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Erwin Wilfred "Shorty" Pratt, 81, of New Hope Drive, Joan's Heights, and formerly of Cabbage Point, Long Island will be held on Saturday, June 18, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. at Our Lady's of the Holy Souls Catholic Church, Deveaux Street. Officiating will be Rev. Fr. Alain Laverne M.Div. assisted by Deacons Peter Rahming and Maxwell Johnson. Interment will follow in Lakeview Memorial Gardens, John F. Kennedy Drive.
Left to cherish his fond memories are: his Wife: Diane Pratt nee Watson; Daughter: Grace Beneby; Sisters: Suzanne Martinbourgh and Joanna Allen; Brother: James Pratt; Grandsons: David Jr., Dwayne Sr., Dwight and Dario Beneby; Granddaughters: Shura Pratt and D'Andjoua Beneby; Great-grandchildren: Candy, D'Asante, Dwayne Jr., Devin, Delshaune, D'Andgelo, Jaduan and Kendel Beneby, Jue-Henri Darville, Amberlee Pratt, and Christanique Mackey; Mother-in-Law: Rev. Francina Watson; Daughter-in-law: Darnell Ritchie Pratt; Sister-in-law : Mavis Pratt and Patricia Pratt; Granddaughter- In-Law: Magerette Beneby; Stepdaughter: Charvari Watson; Adopted Son: Jonathan Pratt; Nieces: Margaret Knowles, Dolly Ferguson, Jenny Colo, Jackie Cooper, Francillon Martinborough, Joanne Martinborough, Margaret Major, Pamela Smith, Kendra Rolle, Maria Rolle, Emily Martinborough, Maria Darville, Jelva Cartwright, Eugenie Cartwright, Ola Turnquest, Shirley Gomez, Camelta Treco, Tionette Major, Julie Bullard, Rev. Paula Cartwright, Albertha Clincy, Felicity Walker, Sister Felicity Pratt, Elese Smith, Natasha Pratt, Carla Pratt, Erica Kemp, Denise Bordezux, Nicole Holley, Barbara Albury, Joy Darville, Shirley Russel, Linda Sawyer Magaret, Andrew Swan, Janet Hunt, Paulette Pratt, Linda Pratt, Jamie Pratt, Christina Pratt, Gabriel Pratt, Shantel Smith, Andria Smith, Sophia Smith, Nasah Minis, and Carla Luna; Nephews: Bernard, Anthony, Corneilus, Tony, Needlie Martinborough Jr., Rudolph, Leo, Ken, Edward Pratt, Capt. John Pratt, , Former Commissioner of Police Reginald Ferguson, George Knowles; Nathaniel Rolle, Micheal Rolle, Jonathan Pratt, Bernard Shepherd, Patrick Hanna; Simeon Cartwright, Mattheias Cartwright, Elgin Major, Elkanah Major, Nigel, Miguel, and Lavar Pratt, Peter, Glenroy Pratt, Terrence Pratt, Kirk Darville, Matthew Darville, David Darville, Raymond Darville, Robert Darville, Aaron Darville, Andrew Pratt, James Pratt Jr., Philip Pratt, John Pratt.; Special Friends and Family: Father Paschal Ukpeh and the Resurrection Catholic Church Family, Eian, Nicole, & Nioka Rolle, Carlton Cartwright & Family, Rev. Dr. King, Lockwood Deleveaux, The Hillside Family, Min. Sarah Ferguson and Family Wendy, Carla, Demeter, Stacy, Jeremy, Rose Brown and Family, James Adderly and Family, Keith Rolle and Family, Rachael Culmer and Family, Falcon Major & Family, Patrice and Melinda and Family. Gregory Davis and Family, Leon "Puncho" Sturrup and Family, Ezra Cartwright and Family, Kevin & Angela Pratt and Family, The Darville Family, Cartwright Family, The Major Family, The Martinborough Family, The Mortimer Family, The Turnquest Family, The Taylor Family, The Treco Family, Daniel Cartwright & Family, The Munroe Family, Joan's Heights Community Close Friends and Relatives: Dr. Fredrick Smith and Staff of Hamm-Rapp Medical Center, Dr. Morgan, Dr. Grant -Taylor, Dr. Shea, Doctors Hospital, Princesses Margaret Hospital - Private Medical Ward, M.P Frank Smith, St. Thomas More Constituency, M.P Brandville McCartney, Bamboo Town Constituency, Altheameze & Denise Watson, Marvin and Johnny Watson, Jonathan Jr. Jemia, Jonnique, Jade, Joshua Pratt, and De 'angelo Rolle, Heman Nixion of Green Castle, Eleuthera; Samuel Butler of Ghoul's Fl., Alexander Butler & William Butler, Louella Watkins; Decola Mackey of Delray Beach, Fl; & Cathlean Butler, Agatha Gomes & Family, Merlene Dean & Family, The Ritchie Family, The Higgs Family, Mrs. Lewis & Family, Friends of Ed Whites Hideaway, Step Street, Fox Hill
Friends may pay their last respects at Butler's Funeral Homes & Crematorium, Ernest and York Streets on Friday June 17, 2011 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and at the church on Saturday from 9:00 a.m.
