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“Sandals Made Me The Man I Am Today”

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Bahamian playmaker shares his journey and growth in entertainment

 

#TheBahamas, March 21, 2022 – “Peter was great. He is friendly, very professional and very talented. His show was great and exciting. I have never seen anything like that. It was great and he has lots of energy.” That was what one guest wrote about Peter Hanna from the entertainment department, during their recent stay at Sandals Royal Bahamian.

Hanna is one of the most popular names at the Luxury-Included® resort, not only because he is undeniably talented but also because the vivacious entertainment coordinator continues to dominate guest feedback platforms like the Sandals Blaze Loop and the globally referred Trip Advisor. He is undoubtedly the guests’ favourite person.

During the closure of Sandals Royal Bahamian, Hanna worked in other resorts but like the Prodigal Son, he quickly packed up and headed back home to Sandals Royal Bahamian once the resort reopened. “This is like home and my colleagues are like my family. This is the place that trained and groomed me. It is the place that made me into somewhat of a superstar in my field,” he said between chuckles.

Indeed, he is a superstar and has been for years. This has seen him copping the coveted title of Legendary Team Member of The Year in 2018 and 2019. In fact, he believes that the pandemic robbed him of what could have been his third consecutive win. The recipient of that award is the person who gets the most guest mentions and commendations on the resort.

Today Hanna forms part of the fabric of the resort’s entertainment team, tasked with engaging guests and in doing so highlighting the Bahamian culture daily.  The resort’s wide range of entertainment offerings present opportunities for both permanent team members as well as other locally contracted performers who daily display their expansive creative talents by way of the steel pan, saxophone, vocals, Junkanoo rush and rake n’ scrape. This occurs daily through a mix that occurs from arrival and extends throughout the guest’s stay and Hanna works alongside fellow team members and local acts to ensure a world-class experience to meet the diverse expectation of all our guests.

Hanna, a native of Nassau, started working in the hospitality industry at age 18 as a part of a dance group performing Michael Jackson numbers. At the time, Hanna was fresh out of high school and had no idea what it was like to work in a structured environment. All he knew was dancing. “We never got shows every night so whenever I wasn’t dancing, I would just be home, waiting for a call about a gig,” he shared.

It was the call for his group to perform at Sandals Royal Bahamian that changed the scope of young Hanna’s life and vision. “A manager from Sandals saw us perform at an event and liked us. They started inviting us to dance in their show weekly and overtime they had us in more shows until they eventually introduced us to other forms of dancing,” recalled Hanna.

This was the moment Hanna knew that his introduction to Sandals would change his life for better.

“It was here at Sandals Royal Bahamian that I was introduced to things other than hip-hop. I migrated into things like Conga and Broadway types of dancing. I was evolving and growing in my gift,” he said.

Hanna’s growth quickly became apparent and everyone knew he would add tremendous value to the team and the entertainment product at large. He was offered the opportunity to work for the resort and he quickly accepted.

“I said yes and from there my whole life changed. I did not know that there were jobs in the world like this where I am paid to play every single day. I was having fun; I was playing games and was hosting various events. I was interacting with people and cultures from all over the world. It was my first full time job. Sandals made me the man I am today,” he stated emphatically.

Today, Hanna is arguably the most diverse and multifaceted entertainment coordinator at Sandals Royal Bahamian. From limbo and juggling to stilt walking and fire dancing, he does it all. “Working here made me realize the endless possibilities that exist in the entertainment arena. I’ve met guests who do these things for a living and have excelled beyond what I was able to imagine so that pushed me to advance my entertainment craft,” he shared.

Aside from his on the job training, the ambitious young man has used YouTube videos to assist with his development and Sandals has provided him with a platform to showcase every new trick that he has managed to master.

“When I learned my juggling, I was allowed to do it on Thursdays at the talent show, when I learned my fire dancing, I got the chance to be part of the Junkanoo show and now I am in the new fire show we have on resort on Monday nights,” he said.

His manager and fellow Nassau native, Leslie Lightbourne shared that he is excited about Hanna’s prospects in Sandals. “He is extremely talented, he is obviously loved and he is passionate about growth. He is on the right path and with his work ethic and drive, I cannot help being excited about all the future has in store for him especially in this company that is so big on developing talent,” he said.

In addition to his growth and development, Hanna lauds Sandals for allowing him to travel expansively. “I’ve traveled to several Caribbean countries at no cost to me. I have gone to Barbados, Saint Lucia and Jamaica and have stayed at our other resorts in fine style,” a smiling Hanna expressed.

He continued, “I am grateful to Sandals for taking a chance on me. I was only a young man with no knowledge of this industry, no experience and today I am an expert in this field, very marketable and in demand.”

 

Press Release: Sandals Resorts

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Police Academy Commissioner Shot Dead in Haiti

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#Haiti, November 29, 2022 – The police in Haiti have launched an investigation following the assassination of the director of the National Police Academy, Commissioner Rigaud Harington.

