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News Article

February 27, 2012
Profile: Craig Pinder

In his latest role, Bahamian performer Craig Pinder takes on Shakespeare's tragic character of Othello, a cultural outsider in his community whose actions challenge society's rigid expectations of his character.
Though Pinder's story is one of triumph rather than tragedy, his international career in theater has kept him at a distance from his Bahamian home. Recently however, with a string of Bahamian parts played out both on the stage and on screen, Pinder looks to The Bahamas as a promising place of growth in performing arts with the right encouragement he's seen instituted in the places he's lived abroad.
"Every time I come back to The Bahamas, I'm always astounded at how much natural talent and ability Bahamians have," he said. "All I see is opportunities that are needed for kids and adults to help them develop that creativity, like a National Youth Theatre Program and workshops besides a thriving scene of theatrical productions."
"I think The Bahamas can be a center for theater - the talent and desire is here. The response to Othello is fantastic, people are keen and longing for it," he continued. "Theater needs funding. It hardly makes any money, especially good theater. But just because it doesn't make any money doesn't make it less valid. That needs to be respected - it's not a waste of money to invest in these projects."
Though he lives and works in the UK to pursue a fulfilling stage acting career, Craig Pinder's Bahamian roots run as deep as his love for performance. Inspired by his father Bill Pinder, who he performed alongside as a young boy of eight years old in productions in The Bahamas, he was bitten by the bug.
It wasn't until high school at Queen's College, however, that his English teacher, Rodger Kelty, pointed out that his love for performance matched his inherent talent when, at his teacher's urging, Pinder recited passages from Henry V in the fashion of Lawrence Olivier.
"Afterwards, he came up to me and said I should go into acting, but I didn't think it was possible," remembered Pinder. "The people I knew who did acting were TV stars and it seemed so far away, so inaccessible. How could a Bahamian do it? It seemed to be an impossible dream."
Yet while studying Chemistry at Reading University in England in the 1970s, Pinder still couldn't avoid his true calling. He joined the Drama Society on campus and immediately landed his first major lead role as Romeo in Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet".
"I was there studying chemistry, but my heart was in drama," he laughed.
So after graduating and while working and living at home in The Bahamas and with the urging of his mentor Audry Grindrod, he worked towards earning his London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) gold medal. When the opportunity presented itself to try out for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) while he completed his LAMDA, he took it and earned one of the only two spots available for his division. Pinder eluded such talent as a dedicated performer during his time at RADA from 1979-1981 that he left with the Ronson Prize for the most Promising Actor Award.
With that under his belt, Pinder went on to lead the actor's life first in New York City with off-Broadway stage acting stints and small TV roles interspersed with odd jobs, and then finally to London, where he set his sights on a major stage career.
"I think I'm more of a theater person - some people, the camera loves them, but theater is me," he said. "London was and still is a theater place with a lot of big name actors. They have a tradition of it."
Since then, Pinder has become a stage sensation in the UK acting world, breaking out with his first major lead role, Jean Valjean in "Les Miserables", and then, upon joining the Royal Shakespeare Company, many notable roles in Shakesperean productions. He's also had notable roles in "Mamma Mia!", "Sweeney Todd", "Footloose" and "Death of a Salesman", among other diverse roles in emerging plays.
Yet Pinder experienced great fulfillment when he was finally able to make a big impact in the Bahamian performing scene, playing a part in Kareem Mortimer's groundbreaking film, "Children of God".
"It was a fantastic experience and it was the first time I think I've ever played a Bahamian and it felt very strange and very wonderful - I could actually 'act' being Bahamian instead of putting on an American or British accent," he remembered. "It just meant so much to me to do that."
He then also took part in the film "Wind Jammers" and in "The Tempest", which he also co-directed as part of the Bahamian theater festival, Shakespeare in Paradise. Such opportunities were invaluable to the actor who finds theater and film developing at an exciting pace in his homeland.
"At the back of my mind, I always wanted to come back and do something in the creative environment here because it's a part of me. It's a part of my cultural background and as an actor, you're really acting parts of yourself," he said. "If you spend your entire career not referring to your own culture, you're missing a huge part of your creative spectrum."
Likewise, he also pointed out that if a society misses out on its cultural aspects like theater - indeed, all arts - it suffers a lack of benefits the arts can bring not only as an enjoyable and thought-provoking pastime to its patrons, but as a fulfilling activity for its artists and amateurs.
Rising crime rates certainly have a multitude of contributors, but with a lack of an infrastructure not only to encourage arts developments with funding at the professional level, but also at the amateur level with students, the youth will continue to misdirect their energy into dangerous and unfulfilling pastimes when the alternative could easily be presented to them.
"People seem to think the arts aren't important. Generally politicians cut arts funding because it's seen as a luxury, but I say you think that at your peril," said Pinder. "If you're going through tough times, how can a society heal its suffering without addressing it?"
"Art is important because it tells us about ourselves, our experiences, about what we all have in common, all these feelings we can't explain or control that are irrational," he continued. "But if you see something that touches on those experiences, it often helps you to deal with them. It's a mirror to nature, as Shakespeare said, it's a way of finding out what we're about and a way to help ourselves to be better, happier, more in control and more fulfilled, more whole."

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News Article

February 20, 2012
A taste that became a craving

The world of accounting's loss is definitely a plus to the world of fashion.
Ten years ago, while still a college student, studying towards a bachelor's degree in business administration, New Providence native Kamela Forbes booked a nine-month engagement with the Ebony Fashion Fair Tour. She worked the runway almost daily during that stint, traveled to over 100 U.S. cities, and even walked during a show in The Bahamas as part of the tour. It was a life-changing experience for her. She took a year off from finding a job in the financial sector. She says she has not had a day of regret since.
When the tour ended, Forbes knew her life would never be the same. She decided that a desk job was not something she wanted to entertain anymore. She had gotten a taste of the fashion world on a large scale and that made her crave it even more. As soon as she could, she hopped on the first flight to Los Angeles, California, in pursuit of a career in fashion. She has not looked back.
After a decade in the industry, she's been used in photo shoots for over 20 magazines, including Ebony, Essence, Cosmopolitan, InStyle and Rolling Stones. Hers is indeed a fascinating story.
Breaching the world of fashion was something the five-foot, 10-inch beauty dreamt about since her childhood. During the early years she says she experienced numerous rejections along the way. She says many companies initially didn't even let her book appointments to meet with them. She didn't let that deter her. In those cases she said she often just marched in and was persistent in her quest. She eventually landed at Otto Model Management and they helped her build her portfolio in Los Angeles before she headed to New York. She's currently signed to Major Model Management.
Next up for the Bahamian stunner is a trip down the runway at the "Some Like it Hot" fashion show in Bermuda on Friday, April 6. It's a walk she's looking forward to as she's passionate about the runway and high fashion, but over the years, different projects have taken her away from the runway.
Forbes has done print work for Tiffany & Co.'s March catalogue. And done work with Target and Macy's. She can also be seen in ads for the Motorola cell phone company. On the high fashion side of things, she has also worked with designers J. Mendel and Marc Jacobs.
"I love runway because it's a thrill from start to finish. It's like transforming yourself into someone else. The entire production of the runway is so vibrant. It's lights and cameras and a great audience. It's really fun. Unfortunately for me runway modeling is not as financially rewarding as print modeling. I like print because your life is never the same everyday. It's a different project almost every time. With department stores you are asked to be an everyday kind of person. You're more relatable and can just be yourself. On the other hand an editorial shoot may need me to be different. Make-up, the clothes, the poses are more complex and that's a lot of fun as well. It's a lot more creative."
No matter the opportunity, Forbes is happiest when she gets to travel to do her work. She has traveled to Europe and Africa to do shoots and runway shows.
While the past decade has been a journey for her, she says one of the most important lessons she has learned is that a model has to have a thick skin, be patient, and work hard - no matter the situation. She may not have started her career as early as other models who started out as teenagers, but she says she is glad for the time she had to discover herself.
Her advice to up-and-coming models is to think about what they are doing, and create a portfolio that is diverse, but not expensive.
"You have to have a portfolio, but I wouldn't advise investing in something too expensive because you never know what the agency is looking for. They often are fine with simpler shots, but it's nice to have something different in there as well. Besides, many agencies will still just push you in the direction they want you to go in. If their dream is do something in the U.S. they need to look up the agencies and find out which day they allow walk-in models. Most will let you just come but others are by appointment."
She says a good age to start pursuing a modeling career is 16, or when they have finished high school because like a professional sport, in modeling, the earlier you get started, the better off you are.
Forbes, an advocate of education, says she is torn about the issue because she says the precious time it takes to obtain a college degree narrows the window of success in the field.
"Unless a young girl is sure she has the talent and look the industry wants, as well as the backing from an agency, heading straight into the industry, it may not work out as well. It's a hard thing to put your all into something and it not be rewarding even years down the line. There is some good in having your college degree so you have something to fall back on, but if you have a good chance in the industry from the start then it would be good to just go for it."
Forbes hopes to return to The Bahamas to scout for young models as well as set up a company where she can share her expertise in the field so that young people who want to enter the field don't have to endure the trials she had to. She would like to serve as a mentor and help make their road into the industry easier. This is something she knows the importance of, especially as she did not have anyone to serve as her mentor in her early days.
"It's a tough field," said Forbes, "but it is so rewarding when you can stick it out. It's not easy but I would encourage others to follow their hearts. I am really living my dream and I would like to help others to do the same," she says.

