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American Kent Carter honoured with full military funeral; TCI Deputy Premier attends

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, October 28, 2022 – Kent Carter, described by his colleagues as ‘one of our brightest stars’, was laid to rest on Saturday October 22, in the presence of his family, friends and Deputy Premier E. Jay Saunders, representative of the Turks and Caicos’ part in the tragedy that led to Carter’s death.

“Our entire country has been in a state of shock since the passing of Mr. Carter— By every measure [his] life was worth celebrating. I have been grateful to learn so much about him; His engaging personality, his interests and above all his importance to his family and his community. Indeed this tragedy is all the more heartbreaking when one considers Mr. Carter’s legacy of service,” Saunders told the gathered mourners as he was given a chance to speak at the pulpit in Virginia.

Carter was murdered in the Turks and Caicos on October 2nd in a hail of bullets meant for the driver of the vehicle he was riding; he was celebrating his 40th birthday, sparking a wave of international grief.

The Vice President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Arlington Virginia, Carter was widely regarded as a steadfast community advocate and was his funeral service was held with full military honours.

A dedicated father, often referring to himself as a “girl dad” he was committed to uplifting those around him, from giving out free real estate advice via social media, to broadcasting charity projects, he was a giver. Saunders acknowledged the grave loss.

“As the first Vice President of the NAACP, Arlington branch and the chair of the Criminal Justice Committee, his recent focus has been on improving his country and lifting up his community by seeking to make it a fair and more secure place to live— from what I’ve heard of his life the term servant leader comes to mind.” Saunders told the grievers describing Carter’s death as a tragedy exacerbated by his exemplary life.

“In my country we draw inspiration from Mr. Carter and we admire his contributions— please know that you have the sympathy and love of the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands,” the Deputy Premier said.

Following the ‘Bloody Sunday’ shooting rampage that took the lives of Carter and two others, security in the islands has been beefed up significantly. The local Police force has been bolstered with the strength of neighbors, including The Bahamas, UK and US which spared K-9 units, helicopters, fixed wing aircrafts and manpower.

Since his death and up to the time of his funeral, there had been no reports of shootings or murders.  That all changed on October 26 when two were shot, one man dying on the spot.

As for Carter, he left behind a daughter, 14 year old Kennedi and a long-time partner Alonia Williams.

Bahamas News

Bahamas Development Bank Launches 50th Anniversary Celebrations  

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Nassau Bahamas, 3 March 2024- The Bahamas Development Bank (BDB) recently commenced its golden anniversary celebrations with special church services held at Freeport Bible Church and Golden Gates Native Baptist Church, in Grand Bahama and New Providence respectively. Both services marked the beginning of a year filled with commemorations of the bank’s 50 years of financial service and national development.

Bahamas Development Bank Managing Director, Nicholas Higgs, said, “As we launch our 50th anniversary celebrations, we are reminded of our journey fueled by an unwavering commitment to our country. As we look forward to the next 50 years and beyond, we remain dedicated to fostering economic growth, supporting local entrepreneurs, and building a prosperous future for The Bahamas.”

The New Providence service was led by Pastor Alonso Hinsey Jr., who serves not only as the senior pastor of Golden Gates Native Baptist Church but also as an executive at BDB. In his sermon, Pastor Hinsey emphasized the importance of trusting God and being trustworthy as two sides of the same coin.

“Trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship and our relationship with God is no exception. When we trust God, we believe who He says that He is, what He is going to do, and that He will do what He says He will do. We rely on Him to guide us, protect us, and to provide for us. Being trustworthy is just as important. When we are trustworthy, others can rely on us to keep our promises, can rely on us to tell the truth, and act with integrity.”

He referenced the story of God ordering Abraham to sacrifice his promised son Isaac.

“Trust is not easy when facing challenges. However, even in the midst of our doubts and fears, God is faithful and trustworthy.  When we are trustworthy, others know they can rely on us and that they will not be let down. When we are trustworthy, we are reflecting the character of God who faithful and true,” Pastor Hinsey added.

Hinsey also stressed that, “Trustworthiness is essential for building strong relationships and creating a just and harmonious society.”

The Bahamas Development Bank has been instrumental in providing financial solutions and expertise to Bahamian businesses and entrepreneurs, driving economic growth and sustainability across the country. The 50th anniversary marks a significant milestone in the bank’s history and will be marked by a variety of events, including community outreach initiatives, competitions, and celebrations that both reflect on the bank’s past accomplishments and outline its way forward.

Pastor Hinsey’s powerful message can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/live/c0FxUErI65o?si=em2vTZ7AfPIZklNk.

 

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Caribbean News

CARICOM says they want ‘Ceasefire’ in Gaza

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Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 

 

March 3, 2024 – The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and is calling out Israel for ignoring UN calls to put an end to the invasion, following the conclusion of the 46th Heads of Government Intersessional Meeting.

The February 29 statement was published online and maintained that CARICOM was “deeply distressed by the ongoing violence and deteriorating situation in Gaza, which has resulted in the tragic loss of civilian lives, including the deaths of women and children on an unprecedented scale, and widespread displacement and suffering.”

