Nassau, 01 Sept 2015 – I begin by renewing my condolences, and the condolences of the Government and people of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, to Lady Miller and the entire family of the great Bahamian whose passing we mourn today, even as we celebrate his life; a life that was blessed with the gift of long years and marked by devoted service to his country, to his family, and to the institutions, both public and private, that he served so ably and so loyally during his long and fruitful life.
The word “great” is one that we tend to overuse in speaking of the dead. In the case of Sir Albert Miller, however, we stand on the surest and most certain of foundations when we characterize him, as I unhesitatingly do today, as a truly great man and an authentically great Bahamian.
And it would do us all well today to reflect on the personal ingredients that went into making Sir Albert the great man and the great Bahamian that he indubitably was.
To begin with, Sir Albert was a man of character; a man of courage and conviction; a man of talent and ability; of dedication and of discipline; of generosity and of kindness; of loyalty and of service.
And Sir Albert applied these abundant resources of his being in a way that not only earned for himself great personal success in multiple sphere of endeavours; but they also earned him the appreciation, the admiration, and the gratitude of so many persons from so many different walks of life, particularly those who were helped by him in one way or another over the years.
In some instances, the help that Sir Albert provided was direct. Mindful, as he always was, of his own humble beginnings in Long Island and equally mindful of those thoughtful and compassionate persons who had helped him in his own personal development, especially after he had moved to Nassau in his teens, Sir Albert was always keen to extend a helping hand to those who needed it, especially young and promising Bahamians who were without financial resources to further their education or to launch their careers.
Sir Albert helped many such persons over the course of his life, especially in the latter part of his life when his own material blessings had grown considerably. He never hogged his wealth. Instead he saw to it that not only was his family generously provided for but that so many others, especially here in Grand Bahama, would be able to share in the fruits of his material blessings as well.
More often than not, however, we never heard of such generosity. Seldom did we know when Sir Albert extended a helping hand. Most of it he did anonymously, without fuss or fanfare, seeking neither recognition nor reward for doing the good that he was doing.
And so, whether it was extending help through the church or through some other institution or agency, or doing it more directly, Sir Albert never sought anything in return. The personal satisfaction of knowing that he was using his material resources to be of help to those in need was quite enough for him. It was not something he felt any need to crow about.
But Sir Albert helped others in less tangible ways as well. He did so not with money but by the power of his personal example. He was a born leader who, throughout his life, inspired so many others simply by exhibiting the same qualities of greatness that I ascribed to him earlier: his enormous courage; his skill and talent; his disciplined approach to work; his absolute dedication; his loyalty and of sense of service, especially patriotic service.
These qualities were deeply embedded in Sir Albert’s being. They were an integral part of who he was. And one could not help but be impressed and inspired by the Albert Miller who possessed them.
These qualities were as much in evidence during the first part of Albert Miller’s adult life when he was climbing the ranks of the Royal Bahamas Police Force as they were in the second part of his life when he was distinguishing himself as one of the leaders of the Grand Bahama Port Authority and the City of Freeport. He didn’t re-manufacture himself when he moved into these new roles in Grand Bahama. Instead he was able to call upon the same resources of personality, the same reservoir of talent, that had been so central to his outstanding success as a police officer in his earlier years.
And so, just as he had risen steadily through the ranks from the lowly position of Constable in his teens to the exalted post of Deputy Commissioner while in late 30’s, Albert Miller was subsequently able to climb the ranks of the Grand Bahama Port Authority to attain one higher post after another, culminating in his appointment as President and later as Co-Chairman.
In climbing the ladder of success, first in law enforcement and then later in the boardrooms of commerce and city-planning, Sir Albert demonstrated a consistency of high purpose and dedication, and a level of skill and ability that were truly inspirational to behold. He was a man of action. A man of purpose. A man who never settled for second best. A man who never asked others to make sacrifices or to do things that he himself was not prepared to do. He led by example.
And it was because he was that kind of man that Sir Albert Miller is justly remembered today as a true and enduring inspiration to those who worked under him or alongside him as well as those in the wider community who marked the manner of the man and drew inspiration from what they saw.
