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Tourism officials believe that expanding its Canadian market will only have a positive impact on The Bahamas' bottom line.The Ministry of Tourism and Aviation is teaming up with Canadian tour operator Sunquest, as it announced direct flights to Nassau from Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Tourism's National Manager for the Canadian office Janet Cuffie said the venture is part of the ministry's expansion strategy.
She believes the key to ensuring that The Bahamas is seen as a strong destination by vacationers is through successfully convincing travel partners to offer more destinations in more markets.
"There will be two weekly departures on Thursdays and Sundays aboard Thomas Cook Airlines' 217-seater Boeing 757 aircraft," she said.
Cuffie told Guardian Business the launch of this newest service is in addition to the year-round flight from Toronto to Nassau that Sunquest currently operates.
Cuffie revealed that in addition to the flights, Sunquest will offer Nova Scotia residents the opportunity to book three, four and seven night stays at any of eight Nassau or Paradise Island area resorts.
These resorts include Atlantis Paradise Island, Comfort Suites Paradise Island, Paradise Island Harbour Resort, Best Western Bayview Suites, Superclubs Breezes Nassau, Wyndham Nassau Resort&Crystal Palace Casino, Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort and Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort.
Sunquest's Vice President Steve Buchart toldGuardian Business the company is delighted to offer direct flights between Halifax and Nassau as part of its winter 2012 program.
He called this move a win-win situation for all involved.
"This new route not only allows our customers in Halifax to experience, first-hand, our Thomas Cook Canada flights and the best-in-class service that goes with that, but it also provides us with the opportunity to further promote Nassau as a fantastic vacation destination.
"Not only does Nassau offer great resorts, beautiful beaches and ample opportunities for fun, it is now easier than ever to visit with this new direct service."
The Halifax program to Nassau with Sunquest is showing strong sales for the month of February.
In fact, last night's inaugural flight was sold out.
Sunquest has been offering Canadians vacation packaged holidays for over 40 years, specializing in the Caribbean, The Bahamas, Central America, southern Europe and Mediterranean cruises.
Halifax is the largest city in Canada's Atlantic region.
The nonstop seasonal service from Halifax to Nassau commenced yesterday and will end on April 8, 2012.
AFTER nearly two months of planning and preparation, friends and members of the Rotary Clubs of East Nassau, Bahamas and the Rotary Club of Joplin, Missouri partnered in a Rotary International community service project.
The Rotarians spent a weekend at 'Project Read' where they renovated a staircase and built a new entrance to the building, ultimately making it a safer place.
According to Brian Moodie, chairman of Project Read, "The difficulty some of our tutors and students had climbing the existing spiral staircase was preventing them from accessing the facilities at Project Read."
When Project Read administrator Arthurlue Rahming appealed to local Rotarians for help, they ...
Freeport, Grand Bahama - The Grand Bahama Red
Cross Centre will be relaunching its 'Meals on Wheels' Program this
week. In preparation for this, members of The Rotaract Club of
Freeport, as well as the Interact Club of Sunland Baptist Academy took
time this past Saturday (September 11th) to ensure that all food
service vessels and utensils were cleaned and ready to be used in time
for the program's intended relaunch.
The Rotaract Club of Freeport (along with all Rotary International
clubs) operates through four avenues of service: community,
international, vocational and club service...
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.
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.
It's important to embrace diversity and culture as a young person, according to Lauren Glinton, head girl at St. Andrews School. The 17-year-old honor roll student, who has a 3.64 grade point average, said studying may provide good grades and make her academic resume look great, but it isn't everything. The teen said sometimes it's more important to venture out into the world and "grab life by the horns" instead of just burying yourself in books. This is why the twelfth grade student loves to take time out from her busy schedule to relax and do things she loves, like dancing to salsa, swimming, participating in art classes and being a leader to her peers.
Q. What do you think made you stand out to your peers and teachers enough to be elected as head girl?
A. I think my outspoken personality and ability to voice my opinions well made me stand out. I am not a follower and I am not swayed easily by the thoughts and views of others. This makes me able to see things as they truly are and make rational decisions without getting emotional. I am also open-minded and I think I have a good attitude that makes me an easy person to talk to. I am also very involved in my school and I am willing to do whatever I can to be of service.
Q. What did you expect your role as head girl would be and did it live up to your expectations?
A. I thought I would be expected to set a good example, not only for girls but the male students as well. I knew I would be responsible for leading the prefect body and ensuring we are all doing what we can. I expected that I would be asked often to talk with students and be there for those who need an ear or some advice. So far it has really lived up to what I have expected and it's great to me.
