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The 15th Annual Bahamas National Spelling Bee produced fierce competition amongst the 20 participants, but it was Long Island student Peloma Cartwright who took the first place prize.
The event was held at the Crown Ballroom in Atlantis yesterday.
Peloma, 11, of N.G.M. Major High School, said she was nervous during the competition, but chalked up her victory to fastidious preparation.
"I just tried to get the definitions; I learned all my rules and I had to concentrate and think the word through," she said.
Peloma went 27 rounds, winning with the word 'reparations'.
She went seven rounds with sixth grade student Dante Rolle, 11, of Walter Parker Primary School, Grand Bahama, but in the end it was the word 'iambist' that defeated him.
Peloma will represent The Bahamas at the Scripps National Spelling Bee Competition in Washington, D.C.
She will be accompanied by second place winner Dante, and third place winners Alexxus Francis, 11, of High Rock Primary School in Andros and Breann Rahming, 12, of Bahamas Academy.
Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes wished the winner and participants great success.
"I know that the victor will be a fitting ambassador of The Bahamas, as she travels to Washington, D.C. to participate in the international competition," he said in his message.
Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham and Education Minister, Desmond Bannister shared similar sentiments in their messages.
BROADWAY OVER QUEEN’S ACT II – "THE LIGHT AND THE DARK”.
The curtains rise tonight at 7:30 p.m. on the first of three performances of “Broadway Over Queen’s Act II”. The Queen’s College Players featuring students from Primary and High School sections of the school sing and dance to some of the most popular, moving and memorable pieces from a number of the most beloved Broadway shows.
This is an opportunity for you to join in experience Broadway without leaving the island.
A few of the pieces this year are drawn from well known musicals such as Dreamgirls, Sweeney Todd, Little Shop of Horrors and Hairspray. & ...
Two concert-workshops provided to students in Grand Bahama
FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- The Grand Bahama Performing Arts Society (GBPAS) is delighted to present C-Force, a chamber ensemble that offers a unique and intriguing approach to the traditional concept of chamber music. The group is made up of Christy Lee - pianist, Christine Gangelhoff - flute and Christian Justilien - euphonium, all of whom are faculty members at The College of the Bahamas, Nassau and will appear at Freeport's Regency Theatre on Saturday, March 15th at 7:30pm.
The evening, C-Force, An Evening of Musical Fusion will include beloved Bahamian writer, poet and filmmaker, Marion Bethel, who will be reading some of her poetry and will also incorporate GBPAS scholarship recipient, Chavez Parker, on percussion.
C-Force's unusual instrumentation (flute, euphonium and piano) allows for many types of classical music interpretations and their diverse backgrounds contribute to the exploration of all types of non-traditional musical forms. Since its formation in 2008, C-Force has been featured in concert throughout the islands of The Bahamas. Most recently the group has been promoting the art music of the Caribbean with their performances in Trinidad and Tobago, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, the US Virgin Islands and the United States.
The members of C-Force are unified in their desire to encourage music education in The Bahamas and throughout the Caribbean region. To this end they will be performing two (2) concerts for students on Grand Bahama Island. These concerts /workshops will take place at Bishop Michael Eldon Auditorium on Friday, March 14, 2014 with primary school aged children at 10am and concert for middle/high school aged children at 1pm. These sessions will last about 1 hour which will include concert pieces, demonstration of the euphonium and a Q & A period. There will be a minimal charge of $2.00 per student.
Nassau, The Bahamas - Celebrating Earth Day, the
Hon. Ryan Pinder brought remarks to the Earth Day Primary School
Symposium. Minister Pinder expressed the importance of programs like
this that takes on a holistic approach that includes community, schools,
and the political directorate, to national issues and initiatives. The
symposium offered a variety of speakers with government and private
sector representatives in collaboration with the schools present.
"It is my privilege to be among students that
are passionate about their environment and willing to get involved in
helping the communities of The Bahamas to improve. This reminds us that
these matters require a collaborative approach and I applaud...
She may only be 10 years old, but Oakes Field Primary School head girl Derrica Ferguson already knows that you don't accomplish anything unless you're able to dream big. And even at a young age, she doesn't believe that she shouldn't already be thinking about her future. She fully understands that dreaming big enough to surpass the stars means if she falls short, she's at least still among the clouds. The sixth-grade student, with a 3.81 grade point average, hopes to continue to inspire her peers to follow in her footsteps and dream seemingly impossible dreams, because she believes the world doesn't have enough dreamers. She says if you want to change the world it all starts with an idea.
QWhy is it so important that young students like yourself learn to dream big and follow through?
