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News Article

December 17, 2010
Arianna advances to two semi-finals

Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace has advanced to the semi-finals in both the 100 freestyle and the 50 butterfly after swimming in the morning preliminaries at the 7th FINA World Short Course Championships, currently being held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Vanderpool-Wallace swam a personal best time and Bahamian national record of 52.85 seconds in the 100 freestyle. She will enter the evening semi-finals seeded fifth in the 100 free and 15th in the 50 butterfly.
Vanderpool-Wallace will swim these events starting at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, in Dubai.
Alana Dillette and Elvis Burrows also swam on Day Two in the morning prelims. Dillette competed in both the 50 butterfly and the 100 Individual Medley (IM) and ...

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News Article

December 17, 2010
Father Rodney Burrows presents his book to the Governor General

Nassau, Bahamas - During a
courtesy call at Government House on Thursday, December 16, 2010,
Father Rodney Burrows presented Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes
with  a copy of his book 'DESTINY, A Life of Service to My Fellow Man.'
Fr. Burrows was accompanied by members of his family.

Father Rodney Burrows (left)
and Barbara Burrows (right) paid a courtesy on Governor General Sir
Arthur Foulkes at Government House on Thursday, December 16. Fr.
Burrows presented Sir Arthur with a copy of his book 'DESTINY, A Life
of Service to My Fellow Man..

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News Article

June 28, 2012
Time for the youth to come alive

To combat a society where the youth are settling for mediocre existences and idolizing criminal lifestyles the Bahamas Faith Ministries (BFM) Youth Ministry will host its annual Youth Alive series of events.
The week-long event which will be held Monday, July 2 to Sunday, July 8 at the Diplomat Center on Carmichael Road and will help to refocus the youth to find value in excellence and learn to pursue greatness in their undertakings.
This year's theme "Steps to Greatness," it is hoped will encourage the youth to aspire to greatness and tell them how to do it.
A Youth Alive Summer Camp, which will engage the younger children, between the ages of seven and 18 will kick-off the event. The children will hear from to speakers who will talk to them about aspiring to greatness and how to make the small changes they will have to in their everyday lives in order to achieve their goals.
Pastor Dave Burrows and BFM senior pastor Myles Munroe will speak.
For the Youth Alive Conference which starts on Wednesday, July 4, a host of dynamic speakers will speak on various aspects of acquiring greatness.
Pastor Mike Hill, a youth ministry specialist from St. Louis, Missouri, will speak on making greatness a choice.
Much like he made a choice to stop being a secular recording artist and follow more closely the traditions of Christ, he will encourage young people to turn away from what is wrong and instead reach for better and more spiritual means to express themselves.
Pastor Dave will address steps to greatness, and break it down into mini themes like courage, character and vision.
Pastor Munroe will speak to the youth on how to be leaders despite their age. He will use his own life story as a way to inspire them.
Eric Fox, director of the youth focused organization for troubled young men, Teen Challenge, will also speak to the youth. The former drug addict will address overcoming obstacles and staying focused despite peer pressure to do otherwise.
Raymond Eneas, a young man who lived on the streets but was determined to do better than people expected of him will also speak about pursuing greatness with a passion. He will encourage the youth to keep on striving to be better than they even dream.
Youth director of Church of God of Prophecy, Pastor Timothy Johnson will speak on determining to be great and staying focused. His message to the youth will be that they can be all they want to be if they keep their eye on the prize.
For the Thursday ladies night, Pastor Angie Burrows from BFM will speak about inner beauty and greatness as it is important for her to help young people understand that it is what is in their head and heart and not what's on it that is the most vital part of life.
Brooke Eneas, a former Miss Florida Panhandle will also speak from a woman's perspective on the topic of making choices on the road to greatness. She will discuss how she acquired her master's degree and owned her own home before she had attained her 25th birthday. She will speak to the choices she made in her life to achieve her goals. She hopes the young people will take heed so they too can get where they want to go in life.
On Saturday, July 7, the annual Youth Alive concert will take place featuring gospel artists Trinidad's Sherwin Gardner, Millyon from Georgia and local artists Landlord, DJ Counsellor, Lyrically Blessed, Manifest, Ruben Heights and Najie Dunn.
The Youth Alive boat cruise closes out the week of activities on Sunday, July 8.
"At the end of the day after all the talking, singing, drama and praising I hope young people walk away feeling encouraged and inspired to pursue greatness and not settle for mediocrity," said Pastor Dave. "I want them to set goals and make plans spiritually, professionally and in other aspects of their lives. I want them to see they have the power within them to help make The Bahamas a better place. They are great and we believe in them. And with this event we as the current generation and church leaders hope to show them what we see. They all have so much potential but sometimes they just need a little boost in the right direction," he said.

Youth Alive Camp
When: Monday, July 2 - Friday, July 6
Where: Diplomatic Center, Carmichael Road
Time: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. daily
Cost: $35

Youth Alive Conference
When: Wednesday, July 4 - Friday, July 6
Where: Diplomat Center, Carmichael Road
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the daytime, 7:30 p.m. until for evening sessions.
Cost: $35 optional (conference materials and tickets to concert and boat cruise)

Youth Alive Concert
When: Saturday, July 7
Where: Diplomat Center, Carmichael Road
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $10

Youth Alive Boat Cruise When: Sunday, July 8
Departure: Prince George Wharf
Time: 7 p.m.
Cost: $15

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News Article

June 19, 2013
Independence celebrations in high gear

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.

