Fri, Jun 30th 2017, 09:08 PM
The passing of the late Dr. Bernard Nottage this week marked the end of an era for, and within, the Progressive Liberal Party. Nottage, despite whatever some of us may think were his faults, was the consummate Bahamian patriot and nation-builder. I always thought that he was my cousin due to the close friendship between his late mother and my own late paternal aunt, Rena, of Liberty City, Florida. He was, in fact, not my cousin, but I have always known that he would become one of the movers and shakers within our wonderful nation.
It was obvious over the past year or so that BJ, as he was universally known, was not well. As a trained medical doctor, he reminded me of a motor vehicle mechanic.....always able and ready to take care of a customer's vehicle, but allowed his own to fall into a state of disrepair. He was possessed with the focused desire to make life better for the average Bahamian. His hopes and dreams of becoming prime minister were never to be realized, but he, publicly, never appeared to be bitter and he never withdrew from front line politics.
I first met both Dr. Nottage and former PM , Perry Gladstone Christie, way back in the day when we were all students in London and Scotland. PGC and I were into our legal studies (a few years apart, of course) at the University of London and the Inns of Court, while BJ was further up north. They were both passionate about returning home to serve in politics. Well, do I recall the frequent trips of the late great founding father of our nation, Sir Lynden Oscar Pindling, coming over to the UK to have regular talks with Bahamian students.
A fierce debater and political theorist, BJ held his own during the lively discussions with our then 'Moses'. PGC was a little more laid back, but, he too, often exhibited a messianic propensity and a sense that he had a date with destiny. I was the more Machiavellian character, and remain so to this very day. If one is unable, for whatever reason, to become 'king' then I chose the path of 'king maker and mountain shaker'. BJ followed his path and was fairly successful in all of his known endeavors. Behold the man whom we knew as BJ. Not a perfect politician, but a Bahamian who made us all proud.
I recall the first time that I was introduced to BJ by his then fiance, Portia, down at the Nassau Beach Club where she was a singer and diva beyond comparison. It was obvious to me that she was 'the apple of his eye' and 'the love of his life'. A good husband, proud father and community builder, BJ will long be remembered as a champion of the unwashed masses. And so, as we mourn his passage, let us not ever lose sight of the salient fact that BJ lived a full and productive life, unlike so many of those of us who remain alive, for now. BJ was the perfect example of: "If I can touch someone along the way....., my living would not have been in vain." To God then, in all of these things, even death, be the glory, for great things He hath done.
- Ortland H. Bodie, Jr.
Fri, Jun 30th 2017, 09:04 PM
A veteran prison officer lost his job and his freedom yesterday after admitting that he intended to smuggle six ounces of marijuana to an inmate.
Principal Officer Logan Smith, 45, was arrested after his superiors found the drugs on him during a search when he reported for duty on June 28.
Now Smith, an officer of 24 years, has joined the inmate, who reportedly paid him $300 or $50 an ounce, behind bars, as he was sentenced to one year in prison.
He will spend an additional six months in custody if he fails to pay a $1,000 fine before completing the one-year sentence.
Smith pleaded guilty to a charge of marijuana possession with intent to supply at his arraignment before Magistrate Jeanine Weech-Gomez.
According to prosecutor ASP Clifford Daxon, police officers found items for packaging drugs when they searched his home at Hampton Street, off Montrose Avenue.
The officers also found $1,285 that was seized as the proceeds of crime. However, the magistrate only seized $300, as the remaining $985 came from an asue, according to Smith and his pastor, who was also in court.
Addressing Smith, the magistrate asked, "You know what you did was stupid, right?"
Smith replied, "I realize that. I learned a lesson, a really mind-blowing lesson. While I was sitting in the Elizabeth Estates Police Station, I felt like Jonah or one of the prophets of old; God is really trying to get my attention."
The magistrate asked Smith how long he had been an officer. When he replied 24 years, she said, "And you risked that for $300? My brother, things can't be that bad."