AI think it is important to push young children to follow their dreams and not stop them from dreaming. As children, everything seems possible until someone tells you it isn't. You have to let us dream and come up with ways to make our ideas come true. There are so many ways to do things and you have to keep on dreaming and trying. I think all kids have the ability to do great things and we just need to be able to dream big. Right now I am doing my best to accomplish my goals, by being head girl of my school and having a position where I can encourage others.
QHow did you feel when you were told you would be head girl, and what did you expect the position would entail?
AI was a prefect from grade five so I knew what the role of being a leader on campus meant. When I did the best on the test that only select prefects could take, I already sort of knew what to expect of the role. I knew I had to set a good example for the other students and I would have to work hard to keep up with my work. I also knew I wanted to encourage other students to be active after school and to get more involved in their schoolwork. So far I think I have been doing a good job by being the best example I could be to everyone and showing the other students how to belive in themselves even when they think they can't do something.
QWhat is the biggest challenge you've faced as head girl?
AMy greatest challenge is being the perfect example for all the boys and girls. Sometimes you do something wrong and because you are head girl people make a bigger deal than normal out of it. I have to try to be on my best behavior and do everything right because people are watching. I'm not perfect so I have to apologize when I am doing something wrong and try harder not to do it again. I think I have been doing that well, but it's a challenge I have every day.
QWhat lesson do you expect to take into your future endeavors from being head girl?
A I think having a sense of teamwork is definitely something I am learning to do better and better. I also think I will keep up the attitude of always holding myself to a level that I can be an example to people around me. I always want to inspire other students and show them how easy it is to have a dream and achieve it if you are willing to work for it. I will keep on trying to be in positions where I can influence others for the better. I definitely appreciate being head girl.
QWhat are your future ambitions?
AI hope to one day be a doctor who finds a cure for HIV/AIDS. This may not seem possible but I have a dream that I can and so I will. I believe that nothing is impossible as long as you can dream. I want to encourage other students to work hard and do well in school as well so that they can reach for the stars. You need a good education if you want to have a chance at all the opportunities that are out there. I really want to encourage others to see more than where they are now.
Educating and inspiring the next generation of filmmakers is the primary focus of a signature workshop put on annually by the Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF), now in its 10th year, and set to kick off on Thursday.
This year, the Youth Film Workshop has partnered with five local Bahamian private and public schools throughout Nassau and Eleuthera and integrated the workshops directly into classrooms.
The Festival will screen the winning films and clips from the program December 5 - 8 in Nassau and December 9 - 13 in Eleuthera, said BIFF Founder and Executive Director, Leslie Vanderpool.
The Youth Film Workshops served as an innovative children's mobile film studio creating a unique learning environment like none other, according to the festival's organizers. With the support of BTC, the Youth Film Workshops took place in classrooms throughout Nassau to heighten awareness of the positive impact of media literacy.
Participating schools in this year's program each led a selected group of students to develop story lines, scriptwriting and take on various roles of an actual film crew for their film format, based on the topic "The Bahamas Through My Eyes".
A total number of 65 students, through the course of a week, participated in the sessions with a curriculum that included the history and art of filmmaking, genres, formats, scriptwriting, casting, shooting and cinematography. Schools that signed on to participate in this year's Youth Film Workshop are L.W. Young Junior High School, Garvin Tynes Primary School, Spanish Wells All Age School, Harbour Island All Age School and Central Eleuthera High School.
"BIFF's Youth Film Workshop is a favorite program of mine, as it provides hands-on experience in making a film, teaches the benefits of collaboration and teamwork and allows children to realize their innate abilities and exercise their imaginations. The rewards of teaching 600 students since this outreach program was started in schools around Nassau, and adding Eleuthera to this list, are immeasurable. Testimonies from students now in college pursuing theater arts, media and filmmaking, as a result of this introductory exposure, speak to the importance and value of this program. This is the beauty of bringing Hollywood to The Bahamas and conducting invaluable programs that BIFF offers throughout the year," said Vanderpool.
The Youth Film Workshop was conducted by Vanderpool and Neville Smith, CEO of Settlers Cove Ltd. Digital Cinema & Television. With their guidance, participants learned the fundamentals of filmmaking, explored and experimented with the latest in digital technology, in an exciting, fast-paced, child-focused environment with the ultimate goal of developing media literacy, social networking and collaboration skills.
"It was encouraging to see young people excited about a profession that they watch every day but never had the opportunity to participate in," said Neville Smith. "In class, we challenged the students to make short films by whatever means they had, which reveal a level of creativity that was astounding! I hope to see films coming from their respective schools in the near future."
The Youth Film Workshop was sponsored by The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC).