o On 26 February, Sir Ronald Sanders was invited to launch "In the Ring", a Commonwealth memoir written by Sir Donald McKinnon former secretary-general of the Commonwealth (2000-2008), at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London. This article is adapted from Sanders' remarks.
No secretary-general of the Commonwealth has an easy time. Building consensus among countries large and small, rich and poor, black and white is extremely challenging, and, in the course of it, secretaries-general are not only referees, sometimes they become the punching bag. In this context, Sir Don McKinnon's Commonwealth memoir is appropriately titled: "In the Ring".The book is remarkable for its frank account of the events that led up to Robert Mugabe's withdrawal of Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth in 2003. Mugabe took that action when it was evident that Commonwealth heads of government would make the decision to suspend Zimbabwe following seriously flawed elections. Inevitably, the secretary-general was made the villain of the peace.However, as Don relates in the book, his own reflection over Zimbabwe was more "in sorrow than in anger". No secretary-general relishes the suspension, expulsion or withdrawal of a member-state under his watch. And, Don bent over backwards to encourage President Mugabe to remain faithful to the Commonwealth's Harare Principles - principles that were agreed by all Commonwealth heads at a meeting chaired by Mugabe himself.No one is the more accountable custodian of the Commonwealth's collective values than the secretary-general. His primary touchstone is the values and principles to which all Commonwealth governments subscribe not only as a condition of their entry to the organization but as a sine qua non for keeping such membership. As Don rightly observes in his book, "The Commonwealth and its institutions had to be protected."Don's account of his efforts to engage Mugabe even after he had withdrawn Zimbabwe is an untold story which deserves to be known. And, Don has told it with clarity but also with a sense of disappointment and frustration. He has also not deprived his readers of an appreciation of the tensions that develop among heads of government in their decision-making on thorny issues.That tension makes the secretary-general's job a lot harder, particularly when it occurs among the Troika - the three heads of government - the past chair, the present chair and the incoming chair. The secretary-general has to look to them for guidance over how to deal with another head of government such as Mugabe who rode roughshod over Commonwealth values in pursuit of his own narrow political agenda. This memoir gives a full account of the tensions, the differences and even the vexations that occurred within the Troika. It is a frank insight into the contest between efforts to preserve the Commonwealth's shared values and the desire by a small number of heads of government to protect a fellow head of government who had thrown those values to the wind.Of particular interest is Don's account of the remarkable role played by P.J. Patterson, the prime minister of Jamaica, a small Commonwealth state, in the heads of government reaching a unanimous decision to continue the suspension of Zimbabwe. Don describes Patterson's intervention as a "tour de force". "We are dealing with two almost irreconcilable positions and we have a consensus," Don reports Patterson as saying. "Certainly not everybody is happy, but we must not now show a split." Patterson's legal and political skills impressed the room and Commonwealth agreement was preserved. So was its commitment to its declared values. If Don's candid account of the tribulations that surrounded Zimbabwe is not a sufficiently compelling story of the secretary-general's challenging role in the Commonwealth ring, then his experience over suspended Pakistan under President Musharraf completes the tale.As secretary-general he was invited by the British government to the Lord Chancellor's dinner for President Musharraf who was visiting Britain officially. This was in the wake of the 9/11 atrocities in the United States when Pakistan had overnight become the new "best friend" of the governments of Britain and the United States.But, at the time, Pakistan was suspended from the councils of the Commonwealth over very doubtful democratic institutions. Don did not regard Musharraf's visit to London as a good thing. As he said in his well-known forthright manner, it would not have happened to Fiji, Nigeria or Zimbabwe while they were suspended. It was, as he said, an example of one policy for the Commonwealth and another policy for bilateral relations. He was then promptly "uninvited" from the dinner, before being "re-invited" by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, but placed at a table out of sight. Quite rightly Don declined the re-invitation. He had "no intention of being a pawn in their game".This was not the only occasion when a government expected the secretary-general to act in its interest. But, as he pointed out to another government, the secretary-general "has to work for the collective Commonwealth good, not just advance the view of one country".
