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The countdown is on to 2012 and of course there are fabulous events being held island-wide where you can party away 2011 and ring in the New Year, and The Nassau Guardian has the entire scene covered for you -- from the hottest party in the east to the wildest and most glamorous affairs in the west.
Mario's Bowling and Family Entertainment Palace
It's being billed as two levels and two parties all at one venue, at Mario's Bowling and Family Entertainment Palace in the Summer Winds Plaza on the Tonique Williams-Darling Highway.
With a $5,000 balloon drop, scheduled for 1:12 a.m., (to ensure that people have time to make it out after church to collect their change) Leslia Miller says their Masquerade Party is one not to be missed.
With two levels, two parties, one venue, in the Heineken Platinum green lounge cake and champagne will be circulated all night. Every twelfth person will also receive a New Year's gift bag filled with goodies until the clock strikes midnight. And anyone attired in green will gain admission into the Heineken lounge for half price
The second lounge will be the Countdown VIP Dance Floor, where the balloon drop will take place.
Besides the money, Miller says Mario's will have the hottest deejays, drink specials and fireworks.
Doors open at 10:30 p.m. until 6 a.m.
Compass Point Beach Resort
Anastacia Kemp says the Compass Point Beach Resort New Year's affair will definitely appeal to people who want to relax to bring in 2012.
"You don't have to be over-dressed so you can feel relaxed," says the front desk manager. For $185 per person, you get a four-course served meal and access to an open bar. The event which starts at 8 a.m. and runs through to 12 midnight, will feature a deejay, live band, Junkanoo rushout and fireworks.
Hammerhead's Bar and Grill
Hammerhead's Bar and Grill on East Bay Street invite you to dive into 2012 at their establishment with a party that party kicks of at 9 p.m. with $2 shots and $4 drink specials. With bottle service all night, and music by Nassau's hottest deejay, they say it's the spot to be.
SuperClubs Breezes will host a New Year's Eve Gala at the resort on Cable Beach from 6 p.m. until you say when. In the main dining room you have a raw bar with iced cocktail shrimp and Caribbean claws, a soup station with four soups, a salad bar which allows you to mix it up as you like it, their famous trio station, their taste of the world station, a Caribbean-style ratatouille station, and an unforgettable sumptuous dessert station.
The Marley Resort on Cable Beach hosts a New Year's Eve cocktail party on Saturday, December 31 from 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. A live band plays for your enjoyment. The $75 cover charge includes appetizers, party favors and a free glass of champagne at midnight.
Get ready for a night on the dance floor that you will not soon forget. The Rotary Clubs of The Bahamas' first celebratory ball in honor of its 50th anniversary promises to not be a "stuffy" affair. It's going to be the perfect blend of sophistication and fun to kick off ball season.
It will be a spectacular night of music, laughter and good company in the Crown Ballroom at Atlantis tonight from 7 p.m. to midnight. Tickets are $150.
"This will be an exciting black tie affair and it is the perfect way to kick off this month of celebration for this important milestone for the Rotary Clubs," said Charles Sealy, assistant district governor of Rotary Clubs of The Bahamas. "There will be so many things going on throughout the night to keep people upbeat and excited. Whether you are a Rotarian or not you will have a great time."
With music by the Royal Bahamas Police Force Band, and loads of prizes to be given out throughout the night, Sealy says "spectacular" will be the word to associate with the evening.
"There will not be a dull moment all night," he promises. "From the music, the dance to the food and the decor, you will love what you see. It will be a real experience that people will enjoy from start to finish. And with loads of prizes to be given out throughout the night."
To add another dash of spice to the evening the menu is a foodie's delight that will be nothing short of divine from start to finish from the conch and plantain soup, crab encrusted bass to the spinach stuffed chicken breasts, sorbets, salads and signature guava pastries.
You will have a wonderful time while supporting a worthy cause. Rotary is a worldwide network of inspired individuals who translate their passions into relevant social causes to change lives in communities. Business, professional and community leaders volunteer their time and talents to serve communities locally and around the world -- and form strong, lasting friendships in the process.
With loads of prizes to be given out throughout the night. You will be around great people and the funds raised throughout the night will go toward rotary initiatives. So you will be having a good time and supporting a wonderful cause.
Whether you are looking to support the good cause that is Rotary, or just looking to attend a fabulous party, the Rotary Clubs of Nassau's first celebratory ball fits the bill.