Celebrating its 10th year, the BIFF has established itself as a marquee international festival in the Caribbean region, discovering and promoting independent voices and talent from around the world and showcasing a diverse array of international films.
o For additional information, including screening listings, events and ticket pricing, please visit www.bintlfilmfest.com.
African People's Socialist Party-Bahamas to host conference to build its ranks and unite Africans worldwide
Nassau, Bahamas -
The African People's Socialist Party-Bahamas
will host the African Socialist International Caribbean & Latin American
April 6-9, 2012
under the theme:
"Uniting the African World-Joining the Revolutionary Party for
The Conference will be held
the E.P. Roberts Primary School Hall on Lincoln Blvd. in the Englerston
aim of the Conference is to unite Africans throughout the world, with
particular emphasis on Africans in the Caribbean & Latin American region.
The African People's Socialist Party-Bahamas deems this crucial at a time when African
FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- Member of Parliament for Pineridge and Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly, the Honourable Kwasi Thompson, praised students at the Hugh Campbell Primary School on Monday for their reading and literacy advancement and achievements. In recognition of Library Week, the school held a special assembly to mark the climax of the week long activities.
Thompson was invited to serve as the keynote speaker. The local MP noted that he was delighted to celebrate the power of literacy, and lauded the school's Principal, Mrs. Victoria Wright, and her staff for their consistent efforts to promote literacy. He used the opportunity to commend Ms. Lakatia Braynen, this year's Teacher of The Year for Hugh Campbell and the District of Grand Bahama. "You have represented Grand Bahama well Ms. Braynen during your titled tenure as our top teacher, and we are all so very proud of you."
Thompson, in a passionate address, told students that the power of reading changes and transforms lives. He traced his personal journey from a little boy who first picked up a book and recognised the endless possibilities. That first book, commented Thompson: "took me on a journey to primary school, high school, and all the way to law school where I graduated at the top of my class."
Nassau, Bahamas - Temple
Christian Elementary School students end their choral verse speaking
performance with a flourish, as they score a 90 out of 100, during the E.
Clement Bethel National Arts Festival's New Providence Adjudications, on March
26, 2012, at the National Centre for the Performing Arts, on New
Cecilia's Catholic Primary School students perform the choral verse speaking
piece "The Clapboard House", during the E. Clement Bethel National
Arts Festival's New Providence Adjudications, on March 26, 2012, at the
National Centre for the Performing Arts, on New Providence...
While most soon-to-be parents dream big dreams for their unborn child, for 27-year-old Tonia Gibson and 35-year-old Kevin Cartwright those dreams were tempered and had to be put on hold. During Gibson's pregnancy, all they could do was hold out hope that their child would be born normal - from head to toe.
Both parents knew that despite their prayers and wishes the chances that the son they would name Kylan would be born normal. They knew that Kylan's normalcy would be reduced due to both parents having suffered from congenital glaucoma in their childhood which resulted in them both losing their vision by their teens. Although they loved each other and wanted to start a family, Gibson and Cartwright, knew that Kylan, like any child they had together, would have a high likelihood of suffering the same condition that they had.
When they learned in early 2011 that Gibson was pregnant after almost two years of companionship, Gibson and Cartwright imagined their son would luck out and have a small chance of growing up without the same difficulties they had. In spite of the couple's hopes and prayers, Kylan was born with visual problems. This bothered the couple at first, but they saw a ray of hope in the situation because their son's visual condition called congenital cataracts is curable.
"When I knew I would have Kylan I was so happy," said Gibson. "I had grown up taking care of younger family members like nieces and cousins and I always knew I wanted to have a baby of my own one day. Although my son has a visual problem as I do, I have hope for him. And I am looking forward to doing more for him so he can live as normally as possible."
In spite of his son's vision problems, Kylan's father, said he could not imagine anything more perfect than his son.
"While it would've been wonderful if my son had no problems at all, I am still glad that what he has is treatable and he is healthy otherwise," said Cartwright. "I really would want my son to have the best chance at life as he can. He is a wonderful child and being blind, while it does not stop life from going on, makes things harder. Not so much in the way you see yourself, but in the way others see you and treat you," said Cartwright.
The parents want their son to have the best chance in life and are presently trying to get medical help to have the cataracts that cloud their five-month-old son's vision removed, as well as fix any other problems with his vision that can be diagnosed and fixed while he is still early in his development.
Gibson, a secretary at the The Bahamas Alliance for the Blind and Visually Impaired and Cartwright, a teacher at the Erin H. Gilmour School for the Blind where he teaches Braille, mathematics and computer science do not have medical insurance are trying to raise funds to take Kylan to the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. It is expected to cost the couple in the region of $30,000.