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News Article

February 21, 2012
The gift of a healthy heart

Hadassah Greene cannot remember the details surrounding the life-saving open heart surgery that she underwent - after all, she was only seven-and-a-half months old - but she happily lives a life that reflects commitment to preserving her life and living it to the fullest.
"I grew up knowing that I had been blessed to be alive all these years," said the now 16-year-old, Kingsway Academy student. "I was born with a hole in my heart and it was through my family's faith in God, the skills of the local doctors and the Heart Foundation that paid for the procedure that resulted in me still being here today. For that I am grateful and I really take being healthy seriously because I don't want to waste this gift I was given."
It was on February 12, 1996 when Denise and Jason Greene welcomed Hadassah, their first child, into the world. The proud parents were health conscious throughout the pregnancy, and did all the required pre-natal examinations. Nothing was amiss with the pregnancy and even when their only daughter was born she still seemed healthy and normal.
"Hadassah was a beautiful baby and seemed normal too," said her mother. "My husband and I did the checkups that were routinely done as a normal baby grows. A physician at the time noted that there was a murmur in her chest. We were told that this wasn't uncommon for a baby but we should watch it. Nothing seemed amiss and we assumed the problem would go away, but when she was four months she was smaller than a regular baby and I noticed she wasn't drinking a lot of her milk. She would drink maybe two ounces and then stop. I took her back to the doctor and they said her heart murmur was still there and it could be causing her fatigue."
She was referred to a pediatric cardiologist, Dr. Jerome Lightbourne who discovered that Hadassah had a hole in the upper right atrium of her heart. The first-time parents were given the option to see if the hole would close on its own and allow Hadassah to be put on medication for the meantime. Within a month of doing that she said she realized it was best to do the surgery instead of waiting and hoping.
"My husband and I already made up our minds to do the surgery even before the doctor told us we would need to do it, since the hole wasn't closing on its own. We knew the best chance she would have to live a normal and healthy life would be to just do the surgery. As soon as we made our decision Dr. Lightbourne set up the team of doctors, anesthesiologist Mark Weech and surgeon Dr. Duane Sands. Hadassah's surgery was performed locally. The Bahamas Heart Foundation guaranteed the funds.
Everything falling into place was a blessing for the mother. To show her gratitude to the organization that paid thousands of dollars to save her daughter's life, she became a member of the Bahamas Heart Association, the educational arm of the Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation. She and her husband were also able to pay the foundation back for the surgery in installments. Although the foundation pays for life-saving surgeries when people are not in a position to pay, Greene says her family was happy to repay the money because another child would not be able to get urgent help if funds were depleted.
"I am happy to give back because it means another child can be helped. My family is in a position where we can give back financially and we wanted to do the right thing," she said. "Many families are not able to do so and that is why they have things like cookouts and fundraisers to assist in raising funds for the family. Some families repay in the same way, by doing fundraisers as well, and I think it is a great thing because the foundation must go on if more people are to be saved."
Hadassah spent five days in hospital before she was approved to go home. Greene took her daughter in for monthly checkups for the first year after the surgery. Like any concerned parent, Greene's major worry after surgery was whether she could allow the toddler to run up and down and participate in strenuous activities. She was told that there was nothing to worry about and to let her be as active as possible to strengthen her heart.
Since she was given the all-clear, Hadassah only has to undergo annual checkups.
"I am so thankful to the foundation and the team of doctors that saved my daughter's life. It was great that she didn't have to leave the country which made the cost easier on the foundation, and checkups were easier for her. It was so wonderful to see that we have professional, capable and competent Bahamian doctors to do this kind of surgery locally. I'm thankful to God that he spared her life. I am sure Hadassah would not have survived without the closure of the hole. I still thank those who prayed for us and who gave funds to this cause," said Greene.
She has since given birth to two sons, Jason and Christiano who are both healthy. But she says thanks to the foundation and their experience she has no fear that, should another incident occur, there would be someone to help them get through their hour of need.
Hadassah is now a ninth grade student and she is not lax in showing her appreciation for the assistance she got as a baby. She happily tells people her story if they ask. She also lives her life as freely as she can, knowing that other children like her were not so lucky and still undergo medical issues as they grow older. She said she takes care of the gift she was given by being on top of her health as much as she can.
She is always physically active and even competes athletically for her school. Her favorite events are the 200 meter dash and running relays. Even though the shorter 100 meters and the longer 400 meters are not her best events, she says she will compete in them if she's needed. Her athletic interest is spreading to volleyball, which she is learning in hopes of getting good enough at it in order to play competitively.
Hadassah and her family take their healthcare a step further by sticking to a vegetarian diet. The two women of the family eat fish at times, but she said her father is a strict vegetarian and she hopes to one day be like him.
"It is so important to monitor what you eat. It's not just about how food tastes or weight gain. It's also about what is going on inside and what the food you eat does to the body. My brothers and I have always eaten fruits and vegetables since we were children. We don't eat meat except fish at times, but we know that the way we eat is best for us. I know I have to stay healthy and take care of myself as best I can."
She is grateful that she hasn't had any problems with her heart since her childhood surgery, but Hadassah is still aware that future heart-related issues like heart disease are possible. Unlike the condition she was born with, heart disease is something that can happen due to one's lifestyle. This is why she tries to do all she can to be as healthy as possible. She hopes that other young people learn to take their health seriously as well because she said their health is the greatest gift they could ever have.

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News Article

November 28, 2013
Journalist P. Anthony White dies at 73

Veteran journalist and broadcaster P. Anthony White died in hospital at the age of 73 yesterday.
White's friends and former colleagues remembered him as a prolific, passionate writer whose work documented the course of Bahamian history and politics after majority rule.
Former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham was among those who offered condolences to the White family.
Ingraham said White spent time in the United States but returned to The Bahamas after majority rule to work as a columnist and soon became a popular writer. Ingraham said White's "biting" critiques in the 1970s angered the government of the day, prompting him to relocate to the Cayman Islands and later the Seychelles in the South Pacific where he established the Government News Bureau.
Ingraham said White was working with the Free National Movement when he joined the party in 1990. He said White helped the party craft the message that led the FNM to win the 1992 general election.
"He was exceptionally well-read, an insightful political commentator and a man of great personal faith," Ingraham said in a statement released yesterday. "To me he was a political comrade and a personal friend. He will be sorely missed.
"We have truly lost an exceptionally gifted Bahamian: a man of great intellectual curiosity, a steadfast friend and a man of great faith."
Former Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Cabinet minister George Smith said he got to know White after the 1967 general election when a lot of talented Bahamians who had worked abroad returned home.
"We remained friends up to his death," Smith said. "I regard Anthony White as one of the literary geniuses of The Bahamas."
Smith said White enriched the country through his writing, wit and personality.
"When I think of Anthony White I think of what Shakespeare said in Romeo and Juliet, '...When he shall die, take him and cut him out in little stars. And he will make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will be in love with night. And pay no worship to the garish sun.'"
White worked as a professional writer for more than 40 years. During his career, he served as a New York correspondent for the Nassau Herald and spent three years at the New York Herald-Tribune.
White was also chairman and CEO of radio station Joy FM.
He wrote a column for The Punch tabloid up until his death.
Guardian columnist Fred Sturrup said White's long career in journalism was driven by his passion for the industry.
"He blazed a trail in that regard and he will be sorely missed," Sturrup said.
"He was a true professional in the industry and brought a wealth of education and understanding to his readers of what The Bahamas is today compared to yesterday."
White was also very active in the Anglican community.
He attended Rhodes High School and St. John's University in New York.
White has three daughters, one son and eight grandchildren.

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News Article

November 01, 2013
20/20 exhibit celebrates works of Chantal Bethel and Sheldon Saint

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- Chantal Bethel and Sheldon Saint - names that are synonymous with The Bahamas and creativity, are combining their talents in a new show at The Grand Gallery.
20/20 is a celebration of Saint and Bethel's 20 years of working as artists, respectively; careers that have established them firmly as important artists in The Bahamas.
Both artists frequently address themes of life and nature - in this show they explore these ideas further by encouraging consideration not only of the natural beauty of The Bahamas, but National treasures, for example "Tribute to Henry J. Bowen" - one of the Framers of the constitution of the Bahamas , the only one from Grand Bahama island - by Bethel.
Theses themes are relevant at any time, but especially of value now, during the 40 years celebration of Bahamian Independence. 20/20 offer us a chance to reflect on the diversity, complexity, history, relationships and simplicity of The Bahamas as seen through the eyes of the artists.
Sheldon brings his attention to 'life in The Bahamas' and implicit to this is the relationships between nature and humans. His watercolours are alive with a warm vibrancy whether the subject is children, the ocean or flowers.

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News Article

March 04, 2014
Blair tells of attack by gunmen

Judith Blair, 67, said she stared down the barrel of a handgun held by her attacker who broke into her Blue Hill Estates home, and said, "I forgive you, but you need to get out of my house."
In that moment, she said, the man shot her. The bullet grazed her left temple and she was still able to stand.
Blair said yesterday she told the two gunmen, who had ordered her and her son to lie on the floor and demanded money, to "leave in the name of Jesus".
Blair was then shot in the abdomen. The two suspects fled the home.
She said as she realized she was bleeding from her stomach, she told her 14-year-old grandson to call an ambulance.
Marvin Blair, 34, Judith's son, was also shot in the abdomen during the home invasion last month.
Asked whether she feared death as she was bleeding on the floor, Blair said she did not because her life was and has always been in God's hands.
She recalled the events of February 11, which she said have not discouraged or defeated her, but will lead her to be a spokesperson for victims.
"I looked the gunman in the eye and told him, 'I forgive you, but you need to get out of my house and go because I am not getting down'," Blair told The Nassau Guardian.
"And I ushered them out of my house as he shot me. And I saw him run up the hill and I knew that God was going to take care of me.
"And if he would forgive himself there is hope for him."
Blair, a former College of The Bahamas lecturer for decades, attended a presentation at the college's Oakes Field campus yesterday.
Despite her recent brush with death, Blair said she does not feel distressed or fearful of a future attack.
"I would like to meet the people, who came into my home to violate me, and let them know I love them, I forgive them and it is okay," she said.
"If they would forgive themselves, there is hope for them."
Blair and her son, Peter Blair, a PhD candidate in Applied Economics at Wharton University of Pennsylvania, said good things have come out of the incident.
"I looked at the outpouring of love, heard that the entire Bahamas was praying for me, the flowers, the gifts, the support and my entire family around me -- all my children came home -- and I saw nothing but good coming out of the situation," she said.
"I am in no way afraid. People ask me would I go back to my house and I say that is my house, no one is going to run me out of my house."
Peter Blair said the support from the wider community as his family recovered from the incident has been amazing.
"Just as a family it has been a very unifying experience too," he said.
"And as my brother Tim said, we are not afraid. We are not afraid. This is where we live."
Judith Blair said no amount of police patrols can heal The Bahamas, but Bahamians must show compassion to criminals, who are in need of love, hope and employment.
She said she would like to meet with Prime Minister Perry Christie to discuss her thoughts on crime.
She urged other victims of violent crime to trust God and to learn the power of forgiveness, adding that it is the only way to move on.
"We must forgive," she said. "If we do not forgive those who have wronged us we cannot move forward.
"And we cannot see what is in store for us if we focus on the bad.
"When I look at what happened to me, some say it is a tragedy, but I say no. It is an opportunity for a turnaround in this nation, and for God to be glorified."

