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PM Davis Joins in Observance of the Anniversary of the Sinking of HMBS Flamingo

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By ERIC ROSE
Bahamas Information Services

#NASSAU, The Bahamas  – Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Philip Davis said, on May 10, 2023, that the tragedy of May 10, 1980, reinforced the importance of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF), illustrating why the late Sir Lynden Pindling was so adamant to establish such an agency to defend the territorial sovereignty of The Bahamas.

“Forty-three years ago, on the 10th May, 1980, at approximately 5 p.m., marines onboard the deck of Her Majesty’s Bahamian Ship Flamingo were faced with a decision,” Prime Minister Davis recounted, during the RBDF Memorial Service, held on Parliament Square.

“That decision was to stand firmly by the principle of service above self. On that fateful day, the entire crew came under siege as they were executing their duties,” he continued.  “Ultimately, four young men were lost at sea: Able Seaman Fenrick Sturrup, Marine Seaman Austin Smith, Marine Seaman David Tucker, and Marine Seaman Edward Williams.

“In seeking to protect and defend the sovereignty of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, they made the ultimate sacrifice.”

Among those present included Governor-General His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Cornelius A. Smith; Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation the Hon. Chester Cooper, and other Cabinet Members; Leader of the Opposition the Hon. Michael Pintard; Chief Justice the Hon. Sir Ian Winder; former Governor-General, the Most Hon. Dame Marguerite Pindling; senior members of Unformed Branches; international guests; clergy; family members and well-wishers.

Prime Minister Davis pointed out that to all RBDF marines, that episode had become “the sacred symbol of pride and duty”.  Each marine, he added, was keenly aware of the value of the ultimate sacrifice, and of the choice to place service to country above self.

“Duty and sacrifice remain principal tenets in recruit training and each entry class since then understands the fundamental importance of the Defence Force and its key role in national development,” Prime Minister Davis stated.

At the heart of that “national tragedy “, Prime Minister noted, were the mothers and fathers, wives, children and loved ones of the marines.

“The tragedy of the HMBS Flamingo cannot be discussed without acknowledging their sacrifice,” he said.  “I know that the unimaginable loss of the marines is as fresh today as it was 43 years ago.”

Prime Minister Davis added that, while some of the parents have passed on,  and many of the children now have families of their own, the loss of the four marines remained “painful and immediate”.

He added: “We may even wonder what our valiant marines might have been doing with their lives today, had that horrible incident not occurred.  This question has no answer, but as the head of our country, I can assure you that we are deeply appreciative of the love and support you gave to these men, and the memories of them that you keep alive.”

Prime Minister Davis noted that, as they all reflected upon the four young marines whose lives were lost, they should also take the opportunity today to honour the survivors of the Flamingo Incident. Not long after the disaster, he said, many of the survivors of the Flamingo ship’s company returned to patrol Bahamian waters.

“Other members were appointed and drafted to different vessels or departments, where they continued their noble efforts in guarding our heritage with formidable success,” he said.  “Although the survivors have since resigned or retired from this prestigious organisation, they continue to uphold the standard of a true marine and provide invaluable service to our country within their given field of expertise.”

Prime Minister Davis stated that, as The Bahamas prepared to celebrate its 50th year of Independence, all must “stand firm on our nation’s deck, and be prepared like those great men onboard HMBS Flamingo, for what is to come”.

“To you, the family members of the victims, and to those families whose loved ones have passed in the line of service, I extend my heartfelt thanks for your unwavering support of our nation’s first line of defence — for the protectors of our national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said.  “I assure you that their sacrifice will forever be cherished within the hearts of the Bahamian people.”

He added: “On behalf of His Excellency, Cornelius A. Smith, Governor General of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas; the governing party of The Bahamas; the Leader of the Opposition and his party; the grateful people of The Bahamas; and my wife, Ann-Marie, I salute the memory of our fallen four and applaud their heroic efforts. The memories of Fenrick, Austin, David and Edward will never fade.

“May God continue to bless the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, and may He continually bless the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.”