"We want to do this for Kylan and ensure he will be well. We just need help at this point so he can have the best chance at life. He still has a chance to see and it would not be fair to let him go through what we did if it can be avoided," said Cartwright.
Although optical conditions like cataracts and glaucoma can sound scary, there is little to fear as long as treatment is sought immediately according to Dr. Ebbie Shearer-Jackson, optometrist at Palmdale Vision Center.
"Cataracts are an opacity (cloudiness) in the eye that many people may associate with older folks but this is not necessarily true. Some people can be born with it. Eventually with age we all will develop cataracts if we live long enough. Having a cataract blocks light from entering and getting to the back of the eye. It is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world today. The only means of treatment for this condition is to have a lens removal and replacement surgery," said Dr. Shearer-Jackson.
Due to technological advances the procedure to remove cataracts can be done on young children who are born with the condition, which means their visual development will not suffer much. In the case of babies like Kylan, the earlier a surgery can be done the better it will be for his normal visual development, according to the expert. But other conditions, like glaucoma, are incurable no matter how much treatment is sought.
"Glaucoma is an eye disease that occurs due to there being increased pressure in the eye as a result of fluids in the eye not flowing out sufficiently," said the doctor. "As a result excess fluid would increase within the eye causing too much pressure which can damage the optic nerve - a nerve that transfers visual information from the eye to the brain. As the excess fluid suppresses and squeezes the nerve it slowly kills the cells. This will eventually result in vision being lost peripherally and over time this increasing tunnel vision will give way to blindness. There are numerous categories of this condition, like onset, primary open angle and acute onset glaucoma. The main form of glaucoma found in the Bahamian population is primary open angle glaucoma."
Depending on the intensity of the eye pressure and the form of glaucoma, a person with a personalized form of treatment can be sought. The most common form of treatment for this condition is the use of medication or eye drops to manage it. If surgical methods of treatment are advised due to failure of other options, a surgeon may insert a little pump in the eye to help to alleviate the pressure in the eye. Other surgical options may result in a surgeon putting a hole in the eye using a special laser.
Due to how painful and tedious managing the condition can be, many people would want to avoid getting it at all costs, but unfortunately there is no way to prevent it said the eye doctor.
"When you think about who can get glaucoma and how to prevent it, there is no real answer for that. The thing about glaucoma is that much like hypertension and diabetes which are more common in black people, so is this condition. As a result it is very common in this and other black populations and as a result it is passed along in many families. So when you think about it, many people are just prone to developing this condition genetically and there is no running from it. So it is best to be aware of what can be done especially if this condition runs in the family. This will prepare you should it happen to you. It won't be a big shock and you will already know what to expect and what to do. Don't ignore it because unchecked glaucoma can lead to blindness."
oTo contribute to Kylan getting the medical attention he needs, contact Kevin Cartwright at 394-3197, 676-3489 and 448-3863 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Interested persons can also deposit donations to Scotiabank account number 38980.
Kylan's mom said she has hope for her son and is looking forward to him living as normal a life as possible.
The government will spend in excess of $130,000 for repairs at Stephen Dillet and Uriah McPhee primary schools, according to officials.
Coleman Andrews, first assistant secretary of education, said repairs at Stephen Dillet will cost around $70,000, while repairs at Uriah McPhee will cost just over $60,000.
He previously estimated Stephen Dillet would cost around $50,000 to repair.
Problems with the air conditioning units, mold and a rodent infestation were discovered at the schools after the Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) staged a sit-in last Thursday over those health concerns.
While both schools were closed for repairs on Friday and Monday, they are expected to be reopened today.
Minister of Education, Science and Technology Jerome Fitzgerald said mold was discovered in the ceiling last week.
He said no signs of mold were discovered during the Ministry of Education's assessment in April.
"There may be issues that may have arisen [since] April, when we did our scope of work, and there may be some that just arose during the summer when we went to do some works and some things were brought to our attention," Fitzgerald said.
Deputy Director in the Ministry of Works, Caldwell Pratt, who has responsibility for buildings, said a team within the Ministry of Works will conduct general maintenance of the air conditioning units at both schools.
Fitzgerald said there has only been a minimal impact on students after missing four days of classes at the schools.
Nassau, The Bahamas - Sts.
Francis and Joseph School Recorder Ensemble entertains the audience,
during the E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival's New Providence
Adjudications, on March 26, 2012, at the National Centre for the
Performing Arts, on New Providence.
Centreville Primary School
student Alphonso Leadon plays the recorder impressively, during the E.