One of the really remarkable things about Sir Albert Miller’s life was how the first part of his life as a policeman was as impressive as the second part when, as fate would have it, he ended up in a vastly different career as a businessman and city leader – a kind of unofficial mayor even for the nation’s second city.
Most men who achieve great things in life do it in only one sphere. In the case of Sir Albert, however, he had the uncommon distinction of achieving greatness in two completely different spheres of human endeavour, one after the other.
I need not recall today the great contributions that Sir Albert made in these two different spheres of his adult life because I have already had occasion to do so in my official statement following his passing and also because others have spoken so eloquently to it already as well.
However, it would be remiss of me as Prime Minister if I did not on this solemn occasion express the gratitude of the government and people of The Bahamas for the uniformly exemplary and profoundly important contributions that Albert Miller made over the course of decades to help keep the people of The Bahamas safe from crime.
His courageous and unfailing dedication to policing was as extraordinary as the skills and talents he brought to the job. I have no hesitation whatsoever in saying that it was because of Bahamians like Albert Miller that the foundations of the Royal Bahamas Police Force were as securely established as they were.
Indeed the outstanding police officers of today rest upon the shoulders of legendary predecessors like Albert Miller. He was a policeman’s policeman, a mentor and role model of the first order. The generations of police officers that have since followed in his footsteps are therefore deeply indebted to him for the standard that he and others of his own generation set for them to emulate.
But it’s not just police officers. It is the nation as a whole that is in debt to Sir Albert for all of the personal risks and sacrifices he undertook in the service of the Bahamian people as a law enforcement leader extraordinaire; and for the fearless, incorruptible and expert manner in which he went about protecting the Bahamian people from lawless elements within our borders. He was one of the best. He really was!
For that I extend the sincere thanks of a grateful nation.
I also extend the thanks of the nation for Sir Albert’s second major area of achievement as a leading figure in the development of the modern city of Freeport in the post-Groves era. Sir Albert brought a uniquely Bahamian balance to the otherwise expatriate-heavy leadership of the Port. This was of invaluable help to the Port in re-setting the ship on the right course and in charting the way forward, taking due account of national sensibilities and popular expectations.
Sir Albert sensed these things almost intuitively, and being the man of superb judgment and intelligent insight that he was, he was able to exert great influence over the owners of the GBPA in crafting new and more relevant policies aimed at promoting economic growth and urban development for the good of all.
Sir Albert’s achievements in that regard cannot be underestimated. They represent yet another pillar upon which his legacy stands.
Finally, it would also be remiss of me if I did not again acknowledge how personally indebted I am to Sir Albert for all the wise counsel he so unselfishly gave me over the years.
Although I should have expected no less from the fellow Valley Boy that he was, I was always very grateful – and I still am – for how unfailingly generous Sir Albert always was in giving me sound and sensible advice, and for sharing with me his profound insights into so many different national challenges we face.
I greatly value the moments we shared in that vein just as I greatly value the gift of his friendship.
I close with these words:
Many years ago, one of the more colourful and controversial public figures in American history, the former Vice-president, Aaron Burr, had occasion to use a phrase that has special relevance, I think, to the great man we pay homage to today.
Burr was giving praise to a group of heroic men. In doing so, he described them as “the best blood of the country”. He was moved to describe them so not because of the nobility of their lineage but because of the courageous and patriotic service they had given and the excellent work they had done.
That phrase rings true today as well for Sir Albert Miller’s life, in all its fullness, reveals that there also flowed within him “the best blood of the country”.
And we are all the better for it.
May he rest in peace.
Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation Celebrates World Tourism Day
#TheBahamas, September 28, 2021 – “This year, World Tourism Day has been designated as a day to focus on inclusive growth through tourism, which is quite poignant,” said Deputy Prime Minister The Honourable I. Chester Cooper, Bahamas Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation. “Like many Caribbean destinations, tourism is the heartbeat of The Bahamas and as we say, it is everyone’s business. Our beaches are breathtaking, and the water is so clear you can see it from space, but that is not what defines us. Rather, it is every individual person who shapes the Bahamas experience and stands to benefit from tourism’s success. I am committed to creating jobs and opportunities for all Bahamians and to help our great nation heal.”
