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Bishop Boyd’s Easter message 2017

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Turks and Caicos, April 12, 2017 – Providenciales – I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, forever; …  For your steadfast love was established forever.  Psalm 89:1a and 2a.

As we celebrate another Easter, we note that, at its core, Easter is about a deep love that God the Father has for human beings.  God gave His Son to live, to preach, to teach, to die, to rise again and to ascend to His Father to bring us all into a new relationship with the Heavenly Father.  St. John writes (3:16) that God so LOVED the world that He gave His only Son.”  It is an enduring love that has implications far beyond the date of the event.

Jesus’ dying conquered sin and death and their power over us, allowing us to have forgiveness, newness of life and a constant chance to start over whenever we stumble.  Paul writes that “God showed His great love for us in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).  The Resurrection is the high point of a relationship and an intention that God had for his children.  God gave His only Son for us even though we did not ASK FOR IT or DESERVE IT or REALIZE that we needed it.

This is the true nature of love, and it is symbolic of human life itself.  Let us examine the three parts of God’s loving intention:

1.      What we did not ask for

Many of us have benefitted from things that we did not actually ask for:  the kindness of a total stranger, the help of a co-worker or relative who anticipates our circumstances and does something to help us before we can ask him/her to.  Have we ever heard the famous words,  “Don’t worry.  I already have that covered!”

2.      What we did not deserve

A man I once met told me his story.  In his younger days, he had no time for his family and was always gone, busy doing this or that, involved in all sorts of things.  He had been involved in alcohol and drug abuse, and in infidelity to the point of neglect and even abuse of his family.  His wife had to struggle and carry the full load of maintaining and sustaining the family.  His children resented this deeply and were bitter, and even hostile toward him.  Now, in the middle of his life, he is mature and wiser, a changed man who has reordered his priorities dramatically.  His children, now adults with their own children, are COMPLETELY devoted to him.  You could not tell that there were twenty years of “Hell” in their family life.

This fellow is “eternally” grateful.  He told me that he DOES NOT deserve their devotion, their love and forgiveness.  Yes, indeed, he is still struggling to forgive himself for those years of neglect. Every one of us has received something that we felt that we did not deserve.

3.      What we did not realize that we needed

 In a home a child is subjected to certain rules and procedures.  When a student goes to university to prepare for a career or when an employee begins a new job “at the bottom of the ladder”, he/she has to be given the basic training, has to be taken through the ropes – and I mean this in its most positive and constructive sense.  Sometimes that child, student or employee has to do things that he/she does not understand, that he/she does not want to do, that he/she considers to be a waste of time or that seems to have no connection to the goal.  However, the parent, the teacher, the trained professional and the supervisor know why the subordinate has to learn certain things and why things ought to be done a certain way.  Often the subordinate does not know what he/she needs to learn or that he/she needs to do things a certain way to ensure wellbeing and full potential in the future.

All of us benefit from the fact that many people in our lives did things for us, the usefulness or value of which – the simple necessity for which – we had NO CONCEPTION of at the time.  Only now that we are older, or that some time has passed, do we appreciate it, and thank those people again and again and again and again.   I know that I had often told my mother, my teachers and mentors that I cannot thank them enough for this or that.

At the time of Jesus’ life the human race could never imagine what it is that He came to bring.  Now we know, and we thank the Heavenly Father for this great Feast of the Resurrection which we celebrate.

Dr. James Allan Frances wrote the original version of a poem in 1926 that tells a powerful story of the surpassing value and world-changing nature of Jesus’ life.  Here is the poem:

ONE SOLITARY LIFE

 A child is born in an obscure village. [His parents are peasant people.]  He is brought up in another obscure village. He works in a carpenter shop until he is thirty, and then for three brief years is an itinerant preacher, proclaiming a message and living a life. He never writes a book. He never holds an office. He never raises an army. He never has a family of his own. He never owns a home. He never goes to college. He never travels two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He gathers a little group of friends about him and teaches them his way of life. While still a young man, the tide of popular feeling turns against him. One denies him; another betrays him. He is turned over to his enemies. He goes through the mockery of a trial; he is nailed to a cross between two thieves, and when dead is laid in a borrowed grave by the kindness of a friend.