Despite its calls for a cease fire, the regional bloc reiterated its strong condemnation of the attacks by Hamas ‘as well as of the Israeli actions that violate international humanitarian law and the human rights of the Palestinian people.’

CARICOM is describing Israel’s attacks on Gaza as ‘incessant’ and ‘catastrophic’ in impact on that region.

“CARICOM urges an immediate and unconditional ceasefire in Gaza and safe and unimpeded access for the delivery of adequate and sustained humanitarian assistance. We also strongly advocate for the rule of law to prevail and for the return to their families of all hostages and persons held in administrative detention without charge.

Israel’s continued and expanding occupation of territory in the occupied West Bank poses a serious and continuing threat to a peaceful, secure and stable world.”

CARICOM is also reaffirming its commitment to a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians, and has summoned stronger interference and enforcement by the United Nations (UN).

“The Community, therefore, calls on the United Nations General Assembly to invoke its powers in the UN General Assembly Resolution 377A “Uniting for Peace” to hold an emergency session and to issue appropriate recommendations to UN Member States to collectively impose measures designed to motivate Israel to adhere to its obligations under the said UN Resolution and under the ICJ Order.”

Israeli Jews and Palestine are steeped in a bloody conflict which began following an October 7, 2024 attack on Jewish people by Hamas militants which reportedly resulted in hundreds being killed, it was reported that 260 bodies were recovered and 130 Israelis were taken hostage.  The response by Israel has been incessant and merciless, the latest criticism coming on February 29, when Israel was accused of opening fire on Palestinians crowding a UN orchestrated, relief convoy where 112 people were killed.

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Bahamas News

Abaco Hurricane Shelter ‘progressing’ despite inherited delays

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Bahamas Information Services

March 3, 2024



Central Pines, ABACO, The Bahamas – The new, State-of-the-Art Hurricane Shelter and Community Centre currently under construction in Central Pines, Abaco, is scheduled to be fully completed by November 2024, despite some inherited delays.

Contractors add that the dual Shelter/Community Centre, which is anticipated to be a prototype for the future design and construction of shelters in The Bahamas, will have an “occupied date” of early summer, meaning that the facility should be available to host those persons requiring assistance at that time, if the need arises.  This is good news as the 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season begins June 1 and runs through November 30.  Abaconians will continue to have access to a host of other approved shelters throughout the island, and not just rely on the prototype alone, however.

Disaster Risk Management officials further say the dual Hurricane Shelter and Community Centre will be “one of a kind” in the region in terms of its construction and design. The building is being constructed under “a new building code,” that calls for its structure – doors, window, roof — to withstand hurricane force winds of up to 250 miles per hour (Category 5 Hurricane and higher).

Its mechanical systems are designed to accommodate diverse loads, including an industrial kitchen, communication systems, air-conditioning system, male and female bathrooms and showers, office spaces for emergency personnel, in addition to storage areas.

Standby generators to ensure continuity with communications, water, sewerage, air-conditioning, refrigeration, safety and security, will be installed in order to mitigate the impacts of disruptions in power.

A ramp that was not included in the original design, was added to allow persons with disabilities and the elderly — considered two of the more vulnerable populations particularly during natural disasters such as tropical storms and/or hurricanes — easy frontal access to the facility under the protection of a canopy.

“Construction is going very well, particularly now that we are back on schedule,” said Mr. Chris Symonette, Project Manager. “We had lost almost a year due to some faults that we found in the ground, and in the foundation, we met in place when we assumed responsibility for the project. These corrective measures took us about 9 months to resolve.

“The building is one of a kind in the region. As a matter of fact, this will be the first 250 miles-per-hour hurricane shelter design in The Bahamas. We had to exceed the ratings while ensuring that we have redundancy upon redundancy,” Mr. Symonette added.

Raeh Williams, a Director, with Wilkem Solutions, a Bahamian-owned entity that specializes in development, civil works and waste management, among other services, said the construction team has been “pushing every day” to ensure that they meet the projected dates. The company took over construction operations a little over one year ago.

“We met a lot of challenges that were a real test of our skill and tenacity because there were caves, holes and a lot of other issues that basically caused us to have to perform a lot of corrective work to get us where we are today. The scheduled completion date is November 2024, but we are anticipating having an occupied completion by June/July which is right at the beginning of the Hurricane Season so that if there is some need to use the shelter, it will be available. That is our push and we are pushing every day to make sure that we stick to that.”

 

PHOTO CAPTIONS

Header: Minister Lundy and delegation reviewing building plans for the multi-purpose Abaco Hurricane Shelter and Community Centre. (BIS Photo)

1st insert: Abaco Hurricane Shelter and Community Centre Project Manager Chris Symonette (right) updates Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Disaster Risk Management, the Hon. Leon Lundy (second right) during State-Minister Lundy’s Official Visit.  (BIS Photo)

2nd insert: Minister Lundy (second right) and team conduct a walk-through of the multi-purpose Abaco Hurricane Shelter and Community Centre under construction in Central Pines.  Also pictured (from left) are: Mr. Kirk Cornish, Member of Parliament, North Abaco, and Mr. John H. Pinder, Member of Parliament for South and Central Abaco and Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation.  Project Manager, Mr. Chris Symonette is at far right. (BIS Photo)

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