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Expect an Excellent Read from Mother Pratt’s NEW BOOK, From the Pit to the Palace

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By Shanieka Smith & Deandrea Hamilton

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, March 12, 2022 – Her life demonstrated that “you begin in the pit, but you don’t have to end in the pit.”

Cynthia Mother Pratt, most popularly known as Mother Pratt, a Bahamian born, who grew up in an inner-city called Coconut Grove, came from extreme poverty but modestly walked her way up to becoming the second in command as the Deputy Prime Minister and the first female Minister of Defense for The Bahamas.

Her target with this inaugural book is young people, and her message is that their start does not determine their end.

A gated community, money, or privilege were not Mother Pratt’s easy climb out of the pit. It was her internal desires, hard work, discipline, humility, and determination. It was not until age 34 that Mother Pratt went to university; she sat, learnt, and graduated with 17 and 18-year-olds.

“Nonetheless, I wanted to achieve my goal,” she said.

At the time Mother Pratt went to school, students had to leave at age 14 if their parents could not afford the fees. She said she grew up in the lower class; that then and now is a major discouragement for people in similar situations. This was where the inspiration for one of her three literary contributions, From the Pit to the Palace, originated.

“I want the masses to know, the world to know, that there is a woman who God brought from the pit, the gutter, so to speak and who emerged to the very top. If it happened for me, it can happen for them,” she said passionately.

From the Pit to the Palace, an autobiography of Mother Pratt was published in January 2022. According to Mother Pratt, the book is for everyone – young and old.

“You have many adults who tend to give up on life because things didn’t work out for them. They believe that they are a failure, and that is why the book will explain, and encourage, and enhance, edify, to tell them that there is hope,” she expressed.

To reinforce Mother Pratt’s humble nature and soul message from her autobiography: she still resides in an inner-city after all she has accomplished.

And Dr Cynthia Mother Pratt has accomplished a lot. While her first term in service to people was in the teaching profession and as a sports coach, Mother Pratt and her escalating popularity attracted leaders in the political arena.

“They had to almost pry me into first of all getting involved in politics, period, I never was interested; never been to a meeting. But what had happened at the time, I was at the college in Bahamas, I was assisting the director and there with student activities – part-time lecturer, and I got a message there from the sitting Prime Minister that he would like to meet with me,” she expressed.

There was an invitation extended and suffice it to say, there was a big fat ‘no’ at the onset, but the Progressive Liberal Party and Perry Gladstone Christie, would not take no for an answer.  Persistence paid off for Christie and an attempt, bound to fail from Mother Pratt’s perspective, turned into a 10-year career in politics, starting in 2002 until she retired in 2012.

A deputy party leader, the first for a woman in The Bahamas; a deputy prime minister who would go on to hold the prime minister’s post during a time of illness for Mr Christie and numerous other ceiling shattering accolades. Yet none seemed to change her heart, which was first and foremost for God, then for family.

Mother Pratt has six children: three boys, an adopted son, who is now deceased and one biological daughter. She also has eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Pratt’s husband, Joseph Benjamin is also deceased.

“They [my children] reminded me the other day, they said, mommy, we have never really had you for ourselves as our mom because you were always looking after somebody else. And at one time, I had six children in my house until at one point and my husband got to the point where he says Cynthia, don’t bring another one in here,” she chuckles as she reminisces.

Global prizes were also not unusual for Mother Pratt, but one presented to her in 2019 is truly cherished as it bears the name of one of history’s most valiant freedom fighters. At a ceremony at her church, Prayer and Praise Assembly in Coconut Grove, the little girl from ‘the Grove’ was awarded the Nelson Mandela Award for her long-standing commitment to community building, and it cemented that a book to chronicle this achievement must be penned. And so it was.

“The thing about my growing up is that I was never satisfied with where I was. I always wanted to belong and when I say belong: belong to those who are trying to get to another level. I was not satisfied with one thing; when I got that I was never satisfied because I knew there was something better. And so I knew then there was something pushing me to say you can achieve it, you can do it, says Mother Pratt.” She added that she was never afraid to fail.

On her porch is where she shared these fascinating nuggets and cherished memories with us; her front porch in the Grove. An area which she served and represented in parliament, and an area though often considered a shady side of Nassau town, is treasured as her launch pad, a stepping stone and the birthplace of her desire to be more.

“The inner city is where we live, but we have to make it what it is. The community does not build us; we build the community,” she said.

Dr. Pratt, who is admittedly social media shy adds that “if you really want to make something of your life, you need to dig deep, pull your bootstraps up and know that if Mother Pratt could make it, then I can as well.”

This former sports coach, who earned the name because she became such a positive force to young people, made it clear that little opportunities present themselves, and it is only fitting that young people grab on to them. The first step, she said, is to believe in yourself.

“[Opportunities] are there, but you have to go out and get it. And in other words, God would have given them manna from heaven, but they had to go and get the manna. And that is how you’re going to achieve because you must want to change.

I can’t make you do it, but you must want it from within and then grab a hold of opportunities when they present themselves because it may not be there tomorrow.”