Those are the facts of his human life. He rises from the dead. Today we look back across nineteen hundred years and ask, What kind of trail has he left across the centuries? When we try to sum up his influence, all the armies that ever marched, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned are absolutely [insignificant] in their influence on mankind compared with that of this one solitary life…

May God’s love for us inspire you this year and always.

My family joins me in wishing you and yours a happy and meaningful Easter season.

 

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Leslie Gibson, first Bahamian to land in Royal Caribbean’s Corporate Offices, looking for others to join the company he praises for diversity and inclusion

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Job fair to fill open positions at the cruise line’s Perfect Day at Coco Cay resulted in 62 offers

 

MIAMI, August 10, 2022 – When Leslie Gibson accepted a position on Royal Caribbean International’s Perfect Day at Coco Cay during the height of the COVID pandemic, he didn’t imagine the opportunity would lead him to his dream job.

“The craziest thing is that what I’m living now, I dreamt about,” said Gibson, who is now based in Miami. “I studied engineering, but I prayed for a job where I would be traveling and working outside of where I’m from. I love The Bahamas and I’m always ready to go back home, but I’ve always wanted to get more exposure, see the world and all it has to offer. And Royal has been able to provide me that.”

Gibson said he found his footing in human resources after friends and family saw his natural affinity for working with people and problem solving.

Gibson began his journey with Royal Caribbean as a human resources specialist on Coco Cay in June 2020, where he worked for 11 months before he was selected to move to corporate and take on a larger scale of recruiting for private island experiences around the world, a role that has expanded to include shipboard recruiting.

Gibson’s promotion reflects a corporate culture of promoting from within. Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, started as a purser onboard the company’s ships before rising through the ranks to head the cruise line that now has 26 ships and more than 77,000 employees.

In just two years, Gibson has helped to recruit more than 300 people to work in The Bahamas, along with another 100 for Labadee in Haiti and more than 1,000 to work on Royal Caribbean’s ships.

“I think that’s why I love being a recruiter, because of the fact that I’m able to help people find their dreams,” Gibson said. “Some people who don’t even know they’re good at certain things, I’m able to help them navigate through that by giving them the opportunity to work with us.”

Gibson recently traveled to Dominica and St. Vincent as part of Royal Caribbean’s recruiting efforts, and he was on the ground for the job fair in Nassau recently when Royal Caribbean made offers to dozens of people in the hopes of filling several different positions on Coco Cay.

The exercise was part of a larger regional hiring effort to attract more Bahamian and Caribbean talent for Royal Caribbean’s private destinations and its ships. Royal Caribbean’s Director of Talent Acquisition Cindy Williams, said the company is coming back “better than ever.”

“We have a strong employer brand, and we are committed to making our return to service better than ever by bringing new crew members to Royal Caribbean,” she said.

Gibson said the magnitude of the post-pandemic boom is evident in Coco Cay’s guest numbers.

“We went from seeing as little as 2,000 to 3,000 guests a day at Coco Cay to now up to 10,000 guests and two ships a day,” Gibson said. “So, that went from our head count being 350 to 450 employees to now almost 600 who are needed for a call day.”

Royal Caribbean President Michael Bayley earlier this year announced the company’s intention to hire more Bahamians.

Gibson said that goal is just a microcosm of the company itself, which maintains diversity and inclusion as key priorities.

“I have coworkers from all around the world,” he said.

Recalling Royal Caribbean’s swift response to Hurricane Dorian in 2019, Gibson said the company’s passion for its employees was a considerable factor in his decision to accept his first job with the cruise line.

“I chose Royal because of some of the things they have done,” he said. “When Hurricane Dorian hit those islands, Royal Caribbean were some of the first people on the ground. I wouldn’t even talk about the people who were employed by Royal Caribbean — they spent millions of dollars helping employees get back on their feet.”

And although Dorian made history as one of the most powerful Atlantic storms ever recorded, Royal Caribbean’s response — rushing in to provide food, water, shelter and medical supplies for those impacted — was not particularly unusual for the company.

“When I say this, I mean throughout any disaster,” Gibson said.

“In 2020, there was a typhoon in the Philippines,” he added. “We assisted so many of our team members with helping their families back home. And this happens all the time. Our company is always about putting its employees first.”