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News Article

June 27, 2012
The Bahamas' National Softball Team

The Bahamas Softball Federation (BSF) recently named 21 members to the 2012 senior men's national program. That list will be reduced to 17 players in short order. The team will compete in the 8th Pan American Men's Softball Championships, in Medellin, Colombia, from September 15-23. The top five teams from that tournament will qualify for the 2013 International Softball Federation's (ISF) World Championships for Senior Men, in March of next year, in Auckland, New Zealand. The top eight teams will qualify for the 2014 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games, in July of 2014, Veracruz, Mexico. The 21 members named by the federation are:

Adney Bethel; Alcott Forbes; Thomas Davis; Fred Cornish; Teran Wood; Jamal Johnson; Angelo Dillet ;Greg Gardiner ;Marvin Wood ;Ken Wood Jr. ;Larry Russell Jr. ;Godfrey Burnside Jr. ;Martin Burrows Jr. ;Lamar Watkins ;Sherman Ferguson ;Van Johnson ;Hosea Hilton ;Carlos Pratt ;Keiron Munroe; Garfield Bethel; Geron Sands

Head coach
Godfrey Burnside Sr.
Assistant coaches
Martin Burrows Sr.
Perry Seymour

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News Article

July 27, 2012
Arianna on the cusp of making history for The Bahamas

LONDON, England - From observing the routine of Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, no one would imagine that she is the lone competitor for The Bahamas in swimming at these 30th Olympic Games. No one would guess that she's carrying the banner by herself for her sport.
Back for her second trip to the Olympic Games, she's as calm and collected as ever, ready to compete and represent her country well. This young athlete is brimming with confidence and has an eye on the top prize. Part of the reason for that just might be the collective support that she has received from the track and field athletes here in London. Team Bahamas is 26 members strong - 25 from track and field, and just one swimmer, Arianna. Four years ago, when she
began her Olympic journey as a very talented 18-year-old, she was joined by Alana Dillette, Vereance Burrows and multi-national record holder Jeremy Knowles in the swimming segment of the games for The Bahamas. Back then, the former NCAA double sprint champion admitted that pomp and pageantry surrounding her first Olympic experience might just have been a little too much to bear. If she makes the final of either of her events here in London, it will be a first-time experience for The Bahamas.
"I think in 2008, I was kind of in awe with everything that was going around, but this time around, I'm definitely a lot calmer. I feel strong going in, and I'm just ready to race and swim as fast as I can," she said. "I'm the only swimmer here, but I know that a lot of the swimmers back home, and the entire Bahamas, are supporting me, so I feel good about that. Even here in London, the track and field athletes are really showing me a lot of support and encouraging me to do well. It's going to be a challenge, but I'm just focused on swimming as best as I can."
Vanderpool-Wallace will be the first to see action for The Bahamas as she will hit the pool on Wednesday August 1, in the heats of the women's 100-meter (m) Free. The final of that event is a day later, and the heats of the 50m Free get underway on Friday August 3, the same day the athletics portion of the Olympics begin.
Vanderpool-Wallace is a two-time National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Champion in the longer sprint. She won the 50-yard title in 2011, and settled for third in that event this past year. The shorter sprint is her stronger event, but on the collegiate level, she's certainly enjoyed more success in the longer sprint this year. Actually, Vanderpool-Wallace is the fastest swimmer to ever swim the women's 100-yard Free in the United States with her U.S. Open record of 46.61 seconds, which was done at the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Championships this year.
"I know that I have the ability to go out there and swim really fast. For me, I'm not trying to put any additional pressure on myself though. I just want to focus on what I need to do, and go out there and do it. Once I stick to my game plan, I feel that I will be successful," said Vanderpool-Wallace.
The Bahamas' fastest female swimmer ever will be coached by her collegiate coach Brett Hawke here in London. His assistant at Auburn University Lionel Moreau is here as well.
"I think it's really good to have my college coach here," said Vanderpool-Wallace. "He's been working with me all year, and he knows what I need to do to be successful here at the Olympics. I'm just going to trust his judgment, and swim as fast as I can."
No Bahamian swimmer has ever made an Olympic final in swimming, but there is little doubt that Vanderpool-Wallace is more than capable of doing so. She knows that the she will have to swim the races of her life to take it a step further and grace the medal podium. In all probability, it will probably take around 25 seconds flat just to make the final of the 50m Free, and probably a 24-mid to swim in the final eight of the women's 100m Free. Vanderpool-Wallace has national record times of 24.79 and 54.46 seconds in those events respectively, and made history for The Bahamas last year when she became the first Bahamian to swim in a final at the FINA World Championships. She finished seventh in the 50m Free at those championships in Shanghai, China, and was 10th overall in the women's 100m Free.
She will certainly be one to watch as the Olympics get underway for Team Bahamas.

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News Article

September 10, 2011
Countdown to Shakespear in paradise

Art in the Bahamas has been undergoing a revival for some time, the likes of which are seen in the artist-driven efforts to create festivals, galleries and events to create an exciting creative economy in the country. 
One such effort is the annual theater festival Shakespeare in Paradise, founded by Nicolette Bethel and Philip Burrows, which will kick off on September 30th and run until October 8th.

Though only in its third year, the seeds for such a festival were sown when the pair visited the Oregon Shakespeare Theatre Festival in the 1990s.

"I thought, 'Can't we do this in The Bahamas? It would be such a great addition to our tourism industry," Festival Director Nicolette Bethel says.Not only that, but she saw the festival filling the void of a rich theater culture that had so unfortunately fallen by the wayside in The Bahamas, encouraging all artists involved in theater to come together and rebuild an industry that she knows the country has the capability to sustain.

"I felt that because there was no theater happening, young Bahamians were going back to square one, not building on what we had done and trying to build a theater industry but not having any ground on which to stand and no connection with the generation above," she says.

The result was a theater festival with a wide range of productions by local groups and visiting groups--yet every year they offer a signature Bahamian production and a signature Shakespeare production.

This year's Bahamian production, "Dis We Tings" echoes the sentiments of disconnect between generations expressed by Bethel above. Originally produced two decades ago by a group of performers and cultural thinkers, "Dis We Tings" was a musical written in response to the need in the 1980s for young Bahamians to learn about their country and culture in a rapidly-changing world.

This time around, the production has been revived and re-imagined into a 2011 version covering even up to date historical changes--like the recent formation of the DNA party and the current Dengue outbreak--that addresses issues both serious and frivolous but undoubtedly Bahamian through fun songs and witty banter.

"It's updated completely, it's a completely new script. It's the 21st century 'Dis We Tings'," says Bethel, who is directing the production. "It's about Bahamian heritage, but it's also about Bahamian history because we found a lot of people don't know enough about history--history is not taught in schools."

"So we really wanted to give a sense of Bahamian history, also perhaps to jog decision makers to help them understand that, you know, we do need history in schools," she continues.

Another local production offered by the festival will be "Pat Rahming, alias Pat Rahming", where the poet, playwright and singer will perform during a low-key evening in the beautiful setting of Nirvana.