Q. What lessons are you learning now that you can use to pursue your future endeavors?
A. I think this role is definitely helping me to have a deeper understanding of leadership and what it means to be in the frontline. I am also learning how important appearances are and how to be everywhere at once so things can go smoothly. It's a lot of work, but this practice now will help me to be able to be more diverse and capable of handling similar situations in the future.
Q. What is your greatest challenge as head girl and how are you facing it?
A. I think being as available to my peers as I should is a challenge I am facing. It's a big job being head girl and tackling this job, because you have so many things to do since you are preparing to be a graduate as well. You have studying, extracurricular activities and even clubs. It's quite busy, but it's all about time management and just fitting in everything you need to do accordingly. I'm still tackling this every day but it does get a little easier I feel. I try to be helpful and even more open than usual, so students don't have to feel afraid to just come and talk if they need to.
Q. Although twelfth grade is a really busy academic time, are there extracurricular activities you just have to make time for?
A. Yes there are. I love to just get away and have fun. You can't let all the things you have going on keep you from doing what is necessary to help you relax. I like dancing, swimming, art and spending time alone to just think. I think it's important to have hobbies and extracurricular activities that you slot into your day, because it forces you to be more organized and manage time better. It also helps you to explore other parts of your life so you know where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Not everyone is the smartest, so being good at something else really boosts self-esteem, confidence and makes you feel better. You shouldn't let life weigh you down, so it's really good to do things you like to ease your mind I feel.
FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- The Rotary Club of Grand Bahama Sunrise is gearing up for its second annual Conch Festival and The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) is pleased to lend its support.
Slated to be held at Taino Beach Park Saturday, March 16th, proceeds from the event are earmarked for community service projects being performed by the club, in particular the Big Brother and Sister programme (with the Children's Home), and the Safe Swim Buoy Project.
Whilst making a cheque donation, GBPA's Director of Community Relations, Geneva Rutherford offered commendation. "It is really a pleasure on behalf of GBPA to lend our support for this venture because the Rotary clubs have done so much for the development of the island. They have been one of the premier groups that always assist in so many different ways."
President Elect of the Rotary Club of Grand Bahama Sunrise, and Conch Festival Chairman, Wayne Russell, graciously accepted the cheque. According to Russell, donations such as this allow the club to effectively advertise the event, so as to draw more patrons to enjoy an afternoon of food and fun, filled with mouth-watering conch delicacies. "The Port Authority has always given us good support. They believe and trust that when we take the funds, we're using it for very good reasons," he noted. "We wish to thank them and our other corporate sponsors for all of the help that they give us which ensures that we are able to put on a really big event."
History is for human self-knowledge... the only clue to what man can do is what man has done. The value of history, then, is that it teaches us what man has done and thus what man is. - R.G. Collingwood
As we noted last week in Part I of this series, the march to Majority Rule in The Bahamas is a story of a sustained struggle.
On Friday past, we observed the first public holiday to commemorate the day that Majority Rule came to The Bahamas on January 10, 1967. It was a life-changing event that catapulted the lives of many thousands to unimaginable heights. Last week, we highlight two important events that helped to create the framework for the achievement of Majority Rule. This week and for the remaining weeks in January, we would like to continue to Consider This...what were some of the milestones along the centuries-long march to Majority Rule?
This week we will consider three important milestones, namely the by-election of 1938, the Burma Road Riot of 1942, and the Contract beginning in 1943.
The by-election of 1938
In July 1938, shopkeeper Milo Butler decided to contest a by-election that was called for the Western New Providence seat, facing multi-millionaire, Harry Oakes who was not even in The Bahamas for the election, allowing Kenneth Solomon to manage his campaign.
The Bay Street Boys worked hard to derail Butler's campaign, even getting his credit stopped at the Royal Bank of Canada. At the polls, in front of police who were stationed there, Oakes' representatives flagrantly distributed money and liquor to buy votes.
When Butler realized he was going to lose his deposit, he announced he would lodge a protest against the bribery and, the day after the election, he and his supporters went to the Colonial Secretary's Office to voice his grievances. Butler drafted a petition to the governor calling for the enactment of the secret ballot, the creation of an election court of appeal and a fairer representation of the black population on all public boards and in the civil service.
Although rumors about a major riot proved to be false, Governor Dundas took the threat very seriously and became convinced that the secret ballot was the very least that should be done to defuse the situation. Taking the governor at his word when he announced that he would dissolve the House of Assembly and call a general election where the secret ballot would be the central issue, the House immediately addressed the issue.
