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Fantastic Five chosen for PDM All Island Candidates 



Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 


#TurksandCaicos, March 26, 2024 – The team the People’s Democratic movement hopes will help win the 2025 election against the government’s roster of all island candidates has been revealed with the moniker the ‘Fantastic Five’.

They are Robert Been, Ruth Ariza, Karen Malcolm, Sean Astwood, and Ralph Higgs.

Ezra Taylor, PDM Party National Chairman, said during the selection process the needs of the people were used to guide which candidates were chosen.

The process was open and transparent, the party leaders say.

Surveys were carried out with over 1,000 respondents according to Edwin Astwood, Opposition Leader, with residents indicating who they wanted to run. He stressed there was no ‘scheming’.

”We don’t know how things happened in the past with other parties but we wanted you the people to make the decision and whatever decision you made we were going to live with it. You made this decision for me and I thank you,” he said to the public.

Under questioning from the media, Astwood said the Candidates Commission had investigated each of the candidates and given them a score based on their various strengths and weaknesses. The PDM then decided whether they accepted the recommendations of the top-scoring candidates.

Astwood stressed that he was extremely pleased with the team selected to run on the national stage.

“We have a team that you can be proud of, you know we will do all we can to make your lives better,” he told the over 3,600 viewers who joined in the live broadcast.

Karen Adams Malcolm, former Minister of Education who held an at-large seat from 2016-2021, said she was delighted to accept the nomination in the ‘people centered party’.

Ruth Adams Ariza, sister of Malcolm, said she was ‘honored, excited and humbled’ at the nod and hoped to bring about empowerment.

When queried about why two sisters were chosen, Astwood reiterated that the team was chosen from the votes of the party members., and that he stood by the choices made.

Robert Been, PDM Deputy Party Leader maintained that he would be focused on “building a TCI we can all be proud of; a TCI where our children can thrive; a TCI that works not just for the elite few, but for everyone.”

Ralph Higgs, former Minister of Tourism maintained that ‘this is the team that will get it done for the Turks and Caicos.’ Higgs was a member for the district of North and Middle Caicos from 2016 to 2021, and said he was not running away from his record there but running on it.

The five were chosen out of 19 applicants according to the political party, included in that list of potentials who were not chosen was Hon.  Oswald Skippings, Former Elected Member. Skippings, who shared his notification letter with the public.

“We regret to inform you that your application to be an All-Island Candidate for the People’s Democratic Movement in the upcoming General Elections was unsuccessful. This decision was not an easy one due to the high caliber of applications received,” it read.

Expressing a desire to work with all of the applicants, Astwood said there could still be room for All Island candidates with the constitutional mandate for the Boundaries Commission to expand the number of seats from 15 elected to 19 elected members of the House of Assembly.

The PDM Leader also offered hope for placement at the constituency or district level for the unselected applicants.

The announcement for the district seats is set to come in April.


TCI Red Cross Hits New Heights with 3rd Annual Red Hot Challenge Success  



June 13, 2024: PROVIDENCIALES, TURKS AND CAICOS: The TCI Red Cross recently hosted their successful 3rd Annual Red Hot Challenge, a testament to the organization’s commitment to community engagement and humanitarian efforts.

This year’s event, held at the National Stadium in Providenciales, brought together over 13 teams in a thrilling display of sportsmanship and skills. The Beaches Marlins emerged victorious, with the Amanyara Cruisers in second place and the Beaches Pirates in third.

Speaking on the event, TCI Red Cross Director Candianne Williams said, “Year after year, the Red Hot Challenge fundraiser has grown more successful, and we really could not have done it without the support we have received from our participating teams, sponsors, volunteers and supporters.”

She continued, “When we started the Red Hot Challenge series of fundraisers, our goal was not only to raise funds for the work we do here at the Red Cross but also to create an event that would bring together the community in a spirit of unity, support, and fun-filled camaraderie.”

This year’s event showcased an active lineup of exciting competitions, which included traditional favorites like arm wrestling and tug-of-war, alongside engaging challenges such as football tosses, planks, spoon relay races, egg tosses, water balloon tosses, sprint races, and soccer kicks.

Williams added, “The games were not only interactive for the participants but also fun, and I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the Beaches Marlins on winning first place in this year’s competition, as well as the Amanyara Cruisers on their second place and the Beaches Pirates on coming in third, respectively.”

Keneisha Thompson, the Turks and Caicos Athletics Association representative, emphasized, “We commend the teams for their participation, especially as this is the only event in the TCI for sporting participants. Their dedication this year, from organizing the rules to meeting the teams and executing the event, is truly remarkable.”

The annual Red Hot Challenge stands as a cornerstone of the organization’s acclaimed ‘Red Hot’ fundraising series, serving as a pivotal event in the TCI Red Cross’s fundraising initiatives. This series has witnessed the success of two corporate sports days and two fashion extravaganzas. These events not only raise crucial funds but also foster community engagement and support for the humanitarian work of the TCI Red Cross.

