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Bahamas Seniors treated to ‘a walk down memory lane’

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#NASSAU, The Bahamas – February 18, 2020 — More than 250 seniors from the ten urban renewal centres in New Providence participated in the annual Urban Renewal Commission’s Valentine’s Day Extravaganza.

Held, February 14 at the Mall-at-Marathon, the extravaganza has mushroomed from home visits to seniors in the various urban communities into a day of fun-filled activity that includes a movie with the accompanying treats, old school music and dancing courtesy of the Urban Renewal Pop Band.

Officials say the movie, the carefully selected music and the dancing provides the “older more experienced persons with a walk down memory lane.”

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Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell, told the gathering that it was no accident/coincidence that the Urban Renewal Commission “chose Valentine’s Day as one the many days it uses to show appreciation to the nation’s older, more experienced citizens.”

The Commission and the Senior Citizens Division, Department of Social Services and Urban Development, also host year-round activities and programmes for the country’s “older, more experienced persons.”

“Valentine’s Day is set aside as a day of love. The Urban Renewal Commission wants you to know that we love you, that we honour you, that we value you and cherish you for all of the many contributions and sacrifices you would have made to our people, our communities and our nation throughout the years that have resulted in us younger persons enjoying some of the benefits that we now do,” Minister Campbell said.

“We love and appreciate you for all that you have done; we love and appreciate you for all that you continue to do because your job is not yet done as you still have some experiences that you can share with the younger generation with regards to those lessons that made us a proud, resilient, dedicated and steadfast people.”

Photo by Bahamas Information Services

Mrs. Sherry Knowles, Programmes Manager, Urban Renewal Commission, said the observance of the day has mushroomed beyond expectations.

“The Day was initially observed with visits to the urban residences in which our seniors lived as a means of uplifting and inspiring them on a day when many of them were without their significant others, who would have passed away. Additionally, many of their children would be at work during the day and so out of that we began with the community visits to show them our love and appreciation.

“Over time, we felt the need to do something more, something greater, and so we made a commitment to develop and launch an annual initiative that would take them out of their various communities into something much larger that would include treating them to a movie, providing them with love bags, while further providing them with the opportunity to socialize with their peers,” Mrs. Knowles added.

The team also brought in the Urban Renewal Pop Band to provide live music.

“Many of our seniors often reflect on the days when they enjoyed going to dances and the movie theatre and so we wanted to replicate that to bring back some of the nostalgia for them by having the Urban Renewal Pop Band perform live, and by treating them to a movie,” Mrs. Knowles said.

“They were dancing and laughing and just having a good time because for many of them, it took them back to what they often refer to as the ‘good ole days’ and that’s what it’s all about for us here at Urban Renewal, uplifting our communities and our residents.”

Mrs. Knowles said it is also part of the Ministry’s mandate to promote social development. Providing for the country’s older, more experienced persons, she said, is a big part of community and social development.

“When we take good care of our seniors; when we keep them active and healthy; when we provide them with opportunities to flourish; when we remind them of the love, respect and appreciation we have for them and all of the contributions and sacrifices they have made that have resulted in a better way of life for their families, individual communities and our Bahamian society as a whole, then they can continue to take care of the next generation in a more meaningful way.

“These are the persons whom we still rely on to help nurture grand children and great grandchildren and the children of our various communities. It is our belief that as long as we cater to them, keep them healthy, keep them active, and keep them involved, it will create an excitement in them that will have untold benefits insofar as community building and development is concerned,” Mrs. Knowles added.

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

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GBPA welcomes EY’s New Office to Freeport

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#TheBahamas, June 22, 2022 – The Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) has approved a business license for EY Bahamas Ltd., who is set to open a new office in Freeport.

With more than 300,000 employees globally, EY provides assurance, consulting, law, strategy, tax and transactions services to businesses, countries and entrepreneurs. Significant economic impact from this investment will stem from the need for local housing, food and beverage, entertainment, transportation and more.

“We are pleased to welcome EY to Freeport,” said Ian Rolle, GBPA’s President.  “GBPA has been working with EY to take advantage of the BH-1B Visa program, which provides a significant opportunity for us to welcome more people to our city. We are looking forward to the economic boost to local businesses including grocery stores, taxis, car rentals, the housing market, restaurants and more. The ripple effects as a result of EY’s new footprint in Freeport will be a positive addition to our business community.”

GBPA and EY began serious discussions in 2019 prior to Hurricane Dorian regarding the benefits of operating in Freeport’s Special Economic Zone.  Since then, GBPA continued building its relationship with the firm and further helped them to understand the benefits of the BH-1B visa, which allows them to use Freeport to support their client’s needs across the region and globe.  Besides attracting local Bahamian and international talent, EY was drawn to Freeport’s proximity to North America, its safe environment, technology infrastructure and more.

EY has operated in The Bahamas for decades, providing rewarding careers for Bahamians. In its new Freeport location, EY will offer its clients solutions utilizing global talent, while creating new opportunities for employment and training for Grand Bahamians.