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News Article

February 24, 2012
McCartney responds to PM's Bamboo Town comments

Bamboo Town Member of Parliament Branville McCartney yesterday defended his service to the constituency days after Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said the first term MP cared more about his political ambitions than giving proper representation.
McCartney said his term as an MP overshadows the "disingenuous" attacks leveled against him by the prime minister and some members of the Free National Movement (FNM).
McCartney, who left the FNM last year and subsequently formed the Democratic National Alliance, said he launched several community initiatives for his constituents since 2007, including a bi-monthly senior citizens program, a youth club, a food and clothing distribution program, adult computer classes and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
He added that voters will not be swayed by personal attacks, but rather by the FNM's performance on crime fighting, immigration and education.
"The current leadership continues to mislead Bahamians to garner favor with voters but will soon realize that this political season, Bahamians are wiser and have become immune to political rhetoric," said McCartney in a statement.
"In 2007, the prime minister said he would reduce crime but instead the numbers soared. The families of the murder victims of 2011, and those thus far this year, would like to know what is this government going to do about these criminals and for the Bahamians living in fear.
"What will this administration do to modernize the education system, (and) our immigration and regularization laws? What is the prime minister going to do to provide economic security for Bahamians; what will he do to reduce our national debt?"
As he urged voters in Bamboo Town to support FNM candidate Cassius Stuart, Ingraham also said he had "misjudged" McCartney when he introduced him as a candidate in 2007.
"We sent you a young man last time. He swore on to our team and you elected him as an FNM. We misjudged him. Behind his affable smile was unbridled ambition to achieve power," the prime minister said.
"He proved not to be interested in delivering for you but rather achieving for himself. Now he tells you The Bahamas needs new leadership. Well in order to lead you must first learn to follow. Anyway show him what you (have) planned for him this time."
The comments were in sharp contrast to how Ingraham described McCartney to voters days ahead of the last general election.
At the time, the prime minister said McCartney was "a wonderful example and role model for our children most particularly for our young men".

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News Article

February 24, 2012
2012 West End Eco-Fishing Camp set to begin a fun-filled season

WEST END, Grand Bahama -- The West End Eco-Fishing Camp is pleased to announce the fourth year of their program designed for local kids who are immersed into a number of activities to get them thinking about their role as "caretakers of the earth and living seas." The camp is held in partnership with the Royal Bahamas Police Force who saw the need to initiate signature community programs to encourage the children to learn about basic first aid, water safety, and swimming, introduction to boating, ecology, kayaking, hand line fishing, and fly fishing. Led by a group of adult volunteers from the local community and officers from the West End police station the kids are kept busy learning about "Esprit de Corps" or group spirit that encourages a team effort in each of the planned activities.
The first camp program began in the spring of 2009 with a goal to ensure that the children from West End would learn about entrepreneur and career opportunities as marine biologists, scientists, ecology tour guides, environmentalists, small boat engine mechanics, oceanographers, agriculture, and aqua-culture farmers. Kids are also included from throughout West Grand Bahama and Pineridge who join together to accept their role as "future environmentalists and ecologists" The eco-fishing camp is slated to open March 10 through May 26, 2012. The sessions are held on Saturday mornings from 9AM to 2PM.

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News Article

November 15, 2013
Jazz in the Gardens tickets go on sale today

The annual City of Miami Gardens Jazz in the Gardens music festival formula for success is simple -- a stellar line-up, great foods, affordable ticket prices and amazing weather. And in exactly four months to the day, the lights will go up on the stage for the 9th Annual Jazz in the Gardens Music Festival at Sun Life Stadium, a popular event for Bahamians, and just yesterday the names of the first five of nine headliners were announced.
Artists expected to take to the City of Miami Gardens stage, March 15-16, 2014, include Rachelle Ferrell, Trey Songz, Kelly Rowland, Boney James and Mint Condition. But this is just the first round. Nine headliners will be announced in the coming weeks in advance of the popular South Florida spring weekend festival.
Contemporary jazz singer Rachelle Ferrell, who missed last year's show at Sun Life Stadium due to a last minute illness, will return. Ferrell is unquestionably one of the most dynamic talents in contemporary pop music. She has a potent combination of range, phrasing and musicianship.
She first emerged in the States with her R&B debut "Rachelle Ferrell", a solid collection of self-penned originals that featured a striking duet with Will Downing ("Nothing Has Ever Felt Like This"). It was with the release of "First Instrument" in 1994 (recorded prior to "Rachelle Ferrell") that audiences were really introduced to Ferrell's jazz sensibilities.
International superstar and one of R&B's brightest stars, Trey Songz, has created a body of work that is a true testament to who he is, where he's been and where he's going.
He has an ability to seamlessly create music that blurs the line between R&B and hip-hop, while still creating songs that evoke emotions and vary in subject matters -- songs that appreciate women, songs for the club, songs that chronicle the highs and lows of relationships and of course, songs for the bedroom.
His body of work includes hits like "Bottoms Up", "Dive In", "Say Aah", "Simply Amazing", "The Way You Move", "Jupiter Love", "Holla If Ya Need Me", "Hail Mary", "Check Me Out" and "Never Again".
Kelly Rowland has a long list of accomplishments and accolades under her belt, and she shows no signs of slowing down. The Grammy Award-winning multiplatinum superstar who will take to the Jazz in The Gardens stage is at her most revealing on her fourth full-length solo album "Talk A Good Game". She's undoubtedly playing to win. And she's raised the bar this time around with a record that straddels the line between raw R&B and seductive pop with a healthy dose of swaggering hip-hop thrown in for good measure. The album arrives hot on the heels of her critically acclaimed chart-topping third offering "Here I Am".
Rowland elevated pop R&B to stratospheric heights as a member of Destiny's Child, one of the best-selling groups of all time. Throughout her solo career, Rowland hasn't stopped churning out hits either. Her powerhouse vocals reverberated potently through "Simply Deep" and "Ms. Kelly". She's also accrued a timeless catalog of her own songs including the Grammy Award-winning "Dilemma" featuring Nelly, "Like This" featuring Eve, "Stole", "Breathe Gentle" featuring Tiziana Fero and "When Love Takes Over" featuring David Guetta.
Three-time Grammy nominee Boney James has returned with a dynamic, genre-busing album "The Beat". One of the most successful instrumental artists of his time, James' new project fuses his R&B/Jazz roots with Latin rhythm and percussion and it's this kind of music that he will showcase at the festival.
Once upon a time there were great funk R&B bands like Earth, Wind & Fire; The Meters; War, Kook & The Gang; Slave and numerous others who constantly broke down musical barriers. The musicality of these units was superior, they could rock or funk out as easily as they could move the crowd with a tenor soulful ballad. The rise of electronic music gradually undermined self-contained bands, but in the 90s a dynamic young new band emerged -- Mint Condition, now the greatest self-contained R&B band of our time. Mint Condition does it all -- delivering hard-bitten funk with a hip hop edge, rocking out with screaming lead guitar and crooning lush "baby-making" soul ballads. The much sought after band, who mark their 20th anniversary this year has amassed a string of hits and performs hundreds of live shows each year.
Their first single, a New Jack Swing-styled number had only modest success, but it was a ballad. "Breakin' My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes) has become one of the classic R&B ballads and was their breakthrough. Further hit singles and albums followed with "U Send Me Swingin", "Some To Love", "So Fine", "What Kind of Man Would I be" and "You Don't Have to Hurt No More".
In addition to the two-day festival, Friday, March 14, 2014, will kick off the concert weekend with the Women's Impact Conference and Luncheon and an evening pre-party with live celebrity entertainment.
The ninth spring festival will be hosted by D.L. Hughley, one of the most popular and highly recognized standup comedians on the road today who has made an impression in the television, film and radio arenas.
"If you think the last Jazz in the Gardens was amazing, wait until you see this year. Between me hosting, Rachelle Ferrell coming back and the other hot talent being featured, this is going to be the one people talk about. We haven't even started and this party is already looking good. I'm happy to be on the JITG team," said Hughley.
Tickets go on sale today at 10 a.m. for the 9th Annual Jazz in the Gardens Music Festival at Sun Life Stadium at www.ticketmaster.com and The Sun Life Stadium box office. But stay tuned to The Nassau Guardian and Star 106.5 FM for ways you can win in the upcoming weeks ahead of the concert.
In 2013, more than 63,000 fans attended the 8th Annual Jazz in the Gardens festival. For the past eight years the festival has enjoyed unprecedented growth, consistently delivering stunning increases in attendance while attracting both locals and thousands of out-of-towners, including many Bahamians to the beautiful City of Miami Gardens.
And of course The Nassau Guardian Media Group, Star 106.5 FM and Hot 91.7 FM along with its partner Bahamasair and GoGo Florida the representative for Thrifty/Dollar and the main host hotel StayBridge Suites will hook up Bahamians with tickets, airfare, hotel stays and transportation as it has been doing for many of the previous festivals -- so keep reading and listening, because you could be one of the lucky ones.

o For more information about "Jazz in the Gardens", visit www.jazzinthegardens.com; facebook.com/jazzinthegardens, twitter.com/jazzgardens, IG @ JITG9.

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News Article

February 28, 2012
Sir Victor Sassoon Heart Foundation Courtesy Call on Governor-General and Lady Foulkes

Nassau, Bahamas - Members of the
Sir Victor Sassoon Heart Foundation making a courtesy call on Governor-General Sir Arthur Foulkes and
Lady Foulkes on Friday, February 10th, 2012 when Their Excellencies were
presented with pins in celebration of Heart Month.

The Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation was established by
Lady Evelyn Sassoon as a memorial tribute to her late husband, Sir Victor
Sassoon, to assist persons in The Bahamas with the treatment of heart
disease. Today, The Foundation's main goal is to assist children with
heart care. The Foundation has...

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News Article

February 29, 2012
Anglican bishop: Country needs independent Boundaries Commission

There is a 'pressing need' for an independent Boundaries Commission to ensure that constituency cuts are not subject to the 'whim and will' of the government, said Anglican Bishop Laish Boyd in a pastoral letter to members of the Anglican church.
Boyd, bishop of the diocese of The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos, said successive governments have been guilty of using the commission to suit its needs.
"[An independent commission] would ensure that political constituencies are determined by a non-partisan, scientific, transparent method that can withstand objective scrutiny and that is not controlled by the whim and will of the government of the day," said Boyd in a five-page letter written on February 22 and released to the media yesterday .
The creation of an independent Boundaries Commission was one of six proposals in the failed 2002 referendum. The majority of the electorate voted against an independent body to oversee constituency cuts ahead of an election; 57,815 people voted 'no' while 30,418 voted 'yes.'
Boyd also criticized the policy some leaders pursue to dismantle the work of their predecessor in office instead of building on the foundation that was left behind.
"At some times and in some areas, successive governments of this country have seen themselves and have styled themselves as 'undoing' what their predecessors have done rather than collaborating on a sustained, broader and seamless vision for the real well-being and advancement of this country," he wrote.
"It takes immense political will and political maturity on the part of all concerned to rise above 'party' and to think 'country'."
 
ISSUES

Boyd also advised voters to take a non-partisan look at national issues such as the economy, crime, education, health care and the judicial system when they go to the polls this year instead of focusing on the personalities of the candidates.
"Crime remains a concern, as it should be. The police have a job to do and must always be equipped, challenged and given the authority to do it without undue interference or obstruction from government, politicians or citizens," the bishop said.
Boyd said while successive governments have worked to speed up the judicial process more work must be done to accelerate the movement of criminal matters through the courts.
"It will take the government, the judiciary, the police and the legal profession to continue this process. Justice delayed is justice denied. No one of the above groups should be able to stall inordinately or unreasonably the resolution of a case before the court," he wrote.
Boyd also applauded the government for its drug prescription plan but said he looks forward to the day when the uninsured are covered under a national health insurance scheme.
He said voters should consider problems of traffic congestion and the lack of a structured public transport system in New Providence when they go to polls.
He added that the poor and vulnerable are the ones who suffer most because of the country's unreliable jitney system.
"Poor people, children, the elderly and citizens in general suffer inconvenience, limitation and danger because of this.  We cannot have a situation where the persons who need our protection most are left unprotected. This is a matter that must be addressed," Boyd wrote.