As international travel restrictions begin to ease, spurred by an increase in vaccine accessibility, The Bahamas is well positioned for continued recovery. A rise in scheduled airlift combined with the return of the cruise industry is contributing to a positive increase in visitor numbers, leading to nearly 500,000 visitors over the first six months of the year.
“While we have faced an uphill battle during these unprecedented times, we must stay focused and optimistic as the world begins to reopen,” noted the Deputy Prime Minister. “I join with leaders throughout the Caribbean to elevate the importance of social inclusion, sustainability and smart destinations and businesses. Our beautiful country, and our beloved Caribbean region, will prosper again and continue to progress, as in the words of the motto of The Bahamas: Forward, Upward, Onward, Together.”
Photo Credit: Sandals.com
Lyford Cay Foundations Award Academic Scholarships to 18 Bahamians
#TheBahamas, September 27, 2021 – Eighteen Bahamians who are committed to making a difference in The Bahamas in fields ranging from mitigating climate change to ending physical abuse have been awarded generous undergraduate and graduate school scholarships from the Lyford Cay Foundations.
Today’s announcement of the names of academic awardees follows earlier news that for the first time in its 50+ year history, the Foundations saw the majority of successful applicants for vocational scholarships chose training and certification in medical or health-related subjects – perhaps inspired by the great health care needs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Both groups, academic and technical vocational, were outstanding this year, making the work of the independent screening committees more challenging than ever and many of the students who applied were so impressive that they were also being offered substantial scholarships from top universities, all of which speaks for the quality and reputation of students from The Bahamas,” said Dr. Nicola Virgill-Rolle, Executive Director. “What was of particular interest this year is the common thread in their essays, almost like a fire burning in them – a desire to make a difference in The Bahamas when they return.”
One of those recipients, Empress Sears, a graduate of Sunland Baptist Academy in Grand Bahama, is off to study Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto with a William Birchall Scholarship. “An issue we as Bahamians should all be concerned about is the lack of attention given to our natural resources,” Sears wrote in her essay. “Our beaches, mangroves, pine forests, and coral reefs are in a state of peril….Overproduction of air pollutants has caused the temperature to steadily climb worldwide. The results of this come in the form of sweltering heat and devastating hurricanes. These effects play a major role in why our natural resources are under extreme stress. It is our duty as Bahamians to seek out the best possible methods to reduce the severity of these natural disasters.”
Two other recipients, Jasmine Adamson and Paul Roberts, plan to tackle the energy problem, focusing on renewables, Roberts at University of California, Berkley, and Adamson at Kettering University.
Another, Rhodricia Francis, was inspired by her own family’s experience to become a pharmaceutical chemist. “I believe that Bahamians deserve access to better treatments and medications,” she wrote. “As a pharmaceutical chemist, I will develop novel, effective drugs with minimal side effects and investigate more efficient methods to synthesize current drugs. Efficiency in drug creation will make medication more accessible to the general population.”
Lyford Cay Foundation Chairman Basil Goulandris cited the variety of interests and ambition as “extraordinary.”
“Every year, we think how can next year’s applicants equal this year’s and every year, new applicants surprise us,” he said. “This year, the applicants showed interest in a wide variety of subjects that were very demanding and an extraordinary ambition to make The Bahamas even better.”
Canadian Lyford Cay Foundation Chairman Tim Unwin agreed.
“When you look at the fields of study and the quality of the scholarship recipients for 2021-22, you have to feel that the future of The Bahamas is in good hands,” Unwin declared. “Upon their return to The Bahamas, these wonderful students will find many opportunities to give effect to their vision.”
The Foundations awarded $380,000 in scholarships this year to 26 new recipients in addition to the 27 ongoing scholarships allowing Bahamians to study throughout the US, Canada and the UK. The Foundations have awarded more than $50 million in education benefits to Bahamians along with helping to support non-profits, with an emphasis on those that contribute to education.