A visiting production with a Bahamian history plot-line will also aim to educate viewers. "Mariah Brown", a one-woman play by Sandra Riley, will recount the story of the Bahamian pioneer who settled in Florida to establish Key West.

Meanwhile, high drama will be offered through the festival's signature Shakespeare production--the dark and scandalous "Julius Caesar", directed by Philip Burrows, Artistic Director of Shakespeare in Paradise.

What makes Shakespeare so appropriate again and again no matter the time period are his overarching themes, and this year it's no different with 2012  elections looming at home and in our neighboring U.S. and with the world facing political turmoil.

Indeed, the production will take place in a stark minimalist set and modern dress, putting the play's very issues of rhetoric and power on full display. Though the script was abridged, it was not heavily 'Bahamianized', though Burrows does admit to taking an interesting musical direction that audiences may enjoy.

In the end though, he points out, making a Shakespearean production accessible to the public and especially to schools and setting it in this way allows for audiences to relate to the brilliant literature.

"As a student, when I did English and literature in school, Shakespeare was very boring," he says. "It was very boring because my teacher didn't know how to teach it. The next year it was incredibly exciting because I had a teacher who was incredibly excited to get into it." 
"Had I been able to go and see people doing productions and see it in a different sort of way, a modern way, I would have totally been more appreciative of all that's going on," he continues. "It gives you an opportunity to see Shakespeare, some of the best literature ever written, and hope people have a better understanding and appreciation."

This is especially true for students who have Shakespearean plays on their BGCSE examinations--and in this vein, as part of their festival, Shakespeare in Paradise offers cheaper matinee tickets for classes from local schools to attend the different productions in the three days leading up to its official opening.

"We are determined to have people grow up seeing theatre and understanding what it's all about," says Burrows. "Supporting the arts from that age--students are very important, it's an important part of what we do in Shakespeare in Paradise and we will be doing it again this year."

This is all part of their student outreach--a valuable component to the festival for building cultural appreciation among the student population. Last year, Burrows says they exposed 3,000 students in The Bahamas to components of their festival.

In addition to providing students with tickets to three of their stage productions, they also have a special production available to students only--Bard to Go.

This small troupe of college students from the Grand Valley State University travels worldwide enacting noteworthy scenes from Shakespeare's many scripts, tweaked through a 21st century lens, to introduce student groups to his work. This year their production is "Lovestruck", which takes a tour of some of Shakespeare's famous love scenes with a reality television "Bachelor" twist.

In addition, they provide Saturday morning workshops for up-and-coming playwrights, where participants in the festival give feedback to these scripts to help build a critical language and framework in the industry.

"The idea untimely is we want to get from our play reading series new plays that we can introduce into the festival so that there wil always be a Bahamian play, a Shakespeare play, and a brand-new Bahamian play that was discovered through play reading series," explains Bethel.

They even reach out to student artists in their Young Artists Program, appealing to them to create uniquely designed posters for  each production, which will also be available on limited edition t-shirts with the artist's contact information. This year, participating artists are Khia Poitier ("Julius Caesar"); Kachelle Knowles ("Mariah Brown"); Charlthorn Strachan ("Pat Rahming, Alias Pat Rahming"); Reuno Pratt ("Bard to Go"); and Rashad Ferguson ("Dis We Tings").

Indeed, the festival offers an exciting array of both local and international productions which will all give audiences something to think about and build upon what's proving to become--three years later--a rich theatre industry.

"What we really want to do is to expose young people to a range of theatre--not just Bahamian-style but all different kinds of styles--and to inspire different kinds of writing, different kinds of performance," explains Bethel.

"I think that is happening, I think that there is something like that going on--I don't think Shakespeare in Paradise can take all the credit, but there seems to be a new buzz in theatre."

The full schedule of events for Shakespeare in Paradise, which runs September 30th-October 8th, can be found on their website at www.shakespeareinparadise.org.

Tickets are $25 per performance. Advance ticket sales begin on Monday, September 12th through online bookings at their website above, and they will offer a special discount for early birds (4 tickets for $80). Regular ticket sales begin on the 19th through the Dundas box office.

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News Article

February 15, 2011
(VIDEO) Conch Salad TV features Stephen Burrows: A Portrait

Nassau, Bahamas - The new Bahamian
website Conch Salad TV (www.conchsaladtv.com) is now featuring a profile of unsung sculptor Stephen Burrows, who created the unique
steel creatures that decorate four different islands of The Bahamas:
Exuma, San Salvador, Abaco and Nassau. Mr. Burrows donated his art to
the country, the only payment he received was in the form of
scholarships for Bahamian students. Although retired from BEC, the
artist hasn't given up his dreams of creating one more final, giant
sculpture.

Conch Salad TV
provides an online Bahamas video magazine for visitors and Bahamians by
Bahamians. Conch Salad TV will go off the beaten path and dive deep...