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News Article

February 29, 2012
A teaching moment about 'our' sports

I just don't get it. Our political leaders (all of them) continue to miss the boat when it comes to recognizing the true importance of sports to this country and act accordingly.
It is so obvious that the only way the criminal element in this country will be pushed back is if the national sports program is expanded to gobble up the vast majority of the young boys and girls who go astray because of having no positive sense of direction. The national sports program is a great option for our little boys and girls and the older ones as well.
The Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium was bursting at the seams with people on Saturday past. There was the big question bandied around about whether the stadium would ever be seated to capacity. Well, we got our answer.
Let's be clear about the situation. On Saturday, the overwhelming support was not about politics. The politicians were neutralized on Saturday even though they came out in big numbers. The response from the crowd to the names of Hubert Ingraham and Perry Christie was subdued and similar. No, it was not about them.
Yet, the ongoing comments from that arena prove that the politicizing never stops. The real teaching moment from the event was about sports. Only sports can get all Bahamians, from every persuasion together. Hypocrisy appears to be a constant among our politicians when dealing with sports in particular.
They soak up the opportunities to grandstand on forums created by the awesome collective ability within the Bahamian sports fraternity. They boast and praise the athletes, administrators, coaches and trainers to the highest. Still, against that backdrop, just the financial crumbs from the National Budget table fall off to the national sports program. I invite readers to compare the allocations for health, education and tourism to that of sports. By no means do I wish to dilute the significance and importance of prime health care, high-level educational opportunities and tourism vibrancy to the stable existence of our people. It's been proven over and over again though that the national sports program deserves to be right up there in that top category of budget allocations.
Young boys and girls are dying by way of crime. The lives of others are been snuffed out almost daily, by the young among us. The role models of more and more of our young are not Tommy Robinson, Andre Rodgers, Sir Durward Knowles, Cynthia Moxey-Pratt, Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie, Chris Brown, Mark Knowles, Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, Devard Darling, Mychal Thompson, Gomeo Brennan, Glen Griffin, Carl Minns or the many others of that ilk.
Today, the role models who too many of our young seek to emulate, are the crime merchants. It is because the system has changed to enable those who promote crime to be in closer contact with our young. The burden on the sporting administrators, coaches, trainers and other mentors is too great because of the numbers that need attention and the meager funds to go around. Many sports mentors spend personal funds, just to provide meaningful opportunities for sporting growth.
I have personal knowledge of this. The biggest reason for my resignation as president of the Amateur Boxing Federation of The Bahamas (ABFB) way back in 1976 was because my children were getting bigger and more expensive. I no longer was able to afford helping to pay some of the costs for those monthly trips to the Florida Golden Gloves, and other friendly competitions against Bermuda and Canada.
Grants for federations and the National Subvention Program were decades beyond the horizon then. Now, thanks to the central administration, grants and subventions are commonplace. The funding for the subvention program is fine. The grants must be adjusted greatly. The core sports group needs $300,000 at least per year and the smaller sports programs around $200,000.
An essential body like the Bahamas Anti-Doping Commission (BADC) should be given $500,000 yearly, because of the huge area mandated by the law. If this happens, crime would not be eliminated but there will be a huge dent in the activities of the criminally inclined. The sporting programs would then be in position to inculcate our wayward youth and those who are apt to be directed to the wrong paths in life.
It was indeed a teaching moment about sports on Saturday, February 25 at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium. I wonder just how many learned the lesson taught. I'm sure the man whose name the national stadium bears, got the message. He's been a part of the message for many years. Maybe in his own way now, he will be able, somehow, to educate the politicians about the true value of sports.
Thomas Augustus Robinson no doubt was aware of the teaching moment. Congratulations Tommy for the honor bestowed upon you.
(To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at fredericksturrup@gmail.com)

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News Article
Guardian top stories - Wed Mar 17
March 17, 2010
Guardian top stories - Wed Mar 17

Death sentences for two convicts

NIB staff members walk off the job

Anxiety still high among CLICO policyholders

Man charged with killing love rival

Bahamas students win Caribbean law challenge

Paul Moss resigns from PLP

Baha Mar deal with Chinese partners nears

Grant responds to Hanna-Martin on road safety

Trial of Melvin Maycock Sr. postponed

Relief funds forwarded to Haiti

Police up focus on visitor safety

Pastors Forum donates $3,000 to aid Haiti

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News Article

March 02, 2012
Cultural Violence and the Rights of Women and Children

Back in 1996 I came
across a Reader's Digest magazine article on the Taliban and their
drastic and tragic dominance over the women of Afghanistan. As a woman
and new young mother, it was heart-wrenching to read how the sudden
oppressive actions of this group were dominating and changing the lives
of women in that country, women who previously had 'normal' lives. They
were forced to cover themselves completely with burqas and were stripped
of their freedoms, careers, but mostly their dignity.  I was so
horror-struck by this article, that I tore out the pages, photocopied it
50 times and snail mailed it to most of my family and friends. I simply
wanted people to know what was going on.

We rally for the rights of animals, we rally for the rights of those of
different colours of skin or race, but do we rally for the basic rights
of human beings? How long do women and children have to be treated like
dogs, or worse, 'rabid dogs'...

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News Article

February 28, 2012
Jordan gets his miracle

Jordan Carey's parents often joke that their son must have a battery in him because he's constantly on the go, walking and running around. The rare times the toddler sits still for any length of time are to watch his favorite pal, Elmo. But it was just a few months ago when he started creeping that they noticed he would get tired quickly and would have to stop and rest a lot. They believe that tiredness deterred him from pursuing walking with much zeal.
For most parents during pregnancy, thoughts are of giving birth to a healthy child - they don't much care what the sex may be. Joretta Roberts and D'Angelo Carey felt the same way, but when they learned their newborn son, Jordan, needed surgery to repair a number of defects, it not only caused the first time parents' hearts to "skip a beat", but was the start of a long road of hurdles their son would have to overcome.
Just hours after Jordan's birth, it was discovered that he had a gastrointestinal tract issue that needed to be addressed, specifically a diagnosis for imperforate anus. As he was being airlifted from Grand Bahama to New Providence the doctor on the air ambulance detected the infant also had a heart murmur. He was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot, a heart defect, by pediatric cardiologist Dr. Jerome Lightbourne.
Early on in his young life, the infant had to undergo two surgeries related to bowel repair during which time medical professionals monitored his heart condition for which the surgery would cost the family into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The family did not have health insurance.
"Jordan needed a corrective surgery to fix his heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot - basically different things being wrong with his heart that needed to be fixed if he would live normally," said his father. "The surgery would've cost my fiancee and I about $270,000. At that point neither of us were employed. Joretta was in medical school, completing her studies and at that time I was unemployed. Joretta had some medical coverage, but our son was not covered on it as yet and at that point, he was uninsurable. Knowing that we needed to come up with that money, we knew we needed help. We needed a miracle," said the father.
Three months ago at age 14 months, Roberts and Carey got their "miracle" as their son's much-needed surgery was paid for by the Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation, a nonprofit organization that specializes in assisting children with heart problems.
Now at 17 months, Joretta and D'Angelo are wondering whether doctors left a battery in their son after his surgery because he has so much energy and is doing well.
Roberts was enrolled in medical school when she learned she was pregnant. She said it was an uneventful pregnancy, and they didn't think anything would be amiss. She planned to take six months leave to breastfeed before returning to school to do her final examinations and residency.
"There was no indication that there was anything wrong. I went through regular checkups and had two ultrasounds done. Organ development and everything else seemed fine. If there was a heart murmur in utero it is generally considered normal unless there is a family history which there was none in our case. So really there was nothing that made us feel our baby would be anything but healthy," she said. Jordan was born on August 20, 2010.
Everything changed within moments of his birth.
Jordan's heart surgery was performed at the Joe DiMaggio Hospital in Florida.
"I don't know what his chances at life were without the surgery, but from what I saw in research he wouldn't have lived a quality life if it wasn't done," said his father.
His mother, a member of the medical field,knew all of the possible outcomes of surgery and was concerned - not so much about the surgery itself, but how long it would take her son to fully recover. Jordan was discharged from hospital a little over a week after his surgery. Since then she said he has been nothing but a "ball of energy".
"Jordan is now 18 months old and he's doing well. He's so remarkable to watch. He's running around, likes to play ball and feed himself. He copies everything you do, loves Elmo and is just a typical child - full of energy and wanting his own way. It's so remarkable to see all of this especially knowing where he came from," said Roberts. "The only concerns he has right now is that the other surgeries he underwent not long after he was born to fix his gastrointestinal tract has resulted in him having to use a colostomy bag. But he is scheduled for this third and final surgery concerning that in the near future. He is fine and he is happy nonetheless. A typical child," she said.
The parents give back by assisting the Sir Victor Sasson (Bahamas) Heart Foundation with fundraising efforts. They are also active in the Grand Bahama Heart Association.
The parents said the heart foundation is truly God's hand extended. And that the people that are supporters, friends and laborers in the organization have the opportunity to assist God in performing miracles. They encourage people to support the foundation's fundraisers like the annual heart ball and become members of the association. They also encourage people to simply give because they say every dollar adds up.
Prior to their son's surgery, neither Roberts nor Carey knew much about the foundation and like most people, didn't realize what extent the foundation goes to in order to save lives. As such they said they are both dedicated to bringing a greater awareness of the organizations to people.
"Everyone sees programs like 'Feed the Children' or 'Make a Wish' and many people are hard and fast on sending donations across the sea to help people they don't even know or probably will never see. There is nothing wrong with this, but I think that supporting local nonprofit organizations like the heart foundation is so important," said Roberts.
"There are 11 kids on the list awaiting heart surgeries and we need to help. You can watch a miracle happen before your very eyes right here in our country when you give to support the children that need these surgeries. You help to give life and save lives with the small donations you give. It's inspirational to see these kids grow up and now in their 20s still doing well. The foundation has done this for over 4,000 kids in The Bahamas in the 50 years it has been around. Charity begins at home and ends abroad. So doing whatever you can is an awesome way to support your own fellow Bahamian," she said.
Besides the heart foundation's assistance, Roberts said supportive family and friends got them through their ordeal. She also advises people to always try to find a support group during tough times because besides financial woes, she said a person's emotional state can be greatly impacted and having others around who care and understand, helps.
With her son's improving health, Roberts has returned to completing her medical studies because she does not have to worry extensively about what is happening at home.