Rotary International president Kainan Banerjee will address Bahamian Rotarians. He is expected to highlight the achievements of Rotary as an international organization and share the future goals of the historic 1.2 million global club with attendees. The Rotary Club of Miami, the club who sponsored the first rotary club in The Bahamas will also be in attendance for the ball.
"This occasion is a really significant one for local Rotarians and after so many years doing such good work in our country and supporting worldwide causes I think it is a great time to celebrate," says Sealy. "I believe the Rotary Club has been doing great work in assisting many causes, and it is great for us to have this time to celebrate what we have done and reflect on where we need to go. It is also a wonderful time to mingle with the public and all those who support us and our cause. So it will be a wonderful evening that will really celebrate who we are and the people who have helped us to achieve and continue to give back."
The ball also kicks off a month of events for the 50th anniversary of the Rotary's establishment in The Bahamas. Other events to look forward to throughout the weeks include a bed race, an awards reception, bowling competition and even a golf tournament.
When: Friday, January 6
Where: Crown Ballroom, Atlantis
Time: 7 p.m. - 12 a.m.
Dress code: Black tie
Schedule of Events
Sunday, January 8
8 a.m. - Christ Church Cathedral Service
Wednesday, January 11
8 p.m. - Bowling Tournament
Mario's Bowling and Family Entertainment Palace
Friday, January 13
12:30 p.m. - Golf Tournament
Ocean Club golf course
Saturday, January 14
11 a.m. - 3 p.m. - Rotary photo display and blood drive
Mall at Marathon
Sunday, January 15
5 a.m. - Marathon Bahamas
8 a.m. - Boiled fish brunch at Marathon Bahamas
Tuesday, January 17
Movie Night and After Party
Galleria 6 - John F. Kennedy Drive
Thursday, January 19
7 p.m. - 50th Anniversary Banquet
Hilton Hotel Poolside and Garden
Saturday, January 28
Annual Bed Race for Charity
Mall at Marathon
Last weekend the Bahamas Football Association (BFA) wrapped up its coaches "D" license course at the Roscow A.L. Davies Soccer Field at the Baillou Hills Sporting Complex.
The national "D" license is a 36 to 40-hour course designed for an experienced coach who has already earned a national "E" license. The focus of the course is to improve a coach's ability to positively influence individual players and teams.
The session was put on for those who are looking to get involved in the youth soccer season that begins next week.
This summer has been filled with coaches' clinics in various sports, especially at the youth or primary level. The goal of these clinics is to ensure that athletes are trained in the right way from an early age, which is likely to produce a better quality of athletes in The Bahamas.
"I have noticed a lot of interesting things at the clinic," said head coach of the under-17 national football team Dion Godet.
"I saw quite a few coaches that are involved with youth soccer working on their skills and putting on tests to ensure that what they are teaching kids at the various clubs and schools around the island is correct.
"We are trying to improve the overall product, so that at some point in time we turn into competitors and not just participants in the sport of football."
The under-17 boys team competed in the Caribbean Football Union's (CFU) boys' qualifying tournament earlier in the year; although they gave a good effort in all of the games, they finished winless.
The hope is that, with better coaching, some of the team's close games can be converted into wins in the near future.
The course was set to take place earlier in the month of September, but was rescheduled due to the memorial service that was held for former BFA President Sam Haven.
Registration for the 2014-2015 BFA youth and senior season is still open.
In the Prime Minister's address on crime, he invited the populace to increase the level of volunteerism, something he felt would reduce the crime level. People from many sectors in The Bahamas have been and continue to be involved in volunteerism.
You name it - Rotary, Kiwanis, fraternities, the church, Yellowbirds, The Cancer Society, etc. Much has been done and continues to be done by volunteers in The Bahamas. There is however a whole body of volunteerism which has not gone unnoticed. We are speaking about the sporting community which strives on volunteers.
At the closing ceremony of this summer's IAAF World Championships numerous volunteers were at center stage on the field. We often forget how many volunteers are needed to pull off a national, regional, or international competition, much less to carry on a continual program of bringing athletes from the introduction to a sport, to them becoming world champions. Today we salute those unsung heroes who have made a difference in sports in The Bahamas.
