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The tributes to the character and accomplishments of Nelson Mandela continue to flow even as his failures are assessed.
He famously quipped that he was a sinner who played the part of a saint in public. Addressing a British Labour Party Conference in his post-presidency, he described himself as an unemployed pensioner with a criminal record.
Mandela was wary of efforts to elevate him to pedestals. He knew all too well his inner struggles and clay feet.
He was not a moral giant because he was different from the rest of us. He was such a giant because of his capacity for unceasing struggle leading to a certain transcendence over fear and baser instincts.
His capacity for reconciliation and forgiveness was extraordinary given the personal indignities and deprivations, and the murderous and vicious depravities of the apartheid regime assaulting him and the mass of South Africans.
Arriving on Robben Island in 1964, where he spent 18 of his 27 years incarcerated, Mandela and his fellow political prisoners were urinated on, the beginning of decades of abuse of Prisoner 46664.
He endured the burdens of the struggle as well as the struggles of his private life. His mother died in 1968. His son from his first marriage died in a car accident the following year. He bore his grief in confinement.
In 1969, Mandela's second wife Winnie was arrested, seized from her home in the presence of her two daughters, aged nine and 10. It was the beginning of a 491-day detention and two trials for Winnie Mandela.
For long periods of her confinement, she was kept naked. Often after she menstruated, the evidence was grossly apparent for some time because her warders did not allow her proper sanitary measures.
The personal assaults on Mandela and his family mirrored the brutality of apartheid: Denials of basic political and economic rights; a rigid system of racial separation; mass detentions of activists; the killing of scores of demonstrators; the Sharpeville massacre and other atrocities.
After nearly three decades in prison and years of struggle before that, Mandela could be forgiven for a perfunctory sort of reconciliation. But he chose something different, as both an act of moral genius and political shrewdness.
He determined to liberate the mass of South Africans as well as the white minority, especially the Afrikaners, as an act of philosophical conviction and in order to maintain South Africa as a unified multiracial state.
Mandela studied the history and learned the language of his oppressors. His symbolic and other acts of reconciliation were monumental.
He negotiated an end to apartheid, beginning with the likes of President P.W. Botha, who had the blood of many black South Africans on his hands, hands Mandela shook in order to end apartheid.
He visited the widow of the primary architect of apartheid. As portrayed in the film "Invictus", he embraced rugby, a favorite sport of Afrikaners.
A commentator on the BBC noted that amidst the accolades for Mandela the moral hero, that Mandela the cunning and canny politician should not be lost. Nor can the great man's policy failures be overlooked.
Mandela himself noted that he did not do enough during his presidency to combat HIV/AIDS, the disease to which his son succumbed. Later, he used his foundation in the fight against the epidemic.
Mandela sold arms to an Indonesian government beset by questions of human rights abuses. He was too soft on a number of dictators.
But it is the question of Mandela's economic record that is more complex and perhaps open to greater criticism. He introduced economic reforms during his presidency. But were they sufficiently far-reaching to tackle more of apartheid's entrenched economic inequalities?
During negotiations on a new political system, the ANC enjoyed the upper hand. Less well-known were private meetings on economic matters, arranged by the apartheid government and its main intelligence agency, between Mandela and ANC leaders, and corporate entities and business people like the Oppenheimer diamond magnate family.
The ANC was warned that economic nationalization would lead to mass capital flight. The question remains as to how frightened was the ANC. Was it so anxious that it did not go far enough in pressing for reforms which did not require nationalization?
Mandela, who wrestled with the compromises of politics and governance, struggled with this question during his presidency and afterwards.
Gary Younge argued in the UK Guardian: "As an activist, [Mandela] had embraced the ANC's Freedom Charter, a statement of core principles, which included such demands as 'land to be given to all landless people' and 'living wages and shorter hours of work'. But as president, he emerged into a unipolar world, dominated by neo-liberal globalization, and his new government had to negotiate its way to stability.
"Arguably, it had a stronger hand in these negotiations than it thought. Mandela could, at that time, have got a better deal for the poor by following a more redistributive agenda."
