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Thirty-four Bahamians Conferred Honours at Historic National Honours Investiture Ceremony

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#Nassau, October 9, 2018 – Bahamas – In a ceremony befitting royalty, Her Excellency the Most Hon. Dame Marguerite Pindling, Governor-General and Chancellor, conferred national honours on 34 distinguished Bahamians Monday, October 8, 2018 for their contributions to the development of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

With ladies adorned in classy hats and elegant dresses, men in sharp suits, and classical music perfectly suited to Mount Fitzwilliam, Government House, the “historic” ceremony was conducted as prescribed in the National Honours Act, for National Heroes Day.

In a special ceremony, on August 23, 2018, national honours were conferred upon the Most Honourable Sir Orville Turnquest and the Most Honourable A.D. Hanna, both former Governors-General.

Today, family, friends, well-wishers, members of the religious community and high-ranking government officials witnessed the two-hour ceremony which saw the nation’s highest honours of the Order of National Hero, the Order of Nation, the Order of The Bahamas, the Order of Distinction, and the Order of Merit bestowed on the honourees.

Romel Shearer and Giovanni Clarke, gave cello and flute musical performances respectively; Candace Bostwick, soprano, sang “He’s Got the Whole World”; and the song “God Bless Our Sunny Clime,” written by Rev. Dr. Philip Rahming was performed by various musicians. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force Band, the Royal Bahamas Police Force Band and C.H. Reeves Junior High School Band also provided entertainment.

Permanent Secretary to the Office of the Governor-General, Mrs. Anita Beneby, described the ceremony as a “rite of passage” for the nation. She said the annual event marks “an important step in our transition from a British colony to a sovereign people. But more importantly, I believe that this morning’s ceremony, as well as the many that will follow, will elevate the minds of our people, our own worth and our dignity as a nation.”

Mrs. Beneby said the vision of the late Sir Lynden Oscar Pindling, former Prime Minister, has become a reality because of the sacrifice of the country’s finest warriors; “amazons of vision, fighters of courage, warriors of steel … those who did not shrink from dirty hands; those with the imagination to create; persons with the strength of character to stare into the chilly teeth of the raging winds of change; soldiers without fear,” as Sir Lynden called them.

In her remarks, the Most Hon. Dame Marguerite said a national honour is the highest form of recognition and tribute that a sovereign government can bestow on those who have distinguished themselves as nation builders.

She congratulated and commended all of the honourees, some of whom were recognized posthumously.  “Their selflessness and high achievement serve as a clarion call to all Bahamians to pattern themselves accordingly so that we can all be of greater service to the nation we hold so dear and whose best interests we are all summoned to serve to the very best of our ability and with steadfast loyalty,” said Most Hon. Dame Marguerite.

The Governor-General called on Bahamians to continue to uphold the virtues of love, mutual respect and goodwill for one another that Bahamians have enjoyed throughout the ages.

“These timeless virtues must continue to guide and direct our best effort as citizens of our Commonwealth.

“We must never set these virtues aside, nor subordinate them to self-centered pursuits that diminish our patriotic pride and deflect us from our sense of commitment to service.

“Now more than ever, we need men and women, boys and girls, to join hearts and minds all across our beloved Bahamas so that a spirit of nation-building can flourish as never before, not only for the present, but as a sure foundation for generations of Bahamians yet unborn.”

Following the Investiture of National Honours ceremony, the Most Honourable Dame Marguerite inspected the Guard of Honour during a parade of the Royal Bahamas Police and Defence Forces at the main entrance of Government House.

A reception followed on the terrace and upper gardens of Government House.

The following awards were formally conferred by the Governor-General:

 

THE ORDER OF NATIONAL HERO (awarded posthumously):

The Rt. Excellent Sir Lynden Oscar Pindling, N.H., O.N., K.C.M.G.

The Rt. Excellent Sir Roland Theodore Symonette, N.H., K.B.

The Rt. Excellent Sir Milo Boughton Butler, N.H., G.C.M.G

The Rt. Excellent Sir Cecil Vincent Wallace-Whitfield, N.H., K.B.

 

THE ORDER OF THE NATION

Former Governors-General:

The Most Honourable Sir Orville Turnquest, O.N., G.C.M.G.

The Most Honourable Dame Ivy Dumont, O.N., G.C.M.G.

The Most Honourable Arthur Hanna, O.N.

The Most Honourable Sir Arthur Foulkes, O.N., G.C.M.G.

 

Awarded posthumously:

The Most Honourable Sir Milo Butler, O.N., G.C.M.G.

