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29th International Customs Day Celebrations in Grand Bahama

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#Bahamas, January 24, 2018 – Grand Bahama – The World Customs Organization (WCO) has over 177 Customs Administration members of which Bahamas Customs has been a member since 1974 and has benefited from technical expertise and advice.  Gregory Jones, Assistant Comptroller of Customs with responsibility for the Grand Bahama District, said, “This year we will celebrate our International Customs Day, under the theme “A Secure Business Environment for Economic Development.

“According to the World Customs Organization Secretariat, ‘secure’ means an environment that is enabling, safe, fair and sustainable, all wrapped into one.

“Members of the WCO are encouraged to look at how they can create an environment for businesses that will foster their participation in cross-border trade, and ultimately, how they can best serve the people, and empower entrepreneurs.”

In Grand Bahama, the Customs Department will host the 3rd Northern Bahamas Long Service Awards and World Customs Organization Certificate of Merit Awards Ceremony, which will be held on Wednesday 24th January 2018, at 7pm at A Social Affair Convention Center off East Sunrise Highway, Freeport, Grand Bahama.

Among invited guests will be Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. K. Peter Turnquest, and Comptroller of Customs Dr. Geanine Moss.

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Topping the list for World Customs Organization Certificate of Merit Awards 2018 are:

Chief Customs Revenue Officer – Deborah Bootle

Cashier – Joan Scott

 

Topping the list of 16 Officers and Non-Uniformed Staff who will be honoured for long service:

 

Senior Customs/Revenue Officer – Pamela Williams – 30 years

Senior Customs/Revenue Officer – Miriam Fernander – 30 years

Senior Customs/Revenue Officer – Renia Predelus – 30 years

Senior Customs/Revenue Officer – Carnetta Farrington – 30 years

Senior Customs/Revenue Officer – Robert Julian – 30 years

Senior Customs/Revenue Officer – Linda Brown – 30 years

Customs/Revenue Officer II – Ellarese Thompson

Customs/Revenue Officer II – Terence Ferguson

Customs/Revenue Officer II – Verdell Russell

Senior Customs Guard – Herbert Rahming

Senior Executive Officer – Cheryl Whymns

Executive Officer – Ann Francis – 30 years

Chief Registry Clerk – Gwendolyn Henfield – 30 years

Customs/Revenue Officer I – 20 years Janell Heild

Customs/Revenue Officer I – 20 years Keva Powell –Williams

Telephonist I – 20 years

 

Other activities will include: 28th January – Church Service at Calvary Temple, Clive Avenue at 10am.

 

Jan. 29th – Feb. 2nd — A Customs Digital Exhibition will be held in the foyer of C. A. Smith Complex from 10am – 3pm.

 

16th February – Customs Staff will engage in Community Services by donating cleaning supplies and provide lunch and interact with the Senior Citizens at Home Away from Home Center for the Aged, located on 30 Amberjack Street, Caravel Beach between 11am – 2pm.

 

19th February  – second community service will be at the Genesis Academy Trip Circle between 11am – 11pm where some of the male officers will assist with mentoring the young men there, and Customs Revenue Officer II Wenito Bootle will give a brief motivational speech. Other visits will follow.

 

“To ensure that our staff speak with one voice as they relate to the customs laws we will engage our staff in seminars and frequent briefings,” said Assistant Comptroller Jones.

 

“Further, to enhance our relationship with our stakeholders, particularly, the couriers and licensees, we will commence with two fora and others as needed.

 

“February 28th 2018 – Sessions for Couriers and Shipping & Airline Agents, Customs Brokers, 4pm-6pm, Room #3 C.A. Smith Complex.

 

“March 1st 2018 – Session with licensees who are Contractors, Manufacturers/or Custom’s Brokers associated with them.

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Mr. Jones noted: “According to the WCO Secretariat, Evidence-based research, recognized internationally, clearly shows that Customs can contribute to making the business environment more ”enabling”, or in other words, more stable and predictable by, for example, streaming procedures, tackling corruption, enhancing, integrity and facilitation of legitimate trade.”

 

Mr. Jones said Bahamas Customs is also mindful of the need to ensure safety within the business environment.   “But some threats come from within the trade itself, such as shipment of illicit goods, invoice fraud and smuggling of goods into the country to evade customs and taxes.