Yet, Younge also noted: "Most criticisms of Mandela as a leader were simplistic because they started from the basis of proving or disproving his sanctity, rather than trying to understand him for who he was: a political leader guiding a developing country through a transitional phase. His singular and considerable achievement was to pave the way for a stable democracy.
"He was never a revolutionary. While other freedom fighters on the continent were embracing socialism and pan-Africanism, Mandela at his trial praised the country's former colonial power. 'I have great respect for British institutions and for [Britain's] system of justice. I regard the British parliament as the most democratic in the world'."
Fareed Zakaria lionized Mandela for demitting the presidency after one term, noting that it ensured that South African democracy would not descend into a cult of personality. In The Bahamas, such a cult developed around Sir Lynden Pindling.
It is a matter of curiosity and hypocrisy that some others who lionize Mandela failed in notable ways to adhere to his convictions and legacy. Many on the right who were complicit with or apologetic of various apartheid governments are now falling over one another to praise Mandela.
To his credit, Sir Lynden joined with other Commonwealth leaders at the 1985 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting held here in Nassau to press for the release of Mandela and for economic sanctions as a part of an effort to dismantle apartheid.
At home, Mandela's legacy suggests comparisons. The ANC, like the PLP, was the political party, which spearheaded the movement for majority rule. The PLP created critical national institutions and helped to significantly expand the black middle class.
Yet, what a different political culture that might have developed in the PLP and in the country had Sir Lynden not clung to power for a quarter of a century. He would have proven a greater leader had he demitted office earlier.
Like the PLP, the ANC embarked on a program of political capitalism in which those in political leadership often divided the economic spoils between themselves and their cronies, including the complicity of some in the drug scourge of the 1980s.
Just as the PLP split, so has the ANC, with more splits likely to occur in the latter following Mandela's death. The ANC will also eventually be defeated at the polls.
But the question is whether such a defeat will help to reform a party whose key figures, like the PLP, still believe that they are entitled to all manner of privileges and spoils.
Today in South Africa, state corruption by various ANC officials is rife, one of the reasons that President Jacob Zuma was booed as he was introduced at the memorial service for Mandela.
Zuma is a target of public outrage. He has saddled the government with a bill of $30 million for the renovation of his private retirement home, despite being some years away from retirement.
One writer suggested of the ANC: "With Mandela gone, it is likely that its many disillusioned supporters may find it easier to accept that the current ANC and its leadership have veered so far from the values of Mandela it is a different party in all but name ...
"The ANC lacks the quality of leadership it needs to renew the party; it is also not open to fresh leadership or ideas. Too arrogant and dismissive of constructive criticism to be genuinely introspective, the party seems unable to reverse the decline."
Those world leaders who jetted off to pay their last respects to Mandela and who issued statements praising his example, might ask themselves how much or how little their politics and potential legacy comport with his: A man who gave up power in order to secure democracy and a man who did not become greedy and corrupt in the face of access to great wealth.
Mandela demonstrated for all, including those given to deriding politics per se, that the art and the vocation of politics is one of the best hopes for humanity.
o firstname.lastname@example.org o www.bahamapundit.com.
Every now and then, I need to remind readers that the wedding ceremony is a sacred solemn, worship service. It does not matter whether the ceremony is being conducted on the beach, in a garden, in the ocean or in a sanctuary, the ceremony is a sacred one. For those of us who believe that God is the creator of marriage, this is an important point to adhere to.
I wrote about this topic several years ago and once more need to share some of the things I said then because they are worth repeating. Here are some excerpts: "I think that we have forgotten that the wedding ceremony is a solemn worship service and not a concert of romanticized love songs and lewd or frivolous jokes. Non-religious music sung at many weddings, although oftentimes beautiful, does not place God as the foundation of the love relationship between the soon-to-be husband and wife.
"No wonder so many marriages are going down the drain. Instead of God's love, it is some romanticized love that inevitably fades in time. God's love is eternal. This is not to say that a husband and wife's love for each other will not be tested during the life of the marriage. It is to say that marriage is sacred and holy, and it is God's divine love that helps the couple to make it through the rough times - not Kenny G."