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News Article

July 31, 2012
Friendship is essential to a healthy life

Whether it's taking a hint from the shows "Friends", "Sex in the City" and "The Golden Girls" re-runs or watching the challenging, but close-knit friendships of the characters on shows like "Army Wives", the message is clear that friendship is an essential part of life -- even for adults. But as people get older, take on more responsibilities, get married, start families and focus on careers, life somehow gets in the way -- no matter how hard people try to maintain them. Somewhere along the line, the best of friendships can drift apart.
The one place where friendships always seem to withstand life's challenges is TV land. The characters always seem to have time for each other, but in the real world, most busy, career-minded adults seem not to have as much time to devote to their closest platonic relationships or just don't think that dynamic of their life is important anymore. But according to a certified clinical psychologist, friendships are critically important in life for females and males. He said despite some people's belief that as they age, friendships diminish in value, he said friendships in fact increase in value and importance.
"On the social front in our country many of us don't seem to clearly understand what friendships really are," said Dr. Wayne Thompson, who practices out of the Centre for Renewing Relationships. "Friendships, or platonic relationships with individuals could be between people of the same sex or of the opposite sex. A friendship is one in that two people can be close, but there are no sexual favors or connotations attached to it. They are also supposed to be pure and authentic so that one can express themselves freely without feeling judged or misunderstood. And the truth is as we get older it becomes even more critically important," said Dr. Thompson.
For Louise Gibson, 80; Naomi Symmonett, 81, and Audrey Fountain, 82, friends for the last three decades, it has been a natural part of life which they cannot imagine not experiencing. The trio have maintained a steadfast relationship through marriages, children, different career paths, joys and tragedies, and know that they have someone they can count on throughout the different stages of their lives.
But that 30-year friendship did not come without ups and downs. But luckily, they learned the importance of not holding onto pain or issues in their relationships, according to Symmonett. She said that was key in the maintenance of some of her longest platonic relationships.
"We all have many friends but some are much longer than others. For instance, Louise and I have been friends for 60-plus years and we have been like sisters because of it. I would go to great lengths for her and she would do the same for me. I think one of the things that has kept us together is not getting angry with each other, and the rare times that we do have a disagreement it is being able to say how we feel to another and not hold it against each other that has kept us -- and leave it alone after that," she said.
Many people who maintain long-term friendships learn a wonderful secret among themselves. A mark of a true friend is that they can tell you things that no one else will tell you, according to Dr. Thompson. He said true friends are not concerned about their friend's response or sparing the other person's feelings.
"A friend's love is one that cares about the person's wellbeing and will tell their friend the truth gently -- but truthfully. So when people know they have a person in their life like this, their relationship naturally deepens and becomes more rewarding and fulfilling. People who are able to accomplish this in their platonic relationships do not have to feel alone or lonely," said the clinical psychologist.
And a true friend must be able to be honest to themselves. If they cannot be honest to themselves, Dr. Thompson said they are not a good candidate to be anyone's friend.
"It takes more than a smile [because] friendship is built on the principle of truth. If a person cannot be truthful to themselves, then their ability to be truthful to someone else does not exist," he said. "Too many people have persons in their circles who tell them what they want to hear. They go along with their friend even though they are thinking this is so silly or so stupid. People don't need others like that in their life."
For Fountain, being true to herself and in turn being able to be truthful with people she meets is what has kept her so close to her friends. She said she always aimed to speak the truth to her friends and not share secrets with anyone if either one confides in her. For her this is key to being a friend.
"A friend should always be someone you can talk to and make time for. I don't see most of my friends often, but I will call and we will talk about what's new and different on a regular basis nonetheless. This is important," she said. "And although we all may be familiar with one another, it is important not to speak to other friends about what one friend said. This may be what young people today are lacking. They feel they must share everything or always see one another. Sometimes your friendship grows even stronger because you aren't always together and knowing you can trust someone is also important."
According to the clinical psychologist, while many older people understand how to be in healthy friendships many of the younger generations don't get it. He said young people struggle a lot with their friendships and relationships because they have a lot of growing to do and are still figuring out what it means to be a friend.
"They think it is all about going out, seeing each other all the time and giving each other things, but this is not so. Authentic friends do not keep track. Persons who complain that they call their friends but the friends don't call them back are not authentic. True friends simply pick up where they left off regardless of the time that has passed or what they can materially get from a relationship."
Dr. Thompson said the first test for young people is learning to be a friend themselves. And that unfortunately too many young people are in a rush to gain acceptance from others when they have not learned to accept themselves.
"The reason why their friendships break up and go sour so quickly is the foundational relationship -- the one with themselves is not grounded and centered. Once they can do that and overcome the hurdles that make friendships difficult at times they have a chance to create a lasting friendship," said the relationship expert.
The friendship that Gibson, Symmonett and Fountain have is the kind of friendship that I would like for my circle of friends of seven years -- Angel Watkins, Arch-Cheriea Strachan and Ana-Alicia Burrows. We all came together as college freshmen. But remaining friends has not been the easiest task as there have been many moments of doubt, perceived betrayals and misunderstandings. So far, we have always found ways to get through it all, leave behind childhood insecurities and strengthen the relationships consistently, but the one thing we seem to be succumbing to is life as we all grow up, move on and become busy in our respective careers. Our greatest challenge is keeping up with one another.
Like this group of young ladies, many people don't get to keep up with their social life but despite life's challenges, friends should always make time for each other because a part of growing up is being able to maintain relationships despite everyday challenges according to Camille Bullard, a certified counselor from Caring Counsellors Clinic.
"There is a saying that no man is an island and that is true. Everyone needs someone they can relate to and talk to no matter how independent or busy they are. Having friends and maintaining relationships are healthy, and individuals especially women should never forsake their girlfriends. Having friends is a way to keep track of your life from an objective stand point not to mention having people to go out with gives you a way to escape the stresses and tensions of your everyday life."
To maintain friendships, Bullard said people have to actively set aside time to meet up and catch up with each other's lives.
After about six months of not seeing each other face-to-face as a unit, my friends and I made a concerted effort to make a date to catch up over a casual dinner. Afterwards we felt a lot more connected and it was great that we could just fall back together and catch up with each other's lives.
"You don't realize how much you need to sit and talk with your girlfriends sometimes," said Watkins. "Life can get so busy, but it feels good when you can slow down for a second and talk about things that bother you or excite you with your friends. It was really refreshing how the hours slipped by and how easy we just fall back together even though we don't talk to one another as often as we should."
According to Bullard, circumstance, time and distance should not matter to the integrity of a true friendship.

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News Article

August 01, 2012
Kamalamee Honours launches with gala to recognise outstanding Bahamians

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama - The Kamalamee Organization announced on August 1st the selection of the individuals who will receive the 2012 Kamalamee Honours.
They are Errol Bodie for Athletics, Jacques Chenier for Business, Elizabeth "Tip" Burrows for Ecology,  Urban Gibbs for Education, Beverly Chinn-Munnings for Design, Diana Wilson-Swann for Fine Arts, Dr. Romeo Fernandez for Healthcare, Norma Headley for Humanitarianism, Maurice Moore for Political Science and Arnold Williams for Religion.  See photo collage below.
This year, the Kamalamee Honours will celebrate its launch by selecting ten extraordinary individuals whose collective profession has contributed significantly to the cultural and economic growth of our island and country.
Under the patronage of their Excellencies Sir Arthur Foulkes & Lady Foulkes the annual Honors Ceremony will become the highlight of Grand Bahama's cultural year, as the 2012 Honourees will be saluted by great performers from around The Bahamas.
The Kamalamee Honours medallions will be presented at a Cocktail reception hosted by the Kamalamee Organization and the 2 hour black tie red carpet ceremony will take place at the Regency Theater as each honouree accepts their thanks from peers and fans through performances and heartfelt tributes.
The Honours recipients will be recognized for their lifetime contributions to Bahamian culture from the fields of athletics, business, design, ecology, education, fine arts, healthcare, humanitarianism, political science and Religion & Philosophy.
 

