By Dana Malcolm with Deandrea Hamilton
#TurksandCaicos, March 31, 2023 – Former Governor Nigel Dakin bid the Turks and Caicos goodbye on Wednesday March 29th in a service at St Monica’s Anglican Church. The ceremony, lavished with the befitting pomp and pageantry of a British send off, saw parts of Leeward Highway closed for a few hours to accommodate a Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force march pass and salutes to the outgoing and incoming governor.
The Governor is the equivalent of the British Monarch within the territory; a very prestigious post and the transition is always adorned with ceremonial fanfare which attracts residents from all walks of life, including government dignitaries.
Nigel Dakin and his wife Mandy, waved a final good-bye to the Turks and Caicos Islands after a noteworthy four-year tenure, which leaves the country with significant, beneficial changes.
Dakin arrived in the country in July 2019 to stand partner with the then Sharlene Robinson led PDM Administration. Robinson was the first woman to serve at Premier and when Dakin arrived, the Turks and Caicos was still restoring public infrastructure damaged in Hurricane’s Irma and Maria and fighting an unrelenting crime wave.
Mere months after his arrival, there would come the once in a lifetime event, the tragic Coronavirus Pandemic.
Dakin, alongside the elected government and the residents of the islands would have to contend with unprecedented lockdowns and the most brazenly violent season in Turks and Caicos history.
The Governor was sworn in in the presence of his family and welcomed by Premier Robinson and her team on July 15, 2019; three months after being announced as the successor to Dr. John Freeman.
History records Nigel Dakin as the 15th Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
By February 2020, any honeymoon – real or imagined – was over. Globally, governments had to do what none had ever done before, there was no blueprint and no playbook to follow. It took quick thinking, guts and extreme consultations to galvanize against the deadly and debilitating Covid-19 virus which had now devastated the people of the planet; deaths and illness were in the millions, an unprecedented predicament precipitated by a previously unheard of virus.
Dakin is credited with his role in getting vaccines to The Turks and Caicos by early 2021 (much more quickly than most other Caribbean nations) via lobbying in the UK. The British had determined its overseas territories cumulatively numbering around a quarter of a million citizens would be shared in; Great Britain was the first country to consent to authorized use of the vaccines as a desperate life-saving measure.
In this harrowing season, Turks and Caicos saw both hospitals outfitted with oxygen generators and the establishment of the National Public Health Laboratory; permitting COVID testing to take place on home soil.
Also transformed with the help of Dakin’s influence, The Department of Corrections, formerly known as HMP; located in Grand Turk. Unruly inmates were re-situated to other countries in order to restore and maintain calm at HMP which suffered frightening unrest, forcing Police to commandeer the facility and over time discouraging many who had signed on to lead at the institution. Reports of assault on guards, prisoners and superintendents were frequent.
In a project supported by his wife, Amanda Dakin, the Governor partnered with the Government and TCI citizens for projects, like the prison farm and uniquely, the inmates’ work in textiles which debuted at London Fashion Week in 2022. The group helped to create original handbags and the like with a local designer.
Amanda Dakin, in a feat of what can only be described as absolute brute strength, became the first woman to circumnavigate the Turks and Caicos on sole manpower, as she headlined the footsteps4good charity event two years in a row; 2021 and 2022. The money raised, surged and was donated wholly to charity organizations across the country.
Recognizing the illegal migration crises and well-versed in matters of national security as a former marine himself, Dakin began to fast track many security plans that had been dormant prior to his arrival. That included the creation of the country’s first military arm in 2022, the Turks and Caicos Islands Regiment. Starting with a handful of soldiers and volunteers, today the Regiment is nearly 50 strong.
In addition to the Regiment and the historic training of islanders to staff and help lead the troupe, Dakin helped engineer a 2021 Border Security agreement with the US and The Bahamas as an aside to the Operation Bahamas Turks and Caicos (OPBAT) plan which galvanized the long talked about Ship Rider Agreement, and simultaneously a comprehensive plan based on intelligence sharing between the three countries.
The radar unit was incorporated into the Marine Police and Immigration Minister capabilities expanded significantly to lay the groundwork for a National Coast Guard.
In 2022, murders increased exponentially and Dakin, who as the Governor, heads National Security faced calls from former politicians and current ones to step down. He refused unequivocally and along with Premier Washington Misick, called in backup from The Bahamas, Jamaica, US, and UK to crush the violence that tore at the country, with mixed success.
There are some islanders who criticize the Governor’s perceived close working relationship with both the elected governments and his stance on legal migration which he openly believes should be a fair and open process.
Dakin has never been one to turn tail at the sound of his detractors and has proved to be very engaged with the local community speaking with those who disagree with his methods and those who support him alike.
Premier Washington Misick, Former Premier Sharlene Robinson, Deputy Governor Anya Williams all had only glowing thanks for the Governor.
What is less debatable, is the Turks and Caicos is now in a stronger position in terms of security, with the establishment of a National Security office, staffed with local professionals and the establishment of the TCI Regiment, all coming during the tenure of Nigel Dakin.