 

“Despite some of the challenges, concerns and criticisms that may come from our stakeholders, the Customs Department remains committed to resolving problems that may arise. After all we want to partner with our stakeholders to ensure that customs laws, regulations and policies are explained and understood before implementation,” he stated.

 

He concluded: “On behalf of the Comptroller of Customs, the Executive team and entire staff of Grand Bahama and Walker’s Cay, we take this opportunity to thank all of our stakeholders including members of the public for their support and the media for their presence and coverage of this occasion and the other activities to follow.”

 

Mr. Jones also offered special thanks to the committee that is responsible for organizing the Customs International Day Celebrations namely:

 

Chief Customs Revenue Officers Marsha Stubbs

Customs/Revenue Officer II Equianna Johnson

Customs/Revenue Officer II Keva Dames

Customs/Revenue Officer II Latonia Cash

Trainee Customs/Revenue Officer Alexander Burrows II

Senior Accounts Clerk Monique Rampersad

Register Clerk Karon Deveaux

Assistant Cashier Claudine Lightbourne

 

“Once again we thank all of you and we pray that 2018 be a great year for the Customs Department and our stakeholders,” he said.

 

By: Simon Lewis

Photo caption: Gregory Jones, Assistant Comptroller of Customs with responsibility for the Grand Bahama District is pictured seated centre along with other members of the planning committee as they announced plans for the 29th International Customs Day Celebrations on Grand Bahama during a press conference at Customs Headquarters in the C.A. Smith Complex on Monday, January 22, 2018.

(BIS Photo/Lisa Davis)

 

 

 

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Minister Moxey says partnerships for development will help get Grand Bahama going again

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#TheBahamas, November 27, 2021 – One means by which Minister for Grand Bahama, Hon. Ginger Moxey plans to utilize every resource at her disposal to get things moving for Grand Bahama again, is to utilize partnerships for development.

“Success with these partnerships on our island are embedded in collaborative efforts between the ministry of Grand Bahama, other government ministries, the Grand Bahama Port Authority, the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, Hutchinson Whampoa Holdings Ltd., industry stakeholders and the business community at large,” explained Minister Moxey.

“We must unite and work together to build alliances for success with the ultimate goal of ensuring that Grand Bahama Island excels.  We are all in this together.”

The Minister’s remarks came during her keynote address at the ninth annual Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards Luncheon, which was held on Wednesday, November 24th, 2021 at Pelican Bay resort. The event is held to honor Grand Bahamian business owners for their commitment, achievements and dedication to the development of the second city.

Minister Moxey pointed out that this year’s event, under the theme, celebration of excellence, acknowledges and highlights businesses on Grand Bahama that have stayed the course. She added that this kind of recognition is a beacon of hope for local business owners who have faced and overcame some of the most challenging circumstances ever encountered within the island’s history.

“On November first during my contribution on the bill to thank the Governor General for his Speech from the Throne, I pledged to the nation that I would do the people’s business and utilize every resource at my disposal, to get the job done for Grand Bahama,” said Minister Moxey.

“As a Grand Bahamian and business owner, I can attest to the challenges we have faced over the past decade. The devastation of Hurricane Dorian in 2019, which was closely followed by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. It further strained our already fragile economy. Today’s administration is also well aware of the challenges that Grand Bahama has faced over the past decade. Nevertheless, we will deliver on our commitment to recover, rebuild and revolutionize our island, our economy and usher our people into the new day.

“I would like to thank all of the businesses represented today, that have kept their doors opened and our people employed. To all of the Business Excellence Award nominees, I congratulate you. Remain encouraged and know that your efforts have not gone unnoticed.

“To the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, thank you for being a staple in the business community and for celebrating excellence for the past nine years. Welcome back business excellence awards.”

 

By Andrew Coakley

Photo Caption: Minister for Grand Bahama, Ginger Moxey (right), along with President of the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, Greg Laroda presents Mrs. Leslie Baptista, of Paint Fair, with the President’s Award, during the ninth annual GB Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards Luncheon, which was held on Wednesday, November 24th, 2021 at Pelican Bay resort.