"It's becoming increasingly difficult to find wedding ceremonies free of pre-recorded secular music. A bride and groom seem to select their music based on how nice it sounds and how it makes them feel. Several years ago, I was shocked as I watched a bride march down the aisle to one of Kenny G's sensually loaded songs. We need to keep Kenny G out of the sacred wedding ceremony. When selecting music for weddings, it should be done with care and discrimination. One should look for the texts that extol God's love displayed through Christ, the foundation of marriage. The music should express God's blessing on marriage. We should avoid any songs that promote romanticized or secular ideas about love. These detract from the worship of God.
"Instead of hearing 'O Perfect Love' at weddings, or the simple 'Bridal March,, we are now hearing 'Can I Have This Dance', 'Innocent' or 'Tonight I Celebrate my Love'."
One of the reasons we have such problems with wedding music selection is that too many wedding coordinators and church pastors know nothing about the importance of this sacred ceremony and the role of music in it. For many, once the word love is used in the song, it seems to be the passport for church wedding acceptance. Many wedding coordinators actually scorn the use of simple traditional hymns saying they are boring, dead or old-fashioned.
When was the last time you heard "Jesu Joy of Man Desiring", "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee" or the "Trumpet Tune in D Major" by Purcell at a wedding? Oops! Did I say something wrong?
There is a place for beautiful, well-written secular songs. It is at the wedding reception. However, these songs should also present the Christian views of love and marriage.
The wedding dress
Why is it we have to wonder whether we are attending a strip joint rather than a church wedding ceremony when we look at the clothing the bridal party is wearing? The dresses designed for the bridesmaids are becoming more and more revealing. Even in churches that were once known to be conservative, bridesmaids are walking down the aisle almost topless (a little exaggeration to emphasize the point) - deep neck cuts, spaghetti straps, thigh-high splits, and extremely low back lines, are common at wedding these days. Sometimes even the choice of colors and materials give competition to Junkanoo. Sometimes the bridesmaids' dresses are so tight and short it becomes a distraction and not an attraction.
Why is it that the more formal the occasion, the less clothing women wear? Principles of modesty should always be maintained at wedding ceremonies. Women are doing themselves a dishonor and disservice when they expose so much of their bodies. They are only selling themselves as cheap sex objects. Even the color and design of the men's suits must be influenced by Christian modesty and decency.
Some of you would remember what I wrote several years ago on this subject and it is worth repeating. "Why should I be examining the backs of women when they march down the aisle? Is it that they want me to see that their back is pimple-free, or that their last suntan covered their entire body?
Why it is that the groom is usually fully clad and the bride partially naked? For too many centuries, women have been treated as sex objects. Today's modern Christian woman is not even trying to change that concept. It seems as if she is leading the way in total body exposure. Please dear women, I'm not interested in knowing how beautiful your back is, or the size of your bra when I attend a wedding ceremony. Keep your body covered as you go to praise the Lord. Make the wedding ceremony a time of worship and celebration of God's love in the marriage relationship.
What type of music should we use at the wedding ceremony? There are at least two ways to decide what music is appropriate for the wedding ceremony. The music should speak of God's love displayed through Christ. The words should not only talk about a romantic encounter between two individuals, but more importantly a spiritual relationship between God and the couple.
In addition to the sacred words, we can determine if the music is appropriate by the way it is generally used and accepted in society and how it is written. There are many lovely tunes that are well written but are commonly used to extol romantic love. They are most accepted in the secular realm and not the sacred.
These tunes should be left out of the sacred worship service. The wedding reception is the place where romantic tunes are appropriate. However, music at a Christian wedding reception should speak about the true meaning of love and marriage. Even classical music should reflect sacredness in the wedding service. Some classical music pieces are not suited to worship God.
o Barrington H. Brennen is a marriage and family therapist and board certified clinical psychotherapist, USA. Send your questions or comments to email@example.com; or write to P.O. Box CB-13019, Nassau, The Bahamas; or visit www.soencouragement.org; or call 242-327-1980, or 242-477-4002.
Nassau, Bahamas - The Bahamas AIDS Foundation will be hosting a Silent Art Auction and Cocktail Reception on Friday May 31st 2013 at The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas.