Indeed, every secretary-general, however deeply involved he was in the affairs of his own country and its interests in the Commonwealth and the international community, has to leave that baggage at the entrance door of Marlborough House. He must become de-nationalized, color blind, non-aligned religiously and re-constructed as a Commonwealth being - whole and entire. Don McKinnon became that body as every secretary-general has had to do.When a senior British Foreign Office official, who insisted that Britain, as the biggest contributor to the secretariat's funding, should always hold the post of deputy secretary-general, Don told him that not only was Britain not getting the post, it also would not permanently be on the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group.Thirty-two of the Commonwealth's 54 members are small states with problems and challenges that are peculiar to their vulnerabilities and lack of capacity to stand-up to powerful organizations such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).When Commonwealth small states were being pummelled by the OECD over "harmful tax competition", Don in his full Commonwealth regalia - his OECD membership card as former foreign minister of New Zealand firmly put away - championed the cause of the Commonwealth's constituency of small states and curtailed bullying and an uneven playing field. As a chronicle that is as frank in its content as it is wide in its telling of the inner workings of life in the ring of the Commonwealth, Don McKinnon's memoir is compulsory reading.
Note: "In the Ring" by Don McKinnon is published by Elliott and Thompson, London.
o Sir Ronald Sanders is a consultant and visiting fellow, London University. Send responses to: www.sirronaldsanders.com. Published with the permission of caribbeannewsnow.com.
The 16th Pan American Games going on in Guadalajara, Mexico, will forever be the competition that truly defined the amateur career of Valentino Knowles and to a large extent, the legacy of the Amateur Boxing Federation of The Bahamas (ABFB).
For the first time in the history of Bahamian sports, the boxing team has been able to upstage the other disciplines. His bronze medal clinching victory on Sunday against Argentina's Fabian Maidana put The Bahamas on the medal table for the first time. Then, on Tuesday, when he clearly was the better boxer against Yoelvis Hernandez of Venezuela, the performance meant at least a silver medal for his country.
He is capable of beating Cuban Roniel Iglesias tomorrow night, but whether he gets the majority of points or not, Knowles has fully established himself as one of the nation's "prime" elite athletes.
Also, he has made an emphatic case for the ABFB. It is ridiculous, when one considers that the national boxing program has had to settle often for no more than one-third of the funding given to other federations called "core sports" programs. When Taureano Johnson won a silver medal in the light welterweight division at the 2003 Commonwealth Boxing Championships, the federation was promised an elevation into the "core sports" category.
That never came to pass. During the ensuing eight years, Johnson grew into a full welterweight and went on to become the finest boxer in the entire Caribbean. Knowles and welterweight Carl Hield developed into prominent world performers. Knowles became a Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games gold medalist. He and Heild emerged as quality competitors on the rough Cuban boxing circuit. Hield got further into the middle of the regional success circle with a silver medal at the prestigious Dominican Republic Independencia Tournament.
Knowles made history by becoming the first Bahamian to win a bout at the World Boxing Championships (back in 2009). They both won bronze medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Knowles has followed directly in the footsteps of Johnson. He is now the best amateur boxer in all of the Caribbean and as of this moment, one of the two best light welterweights in the entire Pan American region.
Yet, the ABFB still has not been given official status by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture. Hopefully now, this travesty will cease. Knowles deserves to be at least in the $26,000 subvention category, and the federation earned "core sports" status in 2003. It is noteworthy indeed that the federation has been able to remain progressive despite being on the very low end of government sports grants.
On Friday, Knowles will be in the spotlight at the Pan American Games one more time. He definitely has what it takes to beat the Cuban. Iglesias has a strong left hand. Knowles is the better boxer and punches well with both hands. If I worked his corner I would simply tell him to make sure to circle away from Iglesias' left hand and just let his instincts take over.
Knowles is naturally gifted. He has all of the tools. He is superb defensively as well. He should win on Friday. Whatever the case though, he has finally demonstrated the ability to maximize his potential. Best wishes on Friday Valentino!
Congratulations also to the Amateur Boxing Federation of The Bahamas!
