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Bahamas DPM says monument will help residents remember the lives lost during Hurricane Dorian

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#FREEPORT, Grand Bahama — July 15, 2020 Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. Peter Turnquest said the pain caused by the loss of lives during Hurricane Dorian remains personal for him.

“Many who died were my friends,” said Minister Turnquest. “Some who are still missing, I know personally. I’ve visited and shared with those persons, in homes now shattered and destroyed. Monuments like this are erected to help ensure that we never forget what happened September 1st, 2019.”

UNVEILING MONUMENT – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. Peter Turnquest (left), along with Chairman of the Grand Bahama Port Authority, Sarah St. George (right) unveil a monument dedicated to the lives lost

The Minister’s remarks came on Tuesday, July 14, 2020, during the unveiling of a monument at the Sir Jack Hayward Bridge, which leads to East Grand Bahama, to serve as a memorial to the lives lost in East Grand Bahama during Hurricane Dorian in September of 2019.

“On behalf of the government, I commend the Grand Bahama Port Authority and its partners for this kind gesture,” said Minister Turnquest. “This occasion pays tribute to those who died as a result of Hurricane Dorian. It reminds us not only of the loss, but also of the tremendous effort and courage the surviving families and friends have had to bear, as they carry on and rebuild their lives and properties.

“We want them to know that they have not been forgotten. Also, their strength is symbolized by this monument. This monument will highlight our resilience and determined drive to carry on for those who did not make it. “

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The Deputy Prime Minister noted that since the passing of the historic hurricane, the Government of the Bahamas has taken measures and steps and learned lessons from the experience to strengthen institutions in preparation for future storms, which the country must assume will come.

He noted that there has been the legislation of mandatory evacuations, hardening of the island’s sea defenses with the completion of the Smith’s Point Seawall and the Fishing Hole Causeway, with more such investments to come in the future in West and East Grand Bahama.

He added that building codes that help to protect people and property during storms are being drafted; NEMA has been strengthened in its leadership and management of disaster preparation and response; the Disaster Reconstruction Authority has been formed and is presently assisting Bahamians with rebuilding efforts.

“Shelters that have been damaged during Hurricane Dorian are being repaired and new ones identified,” said Minister Turnquest. “The Rand Memorial Hospital is being completed renovated and renewed to almost a new facility, with expanded bed capacity, in preparation for a new facility that will eventually be built as things return to normal.

“The government understands that there is no quick fix to do it right, but we understand the urgency.

“The unveiling of this monument cements the fact that our recovery demands a unified approach. We are in this together and we will get through this together.”

The Deputy Prime Minister urged the Grand Bahama Port Authority and its partners to redouble their efforts in the cleanup of Grand Bahama, noting that there are still a number of areas that remain filled with debris, which is hampering the rebuilding efforts. He said that the completion of the cleanup project will go a long way towards the recovery of the island of Grand Bahama.

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The Deputy Prime Minister also pointed out the urgent need for a new airport in Grand Bahama. He noted that the temporary facility is adequate, but not ideal.

“Of course, we all have to do our part to restart the economy and assist residents to return and to start new businesses on the island,” said Minister Turnquest. “In this regard, I want to commend the Grand Bahama Port Authority on its RISE Program and for partnering with the Small Business Development Center to assist entrepreneurs throughout the length of this island.

“I want to thank the Port Authority for the humanitarian assistance to the residents on the island, through their Foundation.”

Memorial for Hurricane Dorian victims unveiled in Grand Bahama. Photo by BIS

Minister Turnquest pointed out that the monument will not just represent the lives lost during Hurricane Dorian, but will also serve as a tribute to all of the frontline workers, First Responders and even private citizens who became heroes, having used jet skis, boats and other means to save the lives of many Grand Bahamians during Dorian. 

“This Memorial is for you too, as we celebrate and remember your courageous acts of kindness. Yet, it is another forceful reminder that we are indeed a village and together we cannot and must not fear.

“While this Memorial is located here in Grand Bahama, let me say to the people in Abaco that it is difficult and near impossible not to link Abaco to this moment. The Grand Bahama and Abaco ties, particularly in East Grand Bahama are strong.

“This Monument celebrates your loved ones too.”

The Deputy prime Minister told those in attendance that there are plans to construct a Memorial park in East End (proper), to have a place where family members can go and reflect on the lives of those who were lost in the historic and terrible storm called Hurricane Dorian.

BIS Press Release by Andrew Coakley

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BFN urges Bahamians to pay attention to hunger ‘crisis’

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Great Commission Ministries thanks network for nearly a decade of support

 

#TheBahamas, September 26, 2022 – Bahamas Feeding Network (BFN) director, Mario Carey, is making an urgent plea to the public to pay attention to the hunger crisis that many face in The Bahamas.

Carey made the comments as he and BFN Executive Director Archdeacon James Palacious paid a visit to Great Commission Ministries, one of nearly 100 feeding centres that BFN regularly supports and a beneficiary of the network for nearly 10 years.

“It’s sad and shocking to see the extent of this issue in The Bahamas,” said Carey.

“This is a crisis that isn’t being adequately addressed. How is it that in The Bahamas so many people go hungry every day and it’s such a struggle to feed them?”

The plea came just days ahead of the BFN’s inaugural golf tournament, ‘Tee Off for Hunger’ which BFN hopes will raise funds to provide more than 50,000 meals in the fight against hunger.