This event entitled "Art for Hope" is in keeping with our goal and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) 2011-2015 Strategy "Getting to Zero:Zero new HIV infections, Zero discrimination, Zero AIDS-related deaths...
Nassau, Bahamas - The Bahamas AIDS Foundation will be hosting a Silent Art Auction and Cocktail Reception on Sunday, June 2nd, 2013 at The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas.
This event entitled "Art for Hope" is in keeping with our goal and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) 2011-2015 Strategy "Getting to Zero:Zero new HIV infections, Zero discrimination, Zero AIDS-related deaths...
When most people think about HIV/AIDS, they usually equate the disease with despair and death, but with people with the disease living longer, healthier, more quality lives -- it shows that there is hope.
With that in mind the Bahamas AIDS Foundation will host "Art for Hope: Getting to Zero" a silent auction and cocktail reception on Friday, May 31 at the National Art Gallery from 6:30 p.m. - 10 p.m.
"This is a forum where artists can express through their works how art is hopeful," said Carlyne Smith, executive director of the AIDS Foundation.
When the AIDS Foundation invited artists from the full gamut of the fine arts, including photography, sculpture, mixed media, painting and drawings to participate by donating charitable pieces of their work to Art For Hope, they did so hoping the artists would submit work centered around the disease and to give the artists the opportunity to stand up and be counted. Most artists submitted pieces they had out of kind.
Artists showing will include Bernard Petit, Yvette Rolle, Jessica Colebrooke, Clifford Fernander, Allan Pachino Wallace, Alistair Stevenson, Kishan Munroe, Dawnita Fry, Trevor Tucker, Dion Lewis, Fabian Fountain, Toby Lunn, Paul Hennis, Makario Gibson, Neko Meicholas, Lemero Wright, William Munroe, Abby Smith and Cydne.
"We're very pleased with the artists we have and we're also pleased even that we have persons who are not as well-known like Lemero Wright and Abby Smith, and not only persons who do paintings. We have sculptors, persons who create jewelry, ceramicists, painters, mixed media, photography -- the full gamut of fine arts, so it's something different," said Smith.
With a number of other art shows taking place at the same time as the AIDS Foundation's show, Smith said it was initially tough going getting a roster of artists, but she said once the artists found out the show was for a charitable cause, they were more than willing to donate pieces.
During the auction, proceeds from the sale of pieces are: reserved price to the foundation and any sum above the reserved price to be divided 50-50 between the artist and the foundation.
Smith said the work of the Bahamas AIDS Foundation is worthy, necessary and benefits the society at large. And the donations will go towards three of the foundation's essential initiatives -- increasing public awareness of HIV/AIDS generally; maintaining the foundation's afterschool program for children infected with or affected by HIV and continuing the project that seeks to reduce mother-to-child transmission through education and other preventive measures that has enjoyed great success already.
"While we have made significant strides in the fight against this pernicious condition, it still affects too many of our people, most especially our youth," said Smith. "We want nothing less than to see the day HIV/AIDS is completely eradicated."
The UNAIDS theme until 2015 is getting to zero, and Smith said they're hoping that they're raising awareness in terms of getting to zero -- which is zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS related deaths here in The Bahamas.
Tickets for the silent auction and cocktail reception are $30. For more information, telephone 325-9326.
"Bubbles", new work by Antonius Roberts, opened Thursday at The Central Bank Art Gallery. The gallery is open Monday to Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This work will be on display until Friday, April 26.
NE6: "Kingdom Come" closes April 7 at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas. Gallery hours: Tue. - Sat. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Sun. noon - 4 p.m. Admission $5 adults; $3 students/seniors; children under 12 are free. This sixth national exhibition features the work of 49 local artists who have been asked to respond to the challenges of transitions (social, environmental, political etc.) in modern times. This exhibition will be on display until April 7. For more information, visit www.nagb.org.bs, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 328-5800/1.
The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas presents All-star Amateur Artist (AAA) Artwork: NE6 Edition. Amateur artists were asked to create works that relate to the distinct sections, Identity, Spirituality & Balance, Justice, Transformation and Survival. This exhibition will open on Sunday, April 7 at 4 p.m.
