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Transport Minister told Grand Bahama Taxi Drivers More Unity is Needed



#Bahamas, November 1, 2017 – Grand Bahama – In what could only be described as a frank, open and honest meeting with taxi cab drivers in Grand Bahama, Minister for Transport and Local Government, the Hon. Frankie Campbell addressed a number of serious issues facing cab drivers in Freeport.

From the hot button topic of the contention between cab drivers and tour operators at the Freeport Harbour, to the issues surrounding taxi plates and franchises, to an issue as simple as cab drivers keeping their vehicles clean, the Transport Minister was not shy in addressing all of the challenges being faced by taxi drivers in Grand Bahama, during a special called meeting at the GB Taxi Union Hall on Thursday, October 26, 2017

However, in spite of the past and present challenges taxi drivers must contend with on a regular basis, Minister Campbell assured them of one thing — that the public transportation system in Grand Bahama, as it relates directly to cab drivers, has to be dealt with as an overall effort to fix the whole of Grand Bahama.

“Grand Bahama is a very important part of the puzzle of The Bahamas,” Minister Campbell told cab drivers who had gathered at the GB Taxi Union Hall. “And as far as taxi drivers are concerned, I realize that you too play an important role in the economic sustainability of this island, because tourism being the major driver depends on all participants to play their role to ensure that the tourist experience is one that will result in repeat visitors.

“Our goal and objective as a Government, is to ensure that as quickly as possible we increase the size of this pie, so that there are sufficient slices so that everyone can get a slice of the pie, and that the hustling which I know for a fact exists in the industry will decrease somewhat and you would be in a better position to sustain your livelihood comfortably.”

Minister Campbell addressed the issues surrounding the leasing of taxi plates, noting that the whole idea of leasing a taxi plate is not necessarily the legal framework of how it is or how it was intended to work.

“Set criteria implied that it was intended that a person would have a taxi plate or a franchise to be an entrepreneur and to be able to look after his or her family,” noted Minister Campbell.   “However, as time went on, some children inherited these taxi plates and franchises and many of them never drove a taxi in their lives, but had gone on to become doctors and lawyers and other professionals, but since they had the plates, they leased them out at a very high cost.

“It has become what I call modern day slavery, because those who are leasing the plates pay the Government $100 a year for the plate, but charge a driver $500 per month to use the plate.   I don’t think that’s fair and I am convinced that it is the major cause of the hustle that goes on with taxi drivers.”

As far as finding a solution to this problem, the Transport Minister said that he could take the easy way out by giving out more taxi plates, but noted that in the long run this would only exacerbate the problem and make the hustle among taxi cab drivers even more severe.   Instead, Minister Campbell said that he has instructed the Road Traffic Controller to provide him with an audit of every taxi, bus and public service plate that has been issued thus far in The Bahamas, specifying information on who has those plates, where they are located and what is being done with the plates.

“After that audit, I will make a certain determination and I will be prepared to live or die by that determination, as long as I get the support of the other members of Cabinet,” said Minister Campbell.   “This will affect the entire Bahamas at one time and I will make the decision in good conscience.”

Minister Campbell slightly tugged at the major bone of contention among Grand Bahamian taxi drivers, which has always been a battle between cab drivers and tour operators at the GB Harbor.   In trying to understand the issue, Minister Campbell noted that as far as he knows a tour is a pre-arranged journey, which means it is something that is not done on the spot, but something that has been arranged before that tourist took the cruise.

“So Mr. Controller, Enforcement Officers, it is wrong and illegal, according to the Road Traffic Act, for persons to try and sell those tours on the ground,” said Minister Campbell.   “Don’t get me wrong, I admire the tour drivers, I admire the effort they put into their profession; many of them advertise their services on the internet and attend expos abroad to promote their services.   But at the same time, I’m disappointed that taxi drivers cannot come together under one umbrella and advertise their services on that same internet.

“Taxi Drivers, you have an awesome responsibility if you would stick together.   There is a certain unity necessary for the kind of success you are looking for.”

The Transport Minister then opened the meeting for questions from taxi drivers and allowed them to present burning issues for which they hoped the Government could assist in helping to find solutions.   Aware that one meeting would not suffice in fully dealing with the myriad issues that face GB taxi drivers, Minister Campbell promised to follow up with more such meetings between himself and GB taxi drivers.

By: Andrew Coakley (BIS)

Photo caption: 

SPEAKING WITH CAB DRIVERS – Minister of Transport and Local Government, the Hon. Frankie Campbell took time from his tight schedule, October 26, 2017, during a visit to Grand Bahama to speak with Grand Bahama taxi drivers at the Taxi Union Hall. Minister Campbell addressed a number of issues that GB cab drivers face and promised to return for further discussions. Looking on is Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator Kwasi Thompson and Parliamentary Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, with responsibility for Information and Communications, Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe.

(BIS Photo/Andrew Coakley)



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Royal Caribbean to open adults only private island destination



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer


#TheBahamas, September 19, 2023 – Royal Caribbean is working on a major project, announcing plans to open a new adults-only “escape” Hideaway Beach at its CocoCay private-island destination in The Bahamas, come January 2024.

The “beachfront paradise,” set to be situated at the western side of Perfect Day at CocoCay, behind Thrill Waterpark, will have a private beach and multiple pools with DJ music, 20 private cabanas and several spots for “drinks and bites,” the company says.

