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Spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. Lives on in Bimini as Painting Unveiled

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#Bahamas, February 14, 2018 – Bimini – What started out as quiet visits to the shores of Bimini by the late Freedom Fighter Dr. Martin Luther King, not only introduced Biminites to a giant of a man, who would go on to capture the Nobel Peace Prize and the hearts of many, but connected two nations – The Bahamas and the United States of America.

Parliamentary Secretary for Communications and Information in the Office of the Prime Minister, Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe said Dr. King’s legacy has transcended both time and location.  The Parliamentary Secretary’s comments came during the official unveiling of a painting commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s solitary visits to Bimini.  The short ceremony took place in the departure lounge of the Bimini International Airport on Friday, February 9, 2018.

Island Administrators, Chief Councilors and Ministry of Tourism officials attended the ceremony which also hosted special guests, Andrew Young, former United States Ambassador to the United Nations and former Mayor of Atlanta; and artist, Steve Skipper of Atlanta, Georgia.

“Today demonstrates that the friendship between the United States and the Bahamas continues along the right path and is one of mutual respect and understanding,” said Mrs. Edgecombe.

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She stated that the Government of The Bahamas and, by extension, Biminites appreciate that “after some 50 years of Dr. King delivering his final speech, his legacy continues to echo throughout the world, mobilizing even today the fight for justice and equality at all levels and in all arenas.”

The painting, by Steve Skipper, took over 1,000 hours of easel work to complete.  It features the green groves of Bimini with the image of Dr. King in the clouds, lost in thought and seemingly looking down over the small island.

PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARYDr. Martin Luther King spent much time in Bimini where he went to retreat and ‘get away,’ and Bimini was the place where he sat and wrote his “I Have a Dream” speech.  While in Bimini, many times Dr. King was hosted by a son of the soil of Bimini and a renowned bone fisherman Ansil Saunders.

“In your gifting of this painting to the island of Bimini, we graciously accept with a pledge to always tell the story of the man, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a voice for all generations and a legacy on which all of humanity can build,” added Mrs. Edgecombe, Member Parliament for West Grand Bahama and Bimini.

Andrew Young said that when Dr. King made his first trip to Bimini he was looking for a place where he could be quiet, but he also wanted to be in the midst of nature.   He noted that one of Dr. King’s friends in Miami had suggested Bimini.

“I don’t think he had been to Bimini before,” said Mr. Young. “But once he got here, he realized that it was the perfect place for what he wanted to do.  He wrote every day and thought and prayed.”

Mr. Young noted that ironically, when Dr. King’s troubles in his life really began he had been in Bimini at the time, enjoying the fishing, the silence and becoming more acquainted with the people of Bimini.

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“When he wrote that speech about having been to the mountain top and that he had seen the Promised Land, I think he was talking about Bimini.”

Andrew Young continued, he believed that Dr. King would be very pleased with the growth and development of Bimini, and with the honour which they were bestowing upon him with the painting in the Bimini airport.

Artist, Steve Skipper said that while the original painting will reside in Bimini, replicas of it will be donated to museums in Washington, Atlanta and other parts of the United States and a copy will also be presented to Mr. Ansil Saunders.

By: Andrew Coakley (BIS)

Photo captions:

Header: Parliamentary Secretary Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe (second from left); Former United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Andrew Young (right); Artist, Steve Skipper (second from right) and retired NFL Miami Dolphins player, businessman and restaurateur, Bob Baumhower are pictured during a special ceremony to unveil a painting honouring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and his time spent in Bimini.  The official ceremony took place at Bimini International Airport on Friday, February 9, 2018.  (BIS Photo/Andrew Coakley)

Insert: Parliamentary Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe was the keynote speaker during an Official Unveiling Ceremony of a painting of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at Bimini International Airport in South Bimini on Friday, February 9, 2018.  (BIS Photo/Andrew Coakley)

 

 

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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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Sandals Foundation donates to skills training programs in Nassau

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#TheBahamas, November 24, 2021 – The clothing, textile and art and craft programs at CC Sweeting High School and Aquinas College recently received a major boost from Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort and Offshore Island, through their charity arm, the Sandals Foundation.

The resort, which is currently undergoing a multi-million-dollar overhaul generously, donated bolts of fabric to both schools. This came after Regional Projects Coordinator, Kerry Ann Fung and her team alerted the Foundation about the fabrics as they felt that the schools would benefit greatly from them.

Sandals Royal Bahamian’s General Manager, Adrian Whitehead did the handover and shared that while the resort’s doors may be closed, their hands and hearts remain open to the people of Bahamas.

“We are resolute about giving back to this country in any way that we can. I’m delighted that Aquinas and CC Sweeting will make good use of the fabric and that it will help students to develop the skills they need to create sustainable and expansive change in society. As we continue with the work on the resort, we plan on donating so much more in the coming weeks,” he shared.

He added that properly resourced learning environments form a huge part of Sandals’ commitment to education, as transformative initiatives have been the Sandals Foundation’s goal since its inception in 2009.

Principal at Aquinas College, Mrs. Shona Knowles who received the fabric on behalf of the school shared that the fabric will be used to aid in the inculcation of entrepreneurial skills in students.

“We have a very vibrant art and craft department. The fabric we received from the resort will be used by students for art projects where they make things like handbags, cushions, stool and bench covers and other artistic pieces. We also have plans to use some of the fabric to design backdrops for multimedia purposes,” she said.

“We are grateful to Sandals Royal Bahamian? and are certainly looking forward to a long-term partnership between the Resort and our school,” declared Knowles.

In addition to other donations that the resort plans on making, come December, the Sandals Foundation will be spreading joy with a toy through its annual Christmas Toy Drive. This initiative will see them donating close to 2000 toys to children from various schools and communities in New Providence and Exuma.

The Toy Drive has been a staple calendar event for more than 10 years through generous donations from United States toy company, Hasbro and the kind support of Sandals and Beaches Resorts team members, guests, travel agents and partners.

Release: Sandals Foundation

Photo Caption:  Principal at Aquinas College, Shona Knowles accepts fabric donation on behalf of her school from Sandals Royal Bahamian’s General Manager, Adrian Whitehead.

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