Clement Bethel National Arts Festival's New Providence Adjudications,
on March 26, 2012, at the National Centre for the Performing Arts, on
The celebrations are now in full gear. Bahamians are transitioning to the celebratory mood.
New Providence residents might still are asking, "Where?" I am glad you asked, remember the American song we reinvented, "This land is my land, this land is your land, from Grand Bahama to Inagua ..."? Yes, indeed this country is an archipelago where there is action somewhere every day as it pertains to the independence celebrations.
Ambitiously we set out for one full year to celebrate our 40th anniversary, however, the major and more direct events were all squeezed within the 40-day countdown.
Within this time span is the flag raising ceremony to be done; hopefully, on all inhabited landmass within the chain. This is overly ambitious but remember, nothing beats a try but a failure.
The flag raising ceremony is to me the epitome of all celebrations for this milestone anniversary. I was privileged to have been the commissioner, representing the secretariat, as the flag was taken to Inagua, Acklins and Crooked Island on Monday, June 10 and Wednesday, June 12 respectively. Commissioner Linda Moxey-Brown led the delegation to Long Island on Tuesday, June 11. On June 14, it was Rock Sound and Governor's Harbour with Member of Parliament Damien Gomez leading the delegation.
In most respects, the flag raising ceremony will be the red letter day of celebration in our islands and a most fitting symbolic gesture to unite the hearts and spirits of our people in our ongoing quest to truly become one Bahamas.
This flag was the very one raised on July 10, 1973 at Clifford Park proclaiming The Bahamas a sovereign, free and independent country. Awesome, isn't it just to imagine the power of such a symbolism?
Having failed to have San Salvador as the first in the series, due to the airline's late departure, Inagua was the recipient of first place honor.
The official party was met at the aircraft by the official receiving party led by Senior Deputy Administrator Whelma Colebrooke. The ceremony was brief, yet profound. The 40th anniversary of independence prayer was led by Audrey Burrows.
Information on the symbolism was given by the administrator followed by the actual flag raising by Reverend Godfrey Bain. Representing the bridge to the future was student Humphrey Miller.
The choir of the Inagua All Age School kept the tempo flowing with national renditions which included the national anthem. Acklins was fewer in number, only natural, but the spirits were higher and there was a greater evidence of jubilation. Well, for us too, of the official party, it was my job as the only commissioner there.
I gave the official independence anniversary address. The Acklins islanders generously took pictures with all variety of cameras. It was a moment in time and they captured it.
Then it was on to Crooked Island. I agree with Elcott Coleby of Bahamas Information Services, a delegate on the voyage who in describing Crooked Island's celebrations said, "Crooked Island's flag raising ceremony was the best organized and most enthusiastic thus far. The huge crowd braved inclement weather to attend. We were all very impressed."
Yes, they came out in their Sunday best, all ages in eager anticipation of their moment of heightened celebrations. They stood in the rain with umbrellas for shelter. I was impressed with officer Bain of the Royal Bahamas Police Force who has raised up a youth band. They stood at attention even in the rain. They entertained along with the school choir.
Administrator Samuel Miller (my primary school teacher) did an excellent job along with the local leaders in organization and execution.
The flag raising was done by Eleazar Scavella and a student of the high school. When the ceremony was over, it was party time - much food and drinks went into the celebrations. I was most impressed.
Then there was Deadman's Cay, Long Island and South and Central Eleuthera already done. Then there is Mayaguana, San Salvador and Exuma, done on Monday, June 17; Cat Island, Ragged Island and Rum Cay on Tuesday, June 18 and much more. By now we should have the picture.
Yes indeed, much is happening in celebrations of our 40th anniversary. It's not all about Nassau/New Providence, but all over the archipelago, celebrations are in high gear. It's all being done at tremendous cost for those directly involved.
For those who care about The Bahamas with passion as a true native should, I invite you to get out the spectator stands and hear Dr. Off say to you, "Get involved, get involved." We need community leaders to summon their neighborhoods to decorate by draping in the national colors.
Many are now coming on board, thank God. Vehicles are now flying the flags. Some churches, albeit few, are being decorated. I see a precious few observing Fridays as special celebratory days by dressing in independence T-shirts, etc. Congratulations! We've started, but let's turn the heat up. More is expected.
Let every church dress up. Take the lead. You will be contagious to your parishioners. Government, your buildings are not draped; take the lead, man. Business places at the malls, downtown, etc. come on board; let's get set and go. Drum up the spirit for this land is my land; this land is your land.