The School System
It is said that most things are learned in school. Most athletes have been introduced to sports through their schools. From the track and field perspective we single out Andrea Lockhart of Oakes Field Primary who was instrumental in the start of Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie in track and field. About 55 years ago, Dr. John Carey was instrumental in the athletic start of former Member of Parliament and Olympian Leslie Miller at Eastern Junior School.
Numerous world class athletes can trace their humble beginnings to somebody in the school system that recognized their talent and encouraged them to pursue sports further.
Bahamas Association of Certified Officials (BACO)
Andrea Lockhart became a member of the Bahamas Association of Athletic Officials (BACO) of which Deacon Leviticus Adderley was a driving force. This organization is now headed by Ralf McKinney and assists numerous groups in staging road races throughout The Bahamas, in addition to their regular obligation of officiating at all Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations events as well as numerous other organization's events.
The Club System
There are the numerous clubs throughout the country through which athletes are guided and hone their competitive skills. No athletes who won medals for The Bahamas this year, or any previous year, could do it without the guidance of somebody in a school or club.
In the early years of track and field clubs like St. Bernards, The Southerners, St. George's followed by the Pioneers' Sporting Club, The Ambassadors, and The Bain Town Flyers, to name only a few, made a significant impact on the sporting and cultural life of The Bahamas. Some of the coaches like Henry Crawford, Charlie Wright, and D'ynza Burrows were legendary and contributed to the development of numerous national and international level athletes.
Volunteerism was the 'name of the game' with them. Fast forward to today where there are about 20 track and field clubs in The Bahamas which monitor the progress of our upcoming athletes. Many of them hold their own track and field meets which are heavily subscribed by athletes. Each of these clubs have numerous volunteers who give of their time, and occasionally resources, to ensure the success of the athletes.
Parents are a significant factor in the success of numerous athletes and clubs. Sometimes they act as just transportation to practice and sometimes they are a significant part of the clubs, whether they are coaches or part of the organizational structure. There are numerous parents throughout The Commonwealth of The Bahamas who give yeoman service to the sport.
The Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA)
This is the organization given the mandate by the international body, the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF), to develop and promote Road Running, Cross Country, Mountain Running, and track and field throughout The Bahamas. The BAAA will celebrate its' 60th anniversary on May 6, 2012. The organization's initial membership included president Alfred Francis Adderley, Cyril Richardson, Joseph Garfunkle, Edward Mitchell, Reginald Farrington, Fred Moultrie, Reginald Robertson, Kendal Isaacs, Cecil V. Bethel, Gerald Cash, Randol Fawkes, and Orville Turnquest.
The presidents who succeeded Adderley were Cyril Richardson, Harold Munnings, Paul Adderley, Levi Gibson, Sir Arlington Butler, Reverend Enoch Backford, Winston Cooper, Dr. Bernard Nottage, Alpheus Finlayson, Foster Dorsett, Desmond Bannister, Mike Sands and Curt Hollingsworth (Interim).
From its inception, the organization has been defined by volunteers who have worked untiringly to make it one of the premier sports federations in the country and in the region. As the BAAA moves into its' 60th anniversary and London Olympics year, it is imperative that more volunteers, in addition to the elected members are needed to fulfill its mandate. The volunteers can be to the local clubs or the BAAA.
We have members of BACO who have officiated in regional and area competitions and look forward to an increase in the number of members of BACO and hope that one day soon, one of its members will soon qualify to officiate in the World Championships and Olympic Games. Funding is a critical area so persons who adept at those skills are in high demand. Then there are those who are adept at organization. They are needed in every organization.
The BAAA has had athletes win Olympic and World Championships gold medals and coaches who coached at the highest levels. We have had two Bahamians, Alpheus Finlayson and Pauline Davis-Thompson, who have been elected to the Council of the IAAF, the world's governing body of track and field. In the process, the organization has been influential in the lives of many young persons, in and outside the inner city, who would have been left by the wayside and may have pursued a life of crime otherwise.
Next year will be a significant year for Bahamian track and field. Volunteers are definitely needed for the organization to do what we all know is possible. If you have some extra time or are looking forward to a rewarding experience, please call the BAAA office at 325 4433 or e-mail us at email@example.com.
A magical journey filled with mystery and wonder makes the Emanji Circus Arts an event not to be missed this holiday season.
The All-Bahamian circus is going "green", with nightly performances at 8 p.m. today through Sunday, December 25 at The National Centre for the Performing Arts on Shirley Street.
