#Providenciales, May 17, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – The pair of officials called it a natural fit which will lead to greater synergy and stronger lines of communication between two critically-linked agencies; Tourism as the leading bread-winner for the Turks and Caicos Islands now directly houses the Department of Disaster Management & Emergencies, DDME which undergirds all industries in any worse case scenario; and the shift is pioneering.
“I believe that this marriage is timely, it is bold and persons from across the region are giving kudos to the Turks and Caicos for having the foresight to have all of these very important environmental, tourism, economic drivers under one ministry working together in a collaborative fashion,” said Ralph Higgs, Minister of Tourism during a press conference on Wednesday.
In response to Magnetic Media’s question about the landmark move from Home Affairs to Tourism, Director of DDME, Dr. Virginia Clerveaux said, “We are the first to add Tourism and Disaster Management, however tourism and disaster management have been working together throughout the region for years. I think we are unique in the fact that when you look at the make-up of our Ministry it’s tourism, it’s environment, you see the name quickly and then you begin to think of the maritime sector that is also critical to us in the Turks and Caicos Islands and then you’re looking at heritage and you’re thinking about the UN perspective and protecting your heritage sites and how they can be impacted by not only man-made but also natural events,” she continued with, “The Department of Disaster Management, we come as if we are the overall co-ordinator…”
The relationship between the entities is not new, nor had it been dormant; there are many settings on a national level where the departments of environment, maritime and disaster management are required to give expert input.
In hurricane season, DDME serves as a strategic advisor for the tourism sector and admittedly, the half a billion dollars in damages and losses in Hurricanes Irma and Maria of 2017 accelerated the need for the union.
“There has been a good working relationship between the Department and the DDME and tourist Board for several years, one of the pluses of this union now is that all of the information needed to address tourism related matters will be contained of one umbrella,” explained Minister Higgs, who is a former Tourist Board Director.
DDME Director Dr. Clerveaux supported the remarks from her new Minister with, “It is important that we protect our investment. One major storm with a magnitude of what we experienced from Ike, Irma or Maria can spell a disaster in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The environment, the tourism industry, the travel industry are our most vulnerable sectors, not just in the Turks and Caicos islands, but throughout the world and therefore putting policies in place and working with our Tourism sector and working with the Environmental Agencies to ensure that we protect our natural resources is one of the best things that we can do, in terms of sustainable development management.”
Minister Higgs agrees and told media that he is pleased that the DDME can feed the ministry’s interests more directly.
“I think with this marriage now we can publicly celebrate that we have a complete ministry, as the Director said, over the years there has been a lot of collaboration and a lot of synergy, a lot of working together to ensure that in the event that there is a disaster, our number one industry which is tourism is not destroyed beyond repair. I believe with the marriage of the DDME (to the Ministry of Tourism, Gaming, Environment and Maritime Affairs), we will take a very proactive approach to ensuring that the people of this country, our visitors to this country, knows the risk of any disaster and they know the vulnerabilities and they ensure that they have measures in place.”
Dr. Virginia Clerveaux as Director of the Department has been hailed at home and abroad for the efficient and effective management of the DDME, especially in the aftermath of the hurricane season’s most fierce storms on record. Dr. Clerveaux takes with her to Tourism a team of 10 and the shift came in a TCI Cabinet shuffle which placed the DDME under the Tourism, Environment, Heritage and Maritime umbrella.
“This merger will ensure that there is more synergy and there is greater communication between the natural resource enforcers and the agency that has to coordinate response in the event of a disaster.”
The media meeting was held at the Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies Providenciale headquarters and handed over to Minister Ralph Higgs were the policies governing the DDME and its Disaster Management strategies.
Turks and Caicos Islands school sports season 2023/24 officially opens in September
Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, September 19, 2023 – After an active summer of events, Turks and Caicos Islands School Sports (TCISS) season 2023/24 will open with TCISS Football for Boys and Girls on September 30, 2023.
The opening ceremony of TCISS Football will take place at the TCI Football Association on Venetian Road, Providenciales and we will commute to the National Stadium for the games. Games will take place weekly on Fridays and Saturdays. After making their debut last year, TCISS Girls Football will run concurrently with Boys Football on a split pitch from September through October. The championship games are slated for October 28, 2023.
Last year’s Girls’ football champions were the Marjorie Basden High School after defeating the British West Indies Collegiate 2-1. The Boys’ champions were the Clement Howell High School who beat out the Elite High School who forfeited the game 1-0. All current students, fans and alumni are encouraged to watch the games weekly each Friday and Saturday, with tickets for Adults $5 and Children $3.
TCISS Boys Basketball quickly picks up after the Football season ends, spanning from early November 2023 to January 2024. Home and away games are one the highlights of this event, affording all teams a chance at a ‘home-court’ advantage throughout the season. As is tradition in TCISS, schools will be randomly selected and placed into pools to compete. Ultimately the strongest teams will meet at the championships. The reigning champions are the Clement Howell High School who defeated the A. Louise Garland Thomas High School 92-56 for the gold.
In a double-team affair, TCISS Girls Softball will launch a few weeks post Boys Basketball’s commencement, for a season which lasts from November 2023 – January 2024. This means softball and basketball seasons will run concurrently like last year, and tickets will allow entry to both games. The reigning champions are the HJ Robinson High School who won the championships 14-6 in their hometown Grand Turk against the Wesley Methodist High School. The championships will return to the nation’s capital next year, in honour of last year’s champions.
Ending the TCISS season will be the Track and Field events also known as Athletics. The Athletics opener will be the Track and Field Development meets. Historically this has been segmented into two meets: Sprints and Throws, Distance and Jumps.