(To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at email@example.com)
Resorts International is disappointed at the misinformation published
this morning by The Punch in an article under the headline: "PM Tells
Sandals Boss Butch He has to Hire More Bahamians" .
piece asserts that Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie and
Chairman of Sandals Resorts International Gordon "Butch" Stewart met in
Exuma earlier this month to discuss among other things, the hiring of
more Bahamians at the property, allowing Bahamians to run shops within
the confines of Sandals Emerald Bay and further changes to the resort's
The article further suggested that the Prime Minister instigated
Bahamian heavyweight champion Sherman "The Tank" Williams acknowledges that he is on the last part of his ring career journey. At 41, and a common sense practitioner, Williams has few regrets.
He would have preferred on that night, January 22, 2011, that Referee Dave Johnson had insisted on Evander Holyfield continuing. As it happened however, Johnson declared the bout a no-contest, ruling that Holyfield was unable to go on because of a cut above the left eye.
It didn't appear that Holyfield's vision was bothered because blood was not flowing from the cut. Nevertheless, on a night that Williams was in control of his most noted of opponents, the referee's decision was not in his favor. Williams readily admits his disappointment for not having appeared more times in the ring before a home crowd.
He also wanted to add the Commonwealth boxing title to his list of regional and international crowns. Although several opportunities were presented to him, the proposed matches were never finalized. So with the competitive window closing, he is set to head for Auckland, New Zealand on Sunday, October 5 to get acclimated for his bout with local fighter Joseph Parker on October 16.
Presently, Williams is preparing at several gyms in the Port Lucie and Boca Raton areas, in Florida, with trainers Gus Curren and Charles Money.
"I'm pushing through and preparing each day for the fight. My spiritual being is strengthened and I look to the hills where my help comes from, for my help comes from God. My goal is to be victorious and represent The Bahamas, and bring the title back. That's my motivation. I have incorporated all the years of my experience, fine-tuning, enhancing and building my skill level in preparation for this fight. I'm not awed by the situation. Yes, I am fighting their young hopeful. I am fighting in his backyard. I have had to deal with similar circumstances many times before. I'm fighting for my country. He will feel some conch punches, for sure," said Williams confidently.
His ring management skills are not in doubt. He gives up five inches in height however, to Parker, and is 19 years older. Those are two huge barriers for "The Tank" to clear. He has a stout heart though and will be fighting with the full understanding that a good showing against Parker will better position him to attract promoters for his planned career close-out five matches in Freeport, Grand Bahama.
Williams is hoping to impress The Bahamas' Ministry of Tourism with his performance against Parker.
o To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In his first fight since going"blow for blow"with the five time heavyweight champion, Evander Holyfield, Bahamian professional boxer Sherman"Tank"Williams said he is"ready to let the caged up lion out and destroy".
His return to the ring will put him up against the Lithuanian boxer Remigijus Ziausys on Friday, November 4 at the Khodynka Ice Palace in Moscow, Russia. Williams is one of three heavyweight boxers on the under card. He will go 10 rounds. The main 12-rounder will be contested by Denis Lebedev and James Toney, in the cruiserweight division. Fighting as co-main are Alexander Bakhtin and Luis Melendez. That too is scheduled for 12 rounds.
Over the past few weeks, Williams' got it on' with Lebedev, training in the cold Moscow weather. Sparring sessions were held twice a day, allowing both Williams and Lebedev to get a good workout.
Williams said: "The boxer who I was supposed to fight, the guy got a fractured hand or something so that fight will be postponed. Ziausys, he just signed on and I don't know too much about him. During that time, I still was able to train with Denis. Our styles are similar. I guess, after they reviewed the Holyfield fight they decided to invite me over and let me train with Denis to help him prepare for his fight. They then offered me a spot on the under card and I took it.
"The training is going very well. The first week I was basically adjusting to the time difference and the weather. It is extremely cold and they are eight hours ahead of the time I am use to. The Russians have a different format of training for professional fights. We've been training two sessions a day, one at 7 a.m. and next at 2 p.m. For me, it has been enjoyable. I was able to work on my usual tactics and style, which is inside fighting and using the jab, closing the distance while throwing a mirage of straight rights and left hooks to the body and head. My execution has been good. Training has been going great. Both Denis and myself have benefited greatly from the training over the last four weeks."
The four-week training session came to an end yesterday for Williams and Lebedev, who will now turn their attention to their bouts. The Freeport native, Williams, said he is comfortable and ready to take care of business. His game plan is simple. If his opponent decides to run, Williams said he will cut him off. Keeping him off the rope is another key for Williams, who said"raining blows will be an understatement."
An immediate knockout is not a part of the plan, but if the opportunity presents itself, Williams said he will definitely land the blow."I feel strong and ready to go," said Williams."If the opportunity comes, there is no reason why I should not let go with my overhand right and left hook. If I can connect with those punches, it will be the same results in my last fight with Holyfield."
