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BAHAMAS: PM participates in renaming of Pinewood Park to Isaiah Taylor Festival Park



#Nassau, November 19, 2018 – Bahamas – ‘A lover of music, dance and culture’ were words to describe world-renowned musician Isaiah Taylor, during the renaming ceremony of Pinewood Park to Isaiah Taylor Festival Park on Saturday, November 17, 2018.

It was during the Annual Dennis Dean Pinewood Festival that Prime Minister, Dr. the Most Hon. Hubert Minnis declared that the park be renamed after the member of the Grammy Award Winning group, Baha Men.   “We not only honor and pay tribute to Isaiah because of his musical talents and for his many contributions to Bahamian arts and to Junkanoo; we also pay tribute to him as a Bahamian patriot, as a servant of his community, and as a mentor to young people,” the Prime Minister said.

This ceremony comes on the heels of renaming of the Big Pond Park in honor of the late Edmund Moxey, who was hailed a visionary founder of Jumbey Village who was also in the vanguard of Majority Rule and Independence.

“This has been a wonderful week during which we are celebrating Bahamian musicians and artists,” the Prime Minister said.  “It is an honor to be here this afternoon for the renaming of Pinewood Park to the Isaiah Taylor Park.”

The Prime Minister observed that for a country the size of The Bahamas, it has produced a vast treasury of talent in the musical and visual arts namely: the late Tony McKay, Exuma, the Obeah Man — to the late Brent Malone, and young upcoming artists like Lavar Munroe, who has an exhibit at the National Art Gallery.

We have to remember and celebrate the enormous talent of that flows in abundance from our Bahamian Imagination,” the Prime Minister urged.

He named Bert Williams, who was born in 1874 in Nassau, who left for the United States at a young age and became a Bahamian-American entertainer, one of the pre-eminent entertainers of the Vaudeville era and one of the most popular comedians for all audiences of his time.  He was also said to be by far the best-selling black recording artist before 1920.

Bert Williams was once described as: “one of the great comedians of the world”, the Prime Minister also noted.

Regarding Isaiah Taylor, the Prime Minister also described him as another son of the soil and artist who showcased his talents and Bahamian spirit on the world stage.

“Isaiah Taylor is not only a proud son of The Bahamas.  He is also a proud son of Pinewood, who originally hailed from Simms, Long Island,” the Prime Minister said.

Isaiah Taylor grew up between Kemp Road and Bernard Road. And about four decades ago he became one of the first residents of Pinewood, a community he has been known to love with all his heart and soul.

“He has also been a patriarch of Pinewood. It is so wonderful that the community he loves, loves him back by honouring his contributions to Pinewood.  Generations to come will look at this Park, and ask, “Who was Isaiah Taylor?” the Prime Minister said.

Isaiah Taylor is revered as a Bahamian musical icon.  He is best known as the lead bass player and driving force behind the Grammy Award-winning group, Baha Men.

In acknowledging that he’s known Isaiah for many years, the Prime Minister said he has the spirit of Junkanoo in his soul.  

Isaiah Taylor had self-taught the guitar at age 21, and subsequently joined the group High Voltage, the band known for bringing the sound of Junkanoo festival music to the popular music stage from the late 70s into the 90s. He also collaborated with Tyrone “Dr. Off” Fitzgerald, of Funky Nassau fame; Dr. Off was one of the pioneers who helped to shape the sounds of Junkanoo outside the traditional festival environment.

In 1992, High Voltage changed its name to Baha Men.  And although membership has changed over the years, Isaiah Taylor’s mentorship and leadership kept the band together, leading to success and numerous awards.

Among their many accomplishments are several awards, including a Grammy Award in 2000, two Billboard Music Awards that same year and two Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards in 2000 and 2002.  Several of Baha Men’s songs have been used in several major motion pictures.  

The Prime Minister thanked Isaiah Taylor for his contributions to national development.


 By Lindsay Thompson

Photo Captions: 

Header: Pinewood Park was renamed the Isaiah Taylor Festival Park during the Annual Dennis Dean Pinewood Festival on Saturday, November 17, 2018. Isaiah Taylor is pictured centre right.  Next to Mr. Taylor are Prime Minister, Dr. the Most Hon. Hubert Minnis, and Minister of Financial Services, Trade & Industry and Immigration the Hon. Brent Symonette.  On the left, from left are Reuben Rahming, MP for Pinewood; Mrs. Natasha Rahming; and Travis Robinson, MP for Bain and Grant’s Town. 

First insert: The Urban Renewal Marching Band performs for ceremonies at the Pinewood Park Renaming to Isaiah Taylor Festival Park, during the Annual Dennis Dean Pinewood Festival on Saturday, November 17, 2018.

Second insert: Pinewood Park was renamed Isaiah Taylor Festival Park during the Annual Dennis Dean Pinewood Festival on Saturday, November 17, 2018. Taylor also received a plaque in his honour.  Pictured presenting the plaque is Prime Minister, Dr. the Most Hon. Hubert Minnis (centre left).  Also pictured during presentation are the Hon. Brent Symonette, Minister of Financial Services, Trade & Industry and Immigration and MP for St Anne’s; Reuben Rahming, MP for Pinewood; and Travis Robinson, MP for Bain and Grant’s Town.  

Third insert: Pinewood Park became Isaiah Taylor Festival Park during the Annual Dennis Dean Pinewood Festival on Saturday, November 17, 2018. Pictured are, from left: Isaiah Taylor, Prime Minister Minnis, and Reuben Rahming, MP, Pinewood.  


(BIS Photos/Eric Rose)


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



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:

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World Sight Day: Love Your Eyes



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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RBDF Congratulates Retired Commander Defence Force on National Honour Award 



#TheBahamas, October 13, 2021 – The Royal Bahamas Defence Force congratulates Commodore Retired Leon Livingstone Smith, who was a recipient of the 2021 National Honours Awards on October 11, 2021. 

During a ceremony at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel, West Bay Street, Commodore Smith was presented with the Order of Distinction within the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, by Governor-General, the Most Honorable Sir Cornelius A. Smith. Also in attendance were his daughter, Mrs. Italia Seymour, and the Commander Defence Force, Commodore Dr. Raymond King.

Commodore Smith was one of sixteen other deserving individuals recognized on National Heroes Day for the vast contributions they made to the development of the country. The first Bahamian Officer to be appointed as Commander Defence Force, he is the longest-serving Commodore to serve this office from 1983 to 1997.

Throughout his military career, he received numerous awards and accolades, and his career in public life spanned over forty years, and on September 19, 2014, an RBDF Legend Class Vessel bearing his name was commissioned. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force is truly grateful for the devoted services of Commodore Smith to the organization and his country.

Commander Defence Force, Commodore Dr. Raymond King extends congratulations on his behalf of the members of his Executive Command, Officers, Senior Enlisted, and Junior Enlisted members of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, to Commodore Retired Leon Smith, on his great accomplishment.


Header:  Commodore Retired Leon Smith being presented with the Order of Distinction within the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, by Governor-General, the Most Honorable Sir Cornelius A. Smith on October 11, 2021, during a ceremony at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel, West Bay Street.

Insert: Commodore Retired Leon Smith along with recipients of the 2021 National Honours Awards on October 11, 2021, during a ceremony at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel, West Bay Street.

(RBDF Photos by Able Seaman Paul Rolle II)


(For further information please contact the RBDF Public Relations Department or visit our website:, follow us on FacebookTwitter and view our Youtube channel) 




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