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News Article

November 13, 2010
Caribbean Bottling Adds Flavour to Home for the Aged

Freeport,
Grand Bahama - In keeping true to its corporate
responsibility of giving back to the community, Caribbean Bottling
(Bahamas) Ltd. recently donated cases of Glacéau VitaminWater,
the newest addition in the line of products offered by the company to
the
Burrows Home for the Aged in Grand Bahama.

"While Glacéau VitaminWater is
iconic with today's young, active person, we are pleased to donate these drinks
to the residents of the home and we hope that it offers benefits to them," said
Walter Wells, President and CEO, Caribbean Bottling (Bahamas) Ltd...

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News Article

February 17, 2015
Cable Bahamas focused on second mobile license

Cable Bahamas "will not entertain" the idea of a third cellular license in 2018 as the government mulls over the applicants for the country's second cellular services license, according to a Cable Bahamas spokesperson.
David Burrows, vice president of marketing for Cable Bahamas, told Guardian Business that the company would neither focus on a third license nor provide additional information and communication technologies (ICT) services ahead of the government's decision in May.
"Right now we're focused strictly on the second license, we're not even entertaining the concept of a third license right now. The only thing that Cable Bahamas is laser focused on is the second license," he said.
Digicel Head of Business Development Frank O'Carroll told Guardian Business last week that the company would likely not bid for the possible third license in 2018 given the limited size of the cellular market, and would instead pursue other opportunities in The Bahamas' ICT market. However, Burrows said that Cable Bahamas is not currently focusing on providing any other ICT services aside from mobile services.
Burrows also dismissed claims that Cable Bahamas had erected test cellular towers, stating that the company only operated towers for its existing licensed services. Despite proposed infrastructure sharing regulations from the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA), which would see the second licensee sharing cellular towers with BTC, Burrows said he is unsure whether Cable Bahamas would opt to construct its own towers to compliment its pre-existing infrastructure.
Prime Minister Perry Christie announced last week that the Cellular Liberalization Task Force had narrowed the applicants for the second cellular license down to Cable Bahamas, Digicel and Virgin Mobile and hoped to announce the winner by May. Christie said the government would control a 51 percent stake in the new company formed to receive the second license. Burrows said the arrangement is not a concern to Cable Bahamas.
"As every other person that would be bidding for this license, we all bid understanding how everything would be set up. This is not anything that is a surprise to anyone. Everybody understands completely what the rules are going in, so there are no issues with Cable Bahamas in that structure," he said.