Weech-Gomez told Smith that she had no choice but to send him to prison for abusing the public's trust.
She said, "If you had been the ordinary John Brown off the street, I might have been able to dismiss this, but persons in your position are judged at a higher standard."
Fri, Jun 30th 2017, 09:00 PM
Fri, Jun 30th 2017, 08:52 PM
A 20-year-old man of Nassau Village was yesterday jailed for two years after pleading guilty to gun and drug possession charges.
Clarrington Moss was arrested on Wednesday after officers patrolling Samson Street stopped to search him because he was behaving in a suspicious manner.
Moss ran from the officers and threw a gun to the ground during the pursuit, according to the evidence.
Moss eventually surrendered and police retrieved the .45 pistol, with a serial number erased, and seven rounds of ammunition.
The officers also found 29 packets of marijuana in his pants pocket.
Moss pleaded guilty to charges of possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition and drug possession with intent to supply at his arraignment before Magistrate Jeanine Weech-Gomez.
She sentenced him to two years for the gun, nine months for the ammunition and three months for the drugs. The sentences are to run concurrently.
Fri, Jun 30th 2017, 08:39 PM
The Ministry of Education has stepped up to the plate to sponsor both the We Are Sports Program (WASP) and the National Summer Sailing Program. Head of the Sports Unit in the Ministry of Education Evon Wisdom presented both entities with checks yesterday on behalf of the government.
The WASP program is free of charge and commences on July 2 at the Sadie Curtis Primary School, while the youth summer sailing program runs the entire month of July and is also free of charge, and takes place at the Nassau Yacht Club.
"It is with great pleasure that we present these two very important initiatives," said Wisdom. "The WASP is a pilot program that has been running at the school under the supervision of their principal for quite some time now. Working with them has been a wonderful experience with us, and speaking with the member of Parliament for Pinewood, we have come up with some innovative ways to extend the school day through the auspices of a parent that was involved with the program, so we congratulate them."
WASP representative Marcia Dorsett said that the organization is grateful for the government's donation to their initiative, and that they're still open to both corporate and private sponsors to help take the program to the next level.
"We don't take this opportunity for granted and feel so privileged to have support from the ministry," she said. "This program touches deep within our hearts. It will be for free and will have a lot of volunteers. It is not exclusive to the community of Pinewood. We are looking to get as much kids as we can. Community is everything, so we want to let the public know to come out and support the program."
Member of Parliament for Pinewood Reuben Rahming said that he was appreciative for the work that WASP has done in the Pinewood community, and that it's good to see them welcoming children from other communities.
"WASP is designed to expose our kids to new opportunities and to tap into potential that may not have been released as yet in the child," he said. "Most of us that have experience in youth development understand that it is a critical stage in a child's development between ages 2-7. Anything past that is like trying to bend an adult tree. The Pinewood community is happy for WASP's investment in the community. This program will also impact persons in Sea Breeze and Nassau Village, and I have been in contact with those members of parliament as well. I'm glad that we now have more eyes on the program than ever before."
As far as the 12th annual sailing program is concerned, the camp will cater to children from ages 5-18. So far, over 60 applicants from government schools will be participating in the program, headed by Robert Dunkley. The camp comprises of three, two-week sessions, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Each student is assigned a boat, provided with a life jacket, lunch, and will be taught Opti and Sunfish sailing skills and techniques.
"We have been making a lot of headway in getting kids off the streets and participating in our program," said Dunkley. "This comes from support from the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources, and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture. I would also like to thank our corporate sponsors like KPMG, the Rotary Club of East Nassau, John Bull and several families who donate generously."
Upon completion, students participating in the camp will be able to continue throughout the year in the Bahamas Sailing Association's (BSA) Saturday sailing sessions. They will also be given an opportunity to compete in the sailing regattas and possibly represent The Bahamas at international events.