“Sandals Made Me The Man I Am Today”
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.”
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Bahamas Golden Jubilee Events Announced, Celebrations Across 33 Islands & Cays
#TheBahamas, March 27, 2023 – As the 50th anniversary of our nation’s independence approaches, Bahamians everywhere are teeming with excitement and expectancy around the year-long celebrations set by The National Independence Secretariat.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister joined H.E Leslia Miller Brice, Chair of The National Independence Secretariat to unveil the Calendar of Events for the 50th Independence celebrations.
The calendar comprises a host of events, initiatives and recommendations for celebrations throughout all 33 islands of The Bahamas.
At this jubilant occasion the PM stated, “Celebrating independence is about acknowledging the greatness around us, the greatness within us, and the greatness ahead of us.
We are Bahamians. That identity is special.”
View the newly released calendar of events here:
JAMAICA: 12,362 Seniors Registered Under New Social Pension Programme
#Kingston, March 28, 2023 – There are currently 12,362 seniors registered under the Government’s new Social Pension Programme.
Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Karl Samuda, made the disclosure during the sitting of the Standing Finance Committee of the House on March 2, at Gordon House.
The initiative targets all Jamaican citizens 75 years and older who are not currently in receipt of a pension (overseas or local) or any other retirement, old-age or disability benefit or regular income, and are not living in a government institutionalised care facility.
“We are evaluating the manner in which we qualify persons to go on the programme. This is a discussion we will have to have, as some people fall through the cracks simply because they might have a refrigerator, or they might be lucky enough to have a television at home,” Mr. Samuda said.
“The direction in which we are heading, to have those things, does not move you from poverty to prosperity. So, the Government has an obligation to do everything possible to improve their quality of life, and so we will be looking at that,” the Minister added.
Mr. Samuda said between March 2022 and January 2023, the programme disbursed $446 million.
To register for the social pension programme, persons may visit any of the Ministry’s parish offices islandwide.
They will be required to complete a social pension application form, accompanied by their Tax Registration Number (TRN), National Insurance Scheme (NIS) card, and proof of age in the form of a birth certificate or a valid passport.
They should also take along a valid identification (ID), such as a driver’s licence, passport or voter’s ID, proof of bank account and any other document that may be required to process the application, for example, proof of citizenship.
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