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Meet Sir Sidney Poitier

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Hollywood’s Oldest Legend & Caribbean Icon takes his final bow

 

#TheBahamas, January 15, 2022 – Sidney Poitier was a famous Bahamian-American actor, ambassador, film director, film producer and author. He was born on February 21, 1927 in Miami, Florida and died on January 6, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. He went from a premature two-months early baby to being a successful actor; the first Hollywood Black movie star and the first Black man to win the best actor Oscar.

He was the oldest living as well as the earliest surviving winner of an Academy Award for Best Actor.

He was the youngest of seven children of Reginald James Poitier and Evelyn Poitier, nee Outten (who was from the Turks and Caicos Islands).  His parents originally worked the land and owned a farm on Cat Island, Bahamas.

Poitier’s father also worked as a cab driver in Nassau in the Bahamas.  While Poitier’s parents visited Miami to sell tomatoes, he was unexpectedly born.  Hence, he was entitled to American citizenship as well.  Poitier lived on Cat Island until he was ten.  Then the family moved to Nassau.  He saw his first automobile in Nassau and experienced electricity, plumbing, and motion pictures for the first time.  He stayed in the Bahamas until age 15 until he moved to Miami.  Then he moved to New York at the tender age of 16.

Poitier came from an impoverished background, he was without education, and was faced with several rejections.  He was rejected by filmmakers because he could not sing and had a strong Bahamian accent.  However, he softened his accent, improved his reading abilities and landed a number of star roles in movies that empowered the Black community and allowed audiences to confront racial tensions in America.

“I was not what I was required to be in Florida.  I was not that.  I couldn’t be that.  I was taught that I had basic rights as a human being.  I was taught that I was someone.  I knew we had no money, still, I was taught that I was someone. We had no electricity and no running water, still, I was taught that I was someone.  I had very little education — a year and a half, in fact, was all the schooling I was exposed to –still I knew that I was someone,” said Poitier in a 2000 interview with Oprah Winfrey.  He added that being a Hollywood star did not shield him from certain struggles faced by a black man in America.

When Poitier moved to New York, he first held various jobs as a dishwasher.  He then lied about his age during the Second World War and enlisted in the army.  He was discharged from the army in 1944.  After, he again worked as a dishwasher and later landed a spot with the American Negro Theatre.

Though he had joined the American Negro Theatre, audiences rejected him.  Eventually, Poitier earned a leading role in the Broadway production called Lis Estrada.  He soon became a famous stage actor and started receiving offers for acting in films.  In 1950, Poitier appeared in a successful film titled No Way Out.  A year later, he travelled to South Africa with the actor Canada Lee to play the lead role in the film of The Beloved Country.

Poitier’s breakout role was in Blackboard Jungle, which was released in 1955.

In 1958, he starred in The Defiant Ones with Tony Curtis.  Then appeared in the first production of A Raisin in the sun on Broadway in 1959.

In 1961, Poitier starred in the film version of A Raisin in the Sun.  In 1965, he performed in The Bedford Incident and in that same year, he appeared in the hit film, A Patch of Blue.  In 1967, he appeared in three popular films, including In The Heat of the Night, to Sir With Love and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.

Poitier also directed various films and the most successful film is Stir Crazy, the Richard Pryor Gene Wilder comedy. He made his feature film directorial debut with the Western Buck and the Preacher.  He also starred in this film.  He also recorded an album called Poitier meets Plato.

He appeared in a few thrillers and TV roles during the late 80s and early 90s.  In 2014, he appeared alongside Angelina Jolie at the 86 Academy Awards.  This famous actor presented the best director award at this event.  Poitier received a standing ovation and Angelina thanked him for his contributions to Hollywood.

Poitier was the first actor to place footprints and autographs in the cement at the Chinese Theatre of Grommet.

In 2005, Premiere Magazine ranked him number 20 on the list of the greatest movie stars of all time.  The American Film Institute then ranked him number 22 on the list of the 50 greatest Screen Legends.

In 1974, Poitier was made an Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.  He served as the Bahamian Ambassador to Japan from 1997 to 2007.  Sir Sidney was the Ambassador of the Bahamas to UNESCO from 2002 to 2007.  In 2009, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the highest civilian honour of the United States which was presented by President Barack Obama.