In recent months, BFN has been providing more than 70,000 meals per month to the most vulnerable in The Bahamas. And Palacious said the hunger problem in the country continues to be a dire one.

Palacious said the demand BFN is facing has remained steadily high, particularly as Bahamians continue to struggle with an increasing cost of living and continued high unemployment.

“It’s concerning to see the extent of the need in our country,” said Palacious.

“And at the Bahamas Feeding Network, we do all we can to provide assistance, but the demand is great and ceaseless. We deeply appreciate and ask for the continued support of the business community and the public at large to be able to carry on our work in these difficult times.”

Bishop Walter Hanchell, founder and president of Great Commission Ministries, said the organization has been seeing a sustained increase in people seeking help with the basic necessities in recent months.

Great Commission Ministries provides hot meals to roughly 500 people each day, in addition to distributing meals to the sick and shut-in, as well as the provision of grocery packages to struggling families.

Hanchell, who has been helping to feed Bahamians for over three decades, said the past few months have been challenging, as more and more new faces show up seeking assistance. Although the organization receives monetary and in-kind support, the need frequently outweighs the supply.

“Every day you see it,” said Hanchell. “And we are seeing more middle-class people who are now struggling. We help as many as we can, but of course we have limited resources.”

Carey said Hanchell’s observations point clearly to a worsening problem.

“The thing is, this is just one organization, and there are hundreds of them,” said Carey.

The Bahamas Feeding Network spends over $120,000 on its monthly efforts. And Palacious said a generous patron who covers the network’s monthly rent helps to ensure that just a small percentage of donations goes towards administration costs.

Carey said now is the time for everyone to take the issue of hunger in The Bahamas seriously.

“This is beatable,” he said. “We can beat this if people buy into it and everyone makes a contribution.”

Hanchell echoed his sentiments, noting that homelessness is another serious issue that he is working to combat, with plans underway to construct a 100-bed shelter next year.

“We are going to be asking a lot of corporate Bahamas, and the government and private citizens to make that happen,” he said.

Hanchell added, “In November we celebrate 35 years of nonstop ministry and we thank God for the Bahamas Feeding Network and all that they have done to support us over the years. They have been a tremendous blessing.

“It’s not been an easy road but the Lord has been with us.”

 

Photo Caption: Bahamas Feeding Network (BFN) representatives visit long-time beneficiary Great Commission Ministries. L-R: Great Commission Ministries Elder Mina Hanchell, Great Commission Ministries President Bishop Walter Hanchell, BFN Executive Director Archdeacon James Palacious, BFN Director Mario Carey, Aventus Ventures CEO Kevin Hobbs, Great Commission Ministries Operations Manager Maxine Bethel

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Da Rocks’ Jonquel Jones and Sun aim to repeat win in bid for WNBA Championship

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By Deandrea Hamilton

Editor

 

#USA, September 18, 2022 – Jonquel Jones of Eight Mile Rock, Grand Bahama power forward and centre for the Suns had 20 points, five rebounds and four assists in a victorious and glorious effort against the Las Vegas Aces on Friday night. The Connecticut Suns holding on in game three, which could have been elimination if that score went the Aces way.

Now, on ESPN Sunday Jones is hoping for another win and a tie of the series which is a best of game five.

The Sun are now 4-0 in elimination games in the playoffs so far this postseason.

There was other good news on the weekend for Bahamian Jonquel, as she was named an All-WNBA Second Team selection.  Jones scored 126 overall, receiving 12 first team votes and 22 second team votes which came as no surprise to many.  Jonquel leads the Suns in scoring, rebounds and blocked shots.  She averages 14.6 points per game, ranking in the top 20 in the WNBA for scoring.

Add to the road Jonquel is still on for WNBA Champion and historic Bahamian athlete, as a member of the All- WNBA First Team, she will receive $10,300 and each member of the Second Team will receive $5,150.

The Bahamas continues to be proud of this outstanding player.

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Tourism, Investments & Aviation Minister I. Chester Cooper Elected Vice Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization

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#TheBahamas, September 16, 2022 –  The Hon. I. Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation, was elected to continue to serve as a vice chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) during the Council of Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism Meetings this week.

DPM Cooper is leading a delegation which includes Latia Duncombe, Acting Director General (ADG) and Dr Kenneth Romer, Deputy Director General and Acting Director of Aviation, to the four-day CTO Business Meetings which are taking place in the Cayman Islands 12-15 September 2022.

“I am grateful and honoured to serve in this capacity on behalf of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas and the entire Caribbean region,” DPM Cooper said.

“It is important that we continue to forge deeper relations with our tourism counterparts and support each other as we aim for full economic recovery. It is my hope that ongoing efforts will enhance our tourism product across the region and position the Caribbean as the most desirable destination year-round.”

In his role as CTO Vice Chairman, DPM Cooper will provide updates regarding the region’s performance and developments.

The CTO is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency comprising over 24 member countries and territories and provides support to those members in marketing, sustainable tourism, communications, and research & information technology. This year’s conference focuses on regional recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic and plans for the future of tourism.

CTO Business Meetings have been on hold since 2020, making this meeting the organisation’s first in-person event following the onset of the pandemic.

For more information, visit Bahamas.com.

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