Williams fought Holyfield in January of this year. The bout was set for 12 rounds but was stopped in the third and ruled a no-contest. As of now, Williams has a win/loss record of 34 wins-19 KO and 11 losses, two draws.
The Church of God Bahamas and Turks and Caicos will see two monumental changes take place after the 75th International General Assembly in August -- the official installment of a new national general overseer in the person of Bishop Moses Johnson and the Turks and Caicos church becoming autonomous.
Johnson, 54, will receive his official appointment at the assembly, to be held July 29 to August 2 in Orlando, Florida. He replaces Bishop John Humes, who served as overseer for 12 years and will retire in August.
The national overseer elect/acting overseer, and senior pastor of the "mother church" of the Church of God, won the position handily in October 2013 over 10 other challengers for the administrative bishop's position after receiving approximately 60 percent of the votes during the nomination ballot exercise.
He said the members showing their support in that fashion humbled him.
"Originally, I didn't really want the position, but I guess it was God who spoke. When you're going to take a position of such magnitude, you have to know that you are being led by the Lord, and I didn't want it to be of me. I wanted it to be of God. And I believe it was the will of the Lord, because God knows everything," he said.
The good thing, he said, is that the transition from Humes to himself would be a smooth one, as he has worked with Humes during his entire administration -- either as his national secretary or national treasurer. He has a good idea about the scope of the work that the administrative bishop has to do and what the work is all about.
Johnson also has ideas of his own that he wants to implement as the man in charge of the Bahamian arm of the church, which has its headquarters in Cleveland, Tennessee. Evangelism, an increase in the church's membership and a sporting facility owned by the church are high on his agenda.
"We have a great number of young people and I want to create an atmosphere for them to be able to stay in the church, so we've got to put some things in place, and one of the first things I want to add is a gym that is owned by the church where our young people can have an outlet. Secondly, foremost on my mind is the evangelism thrust of the church. We're going to really be expanding the evangelism department and reaching out to people. And we want to see the membership of the church really increase. We want to really make a more forcible impact and do a much better job with our public relations.
The Pentecostal movement has been in existence in The Bahamas for over 100 years. Their world evangelization effort began in The Bahamas in 1909. The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos branch of the church has a membership of approximately 15,000.
As of the August general assembly, the Turks and Caicos will have autonomy and their own national overseer, the second big change that will come with Johnson taking the helm as national overseer. The Turks and Caicos church becoming self-governing he said is another important step that has to happen.
"When you've been a part of an organization for some 50-plus years, and you would have grown from no bishop to at least three bishops in the area, and some 20-plus ministers, and you've grown from two churches to 14 churches, it is time for them to control their own destiny," said Johnson. "And plus, they are a complete and separate sovereign nation, and whatever we did in the Turks and Caicos Islands had to be done under Turks and Caicos Islands law, and that kind of posed a little problem for us in that the Church of God. When you are responsible for property and territory, with all the legal ramifications, it is much easier for persons living within a country to deal with that, as opposed to somebody living outside the country being in charge and having to still deal with the internal laws," he said.
Johnson was ordained as the first youth pastor of the Church of God Cathedral located at East Street in 1987 before becoming the first full-time youth pastor in the Church of God on January 19, 1999. He served in that capacity for 16 years before he was elected national treasurer of the Church of God, while still serving as youth pastor. He later was elected national secretary.
In 2003 he was appointed senior pastor of the East Street Cathedral located at Lily of the Valley Corner. He was instrumental in the renovations to the "mother church" of the Church of God, and built the H.M. Pinder Senior Citizens Home and Youth Center without borrowing money from the bank.
In his second year as senior pastor, he started the Church of God Cathedral's Family Fun Day and established the now signature event of the church, the Favor, Blessing, Increase (FBI) Conference, which hosts hundreds of people yearly crossing denominations. Johnson also started the church's television program and continued the radio program, "Words of Hope", that has been running for 30 years.
Under his leadership, senior citizens within the church receive a monthly stipend. He organized home visits and ensured that clothing and food were available at the church for the needy. He also started the Church of God Cathedral's newsletter and opened the church's bookstore.
Now as the overseer elect/acting overseer and senior pastor of the "mother church" of the Church of God, he has an even greater task of carrying the Church of God to a higher level.
Johnson hopes to spend another 10 or 12 years in frontline ministry before he retires. He says it is not in his plan to be 70 to 75 years old and still be on the frontline, but he will continue to preach.