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News Article

July 02, 2012
In Nomine Patri

"The influence of the Catholic Church is woven into the very tapestry of our national life, often in ways we do not readily see."
- Sir Arthur Foulkes
As I sat in St. Francis Xavier's Cathedral during my father's funeral two weeks ago, surrounded by family and friends, I was compelled to reflect on the extraordinary and progressive contributions that the Catholic Church has made in The Bahamas over the years. Therefore this week, we would like to Consider This... what are some of the contributions that the Catholic Church has made to our national development over the last century?
The historical record contains some of the characteristically un-Christian atrocities that have been attributed to some in the Catholic Church over the centuries, such as the Crusades and the Inquisition of long ago, at times even committed "in nomine patri" - that is, "in the name of the Father." More recently, notwithstanding the revelations about the deviant behavior of some of the Church's clerics, undoubtedly the positive contributions of the universal church throughout the ages have far outweighed such intermittent atrocities.
By any objective measure, the Bahamian Catholic Church has personified progressivism, which has been borne out in its pastoral mission and spans more than 500 years. As the late Archbishop Lawrence Burke, S.J. explained, this mission "...began when a small group of practical Catholics led by Christopher Columbus knelt to give thanks to God on a Bahamian beach." However, the modern Bahamian Catholic Church has been exemplified through the charitable contributions of the men and women of the Benedictine Order, as well as the Sisters of Charity. The first comprehensive history of the Catholic Church in The Bahamas was chronicled in Fr. Colman Barry's 1973 seminal work "Upon These Rocks".
More recently, the church's historical record was updated by Patricia Glinton-Meicholas in her book "From the Void to the Wonderful: A History of the Roman Catholic Church in The Bahamas."
Foundational years
In her book, Glinton-Meicholas, who is extensively quoted in this installation, traced the development of the early church from its 19th century connection to Jamaica, the Diocese of Charleston and the Archdiocese of New York, noting that "the latter development marked the beginning of stability and true growth in the Bahamian church."
As early as 1889, the Sisters of Charity, "the first permanent missionaries, established St. Francis Xavier, the first parish school, as a free school for poor children." A year later, they established St. Francis Xavier Academy, which later became Xavier's College, "a select school for girls." For more than a century, the Sisters of Charity pioneered early education and established parish schools which evidenced their commitment to the long-term educational development of the Bahamian community.
In 1891, Fr. Chrysostom Schreiner, then the vice president of Saint John's University in Minnesota, was appointed the first permanent Catholic priest in The Bahamas. When he arrived in The Bahamas, there were only 70 members in the congregation of St. Francis Xavier. Fr. Chrysostom was resourceful, industrious and enterprising and his tenure in The Bahamas spanned from 1891 to 1925. He was credited with many advances including the first out island missions and the purchase of "The Priory" which became the first rectory of St. Francis Church. He established the Annual Catholic Bazaar, and built Bungalow Dunmore to house visiting clergy.
Twentieth century harvest
Catholic pioneers in the early years of the 20th century "took on the roles of architects, builders, doctors, dentists, technical advisers and teachers." That period witnessed the meteoric growth in Bahamian religious vocations - by both men and women, and the explosive escalation in the erection of churches and schools throughout the country, one of whom stands out is Fr. Jerome.
The first Bahamian to be ordained to the Catholic priesthood was Monsignor Carl Albury who started his studies at Saint John's University but was ultimately ordained in Canada in 1932. He was the first in a long line of Bahamians priests, many of whom were ordained in the 1950s and 1960s.
Those Bahamian priests included such notables as Fathers Charles Coakley (the "first native Bahamian priest of the Diocese of Nassau"), Boswell Davis, Leander Thompson, Bonaventure Dean, Cletus Edgecombe, Prosper Burrows and Monsignor Preston Moss, all of whom were trained at Saint John's Abbey in Minnesota. The connection to Saint John's was a natural one.
It was recognized that "if the Bahamianization of the local church was to proceed in an orderly and timely fashion, the church would need to make higher education accessible to more Bahamians." Fr. Frederick Frey arrived in The Bahamas in 1935 and was central to the construction of St. Augustine's Monastery and College, the latter established on January 1, 1945. Initially
an all-boys school, it was an incubator for young Bahamian men wishing to pursue religious or other studies at Saint John's University in Minnesota.
In the meantime, many priests from Saint John's Abbey taught at St. Augustine's College and others performed parish duties throughout the country. Their contributions to personal, spiritual, educational, athletic and familial growth and development in the Bahamian society are incalculable.
In like manner, the 20th century witnessed the enormous growth of women, most notably the nuns of St. Martin's Monastery on Nassau Street. They, too, provided teachers and administrators in the parochial school system as well as vocations to young women in search of a spiritually-cloistered, life-time commitment to the church. Their contributions, too, are equally immeasurable.
The Bahamas has been well-served not only by the Sisters of Charity, the Benedictines, and the Sisters of St. Martin's, but also from diocesan priests and nuns from the United States and Canada, including the Passionists, Jesuits, Carmelites, Servites, the Scarboros, the Grey Sisters and other religious communities.
Social outreach
The church's message was not limited to its spiritual directive. It was as equally committed to its social outreach to heal the sick as it was to its disciple-making mandate.
There were several outstanding medical doctors directly connected to the church, notably Dr. Marie Bachem at St. Francis and Dr. Julie Wersching at the Agnes Hardecker Clinic adjacent to Our Lady's in the inner city. The Church sponsored many other social outreach programs, too numerous to mention and too impactful to quantitatively measure.
The 21st century and beyond
The 20th century Bahamian Catholic Church has laid a firm foundation for its continued growth into the 21st century and beyond. There have been and continue to be outstanding priests, nuns, deacons and lay persons who represent the "second harvest" who will continue the work of their forebears. Although the challenges of the modern church are very different from those of their antecedents, the commitment of today's church leaders is as resolute. The Bahamian Catholic Church is led by a son of the soil who clearly understands the role that the church must play in a modern Bahamas, demonstrated recently by Archbishop Patrick Pinder's commitment to zero tolerance for abuse by those whom he leads.
Conclusion
There can be no argument that the Catholic Church has positively impacted national development, not through its direct interference in the body politic or by dictating the development of public policy, but through its commitment to the development of persons who are guided by the moral and spiritual teachings and conduct of its pastoral leaders.
As His Excellency, Sir Arthur Foulkes observed at the Catholic Men's Symposium two years ago, "Catholicism's gift of an empowering education to poor and racially marginalized Bahamians was transformative and, I dare say, revolutionary."
The Catholic Church in The Bahamas enjoys a tremendously rich legacy of social outreach to the poor and the downtrodden and a deeply abiding commitment to educational development. Its beacon of hope for those who are spiritually adrift will continue to shine steadfastly through the darkness.
All of these good works, in nomine patri.
Philip C. Galanis is the managing partner of HLB Galanis & Co., Chartered Accountants, Forensic & Litigation Support Services. He served 15 years in Parliament. Please send your comments to pgalanis@gmail.com.

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News Article

July 13, 2012
FNM chairman should relax

Dear Editor,

The election is over. Criticizing just to criticize or to make headlines seems to be the order of the day for the chairman of the Free National Movement (FNM). During the campaign he labeled himself the lie detector. Now he has become the official analysis negatively on everything the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) does. I'm no defender of the PLP. I'm just tired of the unnecessary daily, uncalled for condemnation when there are so many more pressing issues that can be dealt with.
Mr. Chairman, accept the fact that the FNM was kicked out of office by a landslide, by a margin of 29 seats to nine, and the PLP was given a clear mandate by the Bahamian people to govern, albeit not the popular vote. And perhaps the party is on its way to picking up another seat in North Abaco.
The energy that you are using in your continued denigration, you should channel some of that energy in retaining the North Abaco seat.
The people have spoken (the voice of the people is the voice of God). Get over it and move on. Give the new government a chance. The people have spoken, you are wearing yourself out Mr. Chairman. Are you prepared to criticize on everything for five years?

- Kelly D. Burrows

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News Article

June 26, 2014
Classic drama returns to the Dundas with 12 Angry Men

NASSAU, Bahamas -- Murder, prejudice and doubt are just a few of the themes that drive the story of 12 Angry Men, a new live stage production that opens Thursday, June 26 at the Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts on Mackey Street.
The production is presented by Ringplay Productions, a local theatre group that now manages the Dundas theatre, and features many veterans and a few newcomers to the stage.
Set in 1950s New York City, 12 Angry Men follows the conflict, doubt and responsibility that a jury has in deciding the fate of a young man accused of killing his father. The well-known play has been adapted into multiple films and is considered one of the modern classics.
At the beginning of the play, eleven jurors vote "guilty." Only one man, Juror #8, believes that the young man might be innocent. He must convince the others that "reasonable doubt" exists.
Philip Burrows directs the play, and is excited to bring it back to the Dundas stage. "We've got a wonderfully diverse cast, with some who are new to the stage and others who are back after a long absence," Burrows said. "This classic piece of drama is an excellent way to showcase the Bahamian talent we have here at home. 12 Angry Men is also important as we see it as the re-launch of consistent live theatre back at the Dundas."