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Event
In The Spirit Exhibition – New Work by Chantal Bethel

Friday 8th February 2013  6:00 PM

“In The Spirit” Exhibition – New Work by Chantal Bethel Friday, February 8, 2013 at 6pm Hillside House Gallery, Cumberland Street, North of Govt House The Bahamas has a reputation that seems indisputable: endless blue sky, bright sun, hot balmy days, turquoise crystal ocean, soft pale sand, palm trees and flamingos—as an artist to address any of these ubiquitous stereotypes demands a vision beyond typical. Chantal Bethel has developed a reputation for painting and creating from her soul. She is impassioned to express whatever moves her. Thus her art works carry a certain ineffable emotion. Whether she is addressing the subject of woman, mother and child, or in more recent works, an installation—Poto Mitan: Hopes & Prayers for Haiti—a response to the earthquake tragedy of her birthland, she brings a silent, indomitable emotional intelligence to her works. There is a swinging shift between themes in Bethel’s work: At one moment she is dealing with love, a sultry breeze across the canvas, other times she deals in horror and death. In a recent conversation with the artist in her studio, she explains that after working in the dark subject matter of the Haitian tragedy for a couple of years, she is ready to embrace beauty again—to “exhale from the soul”. This collection, In the Spirit, which will be exhibited at Hillside House Gallery on Friday, February 8, 2013, addresses the surprising and very Bahamian theme of flamingos. After Poto Mitan, this is her movement back into light; the works are bright and airy. Soft colour palettes sing. Pieces are diverse, ranging from paintings on canvas to paintings on wood, and amusing, or tense, sculptures. But don’t be too beguiled by these entrancing colours and familiar theme of The Caribbean. At first, the light colours, simple composition, and the well-known form of the flamingo, makes the work seem to be familiar Bahamian paintings, but something about the intriguing textures and almost obsessive use of crackle paint, hints at more. A second clue is her use of quotes from Rumi, (a Sufi mystic who, through poetry, offers insights into a spiritual life beyond this mundane reality). The quotes are not titles per se, but suggest at a relationship between his writings and Bethels paintings; a hint of something beyond the surface. The work is incredibly charming and it is easy to be distracted by their aesthetic appeal. The surfaces seem to crack open to light and they successfully convey the essence of The Bahamas in their shimmering colour range. Rich textured surfaces defy gravity and become about light. Coupled with the images of flamingos are flamingo eggs; whole egg forms covered thickly in gesso; large carefully cracked open ‘eggs’ with inner Mandalas or sun designs; eggs neatly opened to expose personal myths. I am intrigued by the sturdy nature of the eggs. “Eggs are fragile and yet represent hope”, says Bethel. However her eggs are unyielding. This produces an interesting tension between the highly crackled paintings that look incredibly similar to broken eggshells created into a collage. As if recognizing the fragile nature of the egg, Bethel inadvertently wants to protect it, and hold it. Yet in intensified contrast, here are the flamingos: beautiful and insidiously broken. We talk about life and the symbolism of eggs as part of the life cycle; I sense that Bethel is using her art to process her deeper fears and thoughts about existence. In recognizing the metaphor of the flamingo and egg, I have a suspicion that the new depth of layers in Bethel’s work is more than merely technical. It is a compelling balance. The beautiful fluid images of flamingos which are corrupted by a coruscated shattering and their eggs which are toughened to protect, gives the viewer a glimpse at hidden layers of life, as complicated, paradoxical, and profound as it can get. Image 2 seems to hold the balance of the conflicting surfaces. The body and feathers of the flamingos eyeing each other are created by the crackle effect paint, contrasting with a lightness and sensitive handling of paint to express the flamingos’ neck and head, all this is held in a background of deeper paint textures: resulting in a mesmerizing piece. The viewer is captured by a silent complexity, a tenderness and brokenness delicately held in a kind embrace. One of the final pieces created for this show are real broken eggs, and following an inner compulsion by Bethel “...then I cracked one and the thought of light came to me, they needed light”, she brings a completion to the works by allowing the true nature of the eggs to reveal a deeper metaphorical purpose by allowing the cracking, or as Bethel concurs “…like your children, you always want to protect them but if you give them wings, they should be ok on their own”. The circle of broken eggs then becomes a necessary movement in the cycle of life. Fledglings leave the nest and things have to be broken in order for life to break free. And a complex story of being human with many paradoxical truths; brokenness and beauty; fragility and strength; profound and shallow, seem to be expressed in the hidden narrative of Bethel’s art. Beyond surfaces, beyond superficiality, is a world as multifarious and singular as Rumi’s, if you are willing to look into the depths beyond the charismatic images, you will find the divine multiplicity of human soul in Bethel’s new works. Alternatively, just enjoy the sublime and captivating beauty of Chantal Bethel’s art, “In the Spirit”. Written by Susan Moir Mackay


Event
BHS Animal Fun Day
BHS Animal Fun Day

Sunday 21st April 2013  6:00 PM

Sunday, February 21st is the BHS Animal Fun Day, to be held once again at the Botanical Gardens. This enjoyable day out is perfect for both children and animals and great for the entire family. Bring your dog, bring your loved ones and join us for an afternoon of family fun. Gates open at noon and the festivities continue till 6 p.m. Enter your dog in the dog/owner lookalike contest, find out who has the waggiest tail, and have your photo taken at the Kissing Booth. There will be food, booths, and games. If you're able to volunteer for the day, please contact Laura Kimble @ (kimblelaura@gmail.com). Founded in 1924, the Bahamas Humane Society is the oldest charity in the Bahamas and was originally called the Dumb Friends League. It is affiliated to numerous international organisations, including the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). It is the only humane organisation in the Caribbean to hold membership of the Standards of Excellence Program sponsored by the American Humane Association of which it has been a member since 1989. The BHS employs two full time veterinarians. It offers a 24 hour emergency ambulance service and provides care for sick, injured and abandoned animals.


Event
Bahamas Circus-The Best Show in The Bahamas
Bahamas Circus-The Best Show in The Bahamas

Friday 15th March 2013  10:00 AM

SOFT TOUCH PRODUCTIONS Presents Bahamas Circus-The Best Show in The Bahamas Dates- March 15th Day showing-10am Evening showing-8pm March 16th Evening showing-8pm Tickets depots: Seventeen shop, Collins avenue Original Swiss shop, Cable beach Carey's Deparment store, Mackey st Conliffe Bakery, Carmichael Rd Ticket Prices 5 and over-$15 2- 4years- $10 Free Under 2 years School Information School Matinees in Nassau will be held Monday – Thursday, 4th-8th, March, 2013 at 9:30am & 1:00pm. School Matinees in Grand Bahama will be held Monday – Thursday,11th-15th, March, 2013 at 9:30am & 1:00pm. Tickets are $10 for Pre-School $12 for Primary $15 for High School Students. We would like to confirm our offer to you of retaining for a school project, the following on each child who attends Pre-Schoolers $2, and Primary & High School students $3. Any participating school will retain 50% of all their ticket sales. Raffle Tickets are available now for distribution. The raffle will be drawn on Saturday, 27th April, 2013 and prizes are as follows:- Samsung Galaxy S2 4G Cell Phone 42” Flat Screen Television Blackberry Playbook Apple iPad II iPod Touch Xbox 360 Kinect Round-trip ticket for 2 on “Bahamas Celebrations” from Freeport Round-trip ticket for 2 on “The Bohengy” from Nassau Kindly advise at your earliest a day, date and time we can address your school’s as BahamasCircus.com


News Article

February 07, 2012
Saving Cameron

For as long as he can remember, Cameron Newbold says if he walked a short distance, he would get tired fast. He thought that was normal. If walking did that to him, imagine the level of fatigue he felt when he ran or rode his bicycle. The 14-year-old thought that was how a healthy person was supposed to feel. He never thought anything was seriously wrong with him. He never knew that he had been born with a hole in his heart that had gotten progressively worse over the years due to the lack of treatment.
Cameron never knew that in the first few months of his life that his deceased mother had taken him for treatments, but for reasons unknown had stopped seeking medical help for her baby. As he grew he chalked up the lethargy he felt on a daily basis as "normal".
But on Labour Day (June 2011), seven months after the death of his mother, the lack of medical attention caught up with the teenager. He had attended the parade with relatives and it was there that he started to feel sicker than he normally did.
" I started to really feel bad. I was feeling really weak and I got really dizzy," he recalled. "When I got home, I was vomiting and it got hard to breathe." An older cousin took Cameron to the hospital, where tests revealed a problem with his heart. It was in failure and he would need emergency surgery. Cameron, who has no insurance, had life-saving open heart surgery on November 22, 2011, funded by the Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation. The surgery repaired his acute mitral insufficiency, a condition in which a valve doesn't properly close, causing blood to leak into an upper chamber of his heart.
It was a whirlwind of activity by his relatives to save the 14-year-old's life. His aunt and legal guardian Bonnie Solomon hadn't even known about her nephew's condition. Scared at first when she learned he was suffering from heart failure, she said she didn't know how she would be able to afford to get him the medical care he needed. She said it was only by chance that she heard about the Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation and the work it did for children with heart conditions. Solomon requested assistance of the foundation and Cameron was slotted in to get the help he needed.
Cameron's surgery was performed at the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in Fort Lauderdale. Bahamian pediatric cardiologist Dr. Jerome Lightbourne assisted with the surgery.
The now 14-year-old Cameron, an eighth-grade student at T.A. Thompson Junior School, said his illness "coming to a head" and the subsequent surgery was a scary time for him. But he also said it was one of the best experiences of his young life, as he visited the United States for the first time.
"Before going to Fort Lauderdale for the surgery I had never gone away to the States that I remember. It was my first time and I was excited about that. I didn't really see much of the place but it was nice knowing that I was there. I will always remember my surgery because it made me better, but also because I got to see [the U.S.]. My doctors even invited me to come back so I could see how the surgeries are done, since I am starting to be interested in those kinds of things since this experience," he said.
Cameron's co-guardian and cousin Antia Solomon said the experience was life-changing for her, as a parent, because his chances of survival would have been bleak without it.
"Knowing that he can do the things he couldn't do is a great relief. None of this would be if it wasn't for the Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation," said Solomon. "The procedure would have been done, but when I don't know because of the lack of resources. I'm so grateful and appreciative of them."
Despite the surgery, Cameron still has to be on his toes about his health. The rambunctious junior school student says he now feels more energetic than ever. And he returned to school two weeks ago and was more than anxious to get back to the books. He admits that prior to his surgery he did not have much interest in his education, but given a second chance, he said he can't wait to get back on the "right track".
"I was never so happy to go to school before," he says. "I never used to do my homework or listen to my teachers too much. But now I want to be here so I can learn and be with my friends. I really hope to do better. I used to have a [grade point average] below a 1.00 and I really plan to try harder," he said.
The young man now realizes just how important his education and life are to him. He always thought that there was time and he didn't have to worry about anything, but now he is beginning to understand that he has to make the most of everything he has. Rather than thinking about if he can get the latest bicycle or worrying that he couldn't be a part of his school's sports day, Cameron is appreciating that he can now ride his bike without tiring quickly, and play a game with his friends for longer than a few minutes.
His cousin, Latoya Solomon, 21, is pleased to see the good that came from Cameron's experience. She is glad that he was able to pull through and return to his normal everyday life. Some days she says she can barely believe that he has recovered so quickly.
"It was kind of scary to think that Cameron may not have made it to see 15 years if he didn't get the surgery right away, so seeing him now is good -- especially considering how well he is doing. When he came home after two weeks in the U.S. he never wanted to just sit down and rest. He just came to life and wants to be involved in everything. He really wanted to keep up with his friends and go back to school. He just seemed so focused and ready to try hard. The way he recovered was like he just had a cold and is fine now. I am grateful for what happened to him. He's happy and doing well."
The Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation is a privately funded charity that raises funds primarily through donations and from the annual Heart Ball held annually in February, and which will be held on Saturday, February 18 at the Sheraton Cable Beach Resort. Over 97 percent of each dollar raised goes directly ot the aid of children.
Donations can be made to the Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation at P.O. Box N-8189, Nassau, Bahamas.
Antia Solomon says it is absolutely imperative for the public to support the foundation, because they never know when a person they know may need the help. She says she is now aware more than ever how much she must be open to helping others as well.
"You could be helping to save a life. You could be saving the life of the future prime minister, or a future doctor or lawyer," she said. "More importantly, you could also be saving the life of the world's greatest parent to some child. You would not just be helping the parent(s) or the child, but I would also encourage you to help the foundation that is making it possible for some of these kids and parents to go and do these procedures. I would just ask the public to help save a life," she said.
The foundation was established as a living tribute by Lady Sassoon following the death of her husband, Sir Victor Sasson, in 1961, to assist Bahamians with heart disease. Lady Sassoon had asked that instead of sending flowers to honor her husband, that people send a donation to the local heart fund. A few weeks later the hospital called to tell her that a substantial amount of money had been donated in her husband's memory, but that there was no local heart fund. She took it upon herself to create one.
Through the foundation's fundraising efforts, over 4,000 children have been afforded quality medical care. The foundation currently has a list of 11 children that need immediate lifesaving surgery.