"I believe from zero to 30 years of age, a person should try to get as much education as possible, then between 30 and 60 years of age, an individual should work, and when you cross 60 years, you should prepare to depart for somebody else. So my job is to prepare for succession, so that some younger person would receive the knowledge that I have before I really punch my ticket to go to the great beyond," he said.
Paving the way for Johnson to do his job he said was the tremendous job done by the Humes. The outgoing national overseer was also a one-time president of the Bahamas Christian Council.
"Bishop John Humes has done a tremendous job for the Church of God. He and his wife, Jennie Humes, have labored long and hard and have brought the Church of God a long way, and we give our hats off to Bishop Humes who has done a tremendous job with the church. He's a people's person, and the kind of individual who has been dedicated to the work of the Lord. I am coming behind now, and picking some coconuts, and I'm eating them and some have jelly, but I would be remiss if I didn't remember the man who planted the coconut tree in the person of John Nathaniel Humes," he said.
With two more months before he's officially installed as overseer, Johnson said the Church of God is poised for greatness; he and his team; national secretary, Bishop Carlton Stuart, and national treasurer, Bishop Leslie Woodside, along with the national council to continue to be led by the Lord as they go about his work.
"It's a new season, but God is with us and the church is going to do great things," said Johnson.
Johnson is married to Cynthia Johnson. They have four children. Anniversary services in his honor will be held on Friday, June 27 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 29 at 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.
Attorney Carl Bethel said yesterday he will appear before Senior Justice Jon Isaacs next Wednesday to argue the constitutionality of three officers searching and seizing items from the home of Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman Darron Cash.
Bethel said he filed a notice of originating motion in the Supreme Court on Thursday. He said the Office of the Attorney General was served yesterday.
"Between now and then we will be settling our arguments based on the application we have before the court and also finalizing the terms and structure of legal action," he said.
On Thursday, three officers seized two laptop computers and a smartphone from Cash's Cable Beach home, reportedly in relation to a probe into the alleged leak of confidential information from Bank of The Bahamas (BOB).
In a statement, Bethel said the items were "physically grabbed from [Cash's] hands and taken by the police, who refused to deliver or to leave a copy of the 'search warrant' with Mr. Cash".
He said yesterday, "They had no reasonable or probable cause to act the way they did.
"Based on the information we have so far, they did not act with the authority of the law, but we will see how that plays out in the evidence."
Bethel said the commissioner of police and attorney general are listed as the respondents in the matter.
"We also demanded from them that they produce to us a copy of the documents that they were acting in reliance upon," Bethel said.
Cash has said that he had "no concerns" about the investigation.
The matter involving Bank of The Bahamas grabbed national attention several months ago after The Punch reported a series of allegations regarding loans from the bank.
FNM Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis has accused the government of directing the police to carry out a "political witch-hunt" on Cash because of his recent critique of "evolving scandals" surrounding Bank of The Bahamas. Cash has spoken out on several matters related to BOB in the last several months.
He released a series of press statements on issues regarding the bank.
Minnis said the whole matter is a gross invasion of Cash's privacy.
Approaching International Women's Day, the country witnessed a day of infamy in the House of Assembly, one of the most repugnant moments in the chamber in living memory.
Tall Pines MP Leslie Miller boasted, emphatically and unequivocally, that he had inflicted violence on, assaulted and brutalized a woman. In a 105-word horrendous analogy Miller noted, as reported in this journal: "'That's like beating your wife or your girlfriend every time you go home. You just beat her for looking at her. I love ya. Boom, boom, boom. I had a girlfriend like that.
"'When I didn't beat her she used to tell me I ain't love her no more cause I don't hit her. But seriously I had one like that. I had one. She used to tell me,' he insisted as other members murmured and chuckled.
"House Speaker Dr. Kendal Major injected, 'We know that you're joking with that.'
"However, Miller said he was 'serious with that'.
"'I tell her I get tired, man,' he continued, laughing. 'My hands hurting a little bit... give me a break.'
"After a comment from a sitting member inquiring whether he was joking, he reiterated, 'I am telling you the truth. One thing I don't do is lie.'"
Miller "entertained" his colleagues with braggadocio and misogynistic machismo. He twice said that he was serious. He said that he was telling the truth. He said that he doesn't lie. He could not be clearer. There is no way to misconstrue the remarks.
Equally infamous, many of his party colleagues erupted in laughter. Recall that this was before Miller later claimed that he was joking, making the laughter even more contemptible.
Aside Miller was Central and South Andros MP His Excellency Picewell Forbes, the country's high commissioner to CARICOM, shaking uncontrollably with laughter, throwing his arms wildly in the air, howling his enjoyment.