"Flower of Dreams", a collection of floral paintings by Lisa Quinn of Bermuda, opens Thursday, April 11 at 6 p.m. at the Antonius Roberts Studio and Gallery at Hillside House. For more information, visithttp://www.antoniusroberts.com/, email email@example.com or call 322-7678.
"Responsible Faith" opens Wednesday, April 17 at 7 p.m. at The Ladder Gallery, New Providence Community Centre, Blake Road. Artists will paint on 55-gallon metal drums, which will be exhibited and then donated to community parks. The drum covers will be used to create wall art for a permanent collection at The Ladder Gallery. Some will also be sold to benefit ACE Diabetes.
"Tropical Alchemy", original art works by Tyler Johnston, opens Thursday, April 18 at at Popopstudios ICVA in Chippingham. This exhibition focuses on three inter-related bodies of work: maps of inheritance, power objects and transmutational icons. Rich in texture and color, Johnston has painted and assembled simple objects that he has found, allowing them to be transformed into something simultaneously complex and simple. There will also be a special performance by Bahama Woodstarr at 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.popopstudios.com.
"Writers of Light: Beyond Our View", a photography exhibition that showcases College of The Bahamas student work, takes place Thursday, April 18 at 4:00 p.m at Chapter One Bookstore.
"2 Points of View", featuring work from Eleanor Whitely and Kendal Hanna, continues at Popopstudios International Center for the Visual Arts in Chippingham. For more information, visit popopstudios.com or call 322-7834.
"Kaleidoscope III", an exhibition by the Bahamas Union of Teachers and the Bahamas Association of Art Educators, is featured at the Treasury Building on East Street. The exhibit will feature works by art instructors from both private and public schools throughout The Bahamas.
"Single Sex", an all-female portrait show depicting only female subjects, continues at The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas. NAGB Curator John Cox says it is meant to stand in dialogue with the "Master Artists of The Bahamas" exhibition (later this year), which has no female representation. For more information, visit www.nagb.org.bs, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 328-5800/1.
"Matters of the Heart" a Salus Project art exhibition continues at the Ladder Gallery, New Providence Community Centre, Blake Road.
"Peace & Love: Writings on the Wall", an exhibition of recent work by Stan Burnside continues at the Stan Burnside Gallery, Tower Heights, Eastern Road. They are available to view by appointment by email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Permanent Exhibition of the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, displaying pieces under the theme "The Bahamian Landscape", continues this week at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas. Gallery hours: Tue. - Sat. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Sun. noon - 4 p.m. Admission $5 adults; $3 students/seniors; children under 12 are free. For more information, visit www.nagb.org.bs, email email@example.com or call 328-5800/1.
"A Wedding in Nassau", written and directed by Dario 'Erics' Poitier, takes to the stage at The College of The Bahamas Performing Arts Centre, April 5 and 6 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 502-3078, 544-3094, 502-3085 or 636-6853.
G. Wayne Entertainment in association with Omni Money Transfers & Payments presents "Krosses", which takes to the stage at the Wyndham Nassau Resort's Rainforest Theatre on Sunday, April 7 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 balcony in advance, $40 at the door; $40 auditorium in advance, $50 at the door and $80 reserved, $100 at the door. Ticket outlets are Negril Cafe, Original Patties, Omni Money Transfers & Payments, Pepper N' Spice, Airbrush Junkies, Centreville Food Market, Hurry Hurry Meat Mart and Juiceman.
Rotary Club of Nassau Sunrise presents "Jazz At The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas" on Saturday, April 6 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tickets are $50 general admission with one drink and $60 prime seating with two drinks. Corporate VIP tables are available. For tickets, contact Rotarians of the Nassau Sunrise Rotary Club or telephone 438-2597.
Tony Award winning singer and actor Brian Stokes Mitchell will be in concert at Christ Church Cathedral on Sunday, April 7 at 6 p.m. Tickets for the concert are $50 with proceeds to aid The Bahamas AIDS Foundation and the music department of Christ Church Cathedral. Tickets for the concert can be obtained from Christ Church Cathedral's parish office, Logos Bookstore and the Bahamas AIDS Foundation. For more information telephone 322-4186.