From the Pit to the Palace is now available on Amazon at a cost of $20 dollars. It can also be found in Bahamas-based bookstores.

Undoubtedly, expectedly, the book authored by Mother Pratt will be a raw, real, humourous and inspiring account of a life that continues to be well-lived.

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Bahamas News

$36 Million Dollar Upgrade for World Athletics Relays in Nassau, Bahamas

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 

 

After years of thorough maintenance, The Thomas A Robinson National Stadium in The Bahamas is finally getting a multi-million dollar makeover, readying the 10 year old facility ahead of the World Athletics Relays on May  5, 2024; it is being staged in Nassau for the fourth time. 

 

This $36 million refurbishment is being funded by the Chinese Government, as part of a vision to enhance the country’s sport infrastructure to benefit youths in athletics. The stadium was gifted to The Bahamas in 2012 by the Chinese.

 

The relay is the qualifying event for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games and there will be 32 national teams, in each relay event, and 20 races on both days of competition, according to World Athletics. 

Day 1, will have 20 heats across the five olympic events (4 heats each for 4×100, 4×400, men, women and mixed) and will qualify 40 teams for the Summer Olympics.  The top two teams from each heat will directly qualify for the Games.

On day 2, 30 more national teams will be qualified through 15 repechage heats and five finals, across those five events.

 

The upgrades which include new trusses, rooftops, seats, the lawn, score boards, LED displays and more, are expected to be complete at least two weeks before the relays, being held under the theme: ‘Chase the  Sun’. 

 

In a special ceremony on Monday April 8, The Bahamas Prime Minister, Philip Davis said:

 

In December 2023, our shared vision took shape, as the government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, and the government of the People’s Republic of China, inked an implementation agreement for the renovation of the stadium. This gesture of goodwill and friendship, from the Chinese government to undertake the China Aid Maintenance and Renovation project of our national stadium, stands as a testament to the strong bonds that unite our countries. This project, executed by China Urban Construction Research Institute Company Limited, and the China Machinery Industry Construction Group Company Limited, reflects our shared commitment to excellence, innovation and mutual development.”

 

Additionally, H.E Dai Qingli, outgoing Chinese Ambassador to The Bahamas who also attended that ceremony, spoke. 

 

“At the end of the project, the Bahamian people will get a fully renewed and modern world class stadium because everything is going to be either renewed or repaired,” she said.

Some 1600 athletes will be in The Bahamas for the World Athletics relays, with five events.  The Bahamas won the bid over Lausanne, Rome in 2022.

 

 Mario Bowleg,  Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture in reports, thanked China for their contribution to the redevelopment of the stadium. 

 

“We thank them for their commitment to ensuring that they bring this facility back up to A1 standard so that we can continue holding international events and using these facilities as a development of our young people.”

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Bahamas News

Grand Bahama Airport Demolition

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BIS Photo: Lisa Davis

Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

TheBahamas#TheGrandBahamaAirportDemolition, April 10, 2024 – The demolition of the Grand Bahama International Airport has begun, to start transformative construction as previously announced by Minister with responsibility for Tourism, Aviation and Investments, Chester Cooper, last month. Cooper says a new state of the art facility will be created to redefine Grand Bahama’s access to global opportunities and meet international standards.

 

 

 

 

 

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Bahamas News

Saxons Brass Section Thanks CWCO for Continued Commitment

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NASSAU, BAHAMAS (April 9th, 2024) Behind the vibrant costumes and electrifying beats of Junkanoo parades are committed members, mentors, and supporters such as Consolidated Water (Bahamas) Ltd. (CWCO). In a heartfelt acknowledgment of years of generous support, the Saxons Superstars’ brass section, High Voltage Brass, recently visited the water supplier to present a plaque of appreciation.

Jeremy Adderley, speaking on behalf of High Voltage Brass, said, “Without CWCO’s support, we would not have had the brass costumes needed to compete and secure our two-straight victory. Their support also helps us as we plan lessons for our young members to enhance their musicianship skills, not just for Junkanoo but for college and beyond.”

Adderley highlighted that the plaque is a token of High Voltage Brass’ immense gratitude for CWCO helping the Saxons Superstars keep culture alive and for being a steadfast partner in developing future leaders.

He added, “Every year, it is a struggle to make it to Bay Street. Many of our members are eager to participate, despite their circumstances, and every year our group continues to grow. Thanks to CWCO’s generosity, we look forward to continuing to grow and succeed alongside their great team and establishment.”

Henderson Cash, CWCO’s General Manager, said, “Receiving this plaque from the Saxons Superstars is a profound honor for us at CWCO. It symbolizes the strong relationship we’ve built over the years, rooted in mutual respect and a shared commitment to preserving Bahamian heritage.

“Our support for the Saxons Superstars’ brass section is emblematic of our broader mission to invest in our community’s vibrancy and the potential of its young people. We are deeply committed to continuing this support and fostering the traditions that make our culture so unique.”

 

Photo Caption: The Saxons Superstars’ brass section, High Voltage Brass, recently visited Consolidated Water (Bahamas) Ltd. (CWCO) to present a plaque of appreciation.

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