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Bahamas: We Are One’ Neighbourhood Watch Campaign Launched

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#NASSAU, The Bahamas – November 18, 2020 — Minister of National Security the Hon. Marvin Dames said, on November 16, 2020, that it was over two years ago since the National Neighborhood Watch Council programme was birthed with “community minded individuals who wanted to make a lasting difference in their respective neighborhoods.”

“Their vision was to collaborate with their neighbors to solve community safety challenges in partnership with law enforcement,” Minister Dames said, during the during the Official Launch Ceremony of the National Neighbourhood Watch Council (NNWC) / South Central “We Are One” Campaign, held at the Edmund Moxey Community Center.

“But, most importantly, they wanted to enrich, uplift and inspire a renewed sense of national pride within the hearts and minds of all Bahamians, throughout the communities in which they lived.”

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Among those present were Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert A. Minnis; Permanent Secretary Marco Rolle; Leader of the Official Opposition representative and Member of Parliament Picewell Forbes; Deputy Commissioner of Police Ismella Davis-Delancy; President of the Bahamas Christian Council Bishop Delton Fernander; Superintendent and NNWC National Coordinator Wilton Johnson; NNWC Co-Chairs Alesha Hart and Keno Wong; Chairman of the Bahamas Public Parks and Public Beach Authority and Member of Parliament Shanendon Cartwright; Pastor Mario Moxey; President of the Ridgeland Park Community Association and Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the NNWC / South Central “We Are One” Campaign Shelly Lewis; and other Government and civil society stakeholders.

Minister Dames noted that, since that start more than two years earlier, the National Neighborhood Watch Council had morphed into one of the fastest growing and successful community programs that The Bahamas had ever seen.

Marvin Dames, Minister of National Security – The Bahamas

“With nearly 150 neighborhood watch groups which span over New Providence, Grand Bahama, and several of our Family Islands, the NNWC has modernized the traditional style of community engagement to one of community empowerment,” he said.

Minister Dames pointed out that, under the leadership of the National Coordinator and two distinguished community leaders who both serve as co-chairs, supported by the Ministry of National Security, the NNWC continued to make a positive impact on community safety and bridge the gap between local law enforcement and members of the public. The evidence of the NNWC’s success is both quantitative and qualitative, he added.

“The quantitative evidence is compelling as, during the past two years, members have targeted various property crimes that were impacting the quality of life and safety within some communities throughout The Bahamas — including burglary, housebreaking, and stolen vehicles,” Minister Dames said.

“As a result of the strategies employed by law enforcement and partnerships with the residents through the NNWC, these offences all shown a noticeable decrease.”

“From a qualitative aspect, the NNWC has been successful in promoting a better quality of life, a greater sense of security, responsibility, and personal control, and the strengthening of community pride and unity among citizens and residents, alike,” he added.

We Are One neighbourhood watch program launched in The Bahamas; speaking Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis

“NNWC members are building and sustaining a nationwide culture of prevention that is focused on safety awareness, and observation which draws on the compassion of our citizens and residents, enabling them to lend a hand to their neighbors whenever and wherever the need arises.”

Minister Dames said that stakeholders were especially grateful to Prime Minister Minnis for having proclaimed November 16, 2020 through December 18, 2020: “We Are One” — Unity and Healing in the Midst of Crisis.

“Our nation is built on the strength and resilience of our citizens,” he said.

“If there is one thing that Hurricane Dorian of September 2019 and the global pandemic of 2020 declared in March 2020, has taught us, is that we all need each other to survive.

“The ‘We Are One’ National Campaign is filled with a series of exciting community-building events that are geared toward building unity, healing, lending a helping hand, and changing lives throughout our nation.”

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Some of the upcoming events that are a part of the Campaign include a National Clean-Up Day in partnership with the Department of Environmental Health Services on November 21, 2020; Thanksgiving Day Luncheon on November 26; National Neighborhood Day on November 28; “Give Thanks” Church Service on November 29; a National T-Shirt Day on December 4; Communities Pilot Project Day on December 5; and “12 Days of Christmas” commencing on December 8, 2020.

“All Bahamians throughout the length and breath of The Bahamas are encouraged to support and participate in the activities,” Minister Dames said. He also congratulated the “hard-working” organizing team under the leadership of Ms. Shelly Lewis and Lakel Johnson for “putting together an impressive lineup of events which provides all Bahamians with an opportunity to restore hope; happiness; and togetherness as we battle some of the most challenging times that our country has ever been faced with”.