The acrobats, contortionists and trapeze performers you loved last year in their debut Christmas show "The Doll Maker", are back for a second helping. This time around the show intends to take you deeper into the Bahamian islands and discover the magic and fantasy that lies just "under your nose" in their new show.
"This year [the show] is really different and will engage persons who saw the performance last year because it is a spin-off of the first show called 'Doll Maker", said Jarvis Grant, the circus' director. "That show was about a straw doll maker who makes dolls that are much more than they seem. This year's show takes you to the island where the strawmaker gets his magical straw from. He meets Chickcharnee and the other mystical creatures in the islands."
The show's green theme is derived from the magical "green power" that the Chickcharnee has which is given to the protagonist, "Ma Boy". The show will focus on what happens when he has the power as he meets the magical creatures along the way. Nothing is what it seems with the "green power" and by the end of show, patrons will not be able to look at normal everyday things the same way.
Grant says the circus is so different from the everyday activities available to the average person. What's also different about the circus is that it isn't a traditional circus with animals and clowns. Instead, it uses the talents of young Bahamian performers who are skilled in acrobatics, juggling, contortion and trapeze acts.
"This is different. It is all Bahamian and it's a beautiful expression of the talents of the local youth. The quality of performance that will be seen will be absolutely amazing. Things you thought you could only see in Vegas you will be able to see right here at home," he said.
This will be an exciting family-oriented event right in time for the holiday seasons. It will be a change of pace from the commonplace carnival outings, family gatherings and carol services that are markers of the season.
Grant hopes people will open their minds to the creativity, mystique and magic that is all around us once they have seen the wonders of this year's circus show. He says it's a show that will have patrons on the edge of their seats wanting more. But unfortunately once the show is over you will have to wait until next year to satisfy your cravings.
Emanji Circus Arts started in 2002 as a one-man act at Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort. Grant has an extensive background in circus performing and training and has been a member of the performing troupes of prestigious world renowned circus organizations such as "UniverSoul Circus" and "Cirque Du Soleil". He was also a member of the traveling cast of the broadway hit "Bring in da Noise, Bring in da Funk". He was also the circus coordinator and trapeze artist at Breezes Superclubs in Nassau and Our Lucaya Resort in Freeport, Grand Bahama.
Tickets for the show are available at Electrojack in the Town Centre Mall.
When: Friday, December 23 - Sunday, December 25
Where: National Center for the Performing Arts
Time: 8 p.m. nightly
Tickets: $20 adults, $10 children, group rates are available
NASSAU, Bahamas -- Twenty proud security personnel representing 17 airports in 13 Family Islands received Train the Trainer certification at the closing ceremony of the five-day "Excellence in Screening Techniques Course," held January 21-25 at the SuperClubs Breezes Resort.
Course graduates represented Family Island airports in Mangrove Cay, Andros; Georgetown, Exuma; New Bight, Cat Island; Governor's Harbour, Eleuthera; Marsh Harbour, Abaco; Bimini; The Berry Islands; North Eleuthera; Inagua; Rock Sound, Eleuthera; Stella Maris, Long Island; Treasure Cay, Abaco; Fresh Creek, Andros; Freeport, Grand Bahama and San Salvador.
Director of Civil Aviation Captain Patrick L. Rolle explained that this training course met all of its objectives with an emphasis on the customer service side of airport security. He expressed his expectation that this level and quality of training will continue and that Bahamian security specialists would consistently meet and exceed international security standards and service delivery.
"I believe all of our goals were accomplished and met for the week that our staff were here. Excellence in screening is important to us because the customer service side of our business is not recognised or adhered to. What we will see at the end of the day is a group of persons who have developed a passion for service," he said.
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The defending champions Commonwealth Bank Giants looked to come in and make a statement against their former team captain Gamaliel 'Chameleons' Rose and his new squad The Patron Regulators on Wednesday night, and they did just that.
The Giants made several clutch baskets down the stretch to hang on for the 92-87 overtime victory and their second win in two games at the A.F. Adderley Gymnasium.
Michael Bain finished the game with 17 points to lead the way for the Giants. Patrick Brice came off the bench to add 14, and Jeffery Henfield chipped in with 12.
Kenneth Pratt scored 24 points for the Regulators, and Rose added 19 points, eight rebounds and six steals.
Both teams came out of the gates strong and shot similar percentages from the field.