 

Photo Caption: Leslie Gibson, 30, is the first Bahamian to have landed in Royal Caribbean’s corporate offices, but pledges to be far from the last. At a job fair held recently in Nassau, Gibson and his team of recruiters sought to fill a wide range of openings at Perfect Day at Coco Cay, the cruise line’s private island destination in the Berry Islands.

Release: RCI / DPA Media

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Scores of Students Equipped with Supplies to Return to School

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NASSAU, BAHAMAS, AUGUST 13, 2022 – As the new school year approaches, Sandals Foundation Ambassadors at Sandals Royal Bahamian have embarked on a back-to-school drive, donating school supplies to local schools and communities in Nassau as part of their commitment to education and community development.

Recently, a team of over 15 volunteers from the resort traveled to Gambier Primary School, where students and teachers were gathered for summer school, and distributed over 40 packages with school supplies that included notebooks, pencils, crayons, pencil cases, erasers, sharpeners, reading books, rulers and glue sticks and warm meals.

Public Relations Manager at Sandals Royal Bahamian, Renee Deleon, shared the impact that these donations will have on families and schools across the island.

“Education is pivotal to the growth of a nation and it is something that we are committed to at Sandals. We know that back to school expenses here like anywhere else in the world can be quite strenuous so we want to play our part in helping to ease the financial burden that this may present to families as schools look to reopen.”

Deleon further added, “Thanks to the support of our guests who packed for a purpose, we were able to collect these items that will allow students to be equipped with the essential tools they need to make a better transition to the classroom when they return to school.”

The gesture was met with song, dance and echoes of ‘thank you’ as the Sandals team made the presentations to the children. Principal Forbes explained how this donation will help to improve the teaching and learning process.

“I am tremendously grateful to the Sandals Foundation and their team members from Sandals Royal Bahamian for gifting my students with school supplies. This donation will go a long way toward allowing teachers to execute lessons and students to participate.”

Forbes also noted that the school has had a longstanding relationship with the Foundation.

“Over the years we’ve had a good relationship with the Sandals Foundation and I am happy that we still have them in our corner.”

In addition to this donation to Gambier Primary School, the Sandals Royal Bahamian team has distributed school supplies to the Community Touch Group. Donations were also made to children at the Nazareth Centre as well as some children from the Okra Hill community. Later this month the Sandals Foundation ambassadors will be giving back to children from the Nassau Village and Grove communities.

 

Photo Captions: 

Header: These Sandals Foundation Ambassadors from Sandals Royal Bahamian were captured with bag packs filled with school supplies moments before they donated the supplies to the Nazareth Centre.

 1st insert: It is always a joyous occasion when Sandals Foundation Ambassadors go out to give back.

 2nd insert: Volunteers from Sandals Royal Bahamian were a picture of joy when they stopped by Gambier Primary School to donate school supplies and issue lunches recently.

 Release: Sandals Resort

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GBPA Statement from Ian Rolle, President

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Re:  GBPA’s Response to fire in the International Bazaar

 

#TheBahamas, August 10, 2022 – The Grand Bahama Port Authority is aware of the recent fire at the International Bazaar.

The GBPA has engaged, and continues to engage, with operators of the International Bazaar, which include representatives of the Bazaar Association and several property owners, so that we can continue demolition exercises on the dilapidated structures and buildings.

The GBPA is acutely aware of the need to demolish derelict structures within the International Bazaar for the safety of all businesses and visitors. We have performed demolitions in the past at our own cost, most recently in February 2022 when we, in partnership with owners, demolished fire-damaged buildings in the Oriental Section. We have also written to numerous property owners of dilapidated structures over the years to sensitize them to the need to repair or demolish their buildings.

In addition, we have engaged the Government of the Bahamas in advance discussions to approve our requested amendments of the Building and Sanitary bylaws, which would enable GBPA to execute more demolitions in a timely manner and recoup the associated costs.

With the requested bylaw amendments in place, GBPA can continue to make consistent efforts to address the remainder of derelict buildings in the International Bazaar and other dilapidated structures within the city.

The GBPA itself has never owned any part of the International Bazaar but has historically subsidized the Bazaar for many years when owners were no longer maintaining its communal areas.

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