“Our Invest Grand Bahama promotional arm is dedicated to attracting these types of businesses that can benefit from our unique Free Trade Zone. We will continue to do our part as we promote the best Freeport has to offer,” Mr. Rolle concluded.

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RM Bailey’s Class of 2022 told, go where your heart leads you; be courageous, innovative, be your best

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By: Kathryn Campbell

Bahamas Information Services

 

#TheBahamas, June 22, 2022 – Vice-President of the Senate, Senator the Hon. Barry Griffin appealed to R.M. Bailey Senior High School’s Class of 2022 to be advocates of change and to use their voices to encourage good governance and constant innovation.

Senator Griffin was the guest speaker at the school’s commencement exercise Monday, June 20, at Charles Saunders Auditorium. “Empowered to Make What Seems Impossible – Possible” was the theme for the event.

“What we need now from our leaders is a sense of urgency. There has long been this feeling in The Bahamas, and in particular the upper echelons of our country, that we have comfort and we can manage to navigate the twists and turns that come our way,” said Senator Griffin.

“But what Hurricane Dorian has taught us, what the pandemic has taught us, what the inflation and rising costs of gas, electricity and food has taught us is — something that those at the fringes of our society have known for far too long — that comfort we feel will not last for long.”

To make the change, he remarked that the love of an old  “anachronistic” system that no longer serves the nation and its students must be removed.

He appealed for expanded opportunities for all, structural changes in the economy and in politics.

“We must begin to call a spade a spade — we have a problem of inequality, a problem of equal access to opportunity and a problem of failed politics. And graduates the only way that changes, is by you making your voices heard.”

He offered the following advice to the graduates:

  1. The old rules are crumbling and nobody knows what the new rules are. So make up your own rules.
  2. Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.
  3. When you take risks, you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, both are equally important.
  4. Be bold, be courageous, be your best.
  5. There is no script. Live your life the way you want.
  6. Wherever you go, go with all your heart.
  7. If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.
  8. Failure is the condiment that gives success flavour.
  9. Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.
  10. Go where your heart leads you — and do everything you desire — act as if it were impossible for you to fail.

“My advice is to be bold, to be you, to embrace failure, and to live as if everything is possible.

“It is my hope that you run out of here excited, leaning forward into the wind and ready to take the world by storm,” he said.

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Summit of the Americas elevates hemispheric challenges, Bahamas PM vocal

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By Shanieka Smith

Features Writer

 

#TheBahamas, June 17, 2022 – “The Americas are challenged by crisis.” This was the statement made by the Bahamas Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. Philip Davis during his contribution to the Plenary Session of the 9th Summit of the Americas on June 10, 2022.

“Climate, COVID and conflict have undermined our safety and our security,” he said. He went further to ask some thought-provoking questions: “Have we done enough here, at this gathering, to relieve suffering? To promote peace? To fight for the economic dignity of our People? “Will the work we carried out here continue once the spotlight and the world’s attention has moved on?”

He said the work and fine words do not count unless the people are told that the leaders have laid a true foundation for their progress.

Hinting back to the Summit in 2019, he said it is evident that the good intentions and optimism of that gathering did not translate into enduring advancement.

“Indeed, some countries in our hemisphere have become more unequal and more violent… across the Americas, the scourges of racism and discrimination appear to be on the rise. Emerging moral and technological challenges to our democratic norms threaten our capacity to deliver free and fair elections, and effective governance.” He added that all the mentioned challenges are “eclipsed by the existential threat of climate change.”

He expressed thanks to President Biden and Vice-President Harris and the people of the United States, to host and facilitate the dialogue and cooperation because none of the mentioned issues can be resolved by one nation.

Davis added, however, that “multilateral engagement at the highest levels happens too infrequently – certainly when it comes to issues which are important to the Caribbean,” he added. “But if the work of this Summit continues, if the will to cooperate endures, if words turn into action –change can lead to progress, and we can move forward.”

He highlighted several key factors affecting the region’s development, like hurricanes and other natural disasters that result in injury and debt, Covid-19 and the lack of sufficient healthcare workers, disinformation, and the illegal shipment of guns and movement of people. He also hinted at a topical issue, which suited the occasion as some countries were not invited to the Summit.

“It is easy to talk with those with whom we agree, but we must also be able to talk with those with whom we disagree. In fact, sometimes those are the conversations that are most urgently needed,” he said.  Prime Minister Davis noted that all the countries in the hemisphere faced overlapping developmental, security and democratic challenges. Collaboration and collective action can only be of mutual benefit. The absence of the Republic of Cuba has made these deliberations less complete,” added the Prime Minister.

“We must also be mindful of the unintended consequences of isolation and separation,” he said as he shared that more could be done to provide support for Haitians.

He noted that for the institutions within the Inter-American system to fulfil their potential, there should be some rethinking or re-calibrating. He added that the Organisation of American States (OAS), in particular, required both a structural and cultural adjustment.

As the Prime Minister ended his presentation, he called for not just more talking but also that participants “keep ‘doing — upholding our commitments and taking the action necessary for our collective survival.”

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