Now schools are closed. Next time we must discuss ideas to indoctrinate our children with the message of nationalism. Any ideas though? Please forward them to me so as to share with the wider Bahamian community. Before the year-long celebration is over I urge us to find an event for children.
Let us match the old-time Empire Day marches and celebrations. Only now our message will be tailored to the endless process of indoctrinating children in what it means to be a proud Bahamian.
For the remainder of our celebrations, I invite us all to pray daily our national prayer for these celebrations.
Leader: O come let us sing out to the Lord:
All: Let us shout in triumph to the rock of our salvation.
Leader: For the lord is a great God!
All: And a great King above all gods. (Ps. 95:1-3)
Let us pray: Almighty God, you created us in your own image and likeness. We thank you for all warriors in our history who have contended against evil and fought fearlessly for our freedom.
Help us to reverently use our freedom responsibly that justice, equality and fair play might be manifested and maintained in our Bahamas and within and among all nations.
We confess our failure, throughout these 40 years of nationhood, to fully reveal your image and likeness. Drugs, crime, violence and broken homes still lurk on every hand.
We confess our hatred and failure to show kindness, our injury of one another in thought, word and deed, our uncharitable thoughts, prejudice and contempt toward those who differ from us. We beg you accept our repentance, Lord.
We thank you for abundant blessings of families, for our children and youth - the bridge to the future and all those who guide and nurture them, for daily food, for sun, sea and sand. Thank you for minds to think, for health and strength to work and play.
Guide, now, our leaders that they may protect our treasures well; create full and fulfilling employment and so direct our affairs in righteousness and peace.
Let us glorify the lord: Father Son, and Holy Spirit. Praise Him and highly exalt him forever for his wonderful gift of this archipelago of islands, The Bahamas, home to us. May we treasure one another, our independence and democracy for all times to come.
All: Accept our prayers and thanksgiving Lord we offer you, as one people united in love and service.
This prayer is recommended for personal, family and church use by all Bahamians during this independence season.o Fr. Sebastian Campbell is rector at St. Gregory's Anglican Church.
ABACO -- The Treasure Cay Billfish Tournament (TCBT) recently announced a new date and format for its 31st annual competition.
The tournament is now scheduled for June 25-29, 2014 and will be held at Treasure Cay Beach Marina & Golf Resort in Abaco. The tournament will offer three fishing days - Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with an optional 'Family Fun Day', Kettle of Fish Tournament and 'Rock the Dock Party' on Sunday. Treasure Cay General Manager Stephen Kappeler said: "We took into consideration that some tournament participants may like to depart on Sunday to return to work on Monday. Plus, scheduling the event after school is out will make it easier for participants to include their families."
Known for its great fishing, excellent value and social events, the world-class competition attracts teams from around the world. The TCBT also offers social parties, dinners and fun competitions. Its guaranteed cash payout ranges from $10,000 for a minimum of 10 boats and up to $50,000 for the participation of 50 boats.
The TCBT offers a special bonus of one free room night at the resort or a free day of dockage for registrations made prior to March 31, 2014. The early registrations also receive an entry into a drawing for free tournament dockage for boats up to 60 feet, and additional prizes.
One of the best fishing destinations in The Bahamas, Treasure Cay is known for grander-size record-breaking marlin, large dolphin and wahoo. While billfish is the focus of the TCBT, the tournament includes Fun Fish Division awards for tuna, dolphin and wahoo. The Fun Fish Division offers an optional payout rivaling top prizes of U.S.-based tournaments. In addition to the cash prizes, winners receive beautiful trophies and the top team is honored with a statuesque perpetual trophy showcased in the resort's Spinnaker Restaurant, one of the largest air conditioned out-island restaurant facilities available for events. Awards are also presented to the top lady and junior anglers.
Release point standings are verified by the participant's own digital and/or video camera with an image that can verify the time and date the photo was taken. The TCBT is open to the public and center consoles over 30 feet are welcomed. The top TCBT team will qualify for the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) Offshore World Championship, with information available at www.igfaoffshorechampionship.com.
In addition to great food and family social events, the TCBT also raises funds for the children of the Treasure Cay Primary School. Registration for up to six team members, including boat entry, cash prize eligibility, dinners, cocktail parties, team goody bag and room discounts, can be made online at www.treasurecay.com.
The current champion of the event is Team Southern Comfort, owned by Peter Angel, from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Southern Comfort captured the lead on the last day of fishing, bumping Domarlo, owned by Doug Macdonald, from West Palm Beach, Florida to second place. Big T's Too, owned by Bob Wolsey, from Sarasota, Florida dashed from zero to 800 points on the last day to snag third place.