Following will be the TCISS Inter-High Track and Field Championships also known as Nationals in March 2024 then the TCISS Inter-Primary Track and Field Championships also in March. Last year’s champions of Inter-High was the A. Louise Garland Thomas High School and for Inter-Primary the Ona Glinton Primary School. After being implemented last season, TCISS Track and Field champions are determined by a medal count with gold holding the most weight.
TCISS 2023/24 Sport Schedule
- TCISS Inter-High School Football Boys, TCISS Inter-High School Football Girls – September 30, 2023 – October 28, 2023 (Providenciales)
- TCISS Inter-High School Basketball – November 2023 – January 2024 (All-Island)
- TCISS Inter-High School Softball – November 2023 – January 2023 (Season Games – Providenciales. Semi-finals & Championships – Grand Turk)
- Track and Field Development Meets – February 2024
- TCISS Inter-High School Track and Field – February – March 2024 (Providenciales)
- TCISS Inter-Primary School Track and Field – March 2023 (Providenciales)
The full TCISS event schedule and further updates will be found on the TCI Sports Commission’s website www.gov.tc/sports/.
For the latest news on the TCISS, fans can follow on Instagram (@tcisportscommission) and Facebook (Turks and Caicos Islands Sports Commission). To share your experience with TCISS on social, use the hashtags #TCISS and #morethanjustsports.
Court Ruling leaves Young Son without Mother, Father killed in 2022 violence
Freelance Court Reporter
#TurksandCaicos, September 19, 2023 – A young son is left without a father, taken through gun violence and his mother, now deported back to her home country of Jamaica.
A Jamaican woman, ANDREA ROSE MARIE ATKINSON, now in her late fifties, who was married to a Wheeland, Blue Hills, Providenciales native, appeared before the Hon. Chief Magistrate Mr. Jolyon Hatmin.
Atkinson was charged on August 7th with remaining in the Islands beyond the permitted time. The Chief Magistrate (CM) asked the lady if she would like an opportunity to get legal representation? She said, your Honour, I just want to get this over with because “mi can’t take da cell no more” “mi bin lock up now fa sa much days, mi just a plea guilty and go back to mi Yard.”
The lady, communicating in her native, raw Jamaican patois tried to explain to the CM that she once had a permanent resident certificate (PRC) but after the divorced she was trying to get a work permit.
She said, yes, she overstayed but she was trying to make herself legal.
The woman asked the CM for some time to sort out her son and her things before they send her home. The mother of a boy child told the chief magistrate that she didn’t know where her child was because since law enforcement arrested her and took her into Immigration lock-up and since, she has not seen or heard from her son.
This matter was heard in August.
Investigation by this reporter uncovered that the son, a Turks and Caicos Islander, was taken in by one of the deceased sisters; therefore an aunt to the boy.
The CM sentenced the Jamaican woman ANDREA ROSE MARIE ATKINSON to a fine of $2,000.00 to be paid immediately in default, she will serve 90 days imprisonment.
He also recommended deportation; giving the former PRC holder seven days to sort out her son and her belongings.
REOPENING OF THE TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
The First (1st) Sitting of the First (1st) Meeting of the Third (3rd) Session of the Twelfth (12th) Legislature of the House of Assembly of the Turks & Caicos Islands
The Opening Ceremony for the First (1st) Sitting of the First (1st) Meeting of the Third (3rd) Session of the Twelfth (12th) Legislature of the House of Assembly occurred on the 14th September at 10 o’clock in the forenoon with its usual pomp and fanfare.
During the proceedings, the Honourable Premier and Minister for Public Policy, Hon. C. Washington Misick, moved the motion that the House of Assembly be suspended to allow for the reading of the Speech from the Throne, presented by Her Excellency, the Governor Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam.
The Speech from the Throne, having highlighted some of the Government’s accomplishments since being elected to office on 19th February 2021, culminated with the proposed Legislative Agenda to be considered for the upcoming legislative year which included, but is not limited to:
Constitution (Amendment) Order;
Retiring Allowance (Amendment) Bill;
Community College (Amendment) Bill;
Gaming Control (Amendment) Bill;
Business Licensing (Amendment) Bill;
Real Estate Licensing Bill
Immigration Bill; and
Crown Land (Amendment) Bill
The Speech from the Throne took a long-term perspective and placed emphasis on fulfilling the objectives of the Vision 2040 document and the Government’s strategic plan to move the Turks and Caicos Islands towards developed country status within the next two decades by investing in projects and policies that will result in a more robust triple-bottom-line economy.
The Speech from the Throne also addressed short to medium term deliverables; highlighting that the Government has twelve (12) high-priority projects being progressed. It posited that the National Delivery Unit (NDU) is tasked with assisting project owners and implementers advance the Government’s priorities. The value added by this Unit is the facilitation with streamlining of project management processes to ensure the most efficient timelines and use of available resources – all for the ultimate benefit of the citizens of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The day’s proceeding ended with a motion entitled: Write-Off of TC Invest/TOLCO Loan that was tabled by the Minister of Finance, the Honourable E. Jay Saunders. The motion which sought to write off $10.8 million in debt accumulated by scores of borrowers was passed. This write-off was a welcomed intervention by many Turks and Caicos Islanders, laden with debt obligations for over 11 years following the divestiture of the former TC Invest Agency. The write-off directly affects over 150 borrowers but is indirectly beneficial to many more.
For some, giving them a second lease on life, which, when property ownership is considered can be extended to inter-generationally.
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