In June 1939 an act was passed for a five-year trial period for the secret ballot in New Providence. However, the 'Out Islands', where one-third of the voters resided, returned two-thirds of the members of the House and the Bay Street Boys didn't want to tamper with that winning situation, so the secret ballot did not come to the Islands until 1949.
The Burma Road Riot
By 1942, the majority of Bahamians, most of whom were black, suffered under tremendous social, economic and political conditions. A miniscule minority of white Bahamians were engaged in the retail and wholesale trade, the real estate industry and the professions. The sponge industry had recently collapsed and tourism in the islands, albeit in its infancy, and the construction industry were adversely affected by the beginning of World War II. These combined factors significantly contributed to the abject poverty in which the vast majority of Bahamians lived.
When the United States entered the war in 1941, the British and American governments decided, in order to aid in the war effort, to enhance the existing Oakes Field Airport in New Providence and also to build a new one in the western Pine Barrens of New Providence, later called Windsor Field that would evolve into today's Lynden Pindling International Airport. Both airports were worked on by the American firm, Pleasantville Incorporated, providing jobs for Bahamians, who worked alongside American workers.
The British Governor of The Bahamas, the Duke of Windsor, and the American government had secretly agreed that Bahamian workers would be paid at local rates, four shillings per day, while their American counterparts earned more than twice as much. Although Pleasantville Incorporated was willing to pay higher wages to Bahamians, this was done because the Duke was concerned that Bahamian workers should not get used to such high wages since local employers would not be able to match that kind of salary once this job ended. Bahamian workers resented this untenable situation but did not have a formal vehicle to redress the wages and working conditions disparities.
The Bahamian laborers complained to Charles Rodriguez who headed the Labour Union and the Federation of Labour. Notwithstanding his efforts to address the disparities, because they were not resolved in a timely manner, Bahamian laborers assembled on May 31, 1942, demanding equal treatment. On June 1, they congregated at the main Oakes Field office of Pleasantville and, armed with cutlasses and clubs, marched to the Colonial Secretary's Office. Failing to obtain satisfaction, they rioted up and down on Bay Street, damaging and looting stores there. A curfew was established but the riot continued the following day. By the time the riot ended, five persons were killed and many more were wounded.
In the aftermath of the riot, the Duke of Windsor appointed the Russell Commission, which, along with a committee appointed by the House of Assembly, determined that the riots resulted from the inequitable disparity of wages between the Bahamian and American workers. The Russell Commission also determined that the riots were sparked by the absence of social legislation as well as economic difficulties and political inequities.
Burma Road is not a street in The Bahamas. The Burma Road Riot was named after a place Bahamians knew from the newsreels of the day: the 717-mile mountainous Burma Road that linked Burma (now called Myanmar) with the southwest of China. Built by 200,000 Burmese and Chinese laborers and completed by 1938, during World War II, the British used Burma Road to transport materiel to China before Japan was at war with the British. In 1940, the British government yielded to Japanese diplomatic pressure to close down the Burma Road for a short period. After the Japanese overran Burma in 1942, the Allies were forced to supply Chiang Kai-shek and the nationalist Chinese by air.
Following the Burma Road riot and the layoffs after the completion of the airbases, the Duke of Windsor, worried about further unrest, negotiated with the American government for Bahamian laborers to work in Florida to alleviate the rampant unemployment here and to fill the United States' manpower shortage that resulted from the war. The 1943 agreement became known as "the Contract" or "the Project".
Individual contracts were executed for each worker, and stipulated the terms of employment, including a deduction for amounts to be sent back to their families in The Bahamas and an agreement not to be discriminated against on the basis of their color, race, religious persuasion or national origin.
While the 5,000 Bahamian laborers, mostly unskilled males, initially worked on farms and plantations in Florida, given the severe manpower shortages in other states, many Bahamians were transferred as far north as New York and as far west as Indiana. Generally, workers spent six to nine months in the United States and then returned The Bahamas. Some abandoned their contracts and others never returned to The Bahamas, sending for their families to join them in the United States, thereby accounting for the presence of many Bahamians who still live in the United States.
The Contract was transformative in many ways, primarily exposing Bahamians to overt, institutionalized racism in America. The workers returned with an unwavering determination that racism and discrimination like that would have no place in their Bahamas.