The clubs traded leads throughout most of the first half, as no one could string together consistent baskets to pull away.
The Regulators shot just 6-33 from behind the three-point line, but managed to stay in the game by creating points from turnovers, and converting on baskets in the low post.
In the third period, the Giants turned up the dial on the offensive end and torched the Regulators for 31 points in the quarter, which allowed them to take a 68-51 lead.
With the game on the verge of turning into a blowout, Pratt and Rose came up big for the Regulators on both ends of the floor in the fourth quarter.
Rose made key stops on the defensive end, while Pratt's hot shooting continued. They attacked the paint consistently and managed to outscore the Giants 28-11 in the fourth quarter to force overtime.
In the extra period Bain would score on a number of go-ahead baskets to give the Giants the lead, and seal the game with clutch free throws in the final seconds of overtime.
The Giants will be in action again on Saturday night when they take on the Double R. Services Ltd. Cleaners at the A.F. Adderley gym. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.
In Marsh Harbour, a mere 1,000-plus feet away from Abaco's Department of Immigration is a community of illegal migrants - Haitians. This community is a shantytown known as The Mud because it sits on a low-lying area that typically floods in heavy rains.
When I was eight years old I would go to the Marsh Harbour Softball Field, the pride and joy of Abaco sports, to watch the games and remember looking at paths off in the distance in the low lying area next to the field. You had a few minutes walk to get to the entrance of a path that led to a few shanty huts. There were at that time actually more houses in the area known as Pigeon Pea across the road on the other side. Literally, a few dozen shanty houses littered the landscape and the year was 1980.
Fast forward 30 years: The Marsh Harbour Softball Field is no more and hundreds of shanty houses crowd the area with very little room left for vehicles to get through. PVC pipes, illegally set up, run across roads and provide limited running water to houses that are put together with scrap wood and definitely not up to code (of any sort). Electrical wires run from house to house, sometimes hung through trees, as the community shares a single power source (in most cases) a 500KW generator in a 40-foot container. Open cesspits, merely a hole in the ground, are near to many homes.
You cannot begin to figure the numbers of people in The Mud alone. Aerial photos only show roofs, however, many homes operate as duplexes and triplexes - it has been said to start to grasp the numbers you need to first count the padlocks on each house (each padlock is owned by a separate family grouping).
A walk through the area will reveal some surprising features, such as grocery stores, clothing stores, liquor stores, shops with sundries, and in the darker corners there are clubs that feature young girls and prostitutes. Haitians are engaged in the trafficking of their own people for nefarious purposes.
Visit the public docks at 6 a.m. and you will see hundreds of Haitian men clambering aboard boats that ferry them away to work on the cays. There are few businesses that you can walk into that do not have a Haitian employed in some capacity.
Within the last 10 years the government put in an alternate road as they built the new port for central Abaco. The road pushed through revealed to the public another view of The Mud and the many houses there. With this newer open access one would believe that the many illegal activities in this area could be curbed or stopped; however, the illegal building continues with no intervention.
The Department of Immigration, within sight of the community, understaffed, and bound to follow the orders of its superiors, has been put here to merely deal with work permits and the like. Central government has tied their hands and made it known to the community here to leave them alone.
Local government gets their dander up every so often only to have their passions squashed by a government who is not interested in the enforcement of laws. You may think this is a harsh or unfair judgment but I dare you to live here in Abaco, know that illegal immigrants land on your shores every few weeks (especially with the full moon) and in broad daylight they build homes on property that does not belong to them, with scrap wood etc.
Some may have not been obtained legally, without going through town planning, or passing inspection from Ministry of Works and Ministry of Health, obtaining electricity and water illegally and in some cases Cable TV. They flood our schools with their children. (Some schools in Abaco have a 60/40 Haitian/Bahamian ratios - Treasure Cay Primary is almost 90 percent Haitian.) They fill the seats at the local clinic. They are the main cases dealt with by Social Services. They bring prostitution, illegal drugs and firearms. They create a health hazard where they live with open cesspits and lots of standing water for mosquito breeding and the spread of diseases.
- Concerned Abaco resident
THE Bahamas National Trust recently brought fun to the Discovery Club programme by challenging its 41 Discovery Clubs nationwide to create attention grabbing Public Service Announcements to increase awareness of invasive species and the problems that these unwelcomed guests can cause.