May 22, 2019
After the difficult task of narrowing the Caribbean Bottling Company’s (CBC) Carleton Williams Scholarship applicants down to just six finalists, the CBC interview team was deadlocked. All of the students were exceptional, with amazing grades, glowing recommendations, a bevy of extracurricular interests, and big dreams for their futures. With only one scholarship spot available, the decision seemed impossible. After a long deliberation about the talented and bright group of sixth graders, Gabriel Hall was chosen to receive a full, 6-year scholarship to the Sunland Baptist Academy.
The candidates were so impressive, that Freeport Primary School student, Patrick Knowles, was also chosen from the group of hopefuls to receive a 6-year scholarship courtesy of the Bahamas Light Industries Development Council (BLIDC), Digiprint, Purity Bakery, Epic Battery, Blanco Chemicals, Aquapure and Cartwright’s Bedding.
Gabriel, who has a grade point average of 3.85, is described as a “very respectful and well mannered” student, according to his teachers. When the 10-year-old’s mother, Lakera Deveaux, received the call that he had won the scholarship, she was overjoyed by the good news. She noted that the family is extremely proud of him, and very grateful for the scholarship. In addition to being a Student of the Year nominee, Gabriel is actively involved in a number of clubs and charitable groups.
“Our team was so impressed with this year’s crop of CBC Carleton Williams Scholarship applicants,” said Nikia Wells, Marketing Manager – Communications. “Each year, it gets more difficult to choose a winner. We met some extraordinary students, who are not only intelligent and actively involved in their schools and communities, but also extremely personable and charismatic. We were extremely happy to award Gabriel with a scholarship, and we were elated when the BLIDC and several other Bahamian companies came forward to select another scholarship winner from the group of applicants.”
Gabriel will join 2018 recipients, Kennedi Knowles and Anajah Culmer, 2017 recipient, K. Kaiya Pinder, and 2016 scholarship winners, D’Ron & T’Ron Strapp, as the newest CBC scholar. Kennedi and Anajah currently attend St. John’s College and Aquinas College, respectively, Kaiya is a student of the Bishop Michael Eldon High School, and twin brothers, T’Ron and D’Ron, are wrapping up the ninth grade at Aquinas College.
The CBC Carleton Williams Scholarship was created to celebrate the work of Carleton Williams, who contributed greatly to the advancement of the Caribbean Bottling Company as well as his community. The academic scholarship rotates annually between New Providence and Grand Bahama, and awards one graduating public primary school student seeking to attend a private high school.
(L-R) Joyann Stuart, CBC Grand Bahama Manager; Gabriel Hall, scholarship recipient, and Nikia Wells, CBC Marketing Manager – Communications.
Jamal Hall, proud father, and Gabriel Hall, scholarship recipient.
About Caribbean Bottling Company (Bahamas) Ltd.
Caribbean Bottling Company (Bahamas) Ltd. (CBC) and its predecessor companies have serviced the Bahamas with Coca-Cola products for over 80 years. With the acquisition of T&C Refreshments in 2013, CBC is now also the distributor for Coca-Cola products in the Turks & Caicos Islands. In addition to the distribution of the Coca-Cola product line, CBC also offers Schweppes, Fanta, Sprite, Barq’s Root Beer, Dr. Pepper, Monster, Goombay Punch, Barritt’s Ginger Beer, Canada Dry, Monster, Vitamin Water, Dasani, Powerade, Minute Maid and Flavorful Juices.
About Mr. Carleton Williams CBE
Mr. Carleton Williams CBE, was born in 1929, the second of eight children, to humble beginnings. After receiving his secondary education at Government High School he began employment with the Government of The Bahamas at the Treasury Department where he learnt the fundamentals of accounting and finance. Mr. Williams transitioned easily into the private sector, taking a position at Navios Corporation, a subsidiary of the United States Steel Corporation. He later tested his business acumen, becoming an entrepreneur in 1964 as a contractor for a housing development. From there he expanded his business to include retailing building supplies, and later expanded into fast-food when he introduced McDonald’s to The Bahamas.
The manufacturing sector was Mr. Williams’ next undertaking with the purchase of Caribbean Bottling Company (CBC), local producer of Coca-Cola products. With his reputation as a strong business man, he was invited to serve on several prestigious boards, including but not limited to New Providence Development Company Ltd., The Central Bank of The Bahamas, and Automotive Industrial Distributors Ltd. Recognizing the importance of giving back he also served as a Member of the Board for local charities such as the Salvation Army and The Crippled Children’s Committee.
Committed to education, at age 50 Williams earned his MBA from the University of Miami. In 2016 at the age of 87, Mr. Carleton Williams CBE resigned as the Chairman of the Board for Caribbean Bottling Company, and in honor of his outstanding contributions to both industry and The Bahamas, the Carleton Williams Caribbean Bottling Company Scholarship was created.
Mr. Williams also received the following awards
- Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) awarded by Her Majesty the Queen of England
- Businessman of the Year – Chamber of Commerce
- Paul Harris Fellow – The Rotary Club
- Salvation Army Others Award