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News Article

November 28, 2014
Youth development a strong focus of swimming federation

The increasing vibrancy of the youth development program within the Bahamas Swimming Federation (BSF) is manifested by the advancement of Joanna Evans, Margaret Higgs Albury, Alec Sands, Victoria Russell and that ilk. One gets the feeling that the national swimming program is building into something really fantastic. The BSF has its challenges of course, but the focus of President Algernon Cargill and his team is on building a strong youth base.
In keeping with their philosophy the BSF has accepted an invitation to have two young swimmers attend the First FINA Doha 2014 Youth Program in Doha, Qatar.
Traveling to Doha with Sands and Russell will be by Coach Andy Knowles. Cargill will represent the national swimming movement at the FINA Congress and the FINA Aquatics Convention.
How did Sands and Russell emerge out of the large volume of active young swimmers?
In a statement, Cargill explained: "The BSF has chosen swimmers Alec Sands and Victoria Russell, based on both swimmers having the highest FINA points in their events, ranking them as the top male and female athletes in their age group (14-15 year-olds). Both are in the Swift Swimming club. Alec had the highest points for the 1,500 meters free and Victoria for the 50 meters breaststroke.
"The goals of the program are to inspire and motivate the young swimmers to become stars of tomorrow, to promote communication and friendship among the participants and to provide an overview of the latest training trends and techniques."
The Youth Program, the FINA Congress and Aquatics Convention are all taking place in conjunction with the FINA World Short Course Championships (December 3-7). To that end, Sands and Russell will observe members of the national team competing in the event. Slated to be swimming in Doha for The Bahamas, are Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, Evans, Ariel Weech and Vereance Burrows. With the team are coaches Andy Loveitt and Travano McPhee.
Four years ago at the 2010 World Short Course Championships, Vanderpool Wallace won a bronze medal in the 50 meters freestyle. Fresh off a four- gold medal performance at the 22nd Central American and Caribbean Championships, Vanderpool-Wallace is expected to do quite well in Doha.
Evans who won two silver medals at the CAC Games in Veracruz, Mexico a week ago, and the others will be on the lookout for short course medals of their very own.
This is indeed a refreshing period for Bahamian swimming.
Best wishes for the Bahamas Delegation!

o To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at sturrup1504@gmail.com

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News Article

September 01, 2011
Marjorie Lucille O'Brien McKinney, 89

Memorial Service for the Late Marjorie Lucille O'Brien McKinney, 89 years of Eastwood Estates and formerly of San Salvador, will be held on Friday September 2nd, 7:00 p.m. at Epiphany Anglican Church, Prince Charles Drive.

Funeral Service for the Late Marjorie Lucille O'Brien McKinney, 89 years of Eastwood Estates and formerly of San Salvador, will be held on Sunday September 4th, 2:30 p.m. at Christ the King Anglican Church, Ridgeland Park, West. Fr. Rodney Burrows will officiate. Interment will follow in Woodlawn Memorial Gardens, Soldier Road.

She is survived by her Children: Winifred Thompson (Michael), Andrew McKinney, Janet Davis (Derek), Anthony McKinney (Keva). Adopted Children, Barry McKinney, Floyd Pennington, Castell Rolle; Son-in-law: Fr. Rodney A. Burrows; Step-Daughter-in-law: Eulease Johnson; Grandchildren: Gregory ( Estella) Thompson, Michelle ( Clarence) McCow, Tanya ( Mark) Bell, Angela Thompson, Nicoyas ( Skilenthius) Hilbert, Valarie ( Leonard) Wallace, Samantha( Lenneth) Bannister, Jamal ( Angela) Davis, Alexis(Cameron) Wells, Krishelle McKinney, Primrose, Charles Jr., Sanchez & Krisjan Johnson; Great Grandchildren: Donovan  (Lindsley) Thompson, Shakara & Ajariah Thompson, Jamil Bell, Davanna & D'Angelo Collie, Jamal Davis II, Hillary & Tyler Wallace, Schamal Forbes, Lennique Bannister, Caden Wells; Great- Great Grandchildren: Ashire & Angelisa Thompson, Kiah Thompson; Brother-in-Law: Charles & Juanita McKinney; Nieces: Margaret (Levi) Laramore , Marina (John) Young , Sybilene (Ronald) Taylor, Georgina(Walter) Curtis, Mildred Young, Yvonne Bethel, Janet (Fr. Leopold) Cox, Carol (ER) Hanna, Fearlese Knowles, Sherry Gibson, Patrona Kemp, Judith Williams, Stephanie Rolle, Essie Ferguson, Lillian Rahming, and Families; Nephews: John White, George Young, Ronald(Ernestine) Young, Basil, Hugh, Kenneth, Neil, & Edmond O'Brien, Harry McKinney, Patty McKinney, Rudolph, Willard & Roosevelt (Quella) Williams, Andy & Walter Gibson, and families; Cousins: Rev. Ivan Butler Sr., Amy Gay, Harrison Butler, Lavina (Joel) Rolle, Rev. Mavis Major, Pamiricka(Charles ) Rodgers, Carrimae Hunt, Hendrick & Dilith Nairn, Alvera Storr, Winifred Campbell,  Maxine Burrows and Families; Priests: Archdeacon I Ranfurly & Mrs. Olga Brown, Canon Delano & Mrs. Archer, Canon Samuel & Mrs. Anne. Sturrup. Cannon Curtis & Mrs. Myrtle Robinson, Fr. Rodney & Mrs. Barbara Burrows, Fr. Atma & Mrs. Luciana Badhu, Fr. Bradley & Vernalee Miller, & Christ The King & Epiphany Anglican Church Family.

Friends may pay their last respects at Bethel Brothers Morticians, #44 Nassau Street on Friday from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and on Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. *There will be no viewing at the Church.
 

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News Article

April 08, 2010
Family of dead man accuse police of 'sloppy' case work

Family members of Captain Bernard Burrows, who was last seen alive 18 months ago, have accused police of "sloppy" case work and are calling for a new investigation into the circumstances surrounding his disappearance and death.

Some relatives suspect that Mr Burrows, 45, was the victim of foul play. They feel investigators did not pursue this avenue aggressively in the case's early stages, leaving many stones unturned, and a possible killer on the loose.