Sidney Poitier, who stood at 6.2 inches, is also the winner of two Grammy Awards; in 2001 and 2009 for Best Spoken Word album.

Though he only learnt at the age of 16 how to read, he spoke Russian fluently.

Poitier married Juanita Hardy and remained married until 1965.

In 1959, he started a romance with the famous actress Diane Carroll, whom he dated for nine years.

In 1976, he married Joanna Shimkus of Canada, whom he is on record as calling “the one”.

Sir Sidney leaves behind six daughters, four with Juanita: Gina, Sherry, Pamela and Beverly and two with Joanna: Sydney Tamiia and Anika.

Sidney Poitier has eight grandchildren as well as three great grandchildren.

Poitier’s networth is listed as $20 million.

Source:  Lifestyle & Networth

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Bahamas News

Cruising should slow down says PAHO

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.

Dr. Ciro Ugarte Director of Health Emergencies at the PAHO was referring to the Bahamas but made sure to note that the advice was highly relevant to many countries in the times of omicron.

“In the context of intense transmission, due to the Omicron variant as we have highlighted several times. It is just logical to suspend or at least limit the cruise ship traffic as an outbreak on board might end up exceedingly high and probably will go beyond the capacity of local health services”

Both the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are experiencing a massive uptick in cases and several warnings regarding cruise travel have been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control.

Cruising just resumed for many regional countries this past Summer, Turks and Caicos was among the latest to restart on December 13.

A stop to sailing would be devastating to economies, however, ports of call like Grand Turk which are reeling with rocketing case numbers of COVID are urged to consider the suggestion of slowing down on ships by PAHO.

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Bahamas News

TCI & Bahamas and over 20 other countries put at higher risk by CDC, Residents say DIVERSIFY

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#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – ‘We need to diversify!’ is the main call from residents of the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas after the recent bumping of their countries to a level 4 in the US, Centres for Disease Control’s Travel Health Notice index. The Turks and Caicos Islands along with the Bahamas, Cayman, Bonaire, Curaçao Trinidad and Tobago and 16 other countries were officially added to the CDC’s level 4 list on Tuesday.

Jamaica was also moved up to level three.

Level 4 is the highest level of risk according to the CDC and non-essential travel, including vacations, to countries listed as such is not advised by the organization.

Despite a record breaking year for arrivals, one TCI resident said, “Maybe now the PNP will put something credible into place to go with their words about diversifying the economy.”

A Bahamian resident added his views from Grand Bahama.

“Tourism is running the whole country, which is ridiculous because every time something goes down in the rest of the world tourism is the first thing that drops off.  With Covid you think they would have learned a lesson, no, they’re still using Tourism as a base for everything.”

This is a blow for all the Caribbean countries listed, who are still trying to rebound from 2020’s economic shocks due to the freeze on travel and tourism when the Coronavirus Pandemic first started.

It is especially difficult for the Turks and Caicos which mandates that travelers must have travel insurance to vacation on the islands as level 4 ratings makes that security more difficult to procure.

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Bahamas News

Back to the Bush, Traditional Remedies make a Come-back

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

VERVINE

You may know it as the Wild Hyssop; American blue verbena, mosquito plant, holy herb or simpler’s joy. You may even know it because of its rich purple colour or its tiny and delicate leaves and five-petaled blossoms. But what you really need to know is that Vervain has several healing properties; it is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antispasmodic, and analgesic (pain-relieving).

Among its purported benefits, vervain is used to treat headaches, other aches and pain, insomnia, digestive dysfunction, depression and anxiety, and upper respiratory tract infections.

This means it’s perfect for the time we live in now as the coronavirus infamously attacks respiratory systems.

 

NEEM

Neem – the tree for solving global problems grows “almost anywhere” in the lowland tropics.

So, if you don’t already have the broad-leaved evergreens in your backyard, it’s not too late to start growing it.

Every part of the Neem tree is beneficial: the bark, leaves, seed, fruit, and twigs. It has over 130 biologically active compounds that can keep viral and bacterial diseases at bay. It is also a powerful immune stimulant.