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Event
Bahamas Circus-The Best Show in The Bahamas

Saturday 16th February 2013  8:00 PM

SOFT TOUCH PRODUCTIONS Presents Bahamas Circus-The Best Show in The Bahamas March 16th Evening showing-8pm Tickets depots: Seventeen shop, Collins avenue Original Swiss shop, Cable beach Carey's Deparment store, Mackey st Conliffe Bakery, Carmichael Rd Ticket Prices 5 and over-$15 2- 4years- $10 Free Under 2 years School Information School Matinees in Nassau will be held Monday – Thursday, 4th-8th, March, 2013 at 9:30am & 1:00pm. School Matinees in Grand Bahama will be held Monday – Thursday,11th-15th, March, 2013 at 9:30am & 1:00pm. Tickets are $10 for Pre-School $12 for Primary $15 for High School Students. We would like to confirm our offer to you of retaining for a school project, the following on each child who attends Pre-Schoolers $2, and Primary & High School students $3. Any participating school will retain 50% of all their ticket sales. Raffle Tickets are available now for distribution. The raffle will be drawn on Saturday, 27th April, 2013 and prizes are as follows:- Samsung Galaxy S2 4G Cell Phone 42” Flat Screen Television Blackberry Playbook Apple iPad II iPod Touch Xbox 360 Kinect Round-trip ticket for 2 on “Bahamas Celebrations” from Freeport Round-trip ticket for 2 on “The Bohengy” from Nassau Kindly advise at your earliest a day, date and time we can address your school’s as BahamasCircus.com


News Article

January 31, 2012
In the fight of her life

To look at her, you couldn't tell that Tamika Pratt, 36, is battling a disease that can cause life-threatening bleeding. A disease that is rare in people under age 40, and which generally occurs around age 60 and is a disease that is more common in men than women.
The mother of two is fighting for her life as she battles acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a cancer that starts inside bone marrow, the soft tissue inside bones that helps form blood cells. It's a cancer that grows from cells that would normally turn into white blood cells. The bone marrow, which helps the body fight infections, eventually stops working correctly. People with AML become more prone to infections and have an increased risk for bleeding as the numbers of healthy blood cells decrease. And it develops quickly, replacing healthy blood cells.
Pratt, a mother of two, Davonte, 17 and Jermika, 11 was diagnosed with the disease in September 2010. Since then her life has been a revolving door of hospital stays for chemotherapy treatment and blood transfusions. (She's had so many transfusions that she's stopped counting). And she's been in and out of remission. What she really needs to turn the tide of this disease is a bone marrow transplant. And she and her family have tried a few inventive ways to get her plight before the public, including offering cell phone cards in $5 and $10 denominations to the public in an effort to get them to donate blood to her cause. Most recently, Pratt took to the Internet to explain her plight in hopes of identifying a bone marrow transplant donor to hopefully provide her with a cure for the aggressive cancer that she has.
She is registered with bone marrow donor programs, but a compatible donor has not been found. And doctors in the United States have told her that the percentage for black Americans in the registry is very low.
"For me, time is running out. This is why I have decided to reach out to my Bahamian people for bone marrow. You could save my life," she said in her Internet appeal.
People between the ages of 18 and 60, in good general health who aren't greatly overweight or have or at a high risk for contracting HIV can be a potential donor. Even people with elevated blood pressure (hypertension) can still be a donor, once their hypertension is well controlled by medication. But they need to get tested to see if their bone marrow matches with Pratt's, through a simple swab of their cheek. The test costs approximate $200, but if you don't want to get tested in her e-mail, Pratt asks people to help someone with funding who would like to be tested to cover the cost of the test.
Symptoms of AML include bleeding from the nose, bleeding gums, bruising, bone pain or tenderness, fatigue, fever, heavy menstrual periods, pallor, shortness of breath (gets worse with exercise), skin rash or lesion, swollen gums (which is very rare) and weight loss.
At the time of Pratt's diagnosis she said she was just feeling extremely tired all the time. During her regular physical, her results showed that her counts were not normal. She was referred to a hematologist who did a bone marrow biopsy. It was determined she had myelodysplastic syndrome [MDS], or what is known as pre-leukemia. She was not worried at that point because she was told it was treatable, but that she had to seek treatment abroad. Less than a month later she had traveled to the United States to seek medical care. It was there that she was given a second bone marrow biopsy. The result this time was that the aggressive cancer had moved beyond MDS and she had leukemia.
The mother of two spent five weeks in hospital receiving chemotherapy treatments. From then to now, hospitals at home and in the United States have been a "revolving door" for her.
"I knew from the beginning that I would have to have a bone marrow transplant, but I was hoping the chemotherapy treatments would work and it wouldn't get to that," said Pratt. "But since this is my third relapse, I said I'd better try see what I could do for myself, so this is something I'm doing on my own trying to find people. I don't know where I'm going to get the money from, but somehow it's going to happen," said Pratt. People wishing to be tested have to pay out of their own pocket, or Pratt will have to "pony up" the cash and pay for them.
Sadly, she does not have any full siblings that can be tested to donate marrow. She has two half-siblings born to her mother, and another 10 half-siblings from her father who have not been tested, because there is only a one-percent chance they would be a match for her. Her mother and one sister have both been tested, but they are still waiting on the results. Her father is deceased.
Most of the time, a doctor cannot tell what caused AML, but there are things that they believe lead to some types of leukemia, including AML, like certain chemicals, certain chemotherapy drugs or radiation. It is also believed that problems with genes may also play a role in the development of AML and that the risk increases if a person has a weakened immune system due to organ transplant, or certain blood disorders.
Since her diagnosis, Pratt said she has not cried once or adopted a woe is me attitude. She says she has accepted what has happened and is taking one day at a time. She says while she tries to maintain a smile on her face and be upbeat, she admits to having her moments.
"Sometimes the devil comes in my mind," she said. "Christmas gone I went and picked up little things, and the devil came in my mind and said, 'Girl, what you picking up these things for? You ain't going to live to see Christmas,' but I simply said, 'Devil, you're a liar.' My son is graduating high school in June and sometimes I wonder if I will be there, but I'm going to be there," she said confidently.
As she searches for a bone marrow donor, she is appealing to Bahamians to donate blood to the hospitals because getting transfusions which has been getting her by, has also been a problem for her.
"I'm just pleading to the public to come forward ... and I wouldn't even go as far as the bone marrow transplant. If they could just put themselves in somebody else's shoe and commit to once a month donating a pint of blood, they could save somebody's life," she said. "If it don't hit them home, they don't feel like they need to do it. And I didn't realize how bad it was until it happened to me."
She admits to not knowing how important it is to be a blood donor until she found herself in the situation she is now in needing to have blood transfusions performed almost every other week.
Pratt's battle has also been expensive and she is thankful for her husband's insurance coverage. But exactly how much she has left of that gives her cause for concern.
"I'm scared to even try to add up the amount I've spent. I'm even scared to call the insurance company to find out how much coverage I have left. My first bill from [the U.S.-based facility] was almost $200,000 for the five weeks I spent there. I have my hospital bill there, my hospital bill here, and I have my doctor bill here. I have stopped asking. I'm afraid to ask," she says.
As she looks forward to her future she says she has no reason not to smile and be depressed because God has been good to her. And her husband, Jermaine Pratt stands by her. Plus she does everything she can to keep up a happy front for her children which she said was challenging initially because she tried to keep her illness from them.
"I didn't want to burden them down, so that was a challenge for me. Even when I went away the first time I told them I went away to do testing, but not what was going on with me. And that really had me stressed. After a while I told them separately and explained it to them differently, taking into account their ages. My daughter was pretty good, and the only thing my son wanted to know was whether it would happen to him too. But I told him no that he would be fine. They handled it so well. I didn't give them enough credit. Sometimes my son comes to me with questions, and once I answer him, he's fine.
As she searches for a bone marrow donor, in her fight to live, Pratt has been thrown a number of curve balls, including losing her job in the middle of 2011, which she says she's understanding of because she realizes her employer's office had to continue to run and her home was burgled. Thieves made off with money she had in a drawer to pay for an airline ticket to receive treatment. That was followed by her husband's car being broken into.

