News Archives

Government plans no cut-backs in Defence Force spending

Government plans no cut-backs in Defence Force spending

Sat, Jul 31st 2010, 02:06 PM

The Government of The Bahamas will continue to provide the Royal Bahamas Defence Force with the resources required to permit the Force to effectively implement its critical national security mandate despite the continued downturn in the world and local economy.  

 Minister of National Security the Hon. O.A. T. “Tommy” Turnquest said many aspects of the country’s crime problems are directly linked to transnational criminal activity in Bahamian waters, particularly drug and arms trafficking, which he said continue to constitute major challenges. 

 He said work at sea is “central” to the Defence Force’s security structure and that as a result, the Defence Force has more air and sea assets, and more technological equipment, to carry out its mandate, than at any time in the Force’s 30-year history. 

 “You must always bear in mind that our country’s geography and its geographical location on the route from Latin America and the Caribbean to the United States, brings with it significant national security challenges, many of which begin on our seas, and are likely to persist for the foreseeable future,” Mr. Turnquest said.  

 “When drugs and guns move from sea to land, they fuel crime on our streets, and in our communities. I emphasise these points to highlight the critical role of the Defence Force in protecting our sovereignty and territorial integrity, and indeed our people at sea, and in contributing to the prevention of crime and criminal activity in our country, as well as undertaking critical emergency and search and rescue functions,” Mr. Turnquest added.  

 Mr. Turnquest said while the interdiction of drugs and gun smugglers plays a pivotal role in the work of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, the Force’s work extends beyond those efforts. 

 “As a maritime nation, our seaborne challenges do not end with drugs and arms trafficking. We also have to contend with illegal immigration and the plundering of our marine resources. It is a primary responsibility of the Defence Force to protect our marine resources and Bahamian fishermen, and to thwart commercial fishing by foreign fishermen in our territorial waters. 

 “In fact, the 2010 Crawfish season opens in two days on Sunday, and this responsibility of the Defence Force becomes even more critical,” he added.   

 Addressing the “Passing Out” Ceremonies to welcome 49 new Marines - 39 men and 10 women — to the ranks of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, Mr. Turnquest told the Marine Recruits that they have the distinction of joining the service during the Defence Force’s 30th year “as a distinct maritime law enforcement organisation, charged with protecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of The Bahamas.”    

 The National Security Minister said he was “especially pleased” that the squad comprised Marines not only from New Providence, but Grand Bahama and other Family Islands. 

 “I commend the Commodore and the Senior Command for their forward-thinking, in actively recruiting qualified young Bahamians to the Defence Force, no matter on which island of The Bahamas they live,” Mr. Turnquest said. 

 “As new Marines, you can be called upon to serve not only in New Providence, but also in Grand Bahama, Abaco, the Exumas and Great Inagua, and soon, at Gun Point in Ragged Island.”  

 Mr. Turnquest said the Marine Recruits are also joining the Defence Force at “an exciting time” of the Defence Force 

 “It is a time when we are engaged in the phased acquisition of 11 additional sea craft over the next six years, {2-140ft; 4-100ft; 4-60ft; 1-auxiliary vessel-160 to 180ft.} and when an expanding network of bases offers opportunities to serve country-wide,” he said. 

 “It is a time when training and re-training are being given high priority with considerable focus on leadership and management skills and the capacity to service our sea and air craft.   

“It is a time when Officers and Marines are benefiting from extensive academic, operational and other training opportunities, particularly those offered through the United States Office of Defence Cooperation,” Mr. Turnquest added.  


George Prince Williams murder case declared a mistrial

George Prince Williams murder case declared a mistrial

Sat, Jul 31st 2010, 09:45 AM

By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter FREEPORT - The murder trial of George Prince Williams was declared a mistrial in the Supreme Court on Thursday when Williams' attorney withdrew from the case after being assaulted by his client during court proceedings. Lawyer K Brian Hanna filed an application withdrawing as the attorney for Williams, who attacked and injured Hanna in the presence of the jury on Wednesday. Mr Hanna suffered a minor laceration to his ear after being struck by Williams several times on the right side of the head. He has filed a police report but has decided not to proceed with criminal action against Williams. ...