Yes, it is bitter and has a garlic, nutty aroma but that is a sign that it is good for your body but not so good if you are trying to become pregnant, according to experts on the plant.

Neem is “A” class, which means it is antiviral (inhibits the growth of viruses), antifungal (inhibits the growth of fungi), antibacterial (destroys the growth of bacteria), analgesic (provides pain relief), anti-inflammatory (reduces certain signs of inflammation, swelling or tenderness), antimicrobial (destroys the growth of microorganisms) and it is age-defying.

 

MORINGA

As everyone is in survival mode, Moringa, the survival food, which contains all the nutritional elements may be just what you need.

moringa leaf and powder capsule on a wooden background

Moringa has protein, calcium, eight of the nine essential amino acids, iron, Vitamin C and A minerals and more. The best part is that all parts of the Moringa plant have their unique health properties and you have different ways to use the plant.

Moringa leaves can be dried and grounded in powder form or as supplements. You can also use it to make an essential oil as well as a delicious drink from fresh leaves.

To improve both health, cure digestive disorders, protect your heart and cardiovascular system, reduce blood sugar levels, boost energy levels and immunity, try Moringa.

 

CERASEE

“Go home Elena, go home Elena, go boil Cerasee fi yuh belly” – This Caribbean folk song was loved more than the plant itself. But if your grandmother could not convince you enough, COVID-19 is here to remind you that your body needs to remain healthy and Cerasee can add to your body that renewed look and feel. The fruit, leaves, and seeds of the bitter melon plant have medicinal properties and are used as traditional medicine in many parts of the world. The herb is a natural detoxifier, containing vitamins A and C, as well as phosphorus and iron.

It is mostly used to make a hot beverage to calm symptoms of hypertension, diabetes, liver problems, fever, and constipation.

 

LEAF OF LIFE

Miracles still happen and if you do not believe, have a nice warm tea or a cool blended drink made from the Leaf of Life. You can also enjoy the raw plant. The tall, erect, succulent perennial herb is native to Madagascar and has become naturalised in tropical and subtropical areas.

It is used as a herbal remedy to treat respiratory conditions like asthma, colds, coughs, shortness of breath and bronchitis. The Life plant has several health and beauty benefits and the good news is, you can even have it as a houseplant.

 

ALOE VERA

Aloe for the hair, aloe for the skin, and aloe is also for the immune system.

The Aloe Vera plant is packed full of immune-boosting polysaccharides, just what you need now to strengthen your body and build resistance against harmful bacteria and viruses. Along with being used in cosmetics, the thick, short-stemmed plant has antioxidant and antibacterial properties that help to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria that can cause infections in humans.

It also enhances insulin sensitivity and helps improve blood sugar management, so if you are diabetic, it is good to add Aloe Vera to your medicinal list.

 

PAPAYA

A single papaya contains more than 200% of your daily requirement of Vitamin C, another booster for your immune system.

Papaya trees are almost everywhere on the island, so you have no excuses. Moreover, the nutrition filled fruit is not only a healthy choice, it’s a tasty one too.

Add papaya to your fruit salad, scoop the raw fruit with a spoon, blend the seeds into a creamy salad dressing and don’t forget to add the green fruit to your meat pot.

As you enjoy the juiciness and freshness of the fruit, it will help your body to reduce stress, prevent cholesterol build-up, arthritis, and ageing.  The leaves are also proven to be helpful in preventing cancer.

Papaya is also one of nature’s natural contraceptives, they say.

 

LEMONGRASS

This tall grass-like herb has a fresh, clean, lemony scent.

Lemongrass or Fever grass is commonly taken orally, applied directly to the skin, or inhaled as aromatherapy.

It contains substances that can relieve pain and swelling, reduce fever, improve levels of sugar and cholesterol in the blood, stimulate the uterus and menstrual flow, and it has antioxidant properties.

A hot cup of lemongrass tea every morning can significantly improve your health.

Also, the leaves and the oil are used to make medicine. So what better way to enjoy the benefits of this herb than to grab it fresh from your backyard and enjoy the pure scent and the soothing taste?

 

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