“I also congratulate Mrs. Cheryl Darville, Under Secretary; Supt. Johnson, National Coordinator; our Permanent Secretary Mr. Marco Rolle; Ms. Sylvia Lightbourn, Finance Officer; Mrs. Chavasse Turnquest, Chief Executive Officer; and Mr. Kent Minnis, Manager, BIS & his Team for their unstinting support in making this Campaign a reality – in addition to the co-chairs who are with us here today,” Minister Dames added.

BIS News by Eric Rose

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.

Bahamas News

Bahamas Celebrates 51st Independence – ‘United In Love & Service’

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By LINDSAY THOMPSON
Bahamas Information Services



NASSAU, The Bahamas – The Commonwealth of The Bahamas celebrated 51 years as an independent nation on July 10, 2024.

A Calendar of Events planned and managed by the National Independence Secretariat focused on the theme: ‘One People United In Love & Service,’ an excerpt from the National Pledge.

An Ecumenical Service and Cultural Show was held July 9, 2024 at historic Clifford Park, where the Flag Raising segment stirred emotions from spectators – many of whom were at that same spot when the birth of the nation happened in 1973.

The 51st Independence Anniversary celebrations kicked off with a number of leadup events: beginning with ‘National Flag Day’ on June 28, during which Bahamians throughout the country donned the national colours of aquamarine, gold and black and held brief ceremonies marked by singing of the National Anthem, reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance, and solemn Flag Raising.

The traditional Independence ‘Beat Retreat’ was held in Rawson Square, downtown Nassau, June 30, where a joint uniformed branch band wowed dignitaries and scores of spectators with their skillful drills and upbeat music.  This year, young people were added to the mix and drew thunderous applause as they sang the songs of local artists.

On July 1, a National Time Capsule Packing Day was coordinated, which involved all Family Islands, and New Providence.  Residents gathered historic items unique to their specific communities and placed them in time capsules.  All capsules will be unsealed in 2049 during the country’s Diamond Jubilee independence celebrations.

The week leading up to Independence was filled with activities aimed at bringing people together right where they live — their communities.  It called for Bahamians to focus on heritage, culture, love and commonalities as opposed to differences.

The main event on Tuesday, July 9, at Clifford Park drew many who donned fashionable clothing in the national colours, waved pompoms, blew whistles, and held flashing lights as they experienced from 7:30 pm to 12:00 midnight aspects of the spiritual and cultural Bahamas.

The Ecumenical Service sermon was delivered by Bahamas Christian Council President Bishop Delton Fernander – who called into focus the theme of unity, love and service.  The gospel singing by Bishop Denczil Rolle & Friends added to the worship mood throughout the park and the vicinity of Fort Charlotte.

Following on, the cultural segment showcased folklore dance, performances by artists who evoked crowd excitement, Junkanoo, skits in which young actors dreamed of their future, and interviews with Bahamians who have beaten the odds.

Minutes before midnight, Her Excellency Dame Cynthia Pratt, Governor General, inspected the Honour Guard; members of the clergy gathered around the National Flag as it was being hoisted and offered prayers for various segments of the community; and as the Flag reached the top – the National Anthem was played followed by a burst of fireworks bringing in July 10, 2024 – the 51st Independence Anniversary of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

In those early hours, starting at 1:00 a.m. the celebration continued with ‘The People’s Rush’ Junkanoo extravaganza.

On the afternoon of Independence Day, a ‘Family Fun Day’ was held at Clifford Park, where all manner of activities, games, foods, drinks and entertainment were available for families to enjoy.

That evening, a State Reception at Government House, Mt. Fitzwilliam, was hosted by Governor General Dame Cynthia Pratt in celebration of Bahamas Independence.

PHOTO CAPTION
Photos show the 51st. Anniversary of Bahamas Independence Ecumenical Service and Cultural Show celebrations at Clifford Park, July 9-10, 2024.  (BIS Photos/Patrick Hanna)

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Bahamas Development Bank Hosts Financial Talk with Freeport Primary School  

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Freeport, Grand Bahama, 15 July 2024- The Bahamas Development Bank (BDB) recently hosted a group of enthusiastic sixth graders for a session on financial literacy. Over 40 Freeport Primary School students delved into the importance of being goal oriented and the value of savings.

Through engaging activities and discussions, the sixth graders learned about the importance of planning for the future and how disciplined saving can help them achieve their dreams. Beyond this, BDB team members encouraged the students to be their best as they get ready to leave primary school.