Karen Whitt of the Hartling Group, who serves as Chair of the TCIRC Fundraising Committee, commended the participants, stating, “Congratulations to all of the participants; you are all winners for supporting this year’s Red Hot Challenge. The event’s success is a testament to the unwavering commitment of our community to support the vital work of the Red Cross in the Turks and Caicos Islands.”

This year’s team lineup featured the Beaches Marlins, Amanyara Cruisers, Beaches Pirates, NSS Destroyers, CHHS Eagles, Waterloo Worriers, The Palms, Royal TCI Police Enforcers, Louise Garland High School, NCS, The Sands, and The Source. Proud sponsors of the team included The Strand and The Marlin Limited, with Powerade joining as the official drink sponsor of the games.

The next Red Hot Challenge is scheduled for Saturday, May 3, 2025, at the National Stadium on Providenciales. For more information on the TCI Red Cross and its activities, please visit their website at and follow their social media accounts: Turks and Caicos Red Cross on Facebook and @TCIRedcross_ on Instagram.

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Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, 13th June 2024– Experience Turks and Caicos is set to roll out a new initiative designed to promote immersive tourism in the islands.
Titled ‘Exquisite Turks and Caicos’, this immersive tourism programme, conceptualised by the Strategic Development Unit, collaborates closely with industry partners to curate and deliver on niche product offerings and services to enhance our visitors’ overall experience.
Focused on adding significant value in education, culture, history, eco-friendliness, entertainment, engagement, and affordability, the programme has identified priority areas through which new or existing micro and small businesses can partner. The programme targets businesses that are land-based, water-based (excluding dive and charters), and involved in the promotion of the cultural arts, nature and wildlife, gastronomy, agriculture and heritage. The goal of Exquisite Turks and Caicos is to ensure that the traveller will walk away not only having an exquisite experience, but a learned one that will be treasured always.
“Immersive Tourism is about creating compelling and interactive visitor experiences through strategic partnerships with local vendors. It goes beyond traditional sightseeing and offers travellers a deeper connection to the destination’s culture, history, and environment,” says Mr. Courtney Robinson, Strategic Development Manager.
“‘Exquisite Turks and Caicos’ is our commitment to our pillar of Inclusive Growth which ensures that everyone in the Turks and Caicos Islands benefit from the tourism industry through the enhancement of our offerings. It extends beyond the warm smiles, white sandy beaches or picturesque landscapes; it is a promise to curate and deliver on experiences that create memories, that resonate with the soul of every traveller,” he added.
Mr. Robinson will visit Grand Turk, North Caicos, Middle Caicos and South Caicos to meet with business owners about the programme.

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Caribbean News

TCI Sport delegation visits the Cayman Islands and Barbados with key sport leaders



TCI Sports Commission delegation traveled to the Cayman Islands and Barbados to visit with key Sport leaders. The TCI delegation included the Sports Commission Director, Mr. Jarrett Forbes, Deputy Director, Mr. Alvin Parker, and Facility Manager for Providenciales, Mr. Darian Forbes. The aim of the travel was to visit major facilities, with priorities being pool facilities, and discuss sport development strategies.

The team had the pleasure of being hosted by the Deputy Chief Officer for Sport, Dr. Dalton Walter, and the Director of Sports, Mr. Kurt Hyde in the Cayman Islands; who facilitated the facility tours and shared valuable information on Sports Development. Meetings were held with Deputy Chief Officer Ms. Joan West and Technical Director for the Cayman Islands Aquatics Sport Association, Mr. Jacky Pellerin, on the Cayman Islands’ new 50-meter and 25 meter 10 lanes Mrytha pool facility, as well as with Ms. Shakeina Bush from the National Olympic Office on National Federation development and funding opportunities. The Sports Commission delegation was also grateful for the courtesy call with the Minister of Sport for the Cayman Islands, Hon. Isaac Rankine, and the Chief Officer Ms. Teresa Echenique.

During the Barbados leg of the exploratory travel, the Sports Commission team was hosted by the Director of the National Sports Council, Mr. Neil Murrell, and the Assistant Director of Sports, Mr. Ryan Toppin. The TCI team toured the National Sport Council facilities and visited the Barbados National Olympic Association. Significant to the TCI’s plan to develop an aquatic center, the TCI Sports Commission visited the Barbados Aquatic Sport Association and met with former National Olympic Academy Director, Mr. Dave Farmer, and the President and Second Vice President of the Barbados Swim Association, Mr. Robert Armstrong and Mr. Nicholas Mathis. Insights were shared regarding swimming pool design, development and maintenance as well as pool programming strategies to ensure the growth and sustainability of swimming in the islands.

The TCI delegation also visited other stadium facilities such as Track and Field, Football and Cricket, and other major facilities in Basketball and Boxing. The TCI Sport Commission officials had great discussions with both the Cayman Islands and Barbados sports officials surrounding the development of coaches, athlete development pathways, and strengthening relationships with National Sport Governing Bodies.

Director of Sports, Mr. Jarrett Forbes, said, “We were very grateful for the hospitality and support extended by our Caribbean colleagues. Their support affirmed the commitment and unity among the Caribbean community to develop sports in the region.”

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