Dakin steered talk to action, for true tangibles of which these islands can be proud.
Reginald Charles Appointed Assistant Director of Planning
#TurksandCaicos, September 29, 2023 – The Office of the Deputy Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands is pleased to announce Mr. Reginald Charles’ appointment to Assistant Director of Planning – Administration in the Physical Planning and Development Department within the Ministry of Physical Planning and Infrastructure Development.
Mr. Charles received an Associate’s Degree in Environmental Science from the Turks and Caicos Community College and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Management from the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Charles joined the Turks and Caicos Islands Government in 2014 as an Environmental Health Officer with the Department of Environmental Health and was later promoted to Land Use Planner within the Physical Planning and Development Department. He was later appointed as the Secretary to the Physical Planning Board and advanced to the post of Environmental Compliance Manager. Until this appointment, Mr. Charles was the Assistant Director of Planning for a substantial period. He was able to gain valuable experience in the management and administrative functions needed to be successful in carrying out his tasks.
Mr. Charles, in commenting on his appointment, stated: “I am very excited to contribute to the success of my department, the Turks and Caicos Islands Government and my country. I have won the support of my colleagues, management, and staff, and they have helped to champion my cause, to which I am very grateful.”
Deputy Governor and Head of the Public Service, Her Excellency Anya Williams, in extending congratulatory remarks to Mr. Charles, stated:
Mr. Charles is a hardworking and dedicated public servant who has previously served in various capacities in the public service: Environmental Health Officer in the Environmental Health Department and as a former Land Use Planner and Environmental Compliance Manager in the Planning Department. In 2020, he was appointed Secretary to the Planning Board and has previously acted as Assistant Director of Planning.
Mr. Charles has had a progressive public service career, which we are proud of, and we are sure he will do well in this new role.
Congratulations on your well-deserved promotion Reginald!
Talestra Dixon Appointed s Registrar
#TurksandCaicos, September 29, 2023 – The Office of the Deputy Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands is pleased to announce Ms. Talestra Dixon’s appointment to the Registrar post in the Registrar General’s Department within the Ministry of Home Affairs, Transportation, Public Safety and Utilities.
Ms. Dixon completed her secondary education at the Raymond Gardiner High School in North Caicos and received two scholarships from the Ministry of Education. Ms. Dixon earned an Associate Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College. She later achieved a Bachelor’s Degree in Labour Employment Relations from the University of the West Indies in Barbados.
Ms. Dixon joined the Turks and Caicos Islands Government in 2021 as an Assistant Compliance Investigative Officer in the Citizenship and Naturalization Department—a post she held until this most recent appointment.
Ms. Dixon, in commenting on her appointment, stated: “I am delighted and grateful for the opportunity to begin this new journey within the public sector. My goal is to attain the mission, vision, and values of the civil service by assisting in creating strategies, policies and procedures that would continue to provide an efficient and effective work environment and its products, along with providing good customer service to all.”
Deputy Governor and Head of the Public Service, Her Excellency Anya Williams, in extending congratulatory remarks to Ms. Dixon, stated:
Ms. Dixon is one of our young professionals who recently joined the service and has already started to make a good name for herself. She adds to the team of Ms. Kayon Cox as Registrar General to assist in taking the Registrar General Department to the next level as we progress towards digitizing our services.
Congratulations on your promotion, Ms. Dixon!”
Leonardo Glasgow Appointed Assistant Director of Planning
#TurksandCaicos, September 29, 2023 – The Office of the Deputy Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands is pleased to announce Mr. Leonardo Glasgow’s appointment to Assistant Director of Planning – Enforcement in the Physical Planning and Development Department within the Ministry of Physical Planning and Infrastructure Development.
Mr. Glasgow received an Associate’s Degree in Building and Design Technology from the Turks and Caicos Community College and a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Technology from Nottingham Trent University in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Glasgow recently returned home from the United Kingdom after taking study leave for a year to pursue and complete a Master’s Degree in Property Development and Planning, also from Nottingham Trent University.
Mr. Glasgow joined the Turks and Caicos Islands Government in 2016 as a Planning Technician within the Physical Planning and Development Department. He was later appointed as a Land Use Planner and held that post until this most recent appointment. He played a vital role in developing the National Physical Development Plan.
Mr. Glasgow, in commenting on his appointment, stated:
“I must firstly thank God through whom all my success is attributed. I am constantly reminded of Philippians 4:6: “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
This appointment humbles me, and it is an honour to be given the opportunity to lead and develop my department as I strive to be a better leader by being the best public servant I can be.”
Deputy Governor and Head of the Public Service, Her Excellency Anya Williams, in extending congratulatory remarks to Mr. Glasgow, stated:
Mr. Glasgow has given over seven years of service to the Planning Department. He has specialized skills in building and design, architecture, and property development. He has recently returned to the service following his Master’s of Property Development and Planning degree in August 2023, assisted by grant funding from the Public Service Professional Development Fund.
I am proud of Mr. Glasgow’s accomplishment and know he will do exceptionally well in this new role.
Congratulations on your well-deserved promotion Leonardo!
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