Not only that, it will include a “hidden VIP experience.”

Michael Bayley, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO is of the impression that this will bring a compelling, sought after new way to enjoy a day at its private island.

He said, “Hideaway Beach is a completely new vibe and experience that vacationers are looking for on Perfect Day at CocoCay.”

It is going to be a getaway spot for adults, only 18 or older allowed to enter.

“Everything from its hidden-like location to the exclusive beach and pools to the private cabanas is designed for adults who want a day just for them,” the CEO said.

The space, according to Claudia Diaz-Gonzalez, Royal Caribbean Associate Vice President of Private Destination Development, will be able to host between 1,500 and 2,000 guests.

No specific day was provided for the opening.

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Bahamas News

Eleuthera Medical Center Marks 5 Years, Private community clinic ‘grows with the demand’, adds Dental and Dermatology to slate of services



#Eleuthera, The Bahamas, September 19, 2023 – A Family Island clinic that started with a vision to serve the community with the best in private medical care and wellness regardless of a patient’s financial standing celebrated its fifth anniversary this month, announcing new services it said were those most strongly requested by patients.

Eleuthera Medical Center (EMC), the flagship of Bahamas Wellness Health Systems, marked its anniversary adding dental and dermatology to its growing list of medical specialties that includes primary wellness, vision, gynecology and pediatrics. Some services are offered on an ongoing daily basis provided by physicians at one of Bahamas Wellness Health Systems (BWHS) four clinics, others are offered on a rotating basis by visiting medical specialists and associates on a regularly scheduled rotating basis.

“When we opened our doors to this clinic in 2018, we knew there was a need for full-time medical care and especially attention to wellness in Eleuthera,” said EMC and Bahamas Wellness Health Systems founder Dr. Arlington Lightbourne. “But we underestimated how appreciative the community would be that there were always physicians on call, that in the case of an emergency we could respond, that we provided an ambulance and emergency care saving patients from having to be airlifted to Nassau or beyond.”

Lightbourne said the years have not been without challenges.

“For nearly 18 months, we endured COVID, conducting testing outdoors, trying to keep our spirits strong and staff well so they could care for others and yet in a small community like Eleuthera where you know someone in everyone’s family it’s hard not to feel the pain and suffering others feel,” said Dr. Lightbourne. “But we doubled down and said we are here for the long haul and whatever the path is to provide the best in care, to make that care affordable and to improve the wellness of the community overall, that is the journey we are on, and it has been an incredibly rewarding one.”

To support that emphasis on wellness, the clinic located in the settlement of Palmetto Point adjacent to Governors Harbour in the heart of central Eleuthera, offers regularly scheduled lectures and town meetings with a nutritionist and wellness expert who is part of the team. Lightbourne’s interest in well-being stems from his work in Emergency Care at both PMH and Doctors Hospital where the vast number of cases he treated were the result of non-communicable diseases and conditions including heart attacks, high blood pressure and cancer related to lifestyle – poor diet high in fats and low in nutrition and lack of proper physical exercise.

Today, he said he is seeing more interest in preventative care, a sign that Bahamians learned from Covid and its aftermath that wellness matters.

“We have a brighter future ahead of us and I am proud of what we are doing in Eleuthera and our other clinics to make a difference in The Bahamas with careful diagnoses and individual attention to how people conduct their daily lives when it comes to their overall wellness,” said Lightbourne, now the deputy director of the Bahamas Medical Association and an authorized NHI provider.

BHWS also operates clinics in Nassau, Spanish Wells and Lower Bogue.


Photo Caption: The Hon. Clay Sweeting, MP, Central and South Eleuthera, welcomes the Bahamas Wellness Medical Center’s ambulance. He is pictured with Dr. Jessica Moss, Emergency Medicine Specialist and Vice President & Medical Director at Eleuthera Medical Center, and Dr. Arlington Lightbourne, founder of the expanding clinic, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary serving the community by adding dental and dermatology to its growing list of specializations.

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Bahamas News




Coral Harbour Base, 18 September. ‘23 (RBDF): The Royal Bahamas Defence Force was honoured to attend a Day of Celebration at the Mall at Marathon on the occasion of  Brazil’s 201st Day of Independence (7th September, 2023). The occasion also marked a celebration of friendship and unity.

In a remarkable display of cultural exchange and diplomatic ties, Young Officers led by Lieutenant Blair Bethel, joined in the celebration. Against the backdrop of cultural exchange, Brazilian Singer Ellen Oléria held a special musical performance bringing a taste of Brazil’s vibrant culture to The Bahamas. Her performance showcased the infectious rhythms of Portuguese music commemorating their rich history and vibrant culture.

The RBDF, under the leadership of Commander Defence Force, Commodore Raymond E. King, is dedicated to the meaningful involvement and development of service members as we share the responsibility for accomplishing the Defence Force’s Mandate. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force extends its congratulations to the people of Brazil during this momentous occasion as we look forward to fostering mutual understanding and building a brighter future between The Bahamas and Brazil.

For additional information, kindly reach out to the RBDF Public Relations Department or visit our official website at Connected with us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates, and explore our engaging content on our YouTube channel.



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