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W. Young Junior High School recognizes ‘World Poetry Day’

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By: Kathryn Campbell

Bahamas Information Services

 

#TheBahamas, March 21, 2022 – L.W. Young Junior High School joined poets around the world Monday, March 21, in celebration of World Poetry Day 2022.

Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin

Under the school’s new pavilion, students and teachers celebrated this day by sharing their creative abilities through poetry, recitals, music, choral speaking and languages.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) founded this day in 1999 during its 30th General Conference in Paris. The day is set aside to “honour poets, revive oral traditions of poetry recitals, promote the reading, writing and teaching of poetry, foster the convergence between poetry and other arts such as theatre, dance, music and painting, and raise the visibility of poetry in the media.”

Minister of Education and Technical & Vocational Training the Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin led the list of dignitaries at the event. Also present were Her Excellency C. V. Hope Strachan, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO; Lorraine Armbrister, Permanent Secretary; Dr. Marcellus Taylor, Director; Dedrie Bastian, Secretary General, the Bahamas National Commission for UNESCO and senior education officials. Special guests included Arlene Nash-Ferguson and Percy Vola Francis, UNESCO representatives and local cultural icons.

Her Excellency C. V. Hope Strachan

Ambassador Strachan gave remarks on behalf of Director of UNESCOs Cluster Office for the Caribbean Saadia Beatriz Sanchez Vegas. She received outstanding applauds for the  poem (which follows) which she wrote and shared entitled “UNESCO and You”.

UNESCO is an organization that fosters peace and gives us hope.

We recognize that students need help to cope

With poverty, peer pressure, bullying and lost school time

Brought on by Hurricane Dorian, the pandemic and even crime.

 UNESCO is here to ensure that with education, science and culture you are all equipped for a bright future.

 So, you students the sky is the limit, do not despair

Let us all work together to get you there.

In brief remarks, Minister Hanna-Martin told the students that poetry begins with a blank page, for which they are the architects, and likened it to the construction of a building.

Bodine Johnson

“Like a building, a poem is crafted in the imagination, it is polished, painted, but words are used as the raw material for the construction. The end product is a beautiful piece of art. The creative imagination is a place for freedom. Freedom — an unending expanse.  Your creative imagination has no boundaries and it belongs exclusively to you.”

She urged the students to find their place of freedom in their creative imagination and tap into their creative energy to inspire, touch, move and excite the human spirit. By request of  Minister Hanna-Martin, Victoria Smith read the poem “I Believe in Me By” written by DPS Donovan Turnquest.

Other presentations included: “The Words I Speak” written and presented by Bodine Johnson, Education Officer; “I am a Bahamian” written by James Catalyn and presented by students of grade 7; “We Declare Peace” by Javan Dean; “Figures of Speech” by students of grade 9; “My Town, My People” a poem in Spanish written by Dr. Sharon Parker and performed by Kelissa Marcellin of grade 8; and “Pages of Life” written by Myeesha McPhee and recited by Anastacia Clarke and Thomeo Bastian, students of grade 9.   

 

(BIS Photos/Patrick Hanna)

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Career Symposium 2024 Connects University Students with Successful Professionals

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Nassau, THE BAHAMAS — Some of the most successful and accomplished professionals and business leaders in the country recently shared their experiences and nuggets of wisdom with students at University of The Bahamas (UB) about thriving in a wide range of careers.

The University Centre for Counselling and Career Services and the Career and Job Placement Advisory Unit collaborated to host the 2024 Career Symposium which brought students face to face with leaders in the careers to which they aspire.

Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Maria Oriakhi, said the symposium was key to developing potential as university students strive to leave their mark on the world.

Ms. Rickell Curry

“In the spirit of collaboration and growth, let us engage in meaningful dialogue, cultivate relationships, and harness the power of collective wisdom to shape our futures,” said Dr. Oriakhi. “Together, let us embark on this journey of exploration and discovery, united in our commitment to realizing our fullest potential and making meaningful contributions to our communities and beyond.”

Promoting careers in psychology, Ms. Curry noted that psychologists are equipped with the ability to help others, troubleshoot areas of weakness within themselves, and become better people and professionals in the process.

“The floor is yours to be able to explore. There’s no job where you don’t have to deal with people, so learning, even if you get a bachelor’s in psychology, is a great grounding,” she said.

Dr. Darville, one of few interventional radiologists in The Bahamas, offered another nugget of advice on choosing an area of study.

Dr. Elizabeth Darville

“It is important to know enough about yourself in order to make the decisions you want to make,” said Dr. Darville. “You have to work on yourself first and know what you want to do. Radiology gives you a chance to have fun. It gives you a chance to mold your career closer to your personal life than other medical specialties might.”

Another growing field is project management which Mr. Hepburn called a life skill. He also urged a commitment to lifelong learning.