 

PHOTO CAPTION

On May 10, 2023, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Philip Davis joined Governor-General His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Cornelius A. Smith; Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation the Hon. Chester Cooper, and other Cabinet Members; Leader of the Opposition the Hon. Michael Pintard; Chief Justice the Hon. Sir Ian Winder; former Governor-General, the Most Hon. Dame Marguerite Pindling; senior members of Unformed Branches; international guests; clergy; family members and well-wishers at the Royal Bahamas Defence Force Memorial Service observing 43 years of the sinking of the HMBS Flamingo, held on Parliament Square, in Nassau, The Bahamas.  (BIS Photos/Eric Rose.  Drone Photography Courtesy of Eric Rose)

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NBA’s Buddy Hield appointed as Ambassador

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

 

#BuddyHield#Bahamas, February 19th, 2024 – Accomplished Bahamian Basketball player Chavano Buddy Hield, has been appointed as Ambassador-at-Large for Sports and Cultural Achievement, by the Davis Administration. This is a major accomplishment recognizing, according to the Office of the Prime Minister, Hield’s outstanding journey from Eight Mile Rock, Grand Bahama to the NBA as well as his commitment to inspire Bahamians. Prime Minister Philip Davis speaking at his Credential Presentation, expressed great appreciation to Hield. He said “Thank you for being a shining example of what it means to be truly great, both on and off the court. Congratulations Ambassador.”

 

 

 

 

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UNDP appoints new Resident Representative for The Bahamas

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[Nassau, 6 February 2024] – The United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) newly appointed Resident Representative for The Bahamas, Kishan Khoday presented his credentials to Director General in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jerusa Ali yesterday at the Ministry.

As Resident Representative assigned to the UNDP Multi-Country Office in Jamaica, Mr. Khoday also represents UNDP in The Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, and Turks and Caicos Islands. 

Mr. Khoday, a Canadian national of Indian descent, is currently leading a team from the Kingston office on the first leg of an official mission to The Bahamas and Bermuda. While in Nassau, he will also meet with Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Honourable Vaughn Miller; Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, Honourable Jomo Campbell as well as other officials from the Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Finance; Ministry of Social Services and Community Development and the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities.

In welcoming the new Resident Representative, Ms Ali lauded significant areas of ongoing cooperation with the UNDP including disaster resilience and climate change adaptation and mitigation. She also outlined other key areas for potential collaboration related to digitization and data collection. 

Mr. Khoday pledged continuing support for The Bahamas’ development aspirations anchored on an inclusive and sustainable approach that leaves no one behind. He lauded the significant partnership between UNDP and the Government on the nation’s disaster management, climate resilience, biodiversity and debt management agendas, as well as investments in community-based action through the UNDP-implemented GEF Small Grants Programme and the India-funded Abaco Shelter project. He said that through the current Country Programme (CP)(2022-2026), UNDP offers a strategic approach to combating multidimensional poverty and advancing climate resilient, nature-based pathways, leveraging UNDP’s capacities in innovation, digitalization, and sustainable finance. “As we near the 50th anniversary of UNDP cooperation in The Bahamas, I look forward to building on our long-standing history and expanding cooperation in a way that builds resilience to multi-dimensional crises and advances results under the SDGs. This includes our partnerships for social inclusion and community empowerment; climate resilience and biodiversity, disaster management and sustainable finance,” he stated.

Mr. Khoday has served with UNDP for 25 years, having coordinated over USD $1 billion in country programming to help partners and communities around the world advance inclusive and sustainable development pathways. This included tours of duty with UNDP Country Offices in China, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia and with UNDP’s regional offices for the Middle East and North Africa based in Egypt and Jordan. Prior to joining the UN, Mr. Khoday worked with government and community organizations in his home countries of Canada and India on issues of poverty reduction, ecological resilience, and community empowerment. 

Mr. Khoday is a scientist and lawyer, holding a Juris Doctorate specializing in constitutional, international, and environmental law; a Master of Science in natural resource management focused on land and water systems, and a Bachelor of Science in agriculture specializing in biodiversity and ecological change. The UNDP Resident Representative is a frequent speaker at international conferences and policy dialogues on the development agenda and a recognized thought leader on strategic issues such as climate change, ecosystem resilience, constitutionalism, postcolonial and decolonial theory, and resilience-based approaches to development, having published extensively on these and other issues.

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Bahamasair opens City Ticket Office at Southwest Plaza

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By LINDSAY THOMPSON
Bahamas Information Services

 

NASSAU, The Bahamas – The Carmichael Road area has long been dubbed “City 2000” due to the massive population shift to that fast-growing community.

In this vein, Bahamasair has decided to open its City Ticket Office (CTO) to accommodate that growing residential and commercial area.

