Coral Harbour Base, 12 FEB. ‘19 (RBDF) –The Royal Bahamas Defence Force said farewell to Force Chief Petty Officer (FCPO) Idamae Ferguson after 33 years of committed service. FCPO Ferguson was the first female in the Defence Force to attain the rate of Warrant Officer after being promoted in 2017; a Warrant Officer is the highest rate within the enlisted corps.
FCPO Ferguson gave her final farewell on Parade immediately following Morning Colours (a military flag raising ceremony held every morning at Coral Harbour Base). She left Parade attendees with wise words of encouragement to carry on throughout their careers. Members of the Defence Force, along with retired veterans joined the momentous occasion.
Following the ceremony, FCPO Ferguson met with Commander Defence Force, Commodore Tellis Bethel, and his team at Defence Headquarters. Commodore Bethel spoke highly of FCPO Ferguson’s service over the years.
“Your contributions to the success of the Defence Force have been remarkable. You were always able to grow wherever you were planted, and you bore good fruit, and that’s how you effect change. You have been an inspiration, and we value and appreciate your service,” said Commodore Bethel.
FCPO Ferguson reminded those in attendance that officers and marines don’t merely work for the organization, but make up the organization. She also emphasized the importance of remaining united towards a common goal, and that only then, can the organization achieve great success.
FCPO Ferguson was a member of the first female entry (Woman Entry 1) to join the RBDF as a Marine Recruit on October 28, 1985. Departments in which she has served over the course of her career have included Training, Communications Centre, Head Quarters Registry, Accounts, Squadron with the Supply Department being her final assignment.
The Defence Force wishes Force Chief Petty Officer Idamae Ferguson a successful transition into civilian life.
Photo 1: Force Chief Petty Officer Idamae Ferguson giving words of encouragement to those in attendance during her farewell ceremony at the Defence Force Base.
Photo 2 shows: From left: Captain Adrian Chriswell, Captain Coral Harbour (Acting); Force Chief Petty Officer Idamae Ferguson; and Commander Michael Sweeting, Base Executive Officer.
Photo 3: The RBDF Warrant Officers showing their support for their comrade, Force Chief Petty Officer Idamae Ferguson who retired after 33 years of committed service at the Royal Bahamas Defence Force.
Photo 4 shows: Commander Defence Force Commodore Tellis Bethel and his Command Team along with Officers and Senior Enlisted at the Defence Force Headquarters. They all had encouraging words for Force Chief Petty Officer Idamae Ferguson
Photo 5 shows: Force Chief Petty Officer Idamae Ferguson and some of her squadmates of Woman Entry 1 during an Awards and Medal presentation ceremony at Government House in 2005.
(Photos courtesy RBDF Public Relations Section)
Chinese Embassy Donates Greenhouses To The Bahamas
#TheBahamas, October 22, 2021 – In an effort to assist the Government of The Bahamas with its goal to increase food production, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China donated 15 greenhouses recently. The greenhouses, which vary in size, will be distributed in Grand Bahama and throughout the Family Islands.
Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs the Hon. Clay Sweeting, Parliamentary Secretary Leonardo Lightbourne along with Permanent Secretary Joel Lewis were on hand to receive the items.
Minister Sweeting expressed gratitude on behalf of the Government of The Bahamas.
“I would like to sincerely thank you for these greenhouses, which speak to our blueprint for change. Agriculture plays a significant role in finding ways to feed ourselves. Big things start small and real change starts with ideas. These greenhouses will definitely play an instrumental role in finding new ways of farming techniques and ideas to feed ourselves,” he said.
The Minister mentioned that Agriculture contributes only 0.8 percent of GDP, a rate he is looking to drastically change.
“I look forward to working with you in the future because it is very important to myself and my ministry that Agriculture becomes prominent in our country and where people feel that they can be business-oriented,” Minister Sweeting said.
“The raging pandemic has highlighted once again the importance of the Agricultural sector and the imperative of reducing the cost of living for the average Bahamian,” she said.
“I very much support the minister’s objective to make Agriculture more appealing to Bahamians and attracting more investment into this vital sector. Agriculture has a big potential to be commercially viable as is shown with our experience with working your Caribbean neighbours. Today’s donation of greenhouses is only a small beginning to what we hope to be a growing Agricultural partnership between our countries. I’m glad that the minister has just expressed his commitment of working with us.”
The Ambassador said the two countries have long been in discussions to further develop the Agriculture industry.
“It is now time to put our ideas into practice by working together on the ground and in the fields. I look forward to discussions with the minister to understand his priorities and to see how we can best work with him,” Ambassador Qingli said.
Students display culinary skill and creativity in Bahamas Young Chef Competition
#TheBahamas, October 19, 2021 – – Despite setbacks and limitations due to COVID-19, Lamont Missick, H.O. Nash; Gerardo Annacius, Anatol Rodgers and Brianna Butterfield of Kingsway Academy, overcame the odds and finished first, second and third respectively in the second phase of the recent 29th Annual Bahamas Young Chef New Providence District Culinary Competitions.
With hybrid lessons and just two weeks of in-person classes supervised by teachers, the three students, who are enrolled in Family and Consumer Science Education, stepped up to the plate and earned the right to enter the upcoming third phase (National Round) of the annual contest.
Now into its 29th year, the annual district competition, sponsored by the Ministry of Education along with Robin Hood Flour and Mahatma Rice, was held at Anatol Rodgers Senior High School, October 7 and 8. Under the watchful eyes of judges who are all professional chefs — Clement Williams, Jimmy Dean, Chief Judge Gerald Rolle, Hazel Rolle, and Celeste Smith — the students were required to use Mahatma Rice and Robin Hood Flour to prepare a dish and dessert based on the theme “Bahamian Culinary Resilience: Going Back to Our Roots.”