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Event
BHS Summer Camp
BHS Summer Camp

Monday 24th June 2013  9:00 AM

BHS Summer Camp The Bahamas Humane Society, Chippingham The BHS Summer Camp dates have been set! Camp runs weekly from June 24th to July 12th and then July 22nd to July 26th. The cost is $125.00 per week. It's open for children ages 6 to 13 and runs from 9 a.m. to noon each day. Children will learn about caring for animals and have the opportunity to interact with the BHS adoption animals. Bring a snack and drink, an old leash, an old towel, and some goodies for the animals. See also the attached information page. Register at the Shelter. Children learn the basics of animal care and humane treatment. They read educational books and watch educational DVD’s and do some fun worksheets. They interact with the Bahamas Humane Society adoption animals and have question and answer sessions with the Humane Society staff. Limited space so register early! Fees are payable in advance. Weekly $125 (Includes a t-shirt) *Children should bring a snack and drink* A dog leash and old towel would be helpful. The dogs appreciate the kids bringing them dog bones, and the donkeys, goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits and horses love treats of vegetables, fruits and bread. Register early as space is limited and fills up quickly! Founded in 1924, the Bahamas Humane Society is the oldest charity in the Bahamas and was originally called the Dumb Friends League. It is affiliated to numerous international organisations, including the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). It is the only humane organisation in the Caribbean to hold membership of the Standards of Excellence Program sponsored by the American Humane Association of which it has been a member since 1989. The BHS employs two full time veterinarians. It offers a 24 hour emergency ambulance service and provides care for sick, injured and abandoned animals.


Event
BHS Summer Camp
BHS Summer Camp

Tuesday 25th June 2013  9:00 AM

BHS Summer Camp The Bahamas Humane Society, Chippingham The BHS Summer Camp dates have been set! Camp runs weekly from June 24th to July 12th and then July 22nd to July 26th. The cost is $125.00 per week. It's open for children ages 6 to 13 and runs from 9 a.m. to noon each day. Children will learn about caring for animals and have the opportunity to interact with the BHS adoption animals. Bring a snack and drink, an old leash, an old towel, and some goodies for the animals. See also the attached information page. Register at the Shelter. Children learn the basics of animal care and humane treatment. They read educational books and watch educational DVD’s and do some fun worksheets. They interact with the Bahamas Humane Society adoption animals and have question and answer sessions with the Humane Society staff. Limited space so register early! Fees are payable in advance. Weekly $125 (Includes a t-shirt) *Children should bring a snack and drink* A dog leash and old towel would be helpful. The dogs appreciate the kids bringing them dog bones, and the donkeys, goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits and horses love treats of vegetables, fruits and bread. Register early as space is limited and fills up quickly! Founded in 1924, the Bahamas Humane Society is the oldest charity in the Bahamas and was originally called the Dumb Friends League. It is affiliated to numerous international organisations, including the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). It is the only humane organisation in the Caribbean to hold membership of the Standards of Excellence Program sponsored by the American Humane Association of which it has been a member since 1989. The BHS employs two full time veterinarians. It offers a 24 hour emergency ambulance service and provides care for sick, injured and abandoned animals.


Event
BHS Summer Camp
BHS Summer Camp

Wednesday 26th June 2013  9:00 AM

BHS Summer Camp The Bahamas Humane Society, Chippingham The BHS Summer Camp dates have been set! Camp runs weekly from June 24th to July 12th and then July 22nd to July 26th. The cost is $125.00 per week. It's open for children ages 6 to 13 and runs from 9 a.m. to noon each day. Children will learn about caring for animals and have the opportunity to interact with the BHS adoption animals. Bring a snack and drink, an old leash, an old towel, and some goodies for the animals. See also the attached information page. Register at the Shelter. Children learn the basics of animal care and humane treatment. They read educational books and watch educational DVD’s and do some fun worksheets. They interact with the Bahamas Humane Society adoption animals and have question and answer sessions with the Humane Society staff. Limited space so register early! Fees are payable in advance. Weekly $125 (Includes a t-shirt) *Children should bring a snack and drink* A dog leash and old towel would be helpful. The dogs appreciate the kids bringing them dog bones, and the donkeys, goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits and horses love treats of vegetables, fruits and bread. Register early as space is limited and fills up quickly! Founded in 1924, the Bahamas Humane Society is the oldest charity in the Bahamas and was originally called the Dumb Friends League. It is affiliated to numerous international organisations, including the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). It is the only humane organisation in the Caribbean to hold membership of the Standards of Excellence Program sponsored by the American Humane Association of which it has been a member since 1989. The BHS employs two full time veterinarians. It offers a 24 hour emergency ambulance service and provides care for sick, injured and abandoned animals.


News Article

January 03, 2012
New Year's resolutions successes and failures

Whether it's aiming to stop drinking and cursing or it's to save more in order to get that dream house, the new year always puts people in the frame of mind to think about major life changes. While some people take these things seriously, many just do it for the fun of the occasion. The Nassau Guardian took to the streets to find out how successful people have been in sticking to their resolutions from the past year and what their new goals are for 2012.

Nicollette Watkins, 22
Sales assistant
"Yes, I did make a resolution for 2011. It was to go back to school and get my B.G.C.S.E.s in English, Math and History. I did follow through, but I haven't gotten them all as yet. I will continue to work at it this coming year. My resolution for 2012 is to join the Royal Bahamas Defence Force. I'm working towards that and I will complete that this year."

Shenique Lightbourne, 29
Sales
"My resolution for 2011 was to get closer to God so that I would be able to be who I need to be spiritually and I think I accomplished that. My resolution for this year is to continue to be closer in my walk with God and just work on being a better person."

Patrico Griffin, 20
Sales representative
"I am aiming to become the next big artist in the music industry so the goal I set for myself last year was to get myself out there and known to the public. I did that by showcasing a lot of my work on YouTube, Myspace and Facebook. I think I got a good response from those who saw me and I think I'm off to a good start. My goal for 2012 is to do more local shows and competitions like Bahamian Idol or whatever else is out there. Getting a record deal would also be a good thing too for this new year."

Lillith Mackey, 32
Attorney
"I did make a resolution [last year] and it was to lose weight. I definitely accomplished that. I lost 30 pounds. I won't say how much I started off or finished at but I think I did well. This year I am resolving to find time to give back to the community and be more charitable. I want to take on a charitable organization and really get involved. I want to go to the Ranfurly Home for Children and perhaps take a little girl or boy as a little brother or sister. I'd want to help them out in whichever way I can - be it homework, taking them out, talking to them or just being there for them."

Yannishka Brooks, 19
Hairstylist and nail technician
"My New Year's resolution last year was to get closer to God but I didn't keep it. I didn't do it as well as I should have because I wasn't into going to church and I was just into partying and stuff. So my resolution this year is the same thing and I hope to work harder to keep it this time. I am also looking forward to readying myself so a good man can find me."

Alexander Bullard, 28
Civil servant
"I did make a resolution for last year. I wanted to open a business and I did it. Now for 2012 I am aiming to keep it going, expand it and get more recognition."

Miriam Dean, 43
Entrepreneur and hairstylist
"My goal for 2011 was to take my hair salon to another level. I wanted to turn it into a family salon where women, their husbands, little boys and girls can come together to get their hair done together. Although it took almost all year, I finally accomplished my dream two weeks ago. My new goal for 2012 is to become closer with God and be a positive example to each person I come in contact with."

Darvin Minus, 19
Salesperson
"Last year my goal was to focus on getting a head start on my career plans and to try to have a better relationship with my father. I didn't accomplish any of that but in this new year I do plan to go to college so I can study auto collision repair. I hope to work harder in other areas of my life as well."

Shownn Minns, 20s
Hairstylist
"My resolution last year was to change careers from working with food to my real goal of being a stylist. This year my aim is to continue to strive and move forward in all that I want to."

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Event
BHS Summer Camp
BHS Summer Camp

Friday 28th June 2013  9:00 AM

BHS Summer Camp The Bahamas Humane Society, Chippingham The BHS Summer Camp dates have been set! Camp runs weekly from June 24th to July 12th and then July 22nd to July 26th. The cost is $125.00 per week. It's open for children ages 6 to 13 and runs from 9 a.m. to noon each day. Children will learn about caring for animals and have the opportunity to interact with the BHS adoption animals. Bring a snack and drink, an old leash, an old towel, and some goodies for the animals. See also the attached information page. Register at the Shelter. Children learn the basics of animal care and humane treatment. They read educational books and watch educational DVD’s and do some fun worksheets. They interact with the Bahamas Humane Society adoption animals and have question and answer sessions with the Humane Society staff. Limited space so register early! Fees are payable in advance. Weekly $125 (Includes a t-shirt) *Children should bring a snack and drink* A dog leash and old towel would be helpful. The dogs appreciate the kids bringing them dog bones, and the donkeys, goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits and horses love treats of vegetables, fruits and bread. Register early as space is limited and fills up quickly! Founded in 1924, the Bahamas Humane Society is the oldest charity in the Bahamas and was originally called the Dumb Friends League. It is affiliated to numerous international organisations, including the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). It is the only humane organisation in the Caribbean to hold membership of the Standards of Excellence Program sponsored by the American Humane Association of which it has been a member since 1989. The BHS employs two full time veterinarians. It offers a 24 hour emergency ambulance service and provides care for sick, injured and abandoned animals.