The grand opening took place on Friday, February 2, 2024, at the new office spaces in the Southwest Plaza relocation from the Palmdale area.

Director of Aviation and Deputy Director-General of Tourism, Dr. Kenneth Romer, underscored the importance of relocating Bahamasair’s ticket office to the southwestern area of New Providence Island.

“Bahamasair continues to prove to be one of our greatest assets. I assure you of our support and that of the Deputy Prime Minister (the Hon. Chester Cooper),” he said, while also stating that the move is aligned with some of the big-ticket items reflected in the National Aviation Strategic Plan.

One is, strengthening financial resilience by innovating Bahamasair’s business model, growing existing markets, and exploring new routes to underserved and emerging markets. More so, it speaks to the airline pursuing additional sources of revenue and lessening its dependence on the public purse to fund operations.

Two, operational efficiency to which Dr. Romer noted that Bahamasair has been enhancing its strategic planning exercises to ensure a leaner and more efficient operation.

He added that the recent partnership with Qatar Airways, through a consultative exchange, would undertake a comprehensive overview of all aspects of operations and develop a business plan that will become the model for the region.

Another area is that of service excellence – people are at the center of what is being done at Bahamasair

“Nobody could do it like Bahamians and nobody does it better than Bahamasair,” said Dr. Romer who also acknowledged that, “We must explore ways to do it better and be better, by putting a greater emphasis on customer satellite satisfaction and the urgency in resolving problems that will arise.  Customers must remain the priority, alongside safety.”

A final plan is enhancing human capital development. According to Dr. Romer, “Bahamasair will play an integral role in advancing our strategy to develop existing and emerging aviators, succession planning, advancing the role of women, and creating a system of mentorship that includes using retired professionals as mentors.”

Tracy Cooper, Managing Director of Bahamasair Holdings Ltd., shed light on the decision-making process in the relocation of the CTO.

“The decision to relocate the CTO from Palmdale to Carmichael Road was a very careful and deliberate consideration,” he said. “One of the key factors in the decision was to ensure that our new location would not only cater to the business community but also provide a convenient and accessible service point for our valued residents.”

Added Cooper, “In that regard, Carmichael Road often referred to as City 2000, emerged as the ideal choice – offering a host of amenities and the perfect alignment with the needs of Bahamasair.”

This he said also reflects Bahamasair’s commitment to provide its customers with top-notch service in a welcoming and accessible environment.

“We firmly that this new CTO will not only serve as the gateway to our exceptional airline services but also as a symbol of our dedication to enhancing the travel experience for everyone in The Bahamas,” Cooper added.

He thanked the team of Bahamasair, including the 15 staff members at the Carmichael location for their dedication to the airline and what it means to the country according to its slogan “We don’t just fly there, we live there…”

Also participating in the ceremony were retiree Wilfred Williams with the opening prayer; remarks by Tanya Pratt, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Bahamasair; Vote of Thanks by Samantha Lookie, Director of Commercial, Sales, and Marketing; Ribbon Cutting by Wilfred Williams – president Bahamasair Retirees Association, and Blessing of the Building by Apostle Raymond Wells. The Royal Bahamas Police Force Pop Band provided entertainment.

PHOTO CAPTIONS

BIS Photos/Kemuel Stubbs

 

Header: Apostle Raymond Wells performing the Blessing of the Building during the Official Opening of Bahamasair’s City Ticket Office in the Southwest Plaza, Carmichael Road on Friday, February 2, 2024. Pictured are Anthony Miller, board member; Dr. Tyneil Cargill; board member; Tanya Pratt, Chairman, Board of Directors, Bahamasair; Director of Aviation and Deputy Director-General of Tourism, Dr. Kenneth Romer; and Tracy Cooper, Managing Director of Bahamasair Holdings Ltd.

Insert: Officials tour the newly opened Bahamasair’s City Ticket Office in the Southwest Plaza, Carmichael Road on Friday, February 2, 2024. Pictured are Anthony Miller, board member; Dr. Tyneil Cargill, board member; Melony Rahming, board member; Director of Aviation and Deputy Director-General of Tourism, Dr. Kenneth Romer; Tanya Pratt, Chairman, Board of Directors, Bahamasair; Dwayne Davis, Bahamasair Deputy Chair; Tracy Cooper, Managing Director of Bahamasair Holdings Ltd; and Apostle Raymond Wells.

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