(VIDEO) Making the Bahamas International Film Festival 2010 a reality

(VIDEO) Making the Bahamas International Film Festival 2010 a reality

Sat, Jul 31st 2010, 04:30 AM

Nassau, Bahamas -


International Film Festival, now in its 7th year will next take place

December 1st to 5th.

Over the years you have heard, seen, experienced and been transformed by the magic of cinema, you have had the opportunity to network and meet numerous actors, filmmakers and celebrities.

BIFF was created to enhance the international film industry culture, especially with our young people in mind. It was created to support the country's filmmakers and to present to the Bahamas films that offer views of the world, and to introduce our country to filmmakers from around the world, with the aim of having them come back and shoot their films right here.

Watch a video narrated by BIFF Founder, Leslie

and see highlights of The Bahamas Weekly's BIFF coverage over the years...

Stakeholders and Campers Laud  Government?s Summer Youth Camps

Stakeholders and Campers Laud Government?s Summer Youth Camps

Fri, Jul 30th 2010, 07:29 PM

NASSAU, The Bahamas – Stakeholders in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture’s Summer Youth Camps said it is a good way for children to learn about Bahamian culture sports and history, while giving them positive activities to take part in.

 Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture the Hon. Charles Maynard, First Assistant Secretary (Administration) at the Ministry Ms. Phedra Rahming and Acting Director of Youth Greg Butler visited several sites for the Department of Youth Camps and were met with positive feedback from campers and instructors.

According to a statement from the Ministry, the camps are designed to “provide meaningful educational and recreational activities, in a safe and secure environment, for our young people during the summer months; as well as to provide part-time employment opportunities for qualified students during their summer break.”

 Additionally, the statement continued, students are given the opportunity to work in selected business houses during the Summer programme in order to gain valuable work experience and job training.

 At the camp at the Centre for Deaf Children, participants took part in sporting events, visited cultural sites and learned Bible verses in sign language and verbally.

 “What we learn here is spiritual, educational and cultural,” said Principal Esther Nottage.

 Principal at the camp at Progress Education Centre, on Andros Avenue, Ms. Debbie Scott said that the children and instructors are thoroughly enjoying the experience they are having there.

“We have been having a lot of fun,” Ms. Scott said.  “The kids are excited, especially when they are introduced to some of the things that are native.  Some of them are not familiar with things like how we used the leaves of some trees for teas.

“We have had a few of the parents come in.  We made cassava bread, they did some baking and they made some ‘switcha’ (lemonade) today.  We have been having a lot of fun.”

The camp at Progress Education Centre is the only one that facilitates preschoolers.  Some of the older children, Ms. Scott said, graduated from the Academy and have now returned to their former preschool for the summer camp.

Ms. Scott added that the children at the camp were excited that the Minister came to visit them and were happy to showcase the various Bahamian plants and memorabilia.

“They could hardly wait,” Ms. Scott said.  “We were in here until 9 p.m. last night, fixing up the room with the neighbourhood kids.  We had a lot of fun.”

“It’s fun, it’s exciting and it’s great,” agreed eight-year-old Elvonte Richards.

Five-year-old Carlton Seymour added that it was fun and he liked being the one chosen to present the Minister’s delegation with the small tokens of appreciation they made.

“I love to say nice things to people and I love to be nice to people,” Carlton said.

At the camp at Evangelistic Temple, Collins Avenue, Camp Co-ordinator Mrs. Sabrina Donaldson said the more than 180 students taking part are enjoying various activities, including music, civics and sewing, with new campers joining every week.

“They are having fun and are very interested in the camp and it has been constantly growing,” she said.

“It was a lot of fun and I learned about music and keeping The Bahamas clean,” said five-year-old Antonio Carlos Rose.

The Department of Sports Summer Programme started on Tuesday, July 13 and will end August 6, 2010.  The predominant venue for the Summer Sports Programme is the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre and the Blue Hills Sports Complex.  Additional approved satellite camps will also be held throughout New Providence and the Family Islands.

 The sports camps cater to various sporting disciplines, including basketball, karate, golf, swimming, netball, cheerleading / dance, lawn tennis and softball.