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RBDF Marines make significant improvements to Historical Building

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Coral Harbour Base, Bahamas, September 20, 2016 (RBDF) – After years of not being able to gain easy access to the Bahamas Historical Society and Museum (BHSM), Marines from the Royal Bahamas Defence Force made life a little easier for the physically challenged with the construction of a ramp and the renovation of the restroom for wheelchair bound members and visitors.

Led by Chief Petty Officer Gary Pratt, a senior supervisor of the Defence Force’s Base Maintenance Team, the Marines built a ramp on the western entrance of the historical site, located on Shirley Street. Before now, persons who were physically challenged had to be lifted from their wheelchairs to enter the building. The Defence Force’s Base Maintenance Team also made improvements to BHSM’s restroom facility to accommodate persons in wheel-chairs.

The museum, which opened in 1959, displays a number of Bahamian artifacts including a replica of a Lucayan canoe, as well as historical documents dating as far as the British colonial era. President of the BHSM, Mrs. Andrea Major, was thankful for the effort of the Marines.

“Before now, the physically disabled could not access the building,” said Mrs. Major. “People had to lift them up, and it was difficult for them if they had to use the restroom. The main problem was that we didn’t have the funds or technical support to make the necessary changes. We are eternally grateful to Captain (Tellis) Bethel and his men for their expertise, professionalism, physical support and willingness for all they have done in the past.”

In July 2014, the Persons with Disabilities-Equal Opportunities Bill, was passed in parliament. This Bill gave building owners two years to modify their facilities, which included utilizing restrooms. Ms. Iris Adderley, who serves as Consultant for the Secretariat of the National Commission for Persons with Disability views this achievement as a stepping stone to greater things. She has been dependent on a wheelchair for 34 years, and expresses her thanks for the job done by the Defence Force.

“I am so honored on behalf of the community of persons with disabilities that Mrs. Major has fulfilled her promise to ensure that we, too, have access to a place that is rich in Bahamian ancestral history,” said Mrs. Adderley. “I am able to say that persons with disabilities can now go and experience a part of our history at the Historical Society and Museum, thanks to the work of the Defence Force.”

Commander Defence Force (Acting), Captain Tellis Bethel, said that Mrs. Major expressed the need for the construction of a ramp and the renovation of a restroom for persons with disabilities.

“I shared those concerns with Chief Petty Officer Gary Pratt and his enthusiastic team, and they made it happen,” said Mrs. Major. “So I’m very proud of what they accomplished having made it possible for all Bahamians and visitors alike to experience our rich heritage at the Bahamas Historical Society; this is just another way for the Defence Force to live up to its motto, as we “Guard Our Heritage”.

 

 

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Brave presentation in defence of Bahamas’ financial services reputation by PM Davis

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, October 1, 2022 – Prime Minister of the Bahamas Phillip ‘Brave’ Davis is again calling for equality in the financial services sector and for the United Nations to leverage its universal jurisdiction for greater oversight of global anti-money laundering de-risking and tax cooperation matters.

In addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday, September 24, Prime Minister Davis said the Bahamas is one of the best-regulated countries in the world, yet it has been under attack by international bodies and placed on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) blacklist while transgressions in the developed world are ignored.

He questioned why this was the case and highlighted some disparities in the financial sector.

“Why is it that European states that operate frameworks akin to that of high-risk or blacklisted countries, are not even eligible for inclusion on these lists? Why are all the countries targeted – all of them – small and vulnerable, and former colonies of European states? We find it astounding that the $2-$3 trillion dollars which is estimated to be laundered each year through the developed countries, are never flagged as causes for concern,” articulated Phillip Davis, addressing the 77th session in New York.

Prime Minister Davis further noted that there are elements of racism in the decision-making when it comes to regulating black-governed countries in the financial services sector. He also declared that black-governed countries matter as well.

And yet my country, which is widely recognized as one of the best-regulated countries in the world, and other countries like The Bahamas, are singled-out for such reputational attacks? The robust regulatory regimes of our Central Bank, Securities Commission, and Insurance Commission, are chastised on minor details of technical process, while much bigger transgressions in the developed world are ignored.

The evidence is mounting, that the considerations behind these decisions have less to do with compliance, and more to do with darker issues of pre-judged, discriminatory perceptions. Black-governed countries also matter.”

 Davis also highlighted the need for reforms that apply to all in the global financial system.

“Mr. President: We support the call for reforms in the global financial system to make it more relevant to the needs of today. But those reforms need ambition. They need to go beyond the incremental. And they need to apply to all. For example, the community of international financial institutions are in a position to forgive the debt incurred by the economic shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. They should do so.”

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Statement to Update on the Sale of the Grand Lucayan

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“Deal progressing toward closure”

 

#GrandBahama, The Bahamas, October 1, 2022 – The Board of Lucayan Renewal Holdings Limited (LRHL) advises that negotiations toward a successful deal on the Grand Lucayan Resort continue to progress satisfactorily. It was announced in the first week of August in a joint statement with Electra America Hospitality Group that the due diligence period was extended by 45 days to September 15.

By virtue of this, the final closing date was also extended to November 15, 2022. We note that the recent seven-day extension did not impact the agreed November closing date. We anticipate that the sales process will be completed consistent with our revised timelines. The Board of LRHL remains committed to ensuring that a credible plan and shared vision for the resort is realized – a plan that will provide jobs, entrepreneurial opportunities and strengthen Grand Bahama’s economy.

We remain on track for a successful purchase and signing of a Heads of Agreement, in the best interest of the people of Grand Bahama.

There are matters connected to the transaction that are still being negotiated; we look forward to briefing the public as soon as negotiations are concluded.

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MASK AND COVID TESTING MANDATES END FOR THE BAHAMAS

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, October 1, 2022 – The Bahamas is looking ahead to another roll back on restrictions as the precautions set up in response to the coronavirus pandemic fade away.  October 1 ends the mandate for face masks in The Bahamas; it’s another policy being recalled as the world embraces a new normal, where face coverings are optional.

In a snap measure, the minister of health for the Bahamas, Michael Darville also this month ended the COVID 19 testing entry requirement for the unvaccinated.  It makes The Bahamas, as a leading tourism destination, more affordable and more accessible as evidence supports that it does not also mean a spike in Covid cases.

Prime Minister Phillip Davis announced that the mask mandate change from New York, following his appearance at the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II and while attending the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly.  However, it is not masks off for everyone:  medical facilities, aged care centers and schools will keep the rule.

The decision was met with applause by President of the Bahamas Hotel Catering and Allied Workers Union, Darrin Woods who said this move will undoubtedly improve tourism numbers and contribute to the nation’s economic recovery.

Additionally, President of The Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association, Robert Sands, said the time for mask mandate and Covid-19 testing for unvaccinated travellers had long passed. He believes that removing this protocol will level the playing field since other rivals in the tourism industry have already done so.

Already, long stay guests to The Bahamas were exempt from mask wearing on hotel properties.

At this point, some 173,000 Bahamas residents have been fully vaccinated and in the September 26 health report; three patients were in intensive care from the virus of the 132 active and only one new case had been recorded in Nassau.

 

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