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Where the Royals roamed in their Turks & Caicos Official Visit

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By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, February 28, 2023 – An exciting Royal visit the past week began with Members of the Royal Family, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie landing at the J.A.G.S. McCartney International Airport around 5 PM Wednesday, February 22nd to a moderate crowd of onlookers and a significant number of the country’s security personnel including the Royal Turks and Caicos Police Force, The Turks and Caicos Islands Regiment, His Majesty’s Prison and the Cadets, dressed to the nines for an honour guard.

The Royals were met by Governor Nigel Dakin and though parliamentarians were in attendance, it was the people of Grand Turk who got a front-row seat to meet and speak with the Royal Family first.

Countess Sophie was presented with a bouquet by one of the Turks and Caicos‘ school girls and chatted animatedly with the locals along with her husband as the sun set behind them.

They moved on to an evening of culture and excitement held at Waterloo, where they had the chance to speak with the Governor’s invited guests including the TCI Youth Parliament, House of Assembly, Permanent Secretaries and District Commissioners.

Also represented were churches, civic groups, educators, media, culture and the arts, Constitutional Statutory Bodies, Chevening Scholars, Tourism, uniformed services, and local heroes, “particularly from the pandemic and those who recently saved four lives, after their aircraft crashed in international waters,” said Dakin.

The Prince, a lover of the theatre, witnessed presentations from the Turks and Caicos’ youth including ‘rake and scrape’.

The Royals moved to Providenciales next, and the Earl headed to the Edward Gartland Youth Centre where he got the opportunity to see and speak with Representatives of ‘100 Black Men’ and ‘Boys to Men’.

Over 500 hundred children were waiting to meet him at his next stop, the Gustarvus Lightbourne Sports Centre where he then witnessed the Royal Cup High School All-Star Basketball game featuring two teams, made up of the top 24 young men from schools all across the island separated into east and west conferences.

He was treated to cultural presentations between halves from the students at the Louise Garland Thomas School Choir, and the Thelma Lightbourne Primary School decked out in white. The Prince also met the country’s sporting stalwarts including the TCI’s 1st Olympian Delano Williams, the country’s 2022 Commonwealth Game athletes and more.

The Royal seemed keen to do it and awarded the ‘Royal Cup’ to the winning East team with representatives in an All-Star line up from HJ Robinson High School, Elite High School, Louise Garland-Thomas High School, Wesleyan Methodist High School and Marjorie Basden High School.  The team are now recorded in history as the first winners of the event.

Earl of Wessex gave remarks and a recommendation, “What an absolutely fantastic result and fantastic support,” he gushed, thanking the coaches for putting together the teams, with only two practices to create what he described as ‘a fantastic display of basketball’.

He suggested that the Royal Cup become a new TCI tradition.

Prince Edward was presented a keepsake for his time with the youngsters; a Turks and Caicos minted coin and a pin from the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002 as a gift.

The youngest of the late Queen’s children, the Earl met with TCI’s uniformed services and was briefed about challenges affecting the country, including disaster management, and irregular migration. He was also witness to a drill demonstration by the Turks and Caicos Regiment Cadets.

While this was happening the Countess was being introduced to the Turks, and Caicos’ natural beauty and spectacular environment. Thanks to environmental specialists and representatives from the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources she saw firsthand the country’s mangroves, iguana species, and barrier reefs and got an introduction to the country’s sealife via brand-new underwater cameras.

After that, she also spent some time with local trailblazing women and girls including Arielle Neely, CARICOM Youth Ambassador and Chelsea Been, TCI Junior Minister of Tourism. We are told that a mentoring program for young women was launched at the event.

The Royal couple were reunited and moved on to a luncheon hosted by Washington Misick, TCI Premier with representatives from the areas of youth empowerment; business and technology; sports, fitness and wellness; arts and media; community organizations and criminal justice reform.

After lunch ended a packed visit, the Royals took their leave flying out from the Providenciales International Airport to The Bahamas, where they attended the Governor General’s Youth Award ceremony.

Government

US CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION

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#TurksandCaicos, May 20, 2024 – The Governor’s Office can confirm that Her Excellency the Governor Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam and the Honourable Premier Charles Washington Misick will this morning receive a US Congressional delegation, who have requested a meeting to discuss the recent arrests of US nationals for possession of ammunition offences.

The US delegation, which arrived yesterday evening, was met by Protocol officials and is due to depart this afternoon.

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Government

PDM 10 All-Island Candidates a Surprising Slate dubbed ‘the Avengers’

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Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 

The Turks and Caicos Islands need saving according to Edwin Astwood, Opposition Leader and he’s assembled his ‘Avengers’ to do it; a team of 10 district candidates who were unveiled on Monday, May 6 to contest the 2025 general elections. 

“We the PDM want to be those champions for you. We want to be your avenging team to lift the country back up,” said Astwood who is the incumbent for ED 2, Grand Turk South.