News Article

February 22, 2012
Making an impression in ten minutes or less

Grand Bahama-born Alexiou Gibson got less than 10 minutes to chat with MSNBC contributor and White House correspondent for TheGrio.com, Jeff Johnson, but those precious minutes of conversation were all he needed to impress Johnson who gave up the award he was presented at Palm Beach State College's 13th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Breakfast.
The college presents its annual awards to individuals who have made innovative contributions toward improving the lives of others in Palm Beach County, Florida. Honored this year were D'atra Franklin, a Palm Beach State student who has been advocating for legislation to help children aging out of the foster care system; Mark Hansen (alumnus), a former Palm Beach County School Board member who through his books and service is committed to helping and empowering youth; Carlton Wade (individual), a McDonald's franchisee of 11 restaurants in Palm Beach Country whose business presence and personal involvement has enriched youth in the community. El Sol, Jupiter's neighborhood resource center provides services for immigrants and low-income individuals in the community. Johnson was honored for his grassroots work to inspire a new generation of leaders.
In giving up the award to Gibson who graduates from the college in May, Johnson said that every young person has potential and that it's all about how the young people reach their potential and how much that potential has been tailored.
"I get awards like this all the time and I appreciate the spirit from where they come, but I always believe these awards can be inspiration and motivation more to someone else, so brother I want to give you this," he said to Gibson during the ceremony. Telling the audience that Gibson was in the process of preparing a speech to deliver to the school's board of trustees, on how he had been blessed and grown from an experience, Johnson said the brief conversation told him that Gibson was going to do amazing things - and not just in science and technology.
"He has an amazing spirit and it doesn't take longer than 10 minutes to see it. And as far as I'm concerned, it's my responsibility to feed back into you," he told Gibson. "And so as talented as I know you are and as many opportunities that you're going to have, I hope that on the darkest of days, when it's difficult to see who is a hater and who is a friend, that you would at least look at this [award] and hope that it brings some inspiration to know that there's a brother who believes that you are going to do amazing and wonderful things."
Gibson was shocked to hear Johnson give up his award to him. As he walked to the stage to receive it from him he said he was shaking.
"The morning before his speech in the stadium, I was selected to have breakfast with him on a one-on-one level with five other students. Just having idle chit-chat, I asked him about giving speeches because the following week I had to give a speech to my college's board of trustees, which is a huge honor, but nerve-wrecking and I asked advice on staying calm. He asked me why I was chosen to give the speech and I told him about my NASA experience and speaking at elementary schools." Gibson, a biomedical engineering student was one of 48 community college students from 25 states, chosen to participate in a three-day NASA program to design and build a prototype vehicle to roam Mars.
Even though it was a shock to hear Johnson give up his award to him, Gibson said it also made him feel really good. It was an award he could have applied to be considered for, but he missed the application deadline by a day. As he sat through the ceremony happy for awardees, he said he was silently kicking himself, wishing he had applied.
"I wanted to apply for the award because I felt I had applied good leadership - I'm always trying to encourage others and bring them up, so missing that deadline and still getting the award meant a lot."
Since Johnson handed over his award, Gibson said he's been invited to speak to minority students at a lot of schools at the fourth and fifth grades and some high schools in Palm Beach. Gibson who lived in Grand Bahamas until age 10 has also been invited to speak at Freeport High School in March during his Easter break.
When he speaks, Gibson said he tries to uplift students and let them know that the sky is the limit. He tries to influence them in a positive way.
"When I was growing up, I wasn't the best student, and didn't have opportunities, but I've been blessed to have many people in my life that showed me the ropes. So I tell the students about my struggles, to let them know that it's possible to be active and to be responsible."
Gibson, 25, will graduate the community college in May. He currently has a 3.4 grade point average. He's in the process of applying to schools to further his studies. He eventually wants to do research and return to The Bahamas to bridge the gap between research and technology and doctors.
He has also received a letter of recommendation from NASA to return for their three-month internship during the summer.

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News Article

December 27, 2011
Medical Pavilion staff spread holiday cheer to children

Christmas is a time for giving and sharing. This year, instead of sharing and exchanging gifts amongst themselves, the staff at The Medical Pavilion Bahamas decided to give gifts to those less fortunate instead.
Over 100 gifts were given to the boys and girls of the Bahamas Children's Emergency Hostel, the young ladies at the Willie Mae Pratt Centre for Girls, and the young men at the Simpson Penn Centre for Boys.
Each center was contacted beforehand, and gifts were centered on the needs and specific requests of the organizations.
The Medical Pavilion staff hoped the gifts helped to meet the needs of the children at each of the centers during the Yuletide season and the New Year, while helping to bring a smile of happiness to their faces.
Dr. Conville Brown, founder, president and CEO of the Bahamas Heart Center and the Medical Pavilion Bahamas, congratulated his staff for their selfless idea of giving gifts to the less fortunate in the community, and truly sharing the Christmas spirit.
The Medical Pavilion Bahamas is home to the Bahamas Heart Center, the Bahamas Chest Centre, the Cancer Centre, the Imaging Centre, the Breast Centre and now the Dialysis Centre. Located at 72-74 Collins Avenue, the Medical Pavilion provides state-of-the-art medical care while seeking to ensure affordable access to all through its partnered care model.

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News Article

March 08, 2012
Kendal Nottage's role in sports ministry era

Back in 1977, the late 'Father of the Nation', Sir Lynden Pindling put in place the Ministry of Sports. He combined sports with youth and community affairs, and anointed Kendal Nottage as the minister.
It was a historic appointment and he chose the right individual. Nottage was not a popular politician at the time, largely due to the backlash he created for the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) because of the disenchantment with him of the Grand Bahamian voters.
Nottage lost the High Rock seat to Maurice Moore during the 1977 general election and in a sense, his political career was salvaged by his good friend Sir Lynden, with a senate appointment and the high profiling of sports into a "ministry" category for the very first time. His stint as the first sports minister would ultimately serve to bring a good balance to the political negatives that have plagued him.
Nottage was colorful and eager to make the new sports-flavored ministry a meaningful one. He emphasized the sports power image by often proclaiming the national program "Numero Uno". In the big world picture, the proclamation was a stretch but it excited the sporting family in the country like never before. Immediately, instead of the Bahamian sports picture being marginalized as per usual, the Nottage influence enabled sports to take its rightful place in the social standing of the country.
He had a lot to do with the Bahamian people embracing the CARIFTA Games. Nottage provided high-level platforms for school sports, collegiate sports, regional sports and international sports. This was a time when the civil servants operated by convention. Although, it was always understood that permanent
secretaries were the top individuals of authority in government ministries, the era was such that they worked closely with ministers and found a way to be always on the same page with them.
So it was that Charles "Cap" Smith as the permanent secretary and James Moultrie as the undersecretary worked diligently with Nottage. They helped to form the nucleus that cemented the status of the sports ministry, never to be dropped as community affairs has been from time to time. Nottage was perfect for the role. His natural proactive attitude was good for sports and youth development. His contribution to bringing sports to the forefront of society on a regular basis was immense.
There is still much that needs to be done for sports in this country. I have often lamented in this space the unreasonable approach of politicians. They refuse to elevate sports to the top group of budget allocations. Yet, if not for the quality role played by Nottage as that first minister, the view here is that the national sports program would be much further behind.
Nottage, although, he quickly built up a respectable reputation as sports minister, was at the same time making inroads for the national youth program. I believe that it was the "Youth In Business" month he orchestrated in the early 1980s that evolved into the "October Youth Month" annually.
From a community affairs perspective, Nottage ushered in the care services to senior citizens and young boys and girls at the Persis Rodgers Home for the Aged, the Princess Margaret Hospital, Sandilands Rehabilitation Center and the Ranfurly Home for Children. Without a doubt, Nottage played a vital role in the development process of this nation.
His work as the first sports minister legitimized that ministry. Indeed, the national sports program today is much better off because of one Kendal W. Nottage.
To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at fredericksturrup@gmail.com.

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News Article

March 06, 2012
Help to save a life

Cardiovascular disease, commonly referred to as heart disease, is the number one killer of people in The Bahamas and around the world. As heart month came to a close, the fight against it still continued because more people die from heart disease than from any other cause. Heart disease does not discriminate. It affects people who are rich and poor, young and old. It does not prejudice based on race, religion, educational attainment or ethnicity. It affects everyone. Oftentimes, people are not sensitized to illnesses unless the illness affects them or their immediate family.
While there are many preventative measures to be taken by adults, such as exercise, eating right, not smoking, lowering cholesterol and taking medications correctly, in the case of babies and children, they rely on others for care and treatment against heart disease. And heart care is not cheap in cases where heart disease is discovered, regardless of age. Heart care can cost up to $1 million. What is even more unfortunate, is that many children when born, may not be privileged to have medical insurance or parents who can afford heart care. As such, when their parents discover that their new born babies have congenital heart disease, they are in a state of emotional and financial frustration, and fear. One such family currently facing such a challenge is that of Rah'nae De'ajah Burrows.
In October 2011, Antoine and Jessica Burrows welcomed their daughter into their family. Tests were carried out to ensure that she was healthy. It was discovered that Rah'nae had characteristics of Down syndrome - news that is not often readily accepted by many new parents - but the couple loved their baby nonetheless and saw her as a special gift from God.
Because of the existence of those characteristics, concerns arose to the possibility that Rah'nae may also have heart disease. After a week in the hospital it was discovered by an echocardiogram that she had a large atrial septal defect (ASD), which was a hole in her heart. The parents were referred to Dr. Jerome Lightbourne at the Pediatric Heart Clinic, at Princess Margaret Hospital. Additionally, genetic testing was done and the tests confirmed that she had Down syndrome.
Consequently, the parents were told to take Rah'nae to the Neurodevelopment Center for therapy, the Neurology clinic, and the Neonatology clinic. The entire process was emotionally and mentally taxing and challenging for the new parents.
With therapy over the past year, Rah'nae's health has been great and the family has seen progress, but Rah'nae is having problems with weight gain because of the heart condition and needs heart surgery desperately.
The Burrows' cannot afford the cost of heart surgery for their baby girl which could run them around $55,000 - and their daughter does not have insurance. Jessica is a school teacher and her husband, a transport operator.
Sadly, this family, like many, is only trying to survive in tough economic times and ensure that there is food, clothing and shelter for the family. As such, they need help to save their baby.
Dr. Lightbourne referred the Burrows' to The Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation for possible assistance with Rah'nae's surgery. The heart foundation seeks to provide heart care assistance to people, particularly children, who can not ordinarily afford heart care. The nonprofit entity relies heavily upon the generosity of others to help repair the hearts of children. Today, Rah'nae is on a wait list among 11 patients awaiting heart surgery.These patients and their families are prayerful and hopeful that the public will heed the appeals made and make a donation to the heart foundation to help save their lives. Sadly, without such surgeries, patients like Rah'nae, may not live full productive lives and can possibly die.
"The cost of heart surgery is very costly and it does not come with color, face or creed. We don't know when it will affect our loved ones; so I am asking that you please make a donation to the heart foundation to help those who are in need at this time," said Rah'nae's mother. "The heart foundation has been so generous over the years by helping to assist parents with the funds for surgery, and at this time there are 11 children waiting for assistance to have surgery. We need everyone's help at this time, even if it's only one dollar. It counts and can go a long way. By doing this you are donating to a worthy cause - you are saving lives and mending broken hearts," she said.
Burrows thanked the people that have supported her to date in raising funds so that her daughter could receive heart surgery.
To join the fight against heart disease and help children like Rah'nae, the public is encouraged to make a donation to The Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation. No amount is ever too small. Donations are encouraged year round. General donations, tributes, memorial donations and trusts are encouraged. Additionally, Americans can make tax deductible donations to aid the fight against heart disease. Sponsorship and hosting of fundraising events are also encouraged. The public is encouraged to support the two major fundraisers of The Heart Ball Committee - the Annual Heart Ball and The Annual Tea Party and Fashion Show. The public can also join the Bahamas Heart Association. The proceeds from the membership dues are used in the fight against heart disease.
While you may have missed the Heart Ball for 2012, you can still make a difference in a child's life today, said ball committee public relations officer, Ingrid Sears.
"It's more about the cause of helping to repair a heart than anything else. At present there are 11 plus children awaiting surgery. As the year progresses it is expected that more children will join this list, so the public's assistance is needed and encouraged in this fight against heart disease in children," she said.
To join the fight against heart disease in children and to help save a life, telephone 327-0806/10. You can also send a check to The Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation, P.O. Box N-8189, Nassau, The Bahamas, or telephone 327-0806 for deposit instructions.
You can learn more about the Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation by visiting www.sassoonheartfoundation.org.

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