The Most Honourable Sir Gerald Cash, O.N., G.C.M.G.

The Most Honourable Sir Henry Milton Taylor, O.N., K.B.

The Most Honourable Sir Clifford Darling, O.N., G.C.V.O.

 

Former Prime Minister:

The Most Honourable Sir Lynden Oscar Pindling, O.N., K.C.M.G.

 

Prime Minister:

The Most Honourable Hubert Alexander Minnis, O.N., M.P.

 

THE ORDER OF THE BAHAMAS

Companions:

The Rt. Honourable Janet Bostwick, C.B.

The Rt. Honourable Maurice Moore, C.B.

 

Officer:

The Honourable Dame Doris Johnson, O.B., D.B.E. (posthumously)

 

Member:

Dr. Myles Munroe, M.B. (posthumously)

 

THE ORDER OF DISTINCTION

Companions:

Mrs. Cynthia Pratt, C.D.

Mrs. Anita Bernard, C.D, C.M.G.

Mrs. Eileen Carron, C.D., C.M.G.

 

Officers:

Dr. Merceline Dahl-Regis, O.D.

Mr. Lowell Mortimer, O.D., O.B.E.

Mr. Barry Rassin, O.D.

Mrs. Sandra Dean-Patterson, O.D.

Dr. Patrick David Roberts, O.D.

 

Members:

Mr. William Sands, D.M.

Mr. Robert Sweeting, D.M.

Dr. Bernard Nottage, D.M(posthumously)

 

THE ORDER OF MERIT

Companions:

The Reverend Canon. Sebastian Campbell, C.M.

Mrs. Pauline Davis-Thompson, C.M.

Officers:

Monsignor Preston Moss, O.M.

The Reverend. Dr. J. Emmette Weir, O.M.

 

Members:

The Reverend Dr. Gary Curry, M.M.

The Reverend Walter Hanchell, M.M.

The Reverend Ervin Clarke, M.M. (posthumously)

 

By Kathryn Campbell

Release: BIS                   

Photo Captions: 

Header: Her Excellency the Most Hon. Dame Marguerite Pindling, Governor General and Chancellor, is pictured with National Honours recipients and their representatives at Government House following the Investiture Ceremony of National Honours, Monday, October 8, 2018.

First insert: Her Excellency the Most Hon. Dame Marguerite Pindling gives remarks during the Investiture Ceremony of National Honours, Monday, October 8, 2018.

Second insert: Sir Lynden Pindling, former Prime Minister, was accorded the Order of National Heroes and the Order of the Nation Awards posthumously.  His grandson, Lynden Pindling II, accepted the awards on his behalf.  Her Excellency the Most Hon. Dame Marguerite Pindling, Governor-General, is pictured with Lynden Pindling II holding the awards.

Third insert: Dame Dr. Ivy Dumont, the first female Governor-General, is pictured with HE the Most Hon. Dame Marguerite Pindling after being conferred the award of the Order of the Nation for former Governors-General.

Fourth insert: Anita Bernard, who has spent more than 50 years in the Public Service, receives the award of The Order of Distinction (Companion) from Her Excellency the Most Hon. Dame Marguerite Pindling.

 

BIS Photos/Letisha Henderson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Statement From Hon. Fred Mitchell, MP Minister of Foreign Affairs On the Passing of Colin Powell

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#TheBahamas, October 18, 2021 – I learned this morning  of the death of Colin Powell, the American general and diplomat. I worked with him as Foreign Minister in my first term, particularly on issues related to Haiti.

Yesterday in the CARICOM meeting, I recalled while discussing Haiti his role in the crisis of that time. I recall his life, times and work as generally thoughtful and considered. He was also an example of Caribbean success in America, one to emulate. He was the son of Jamaican parents. He was an example of success as a Black man in America. I am saddened by his passing.

On behalf of the Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Davis, the government and people of The Bahamas, and in my own behalf, I extend condolences to the United States of America and his family.

 

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Commonwealth of The Bahamas

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CARPHA Team undertakes Assessment of Guyana’s National Surveillance System for Non-communicable Diseases

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October 14, 2021 – The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) conducted a technical mission to Guyana from September 22nd – 25th, 2021 to undertake site visits as a part of an ongoing assessment of six (6) Member States’ systems for the national surveillance of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and their risk factors. This activity was implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Health Guyana through an Agence Française de Développement (AFD) – funded project.

The aim of the assessment s to provide evidence in support of the development of a Regional Surveillance System for NCDs, a priority under the regional health framework Caribbean Cooperation in Health IV (2016-2025).