(BIS Photo/Andrew Miller)

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Invest Turks and Caicos Attended Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference & Operations Summit

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#TurksandCaicos, November 24, 2021 – Invest Turks and Caicos (Invest TCI) is pleased to announce the Agency’s participation in the 10TH Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference & Operations Summit (CHICOS) held November 10th-12th, 2021, at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar in Nassau, Bahamas.

CHICOS is one of the premier hospitality conferences in the region. In its 10th year, this event brought together more than 300 regional and international investors and operators and the region’s leading decision makers – all to discuss the region’s markets and possibilities.

Invest TCI participated in the Caribbean Government Leaders plenary session on Friday, November 12th, alongside the Bahamas Investment Authority, Invest St. Lucia, and JAMPRO. The plenary discussions focused on the investment environment of Caribbean economies in a post covid environment under two key themes: diversification of the economy and tourism and the need for greater involvement of (and positive impact on) local communities.

Attending the summit on behalf of Invest TCI was Interim CEO, Angela Musgrove and Legal and Compliance Officer, Judith Garland.

Commenting on the summit, Ms. Garland stated, “I was delighted to represent the Agency at the 10th Anniversary edition of CHICOS. I found the sessions engaging, and the industry trends and knowledge imparted was most valuable. It was great to meet new faces and establish relationships with industry colleagues, which can present mutually beneficial partnerships and relationships in the future.

Interim CEO Angela Musgrove stated, “Invest TCI will continue to support and leverage industry conferences to promote opportunities in the Turks and Caicos Islands. This is the Agency’s 5th year attending CHICOS, and it has allowed us to directly engage with potential investors and prospects interested in doing business in the TCI. Through these types of events, the Agency can continue to proactively target new investment opportunities, lucrative partnerships, and financial opportunities that contribute to overall economic development.”

For more information on upcoming events, visit our website at investturksandcaicos.tc.

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Bahamian Para-Athlete Erin Brown to Become Godmother of RC’s Odyssey of The Seas

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#TheBahamas, November 24, 2021 – A Bahamian woman who lost her leg to cancer and went on to defy odds and inspire thousands will be named godmother of Royal Caribbean International’s Odyssey of the Seas. Erin Brown, a 41-year-old mother of two and a para-triathlete who cycles, runs, swims and competes at an international level, will accept the honour at a special ceremony in Florida later this week.

“From the moment we heard the story of Erin, how her courage and determination in the face of adversity inspired others and led to a more inclusive consciousness about succeeding with disabilities, we were moved and knew she was a great candidate for godmother of our newest ship, Odyssey of the Seas,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “A godmother serves as the guiding spirit of the ship and brings good luck and safe travels to its crew and guests.”

While she was in college participating as a track and field athlete, Brown was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer called osteosarcoma after suffering a fall that resulted in a broken leg. After more than a year of chemotherapy, her tumor showed no signs of shrinking, and Brown made the difficult decision to amputate her limb above the knee. Brown, who watched her own mother struggle for five years before losing her battle with lupus linked to cancer, knew she had to keep going because her child depended on her. She underwent surgery and woke up to one less leg. “Mind over matter,” she repeated. And then, she re-invented herself.

She said she recognizes now that her disability was a signal to start over. The first time she completed the 100-mile cycling event, Ride for Hope, raising money for cancer research, education and prevention, she led a group of adaptive athletes who heard the thunderous applause and cheers from the crowd that had witnessed the one-legged cyclist achieve what few with two legs could on the hilly terrain.

“A sudden change like the one I experienced is just an opportunity to rebrand yourself to yourself and to society. All those skills you had before – you still have them,” said Brown who has gone on to become an advocate for rights for the disabled and works at the University of The Bahamas as the compliance officer and counselor for the physically challenged.

“Having Erin as our godmother is a fitting way for us to pay tribute to The Bahamas,” said Bayley. “Our company’s very first port of call outside the U. S. was to The Bahamas more than 50 years ago. To this day, Nassau remains one of our most popular ports of call and Perfect Day at CocoCay remains our top pick by our guests. We are excited about this ceremony and honouring our long-time partners, as well as the newest Bahamian flagged ship in our fleet.”

 

Photo Caption: Erin Brown, who calls herself a limb-difference individual, will be named the first Bahamian Godmother of a Royal Caribbean International vessel when she presides over the naming of Odyssey of the Seas.

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