The Candidates in question were all allowed to speak:

ED 1 Grand Turk North candidate George Lightbourne, former PNP member and minister now stands ratified by the PDM and said “I am fully aware of the issues affecting our people and fully prepared to tackle them.”

ED 3 South Caicos candidate Hynetta ‘Karen’ Forbes made a vow, “To you the people of South Caicos I promise to be a positive change and an advocate for empowerment for all— to make up for the lack and neglect we have endured over the years.”

ED 4 candidate, contesting North and Middle Caicos, Denaz Williams said “I believe in good representation so try me and I guarantee you will love me.”

ED 5 Leeward and Long Bay hopeful Keith Cox said “I want to make sure my efforts go to the betterment of Leeward and Long Bay, it’s time for a change.”

ED 6 candidate for The Bight, Audric Skippings, who returns from his loss in 2021 said “I pledge to be the voice of the people, the driving force behind positive change, and the chairman of progress in our district.”

ED 7 candidate for Cheshire Hall and Richmond Hill, is Rose Higgs who swore  “I am committed to serve as someone committed to changing politics and how some politicians behave after we elect them into power, I am your Beacon of Hope, I am going to parliament!”

ED 8 Blue Hills candidate Anthony Walkin maintained “The ideas I have for the constituency will change Blue Hills— no longer will you be suffering” he swore. 

ED 9 candidate for Five Cays, popular firebrand church pastor and businessman is how many know the energetic Bryant Cox, now approved on the PDM ticket he promised “ED9 it’s our time, I stand before you a man of action ready to work for you.”

Finally, ED 10 candidate for Wheeland Vaden Delroy Williams, who lost to newcomer Kyle  Knowles, now-Minister of Public Safety and Utilities by only a few votes in 2021, said “I am back because you have asked me to come back—because of the love I have for my people…”

They join the already announced all-island candidate team of Robert Been, Ruth Ariza, Karen Malcolm, Sean Astwood, and Ralph Higgs.

Sean Astwood, the former Five Cays members and deputy premier in the Sharlene Robinson administration, had missed the PDM’s all-island slate announcement on March 22; during the constituency candidates roll out had his say.

“Returning to politics was not an easy decision for me and I didn’t make it lightly— I came back because I believe we have a responsibility to stand up for what is right,” said Astwood.

Opposition Leader Edwin Astwood was especially excited to unveil the array of candidates having been the sole elected representative for the past four years. 

“Being in the fight alone these three and a half years wasn’t easy— I was in this battle alone but now you gave me 15 people, they had trouble when it was just me so imagine now with this team coming,” he exclaimed.

Astwood was the only PDM representative to be re-elected in February 2021 when the current PNP Administration gave them a historic walloping, storming their way to victory 14 to 1. Seven of those 2021 candidates including the party’s leader have returned to fight again in the upcoming elections which are constitutionally due in early 2025.

Ezra Taylor, National Party Chairman is convinced that the ‘rescue team’ will serve the Turks and Caicos to its fullest potential.

“Real representation, meritocracy, and honest engagement with our people will be the order of the day in the governance of the Turks and Caicos islands,” he continued “Our candidates embody the values that define us as a country, integrity, compassion, and a relentless dedication to the common good.”

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Government

Post Cabinet from May 1 Meeting; Former DG to be honoured and two new members for TCICC Board of Governors

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Her Excellency the Governor, Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam, chaired the 13th meeting of Cabinet on Wednesday May 1st, 2024 at the NJS Francis Building, Grand Turk.

All Members were present; with the exception of the H.E. Deputy Governor and the Honourable Minister of Immigration who were away from the islands on official duties.

At this meeting Cabinet:

  1. Welcomed the return of the Cabinet to the Cabinet Room at the NJS Francis Building following the major repairs and redevelopment work undertaken to the building .
  2. Approved the purchase by private treaty of Parcel 60605/117, Norway and Five Cays Providenciales as part of the PATCI, land acquisition
  3. Approved the Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism (Taxation)(Exemptions)(No. 2) Regulations 2024.
  4. Noted a report on the concessions granted under the Property Ownership Incentive Program Policy and the Turks and Caicos Stamp Duty Reduction Policy for Turks and Caicos Islands Status Holders and British Overseas Territories Citizens.
  5. Approved the renaming of the Safe House for At-Risk Young Girls to the Hon. Mahala Wynns’ Empowerment Home.
  6. Noted the resignation of Ms. Julianna Musgrove as a member of the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College Board of Governors (TCICC BoG) and  approved the appointment of Mrs. Sheba Wilson as a member of the TCICC BoG for a period of three years.
  7. Noted the resignation of Ms. Bernadya Smith as Secretary to the Physical Planning Appeals Tribunal and approved the appointment of Ms. Vershina Forbes as Secretary to the Physical Planning Appeals Tribunal for a period of three years.
  8. Noted an update on issues related to ongoing bomb threats at the JAGS McCartney International Airport and the Howard Hamilton International Airport and the steps being taken by the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police in relation to the same.
  9. Noted an update on Court related matters.

Further information on these matters will be provided by Ministers in due course.

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