Reports from the police are that Harington was shot dead on the grounds of the police training facility in a gang-controlled neighbourhood in the country’s capital of Port-au-Prince on Friday, November 25.

The spokesperson for the National Police of Haiti (PNH), Inspector Garry Desrosiers, in confirming Friday’s killing, said the commissioner was “shot in the head not far from the Academy” and the attackers “stole his [Harington’s] vehicle and kidnapped his driver.”

Harington’s killing is the latest in several attacks against law enforcement in Haiti. The killing also happened at a time when international leaders are trying to help Haiti’s political leaders control the surge in gang violence in the country.

The police have not released any information on who might be responsible for the commissioner’s death.

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St Kitts and Nevis Welcomed the World’s Largest Cruise Ship

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#StKittsandNevis, November 29, 2022 – The twin island of St Kitts and Nevis is about to chart its busiest cruise seasons yet as the world’s largest cruise ship, the Wonder of the Seas, made its inaugural call to Port Zante in the country on Thursday, November 24.

About 6,495 guests arrived on the ship, with 2,259 crew members on board.

The oasis class ship was welcomed by Prime Minister Dr. Terrance Drew, who led a delegation on board last Thursday to host a brief plaque exchange ceremony.

“You have confidence in the destination by adding St Kitts and Nevis to your now largest vessel, the Wonder of the Seas, with a passenger capacity of 6,988,” the Prime Minister said.

The Chief Executive Officer at the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, Mr. Ellison Thompson, said the ship’s visit was a result of the country’s comprehensive negotiations with stakeholders.

“The destination’s ability to secure a vessel with a 6,495-passenger capacity today, November 24, is the result of comprehensive negotiations between the Ministry, the Authority, and cruise lines. As a result, we are gradually seeing the fruits of our marketing and strategic efforts, and we take pride in celebrating such a momentous occasion,” Thompson said.

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WE GOIN’ KEW: Festival of the Year

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#TurksandCaicos, November 29, 2022 – The WE GOIN’ KEW’ festival charity event was a huge success bringing people together to enjoy Turks and Caicos Islands food and cultural performances and organised by the Turks and Caicos Islands Unity Committee.

On Saturday, November 19, 2022, residents from across the Turks and Caicos Islands chain found their way to the Bellefield Landing in Kew, North Caicos, to support what is being described as the biggest festival of the year with an estimated two thousand people attending.  The event also saw fifteen vendors present, serving local Twin Island dishes, and featuring three local bands, and artists from The Turks and Caicos Islands and The Bahamas.

Proceeds garnered from the WE GOIN’ KEW Festival will support key projects across North and Middle Caicos and assist with completing the homeroom at Ashley’s Learning Center, according to the Director of the TCI Unity Community, Mr. Alvin Hegner.

Hegner added, “This charitable event was held for the people of the Twin Islands and Ashley’s Learning Center.  We wanted to give back to the community while showcasing local food vendors and craft and farmers’ markets.  On behalf of the organising committee, I would like to express thanks and appreciation to the people of the Twin Islands for their unwavering support and for helping us to create an extraordinary outcome.  Thanks to Sharmaine Clarke for her coordinating efforts on the Twin Islands”.

A special thanks to the event’s sponsors for making it all happen in various ways: The Wine Cellar, Turks Head Brewery, Anderson Media, Big Josh Country Club, Play Big Win Big Entertainment, Prime DJ’s, JACA TCI , Grant Thornton, LEW 1 Shipping, Rasco Sounds, Building Materials DoITCenter, Engel & Volkers, Wymara Resort and Villas, Fortis TCI, FLOW, Dragon Cay Resort, Digicel, MEP Solutions: Electrical and Plumbing, HAB Group, Waratah Construction TCI, RED Hospitality and Leisure & Lady Grace, Catamaran, Mac N Cheese Adventures, The Strand, Beaches Turks and Caicos, BCQS, Turquoise Horizons, Franks Hardware, Delta Electric, AE&S construction, COMO Hotels and Resorts, Caicos Isle Management, Island Drilling, Ports Authority, Turks and Caicos Islands, Robinsons’s Variety, Island Convenience – Grace Bay, Got You Covered, Reliable Security, Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force, TCI Ministry Of Health, District Commissioner Of North Caicos Madam Musgrove, and the District Commissioner of Middle Caicos Sir Delancy.

The  WE GOIN’ KEW Festival is now an annual event.  The scheduled date for WE GOIN’ KEW 2023 is Saturday, November 4, 2023.  The proceeds from WE GOIN’ KEW 2023 will assist with housing projects throughout the Turks and Caicos Islands.

TCI Unity is a nonprofit organisation geared towards helping those in need in the Turk and Caicos Islands.  Founded during the COVID-19 pandemic, the TCI Unity distributed over 500 meal boxes to families in need throughout the country.

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