Next week, we will review the roles played by the formation of the PLP in 1953, the 1956 Resolution on Racial Discrimination in the House of Assembly and the 1958 General Strike, all of which fuelled the march to Majority Rule.
o Philip C. Galanis is the managing partner of HLB Galanis & Co., Chartered Accountants, Forensic & Litigation Support Services. He served 15 years in Parliament. Please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Forget what you thought nightlife on New Providence was all about, because it's going to be eclipsed with the debut of Nassau's newest hot spot -- Club Space. And it will not be the run-of-the-mill deejayed music disco ball kind of scene.
If you can wrap your mind around it, think of a cozy, sophisticated, electrifying experience with burlesque dancers, go-go dancers while you pop champagne and down mixed drink deals in a night club that will be out of this world.
"When you walk in, the first thing you will feel is that you are in a vortex and separated from the outside world," says Club Space co-owner, Neil Dames. "The entrance will be dark and lit with stars. It will set the mood for what you will see next once you walk down into the club. You may not even know where you are at first and it will be a bit eerie with the dim lighting, but you will be blown away when you reach the entrance to the club. We really transformed the old Club Fluid spot to make it something new and otherworldly. From the art, entertainment and the high quality of the sound, we wanted to create a place the young professional can truly enjoy."
Expect to be blown away by the 4,000-square foot club which opens to the public on Saturday, says Dames. Thereafter, the club will open four nights a week -- Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 p.m until 4 a.m. A $20 cover charge will include one free drink.
The idea for the club's space theme was envisioned by Dames who felt that the extra-terrestrial idea was something that wasn't tapped into. The vibe of Club Space will also be different from previous clubs in that location, as it has a totally different layout.
There are two sections to the club -- an upper portion which is non-smoking, and a lower section which occupies a larger space. Instead of a specific VIP or exclusive section, Dames designed the club to be high-end all around and provide a top-notch experience for all. He says every area will make patrons feel special as nothing will be off-limits, including being able to view the different forms of entertainment which will be easily accessible wherever patrons are in the club.
With mixed genre music, which should appeal to most people's tastes, other features of the club include lounge seating, bottle service sections, two bars, 15 floor tables and a spacious dance floor.
"There is a lot you can see here at Club Space. It's more than just another place to hang out on the weekend. It's a cross between a lounge and a nightclub. So whether people come here to dance or to relax it will be a great place for it," he said.
"For far too long nightclubs have had a negative stigma and I wanted to create a place that was different with a great concept that would be appealing. We aren't too upscale but it's not a typical club either. We have a standard here that we will maintain and a high quality of service and we'll provide an experience that will be legendary."
The venue of the club was once the location of a popular native club in the 50s and 60s called Dirty Dicks. There were fire shows and cultural shows put on mostly for cruise tourists at the club. Dames hopes to capture the same kind of excitement and a sense of otherworldliness that will become the signature appeal of the club.
"The major problem with this space in the past was that patrons felt claustrophobic and unsafe because it is below ground level. We've remedied the problem in numerous ways. Although the club is dimly lit to coincide with the theme of space you will not feel uncomfortable. We have opened up the space a lot more than it was before and we have glass to portion areas rather than solid dividers so it is spacious and visually appealing."
To address the matter of safety and exits, Club Space will have one main entrance and two exits that can be used in times of emergency. Dames said there will not be a guessing game, and just knowing that they can get out of the club when they are ready will make many people comfortable, especially those people that have been skeptical about a club in that location.
According to Dames, Club Space will set itself apart by paying attention to the details like security and a restroom attendant to keep things fresh.
"You can't leave anything to chance or be lax in creating the perfect club experience," he says. "Once the customers feel comfortable and safe, the true beauty of this new club will shine."
The Club Space Experience
When: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays
Where: Bay Street, next to Sbarro's
Time: 10 p.m. - 4 a.m.
Rotarians, Rotaractors and Interactors will join volunteers working at the 42nd BTC CARIFTA Games in the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium this Easter weekend. They will be distributing Coca-Cola beverages to attendees from March 29 to April 1.
Donnisha Armbrister, Coca-Cola's marketing manager, said: "Community is top of mind for us as it is with Rotary. We assist as much as possible with opportunities to educate, or develop young Bahamians. When one of our products is purchased, a portion of the proceeds is invested in the community. We are glad to contribute to the charitable initiatives that Rotary conducts around the country."
Lindsey Cancino, assistant district governor for Rotary Clubs of The Bahamas, said: "This is a big job for us, but the Rotary family abides by our motto, 'Service above Self'. We are always looking for opportunities to serve and raise funds for community projects. It is a privilege to partner with Coca-Cola and lend assistance to the CARIFTA organizers."