Recipients of this year’s new undergraduate scholarships include Paul Roberts – Physics at the University of California, Berkeley; Jasmine Adamson – Mechanical Engineering, Kettering University; Zion Virgil – Chemistry, Florida Southern College; Rhodricia Francis – Chemistry, Florida International University; Jaleah Taylor – Visual Arts/Communications, Media and Film, University of Windsor; Kiara Minnis – Computer Science Degree with Cooperative Education, Lakehead University; Ashanti Marshall – English and Art, St. Francis Xaviers; Shealyn Burrows – Chemistry, St. Mary’s University; Tyler Christie – Biology, St. Mary’s University; Dacacia Russell – Accounting, Mount Royal University; Chandler Darville – Mechanical Engineering, University of Toronto; Alexander Baxter – Management, University of Toronto; Asya Johnson – Computer Science, University of New Brunswick; Empress Sears – Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto.
Those working toward graduate degrees include : Leandria Albury – Public Health Administration and Policy, University of Minnesota; Felecia Campbell – Child and Youth Care, Holland College; Lemuel Johnson – Trumpet Performance, Western Illinois University; and Clarence Albury – Creative Writing, Witchita State University.
Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board Celebrates World Tourism Day
The Destination Continues to See an Influx of Tourists, Following One of the Busiest Summers on Record, and Is Optimistic for the Future
#TurksandCaicos, September 27, 2021 – The Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board, the exclusive tourism authority for the Turks and Caicos Islands, is excited to celebrate World Tourism Day on today, September 27, 2021, and reflect on the Island’s significant increase in tourism since the pandemic. Thanks to the Tourist Board’s strategic marketing and public relations plans, combined with its vigilant TCI Assured protocols, aggressive vaccine campaign, and pent-up travel demand, the destination reported one of its busiest summers to date in 2021 with an increase of over 18% in June, 19% in July, and 15% in August compared to pre-pandemic statistics in 2019.
“On World Tourism Day and every day, we are proud to celebrate the success of tourism to the Turks and Caicos Islands, especially after the challenges that we and all tourism-driven countries faced during the pandemic,” said Pamela Ewing, Director of Tourism for the Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board. “We have worked hard to enforce necessary safety protocols to ensure that tourism, our main economic driver, continues to positively impact both our local and travelling communities. The destination is optimistic for one of the busiest Festive seasons to date ahead, and we wish success to all other islands in the Caribbean.”
Tourism in the Turks and Caicos Islands continues to flourish due to the Tourist Board’s strategic marketing and public relations campaigns in the United States, Canada, South America, United Kingdom and Europe to promote the destination as safe for travelers. This includes press trips with key publications, radio campaigns in source markets, advertising and partnerships with stakeholders, and executing the signature event, Turks and Caicos Conference (TACC), which updated all partners on protocols and accommodation availability.
“We are grateful for all of our valued tourism partners, who have supported our efforts to ensure the ongoing safety of our residents and guests, and to the community for their vigilance in getting vaccinated and adhering to protocols,” said Honorable Josephine Connolly, Minister of Tourism for the Turks and Caicos Islands. “It is because of everyone’s commitment that we’ve been able to keep tourism thriving safely and allow guests to focus on enjoying the exceptional vacation experience afforded by the destination, our picturesque beaches, and our world-class resorts and villas.”
Travel confidence has also increased thanks to the destination’s TCI Assured portal, a quality assurance pre-travel program and portal, which requires require a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR, NAA, RNA or Antigen test result from a test taken within three days of travel, medical / travel insurance that covers medevac, a completed health screening questionnaire, and proof of vaccination for all visitors ages 16 years and over. The vaccine requirement underscores the destination’s commitment to health and safety and expands on its already vigilant travel protocols, which have been in place for travelers since July 22, 2020, when the destination opened its borders to tourists. The Turks and Caicos Islands also continues to promote its vaccine campaign among residents, with over 70 percent of the adult population being fully vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine—making it one of the most inoculated countries in the world.
For more information on the Turks and Caicos Islands, call 1 (800) 241-0824 or visit www.turksandcaicostourism.com. Follow the Turks and Caicos Islands on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
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