Following the grueling round in the kitchen and interviews by the judges, Raquel Turnquest, Education Officer congratulated the students and parents, and offered advice to the teachers.
“We appreciate all of the time and effort that you put into your children. This competition is a true partnership between home, school and industry. The chefs are willing to give their input and give them [the students] the benefit of their experience.
“We have three young persons who are very much into what they are learning in school. They are putting their best foot forward. All of them are automatically in the national round,” said Ms. Turnquest.
“COVID-19 is forcing us to use technology in new and creative ways. You are now able to bring industry professionals into your classroom almost on a regular basis who don’t have to leave where they are to get into your classroom to give the students the benefit of their knowledge.”
She urged the students to use the judges’ critiques to refine and elevate their dishes.
“You saw the experience of working in the kitchen with persons viewing and walking through while you are working. That is something valuable. Take advantage of it and we’ll see you again for the National round. Congratulations to all of you today.”
Lamont Missick, 14,
Flour dish: Pineapple upside down muffin
Rice Dish: Land and Sea Rice
Lamont said he used the opportunity to sharpen his culinary skills.
“I realized my love for culinary arts from the age of 8. I remember watching Ratatouille, and hearing that “anyone can cook, but only the fearless can be great. I aim to be great and one day become and executive chef in my own restaurant,” said the ninth grader.
Flour dish: Sugar apple almond muffins
Rice dish: Spinach Carrot Rice Cup with grouper pineapple sauce
“I love to cook and I wanted to boost my cooking skills,” said Brianna.
Gerardo Annacius dubbed his dishes ‘Fall ‘n’ Love’.
Flour dish: Toasted bennie spiced cream puff with native pumpkin and coconut crème filling topped with ginger caramel
All of the judges commended the students on their dishes and encouraged them to continue to work hard.
Lamont was praised for his organized and sanitized kitchen-station. Also noted was his flavorful ‘spot on’ rice dish from which exuded flavors of conch, lobster, salt beef and coconut milk.
Chef Williams encouraged him to improve his presentation and move away from serving rice the old fashioned way of “cupping” in a bowl.
The judges were impressed with Annacius’ theme: “Fall ‘n’ Love’ and gave him pointers on how to improve his dish and dessert.
“You experienced a slight setback in the kitchen and your dessert dish did not come out as expected — but you did not stop, you made an effort to present something. Your dessert was flavorful; it did not rise like it should but you executed based on what you had,” said Chef Smith.
By Kathryn Campbell
Nine Grand Bahama residents have had their minor criminal records expunged
#TheBahamas, October 19, 2021 – The Davis Administration is fully committed to ensuring that young Bahamians get second chances where possible, by expunging minor offence records, where necessary, according to Minister for Grand Bahama, Hon. Ginger Moxey.
“One of our mandates in our ten-point plan in the ‘blueprint for change’ is compassionate social relief and the expungement of records for offences that are due, based on the violations of the Emergency Orders. So, we are going to continue to ensure that those records are expunged,” said Minister Moxey.
“For Grand Bahama Island, this ministry is responsible for the promotion of employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for the island. So, this is an ideal time for those who have not been able to find jobs, based on these criminal records, to be able to re-enter the job market.”
During a press conference in the Office of the Prime Minister on Thursday, October 14, 2021, Northern Bahamas representative for the Rehabilitation of Offenders Committee, Mr. Dudley Seide, paid a courtesy call on the Minister for Grand Bahama, during which time he announced that nine people from the island of Grand Bahama have had their minor criminal records expunged through the efforts of the Committee.
Minister Moxey called it a great day for Grand Bahama and for Grand Bahamians. She noted that overall, many people in Grand Bahama are hurting financially, adding that those people with minor criminal offences were held back from supporting themselves and their families because of their inability to gain employment because of their criminal records.
“On behalf of the government, we are excited that this day has come and to also let the community know that we are committed to this effort,” added Minister Moxey. “We want to also appeal to those people who may have received criminal records during the Emergency Orders to come forward and apply and begin the process to have their records expunged.”
Mr. Dudley Seide of Reach Out Organization and a member of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Committee said that nine Grand Bahamians who had applied to the committee to have their records expunged have had their applications approved.
“The mandate of our new Minister for Grand Bahama is to help young people who have been arrested on minor offences and who were arrested or charged during the Emergency Orders,” said Mr. Seide.
“This is a golden opportunity for these people to get their lives restarted. These people can now go on and live their lives. These offences prevented these people from getting jobs, obtaining a U.S. Visa, travelling – but now they can begin to do all of these things. What was hurtful was to see so many people who were arrested during the Emergency Orders, who paid the fines, but who had no idea that these offences were still on their records.
“I want to thank the Minister for National Security for giving young people an opportunity to restart their lives.”
Minister Moxey thanked the members of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Committee for their tireless work in helping people “get their lives back.”
By Andrew Coakley
Photo Caption: PART OF SECOND CHANCE – Minister for Grand Bahama, Hon. Ginger Moxey (second from right) was on hand when Mr. Dudley Seide, member of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Committee (left) presented Brian Bullard Jr. (second from left) with an official declaration of the expungement of his record, during a press conference in the Office of the Prime Minister (GB) on Thursday, October 14, 2021. Bullard was one of nine Grand Bahamians who’ve had their records expunged through the efforts of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Committee.
(BIS photo by Lisa Davis)
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