Islandz, having acquired Downtown Art Tours, offers its Islandz Gallery Hop tours, examining art spaces downtown on Saturdays. Tickets are $20 per person for the two-hour tour. For more information or to book tickets, call 601-7592 or visit Islandz online at www.islandzmarket.com.
Tru Bahamian food tours offers a "Bites of Nassau" food tasting and cultural walking tour to connect people with authentic local food items, stories and traditions behind the foods and the Bahamians that prepare and preserve them, through a hands-on, interactive, educational tour and culinary adventure. Tickets are $69 per person, $49 for children under 12. Tours are everyday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., starting at the British Colonial Hilton and ending at Tortuga Rum Cake Company. For more information, visit www.trubahamianfoodtours.com.
Call for works
The 30th Annual Central Bank of The Bahamas Art Competition and Exhibition invites entries for its Open Category under the theme "The Independents", in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Bahamian independence, which is being celebrated this year. The objectives of the competition are to identify, recognize and encourage Bahamian visual artists. To qualify, participants must be citizens of The Bahamas, aged 18 or older (as of October 1, 2013) and not registered in secondary school. The Open/Senior Category Competition and Exhibition component will be held from Tuesday, October 1 to Friday, November 1. Artists under 30 years are especially encouraged to embrace this opportunity of the theme of "The Independents" as a challenge in terms of material and/or the role and responsibilities of independent thinking in art in The Bahamas, as well as, thinking of the larger political symbolism of independence of the country.
Saturday 4th December 2010 7:00 PM
Presented Bel Canto - Eldridge McPhee, Director Silent Auction Viewing - 7:00pm Concert - 8:15pm Full Reception - 9:15pm Donation: $75 Start Time: December 4th at 7:00pm Where: St. Andrews, The Kirk Proceeds to benefit the AIDS Foundation and Unity Centre Box Office at Custom Computers, Cable Beach and East Bay St. For more information, contact 242-325-9326 Email: email@example.com
Civil society representatives gathered in Perth today for the start of the three-day Commonwealth People's Forum to discuss and debate key issues facing Commonwealth People.
Nassau, Bahamas - The Bahamas
AIDS Foundation is celebrating twenty-one years as an organization
committed to the fight against HIV/AIDS in The Bahamas. In recognition
of this milestone and to show our appreciation for sponsors, a
Presentation and Cocktail Reception will take place at Government House
on Wednesday, February 20th 2013 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. During this
event, we will inform our patrons of our work throughout the years and
our current initiatives, as well as share our vision for 2013. We will
also take the opportunity to acknowledge and honour four longstanding
supporters of the work of the Bahamas AIDS Foundation...
Tuesday 28th October 2014 5:30 PM
Monday, October 13, 2014 --Leaving 6:00am Sharp from Harbour Bay Shopping Centre in front of First Caribbean Bank 40 - 50 miles headed East. This ride is not recommended if you have not cycled recently or first timers!**P/I Bridges optional at the end!!! The pace will range from 18mph – 20+mph, @3 - 3 1/2 hour duration (intermediate & advanced cyclists are invited to join in anywhere along the route). October 28th & 29th 2014 -Triathlon Swim Clinic- (havilukswimming) St. John’s College Tuesday, October 28 - Instructional Clinic 5:30-6:30 pm - Classroom instruction featuring MONA (a biomechanical model of optimal technique) 6:30-8:30 pm - Pool instruction with skill-isolation drills and deliberate practice strategies Wednesday, October 29 - Aquanex Analysis Clinic 5:30-7:00 pm - Aquanex+Video testing in pool 7:00-8:30 pm - Analysis of Aquanex+Video data in classroom Registration Information The fee for each clinic is $US 129. The fee for the Aquanex clinic includes Aquanex+Video testing and analysis; a playback version of Aquanex software; and swimmer's individual files. Register online at http://www.swimmingtechnology.com/index.php/store/clinicstore/ November 1st Saturday, 2014 - Conchman Tri-Taino Beach, Grand Bahama