During the mission, the CARPHA technical team reviewed the capacity of existing surveillance mechanisms in Guyana to collect, analyse and report on the NCDs and risk factor indicators proposed for the regional surveillance system. These indicators were recommended by a multi-stakeholder meeting series convened in 2020 under the AFD project, which reviewed global, regional, and sub-regional mandates, targets and practices in surveillance for the prevention and control of NCDs.

The CARPHA Team along with senior officials from the Ministry of Health conducted visits to two (2) health centres, the National Cancer Registry, Ministry of Health Surveillance, and Statistics Unit.  The results from the overall assessment will be presented to the Ministry of Health Guyana and will also be reviewed alongside results from similar assessments in Anguilla, Aruba, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname to inform the finalisation of the regional surveillance system design through a regional stakeholder meeting.

The regional NCDs surveillance system would facilitate the reporting and availability of data to inform policy development, planning, and tracking of progress towards meeting for targets NCDs at Regional and National levels.

Through funding from the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), CARPHA is leading the Region in Strengthening Strategic Intelligence and Partnership Approaches to prevent and control NCDs and Strengthen Regional Health Security in the Caribbean. This project, signed in 2019 with a value of €1,500,000.00, demonstrates the commitment of the Government of France and the French people to supporting the public health priorities of the Caribbean Community through CARPHA.

More information on the Project can be found at: https://www.carpha.org/Projects/Ongoing-Projects/Strengthening-Strategic-Intelligence-and-Partnership-Approaches-To-Prevent-and-Control-NCDs-and-Strengthen-Regional-Health-Security-In-The-Caribbean

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World Sight Day: Love Your Eyes

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Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.  14 October, 2021.  In the Caribbean, the leading causes of blindness are glaucoma, cataract and diabetic retinopathy (a complication of diabetes).  According to the Vision Atlas, 6.2 million persons in the Caribbean were reported to have vision loss, with an estimated 260,000 persons reported to be blind in 2020.

Information gathered from eighteen (18) Caribbean countries (Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago) with a population of 44 million, showed that the crude prevalence of blindness was 0.60%, and the prevalence of all vision loss was 13.20%. Many of the persons affected were females at 52%.

Global statistics reveal that for 2020, a total of 596 million persons had distance vision impairment worldwide, of this number 43 million were blind.  Projections for 2050, indicate that an estimated 885 million persons may be affected by distance vision impairment with 61 million expected to experience  blindness.

CARPHA’s vision for the Caribbean is a region where the health and wellness of the people are promoted and protected from disease, injury and disability, thereby enabling human development in keeping with the belief that the health of the Region is the wealth of the Region.

Although there are no projects that directly address vision impairment, CARPHA in collaboration with its public health partners is implementing initiatives to address risk factors such as unhealthy diets, use of harmful substances and poor physical activities. This in turn, will help reduce the risk of disability due to complications associated with poor blood sugar and blood pressure management.

Efforts to improve the standards of care for diabetes through the implementation of the CARPHA Guidelines on the Management of Diabetes in Primary Care in the Caribbean, and training of health care workers from the CARPHA Member States will also contribute to the prevention of vision impairment and blindness due to diabetes.

Access to eye care services can reduce visual impairment.  CARPHA urges Member States to strengthen health systems to improve eye health services with emphasis on reaching the vulnerable and those most in need.  Governments should commit to integrating eye care into the universal health care system.

World Sight Day is celebrated annually on the second Thursday in October.  The focus of the day is to bring awareness to blindness and vision impairment as a major public health issue and blindness prevention.

The 2021 commemoration observed on 14th October, seeks to encourage persons to think about the ‘importance of their own eye health.’

Our eyes are working hard during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been indoors, in front of our screens, and probably missed our eye test appointments. Now more than ever, we need to protect and prioritize our eyesight. There are simple things you can do for yourself to prevent the development of serious eye issues:

  • Take screen breaks for at least five minutes every hour
  • Spend time outside.  Increased outdoor time can reduce the risk of myopia (near-sightedness)[3]
  • Get an eye test. A complete eye exam can detect eye conditions such as glaucoma before it has an effect on your sight. The earlier an eye condition is identified, the easier it is to treat.
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet and engage in physical activity. These are crucial steps in maintaining a healthy weight, controlling obesity, and preventing diseases such as diabetes, all of which can impact eye health.
  • If you have diabetes, you should have your eyes checked every year

Your sight cannot be taken for granted.  It is time to LOVE YOUR EYES!

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