Domarlo claimed the Ultra Champ award for most points earned by prior TCBT winners. The Kettle of Fish Tournament resulted in the catch of more than 70 lionfish as well as several snappers.
After more than a week of disruptions at Stephen Dillet and Uriah McPhee primary schools, Minister of Education, Science and Technology Jerome Fitzgerald assured parents and teachers of both schools that there is no "threat to their health and safety".
Officials from the Ministry of Education, the Department of Environmental Health Services (DEHS) and the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) toured both schools yesterday.
Fitzgerald said with the exception of cleaning the vents, which is ongoing, work at both schools has been completed.
"We expect by the end of this week or next week Monday to inspect the duct work, and to make sure that the air conditioning system is working as it is now," Fitzgerald told administrators and PTA officials at Stephen Dillet Primary School.
"This school has been functioning from last Wednesday... The same thing applies for Uriah McPhee.
"That is up and ready. The contractor completed the repairs on the air conditioning units at that school yesterday (Saturday)."
Fitzgerald said on Friday the air conditioning unit at Uriah McPhee Primary School was "sabotaged" multiple times, forcing education officials to close the school for another day.
He said yesterday that those repairs have been made and there should be no problems moving forward with the security personnel in place.
The Ministry of Education closed the primary schools last Friday because of several health issues and malfunctioning air conditioning units.
Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) President Belinda Wilson claimed the schools also have mold, as well as rodent and termite infestation.
The schools opened earlier this week after Fitzgerald said the Ministry of Environment gave the all-clear.
However, the union continued to express concerns about conditions at both schools. Union representatives were not present yesterday.
BUT President Belinda Wilson could not be reached for comment.
The union had its own assessment conducted by Enviro-Clean Company on September 14. Fitzgerald has dismissed that report.
In its report, the company said the air conditioning units and vents on each floor of Stephen Dillet are "extremely dirty, pushing out dust and contaminants".
The company noted that in an opening connecting the second and third floors, exposed fiberglass was used to fix the ceiling and overall Stephen Dillet "is not fit or worthy to open for public use".
During yesterday's tour of Stephen Dillet, Fitzgerald told PTA President Mandel Miller he did not want any misconceptions about the Department of Environmental Health Services' (DEHS) assessment of both schools.
That report was conducted last week Tuesday.
In its report, the DEHS said it is "satisfied notwithstanding the balance of works to be carried out that [Uriah McPhee and Stephen Dillet primary schools] do not pose an imminent danger to teachers and students.
Following the tour, Miller said in a separate interview that the PTA was satisfied the majority of health concerns it had raised have been resolved.
"I believe that the environment can now be conducive for effective learning and as a work area for our teachers," said.
"I would like to encourage all of the stakeholders of Stephen Dillet to now let's get back to the business of educating and developing the young children here."
Stephen Dillet's principal, Sheila Scavella, told The Nassau Guardian the sit-in and closures over the last two weeks have not had a major impact on the school and its students.
"During the industrial action, school kept right on as normal," she said. "We had administrators and other teachers who were making sure that our students had instructions throughout the day.
Though his songs about Bahamian culture are lighthearted and fun, for artist Kirkland "K.B." Bodie, keeping culture alive is a serious matter.
"We're going down the path of total wrong," he says. "We're picking up so much nonsense from other cultures that we are losing what we have."
K.B. would know - the music on his "Bahamian Hits" and "K.B. and Friends" albums are without a doubt the epitome of Bahamian Rake n' Scrape. When Bahamians list "true-true" Bahamian music, his name is one of the first out of their mouths.
Yet the singer is concerned about the future of such sound - indeed, the future of Bahamian culture in general, especially in the arena of the arts. Culture now, he points out, is a two-dimensional idea to many Bahamians.
"They equate Bahamian culture with the colors of the flag. I've been to many functions that are about culture and they put on their Bahamian colors, that's what Bahamian culture is to them. It's ridiculous," he says.
"Other people, they are only waiting for us to slip and their culture will come in there and guess what? They live and die by that. It will replace us."
Such ambivalence, he says, is created by many factors, yet they all boil down to the lack of an established, well-oiled arts and culture industry, especially one in music.
"We don't concentrate on industry in this country," he says. "We need an industry - we need investors that would invest in the music, we need radio stations mandated to play Bahamian music."
"Did you notice the entire time they were negotiating with Baha Mar, there was never any word about musicians or bands to be performing at Baha Mar?" he points out.
It's this lack of promotion of local culture that he fears will make such Bahamian signifiers as rake n' scrape an endangered species. What's unfortunate about this, he says, is that up-and-coming artists will no longer appreciate that sound, especially as they are inundated with other musical styles and the current reality TV culture.