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News Article

November 17, 2014
BFMI family expresses hope amid tragedy

While the tragic deaths of world-renowned pastor, Dr. Myles Munroe, his wife and seven others, still weigh heavily on the hearts of their families, friends and supporters around the world, relatives and new Bahamas Faith Ministries International (BFMI) Senior Pastor Dave Burrows said during a transcendent service yesterday that they will continue to have faith, not take anything for granted and carry on BFMI's mission.
Yesterday marked one week since Munroe, who was the founder and president of BFMI, was killed in a plane crash along with his wife, Pastor Ruth Munroe; BFMI Senior Vice President Dr. Richard Pinder; BFMI Youth Pastors Lavard and Radel Parks; their son, Johannan Parks; pilots Stanley Thurston and Frahkan Cooper and American visitor Diego De Santiago.
The group was traveling to Grand Bahama for the Global Leadership Forum when the plane crashed into a crane at the Grand Bahama Shipyard.
As Myles "Chairo" Munroe Jr. prepared to speak onstage, relatives of several of the victims encircled and embraced him.
He broke the silence with a slightly shaking voice.
"I was going to prepare a speech, something written, but as I was getting ready this morning, I just knew that I was going to talk to my
family," said Munroe to applause.
He said it has been the "hardest week" for his family, and everyone else affected.
He said it is because of the support of family, including the BFMI family, that "I am able to stand here today".
"My dad always spoke about his belief in people," Munroe said.
"Nothing else mattered but people. Regardless of how long he spoke, or how much he traveled, he always made time for people.
"That is just the type of person he was. We sometimes take that for granted, just because people are here every day, and we just don't think certain people won't be here tomorrow."
Munroe said one thing people should learn from the tragedy that gripped the nation is not to take life for granted.
"You have to appreciate the moment," he said. "I encourage everyone this week, people who are in your life that you love and you care about, make sure you tell them.
"Do not take it for granted that you will be able to tell them because tomorrow is not promised."
With several hands resting on his shoulders, Munroe said, "We miss our parents, as we should, but the stories that I have heard this week from everyone who has come to express their condolences and give a good word to the family, my dad is right here with us."
The statement was met with loud applause and cheers.
Munroe said his father "reproduced himself in everyone he came into contact with".
He said he hears his father every day when people offer words of gratefulness or share a story about how Munroe impacted their lives.
"My dad did this thing where he came up and said, 'Hold the hands of the person sitting next to you and tell them, if you knew me [you'd buy me lunch]'," Munroe said.
"It is something I took for granted because he said it a lot of times, but it means so much now because you really do not know who is sitting next to you and what they are capable of.
"But my dad believed in their abilities and that everyone is gifted."
Munroe often used the self-coined idiom, "If you knew who I am going to be tomorrow, you would buy me lunch today" and variations of it during his many sermons.
Munroe Jr. said it is "amazing" that his mother, Pastor Ruth Munroe, who he described as his father's perfect "help mate", also died.
"She was his perfect help mate in death," he said to another round of applause.
"We have no answers to why. We can't understand that they both were taken because they needed to be taken.
"One day it will all make sense. That's what I keep telling myself, and I honestly believe that. One day God will reveal himself."
Amid more applause, Munroe added, "I wanted the church to see us physically, because this is family. This is my dad's family, the extension of his family.
"...We are strong, we are together. Our faith has not been moved. We have not been deterred. I hope a piece of my dad's legacy lives in us all."
Richard "Rinnah" Pinder Jr. also thanked BFMI members, the wider community, civic groups and other organizations for their support during this challenging time.
However, Pinder said, "This is not the end".
"Our parents started the work and it did not die with them.
"All of these people standing around us and behind us show that this is just the beginning."
He also called the BFMI congregation part of the Pinder family, and said, "We have come here today to let you know we stand together, never apart. We love all of you and thank you."
Sheena Pinder, wife of Dr. Richard Pinder and sister of Ruth Ann Munroe, said she, too, is only able to stand because of the love and prayers she has received.
"I am convinced that they left me behind so that I can keep these four in line, and keep them on the straight and narrow," said Pinder before glancing at her son and daughter, and the Munroe children.
Pinder spoke about being shaken, but holding onto faith and continuing the mandate set by her husband and his colleague, Myles Munroe, more than 30 years ago.
At the crowded Diplomatic Center on Carmichael Road, dozens of people wiped tears from their eyes.
Some wept loudly and called out, while others embraced one another and held hands at times.
Ushers canvassed the church offering tissue to those who could not hold back tears.
Photos of the nine victims remained on two large screens throughout the service.
BFMI members on and off the stage held hands, and swayed on the spot as they sang 'Bind us together'.
Two liturgical dancers held up white banners, which read "Holy".

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News Article

September 09, 2011
School mourns girl's death

Taja Burrows' first grade teacher said yesterday her class will never be the same without the presence of the happy five-year-old girl whose body was found floating in waters near Prince George Wharf Tuesday.
The girl was a student of St. John's College where news of her death shocked teachers, parents and students alike.
Annalicia Allison, Taja's teacher, said the child was jovial and will be greatly missed.  She added that returning to the class without Taja will take a toll on her.
"Knowing that when you enter the classroom the seat is empty and knowing that, that is for a little girl who you've known for a period of time, it's going to be very difficult.  Every time looking at the seat knowing she will not be with us... she will be surely missed."
Royal Bahamas Defence Force marines pulled the bodies of Taja and her mother, Amanda Seymour Burrows, 32, of Stapledon, from the waters at about 7:30 a.m.  The girl was found still wearing pajamas.
Allison said Taja was one of the bright spots in her class.  "She was a happy child.  She was always running around telling me 'teacher I love you'.  She was so friendly.  She got along well with all students.  She would always be the one to help you.  She's just that kind of child who was always helping," Allison said.
She taught Taja during summer school and the short time she spent in the first grade class.
St. John's College principal Antoinette Storr said the news came as a shock to the entire school population.
"We got word [on Wednesday] that police identified the body," Storr said.  "We immediately got into action.  The crisis management team came in and we made contact with the chaplain who got in contact with [Taja's] teachers."
Storr said the school had a combined mass yesterday where the message was centered on dealing with grief and death.
"It is a very, very difficult day for us," the principal said.  "She is one of those loving students."
Taja's former teacher Eva Dawkins also described her as a happy student.  "There was never a dull moment with Taja. I enjoyed having her in my class. It's so hard," she said as tears ran down her face.
Police were questioning a man in connection with the deaths yesterday.  The deaths have been classified as "sudden".
Police said they had not uncovered any evidence to suggest that there was any foul play involved.

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