police about the event, they released additional details of the robbery.

We were told around 9:15 pm, Thursday February 15, a 39-year-old male and his colleagues were leaving the TCI Community College Campus, Princess Drive, Providenciales, when a group of men surrounded his vehicle.

The man, noticing that one of the men had stopped at the rear of the vehicle, approached him to investigate and was struck on the head. In the immediate aftermath, the assailants escaped in the victim’s car, leaving the TCICC staff member injured at the scene.

The victim was transported to the Cheshire Hall Medical Center by police officers, and up until news production time, the car had not yet been recovered.

Following this incident, the Community College also revealed that a car chase had taken place.

A female member of staff this time, was chased down by suspected criminals as she left the campus. The employee managed to outdrive the people pursuing her and arrive safely at her destination, but she was described as shaken.

Now both, police officers and campus administration are urging residents to remain vigilant, especially when heading into their cars at night.

Safety tips that can help residents avoid attack, robbery, injury, or worse include:

  • Stay alert when heading to your vehicle; don’t be distracted by your phone; pay attention to your surroundings.
  • if you see anything or anyone suspicious, do not investigate on your own; go back and get a security guard or similar personnel to assist.
  • Have your keys ready in your hands before approaching your car, so you can enter the safety of your vehicle immediately.

The police have not yet arrested anyone for the robbery attack against the employee.

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News

Royal TCI Police share CAREER DAY Highlights

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#TurksandCaicos, February 23, 2024 – On Thursday, 8th February 2024, between 9 am – and 2 pm, the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force attended a Career Day event at the Enid Capron Primary School, Five Cays, Providenciales.

Under the theme “Be aware, choose a career”, the RTCIPF showcased the many career options available in policing.

Members of the Community Policing Unit, Safeguarding and Public Protection, Anti-Gang and Drugs Unit, Marine Branch, Traffic Enforcement, Air Support Unit and Mechanical Department were present.  Officers answered questions posed by the young, impressionable minds.

Insp Ensa Wilson lectured students on various topics, including: “Good Touch, Bad Touch”, alerting adults to inappropriate situations and the importance of calling 911.

Students were asked questions following the lecture and were given RTCIPF tokens.

Sgt. Kavin Mars, along with PC Fitzlewis McDonald and Kiyon Doughty of the Anti Gang and Drug Unit, freestyled “Don’t Huff, Don’t Puff, Don’t Do That Stuff” and warned students of the dangers –health and legal – of using drugs.

Superintendent (Community Policing and Divisions) Dwight Gardiner commended the school’s initiative and applauded the representation of officers present.

Supt. Gardiner said: “Career Days often highlight the importance of community policing and underscore law enforcement’s vital role in fostering trust, collaboration, and safety within neighbourhoods.

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