"Most of these younger artists, they just want to be stars, they don't want to be a Bahamian icon or legend," he says. "They're going behind materialism, behind money. They want what Lil' Wayne has. They care about getting into the gym, slimming down, showing the booty and chest. They don't have any talent, but they have a great glossy shot."
"They want to get from A to Z but they forget that there are letters in between they have to jump on to get there - B, C, D, E, F, G," he continues. "Everyone thinks they'll get in and the end comes and you jump on that. No, there's L, M, N, O - all those letters you've got to deal with, that's what will get you there."
It's the kind of advice to take note of -- K.B.'s own path to music was nothing short of struggle, and was motivated by his love of music and Bahamian culture, something his parents, Ortland H. Bodie Sr. and Beatrice Outten, fostered.
"Both of my parents were very musical," he says. "I would travel between their houses and both sides were yin and yang, but both sides liked music. That's how I got into really appreciating music."
Joining chorus in both primary school growing up in Grand Bahama and then in high school in the United States as a teenager, learning about the theory of music, this love was fostered into a passion and he earned "Best Tenor" in his junior year of high school and "Best Male Vocalist" in his senior year.
Yet perusing a career in music was never in the realm of possibility at the time.
"I wanted to be a doctor actually. But chemistry stopped me from being a doctor," he laughs. "Me, chemistry and math don't really get along. I'm more literate. I like to write."
Moving back home after graduating high school, K.B. burned through three nine-to-five jobs in about a year at a gas station, restaurant, and auto parts shop. He still sang small gigs at events around Grand Bahama, yet music remained simply a passion or hobby, and not a career possibility.
"I wanted to do it, I loved doing it, but I never saw the road to it. I never knew anything but get out there and get a job," he says. "In my soul, because I know who I am, I know who my mother is, I know who my father is, I knew that I was more than what I was doing. I always knew that. I did the jobs for a period of time just to get by, but it never felt right to me."
When his friend Sid Rolle approached him about forming a band with K.B. as the lead singer, he jumped at it, and along with Dave Cooper and George Delancy, the formed The Ego Tripp Band.
"We decided to put our team together and we decided to quit our jobs," he says. "We saved our money and that was it. Go broke or go home."
For a while, they did indeed struggle, even after releasing their first and second albums with Frank Penn and his G.B.I. Recording Studio. Ironically, The Ego Tripp Band was strictly an alternative music band, producing music far from what K.B. epitomizes as Bahamian music now.
Yet the public's desires became clear when The Band released a song with Bahamian flavor, "Turn Her Loose" and it took them national--they wanted the Bahamian spirit.
A subsequent falling out with Frank Penn and the band parting ways during the economic slump of the 80s led K.B. on his solo career, but not before the band also released "Ya Whinin'" and the song K.B. himself penned and produced, "Juicy Suzy". Once Boston native, Gary Bernstein, became his manager. K.B. spent the nineties taking Bahamian culture abroad to the U.S. where he also has many fans.
It has appeal in the U.S., he argues, because of its authenticity--for K.B. who spent so much time building up music culture and helping to define it in The Bahamas, Bahamian singers who are now taking the route of rap and R&B with violent and overly sexual lyrics are causing him to despair that Bahamian culture will be a thing of the past--and our identities will be lost.
"No one is stepping up to the plate," he says. "The Ronnie Butlers are leaving--I'm not meaning they're gone but one day we'll have to go and I wonder who is going to be the next one."
For now, he continues to lead by example by producing his own Bahamian rake n' scrape hits and collaborating on albums with like-minded Bahamian artists. He even recently expanded his repertoire by publishing his first book, "Bahamian Lyrical Tales", a short story collection. It's all a part of his desire to stay true to his creativity, his Bahamian identity, and to inspire his people.
"I aim to brainwash you with our culture, inundate you with our culture--if only with our speech, our way of talk. This is who we are: Bahamian culture. I want you to hear that," he says.
"Everyone needs to be inspired--every single person," he continues. "When you have that, society feels good about themselves, they feel that they can achieve something, that they're worth something, that they have something special that can bring to reality."
Nassau, Bahama - DW Davis Junior
High School wins the Highest Enrollment Award Floating Trophy in the Junior
Achievement Bahamas (JA) First Cycle of the Elementary and Juniors Programme.
The Certificate Presentation Exercise was held March 23, 2012 at Golden Gates Outreach Ministries,
Carmichael Road. Other winners include: the Grates Initiative Award
Primary School, Xavier's and Our
Lady's Catholic Primary Schools; the Grates Initiative Award Junior School, C.
H. Reeves Junior High School...