Bahamas Development Bank Credit Operations Manager, Brent Deveaux, expressed enthusiasm about the event, stating, “It is crucial for our young people to understand the value of money management early on. By teaching them the principles of saving and goal setting, we are not only empowering them to make sound financial decisions in the future but also contributing to the overall economic well-being of our community. At the Bahamas Development Bank, we are proud to invest in the financial literacy of our youth as part of our commitment to national development.”

Following the interactive session, BDB presented a donation to Freeport Primary School to assist graduating sixth graders with their transition to junior high school.

This Freeport Primary School initiative was part of a broader effort by BDB to celebrate its 50th anniversary with events that engage and benefit the community. The bank believes that financial education is a key component of building a prosperous and financially responsible society. Bahamas Development Bank team members Brent Deveaux, Rachea Mortimer, Rhavanya Carey, and Octovia Green planned and carried out the activity.

 

Photo Caption: The Bahamas Development Bank recently hosted an interactive session designed to provide Freeport Primary School students with practical knowledge about setting financial goals and the benefits of saving money. Standing in center is Freeport Primary School Principal, Gia Walker.

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Prime Minister Davis: New US Embassy Compound represents ‘our commitment to mutually beneficial ties between our nations’

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Turks and Caicos Leaders attend official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony in Nassau, Bahamas

 

NASSAU, The Bahamas — Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Philip Davis said, on June 28, 2024, that it was a “great honour” to join in celebration of the 248th anniversary of the United States’ Independence, and festivities of the New Embassy Compound Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony.

“On behalf of the Bahamian people, we wish the people of the USA a Happy Independence,” Prime Minister Davis said, during his Official Remarks at the event, held on the grounds of the new compound. “As we join you in celebrating 248 years of a successful and thriving democracy, I also extend a warm welcome to the new Chargé d’Affaires Kimberly Furnish and thank the U.S. Embassy for hosting this event, affording us this moment to celebrate with one another.”

He added: “This evening is particularly special as we gather to cut the ribbon for this beautiful new Embassy here in Downtown Nassau. This new building represents our commitment to mutually beneficial ties between our nations. It is a symbol of our enduring friendship as neighbours, as allies in pursuit of a better world, and as collaborators building a brighter and better future together.”

Among those present were Governor General of The Bahamas Her Excellency the Most Hon. Dame Cynthia Pratt; Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands her Excellency Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam; Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands the Hon. Charles Washington Misick; Minister of Foreign Affairs the Hon. Fred Mitchell; Hon. Mr. Chief Justice of The Bahamas Sir Ian Winder; Director of Intelligence and Information for North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Northern Command Brigadier General Maurizio D. Calabrese; and US Department of State Overseas Building Operations Principal Deputy Director J. Douglas Dykhouse.

Prime Minister Davis noted: “As we reflect on tonight’s theme, ‘Our Shared Future’, I am reminded of the countless ways our nations have supported each other over the years. Whether in the aftermath of our deepest tragedies or through collaborative efforts to protect our borders, the United States has always been a steadfast ally to The Bahamas.”

“When hurricanes ravaged our islands, leaving destruction and despair in their wake, the United States was there, providing vital aid, resources, and support,” he added. “I can’t help but think of the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson who said, ‘The only way to have a friend is to be one’. The US has been a true friend to The Bahamas.”

“Moving forward, we will undoubtedly continue to maintain close ties – and not just diplomatic ties but social, cultural, and economic ties as well.”

Prime Minister Davis pointed out that many Bahamians visit the US on an annual basis – multiple times per year.

“And, if you were to add up all the US citizens who visit The Bahamas each year, you’d get a number that is far greater than our population,” he said. “Our nations are truly intertwined.”

“I am genuinely excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for the US and The Bahamas,” Prime Minister Davis added. “As we deepen our friendship, we must ensure that we maintain strategic alliances on key issues to protect our interests.”

Prime Minister Davis noted that both nations faced similar issues in immigration and border control, and they also were both preparing for more extreme weather events due to worsening climate conditions. Those, he stated, were just two of the areas where they had the opportunity to work together for the common good.

“One of the most important and sacred aspects of our relationship is our shared commitment to democracy, freedom, and human rights,” Prime Minister Davis said. “These values are the bedrock of our societies, guiding our actions and shaping our futures. Together, we must continue to champion these principles, both within our borders and on the global stage.”

He added: “As we celebrate this milestone, let us also take a moment to reflect on the future we envision for our nations – a future where our collaboration leads to greater prosperity, security, and well-being for our citizens. A future where our shared values and goals continue to guide us toward a more just and equitable world.

“Together, we can achieve great things and ensure a prosperous future for both our nations.

“Thank you, and once again, Happy Independence.”

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