A few weeks ago Forbes told Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell on the floor of the House that he had "some different views" with him about LGBT issues.
With Mitchell generally voicing the views of successive governments, was Forbes disagreeing with government policy and non-discrimination of gays and lesbians?
It is clear from those remarks and in his delight in Miller's woman-beating story, that Forbes represents an antediluvian mindset. In his public career he has proved an intellectual troglodyte. He is not alone.
Sadly, revealingly, Forbes was also not alone in his raucous snickering at the horror of a woman being brutalized.
What particularly tickled his funny bone and that of certain PLP colleagues? Was it when Miller sighed: "I tell her I get tired, man. My hands hurting a little bit... give me a break." At that point Miller insisted that he was telling the truth.
How long is it into a beating before one's hands start hurting "a little bit"? How long before one's hands start hurting a lot? What is the equation of brutality? Is the victim supposedly to feel more loved the more she is brutalized: "I love ya. Boom, boom, boom"? Miller's comments packed more than a punch or a punch line.
As deafening as the laughter, the misogyny, the nauseating sexism, was the silence, not just in the moment, but more egregiously, the veil of silence of the PLP in the weeks after Miller's revolting statement.
Miller's story of brutality was repugnant enough. The aftermath is as disturbing and as revealing. It was a week before his comments gained notoriety amidst a gathering storm of disgust and rebuke.
The outrage on social media exploded, with a Photoshopped image quickly going viral of Miller beating a woman on the ground, surrounded by PLP colleagues, including three female MPs, standing aside laughing. Comments on Facebook are running heavily against Miller, with the PLP's silence equally condemned.
An audio of Miller's repulsive comments was placed on YouTube. On March 8, nearly 630 people had listened to the comments, that number climbing the next day to approximately 1,500, climbing approximately another 400 by the following night to around 1,900, and climbing still.
Having plunged the PLP into a quandary, Miller made matters considerably worse. Instead of humility and restraint in his defensive words and offensive tone, he has appeared belligerent and bullying, continuing to offend. His exercise in damage control has been slapdash, ineffective, unconvincing.
The speaker of the House said that he believes that Miller was joking. Many do not share the speaker's opinion. They take Miller at his first words. Why did it take him approximately a week and enormous pressure before he addressed his remarks?
With Miller having taken nearly a week to backtrack, many concluded that either he did not understand his offense or that he was mostly engaging in damage control or some combination, none of which speaks well of his mindset.
Especially for many women, his eventual apology was too little, too late. It has often been said of misogynists that they simply don't get it. Had Miller's comments not come under scrutiny, he may never have apologized.
An expression of remorse is typically the response of someone who appreciates that they have offended others. But when Miller first took to the floor of the House to address his prior comments, contrition was not his first impulse.
Incredibly, he raged against The Nassau Guardian for reporting his remarks. He threatened to return fire to Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner who had upbraided him earlier.
A number of the male PLP MPs who laughed a week earlier at his claim of beating a woman cheered on as he promised to deal with Butler-Turner if she persisted in her criticism. Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe suggested that Butler-Turner should apologize to Miller for having criticized him!
The exchange revived misogynistic remarks Miller made during the 2012 general election in reference to Butler-Turner.
In 2014, Miller's misogyny went even beyond his prior sexist remarks, with his mea culpas growing in proportion to the political heat he was taking.
Full contrition is unconditional: "I was wrong and I am sorry." By contrast, Miller played the victim. His apology was conditional.
He bemoaned: "Unfortunately, the media choose to highlight certain words without executing the entire story and truth... that's how papers are sold and unnecessary drama unfolds. This is common in our society, but unacceptable on all [sic] levels. I will continue to challenge anyone that tries to assassinate my character, especially on such a sensitive topic.
"To anyone that my analogy may have offended, I sincerely apologize. We [sic] are one Bahamas, let's make an effort to put politics and hidden agendas aside and live that way."
It's mostly the media's fault. My words were taken out of context. I'm angry that they reported exactly what I said. Let's put politics aside and love each other. Odd, that the latter is not his modus operandi when he is viciously attacking his opponents.
His is the language typical of faltering damage control campaigns. There was the classic conditionality and half-apology typical of such public relations: "To anyone that my analogy may have offended ..." May have offended?
Miller has condemned himself and assassinated his own character by the rank misogyny he spewed and by the fuller and unconditional apology he could not bring himself to offer.