“Individuals that continue to learn become unstoppable, period,” said Mr. Hepburn. “It is so true. When you learn, you become unstoppable because nothing can stop you in your process of development.

Mr. Wellington Hepburn

“The more you know, the more valuable you are. We need individuals who are cross functional—that can operate in different capacities. So please understand that your learning should never stop.”

With small and medium-sized businesses helping to drive the economy at an incredible rate, Ms. Rolle affirmed the importance of entrepreneurship in any economy.

“When we talk about entrepreneurship, we usually look at it from a myopic standpoint,” she said. Ms. Rolle. “What do I mean by that? Small, but usually about self: ‘how do I make more money?’ And in some cases, some look at entrepreneurship as a way of survival. ‘I need to make a couple extra dollars, I have this bill to pay’. Those types of things.

Ms. Samantha Rolle

“But entrepreneurship really, in its truest form, is about innovation, whether it’s a new concept or any existing concept that you innovate new ways, or help expand the economy.”

The career symposium was held at the Harry C. Moore Library and Information Centre and is held every academic year.

 

PHOTO CAPTIONS

 

  • Career Symposium 1: UB Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Maria Oriakhi, delivers the opening address at the 2024 Career Symposium.
  • Career Symposium 2: Students and guest speakers enjoy a lighthearted moment during the 2024 Career Symposium.
  • Career Symposium 3: Ms. Rickell Curry speaks to students during the 2024 Career Symposium.
  • Career Symposium 4: Dr. Elizabeth Darville delivers remarks during the 2024 Career Symposium.
  • Career Symposium 5: Mr. Wellington Hepburn educates students on the importance of project management during the 2024 Career Symposium.
  • Career Symposium 6: Ms. Samantha Rolle talks about the role and importance of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship in any economy.

 

Office of University Relations

University of The Bahamas

2nd Floor, Michael H. Eldon Complex

Oakes Field Campus

P.O. Box N-4912

Nassau, The Bahamas

Tel: (242) 302-4355/4354/4365

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

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 

 

#TheBahamas, April 15, 2024 – 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-calibre events (4 heats each for 4×100, 4×400, men, women and mixed) and will qualify 40 teams for the Summer Olympics.

Distinctly, the top two teams from each heat will directly qualify for the 2024 Games.

On day 2, 30 more national teams will be qualified through 15 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 1,600 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 Government and Grand Bahama Port Authority in $360 MILLION squabble 

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#TheBahamas, April 15, 2024 – The Bahamas Government says the Grand Bahama Port Authority owes over $300 million, now causing a very public squabble between the two entities and  potential years long  arbitration proceedings.

The total owed according to the government is $357 million over the last five fiscal years, 2018-2022.

Seemingly down to business, the Davis Administration, according to reports,  sent a letter to the Port Authority at the start of the month, in which 30 days was given for them to pay up.

If the 30-day deadline isn’t met, Davis says the Government has the right to start arbitration proceedings.

A Grand Bahama attorney who criticized the government’s actions, also expressed that the tension could lead to up to five years of arbitration.

The letter, as reported by the Tribune, refers to clause 1(5)(c) of the Hawksbill Creek Agreement.

Regarding the tensions between the Port Authority and the Government, the financial conflict apparently rests on Davis’ accusation that the Port Authority failed to follow its obligations under the Hawksbill Creek Agreement.

“Unfortunately, the Port Authority has not been living up to its legal obligations to develop and grow the economy in Freeport. In many cases, the government has had to step in where the Port has failed. Let’s be clear about what this means: it means that the Bahamian people have been subsidizing the profits of these private shareholders! That is not right. You deserve flourishing, thriving communities. You deserve an inclusive economy that generates opportunity, dignity, and security. You deserve what is owed to you under the Hawksbill Creek Agreement,” Davis said.

In a clap back at the Government’s accusations, the Port Authority in reports are quoted declining the Government’s claim that they owe the “sum of $357 million.”

“We reject and will robustly defend against this claim, which we firmly believe will be defeated,” it stated.

Davis, who was speaking in a meeting on Saturday April 6, informed that before things got to this level, they were having meetings.

“We had many, many meetings and exchanges before we arrived at this point. But there were too many delays and too many dead ends. When only one side appears interested in advancement – and when the people of Freeport urgently need change and progress – then decisive action is the only choice,” he maintained.

The now peaked tension was sparked in June of 2023 when Davis stated that the Authority is failing to maintain Freeport’s infrastructure and encourage the growth of the city, as it claimed owed expenses, now said to be the hundreds of millions.

To this, in June 2023, the free quasi-governmental authority responded saying the sums stated by the government are “contested” and “it is yet to be satisfied,” claims reports say, are supported by credible evidence.

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