He can go on wildly blaming others. But it is he and he alone who is responsible for the position in which he finds himself. The more he attacks others in this debacle the worse his position.
Miller has done irrevocable damage to his public standing. He has significantly damaged his party. Still, it is the party that is doing greater damage to itself by remaining coldly silent.
There is the silence of the men of the PLP including Prime Minister Perry Christie. There is the silence of the women of the PLP including Social Services Minister Melanie Griffin, whose words rang hollow in commemoration of International Women's Day.
Historically, silence in the face of racism, sexism and homophobia have suggested a certain complicity with those who would dehumanize others with the most repugnant remarks, as did Miller.
Had an FNM MP uttered Miller's contemptible words, Christie and a host of PLP men and women, including Griffin and her female colleagues, as well as possibly Miller, would have lined up to vehemently assail the FNM in question.
The PLP's silence is more than hypocrisy. It is vile and nauseating.
Sadly, where are the apologies of those PLP MPs who laughed along with Miller? Having failed to apologize, they are even more complicit in the misogyny and the sexism, as is the PLP generally for refusing to rebuke Miller.
Following the 1987 general election, widely thought to have been fraudulent and underhanded, Miller noted, "All's fair in war and love", an idiom suggesting that in love or war or politics one does not have to abide by certain rules of fair play or ethics.
Surely Miller was being "serious about that" back then, just as perhaps most Bahamians view him as having been deadly serious in his more recent comments.
o email@example.com, www.bahamapundit.com.
I wish to respond immediately to The Nassau Guardian's editorial of February 21 in which it called for me to apologize to Dion Foulkes for words spoken by me in my own defense last week.
You can hold your breath for that apology. You will see the second coming first.
Help me understand the logic here. Here I am minding my own business. I have conducted myself with all decorum and responsibility in every public office which I have had the opportunity to have in this country. Suddenly and without warning, a minister of the government whose government had in its possession a report which discredits the very accusations he is about to make, puts into the public domain comments which injure me in my character and reputation. The attacks were unwarranted; the allegations are false and defamatory. They were investigated and the issues settled five years or more ago. The minister knew this at the time he laid the document in the Senate last week.
The Nassau Guardian based on these reports in the Senate carries a headline which says that I am accused of corruption. This goes to the heart of my existence as an individual, as a public figure. It imperils my job and my living. It threatens my ability to travel and makes me a target of physical harm. Yet The Nassau Guardian in its editorial is now saying that I must sit back and be a punching bag for every Tom, Dick or Harry because I am PLP and in public life and allow these persons without penalty to make allegations of corruption against me. I must simply sit back and say nothing. Worse, and in the most perverse logic I have seen in my career, I must now apologize to Dion Foulkes. You have got to be joking.
It's only my mother's home training that has not caused me to do worse.
The charges of fomenting violence are so contemptible, I hesitate to respond. Obviously, we all speak a different language. Those who know me, know if that is what I wanted to say I would have said so.
Dion Foulkes, Hubert Ingraham as prime minister, Brent Symonette as foreign minister and Lynn Holowesko as president of the Senate are all complicit in this matter. I hold them personally responsible for the consequences of their official actions. Let me make that abundantly clear. This is no joking matter to me. The police report now in the public domain speaks volumes about the accuser.
I ask these public officials this however: a Bahamian foreign service officer by a document which they have now clothed with parliamentary immunity initiates a meeting with an agent of a foreign government; she makes to that foreign government agent an allegation of corruption against a Bahamian minister, her boss at the time. She admits she has no evidence but makes the allegation anyway. Before doing so, she did not complain to the permanent secretary of her ministry, the Bahamian commissioner of police, the Bahamian leader of the opposition, then Hubert Ingraham, nor the Bahamian prime minister, then Perry Christie. She did not even go to the Bahamian press. This is an officer who is sworn to uphold the integrity of the Bahamian state, who by the government's own document has provided information to a foreign state, yet by all accounts that officer is still sitting in office.
Foulkes, Ingraham, Symonette and Lynn Holowesko all have sworn to uphold the constitution and uphold the sovereignty of The Bahamas. They have done nothing to deal with the foreign service officer. Rather what they have done is to revel in the discomfort they have caused me for political purposes. I can assure you it is only a joke to them and perhaps to The Nassau Guardian. Not to me. The Nassau Guardian has had nothing to say about that dereliction of duty on the part of those named officials.
It is even more egregious since the charges made by the officer are false.
And The Nassau Guardian says Fred Mitchell must apologize. In this forum I cannot tell The Guardian the words I would like to say.
- Fred Mitchell, Fox Hill MP