October 20, 2021
More than five hundred years ago Columbus came to the shores of The Bahamas. The recent destruction of the Columbus statue has crystalized ill feeling towards him. Bahamians are now the wiser of people coming to plunder our Bahama land.
Columbus’ fleet pulled up to our shores, gave out some glass beads, exploited our people, searched for gold, spread sickness and then enslaved the natives. This was all done in the name of “Royalty”. In today’s world Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines’ (RCL) fleet comes sailing in to The Bahamas looking for riches and land. From their million dollar boardrooms they promised to buy an ailing hotel and can’t fulfill their commitment. Bahamians have been forced to carry the financial bill of their indecision and not deterred RCL also want to grab the Grand Lucayan for a basement bargain and have us finance it for them.
RCL have the whole of Little Stirrup Cay, which is Crown Land, they removed its identity and renamed it “Coco Cay”. They have paved paradise, removed the native coppice and have over 40% foreign work force while before it was substantially higher. RCL control the whole island, the Bahamian general public no longer have any access to it and all the revenues, save for a few menial janitorial jobs, are exported from The Bahamas for the benefit of foreign shareholders and the bosses’ bonuses.
RCL have also demanded to take possession of ten acres of Crown Land and Seabed on Paradise Island, they have held Bahamians bent over the Grand Lucayan barrel and now want to run roughshod over an all-Bahamian development; Paradise Island Lighthouse & Beach Club (PILH). PILH already have a Crown Land Lease, which was offered by Prime Minister Minnis in 2019 and PILH accepted in its entirety. The Minnis administration clearly ignored this matter is before the Supreme Court and so too has RCL.
Bahamians have woken up and realize that a few greedy politicians in the past regime received a good greasing and the exploitation in the name of foreign royalty becomes apparent. These past politicians have sold Bahamians down the river. The audacity of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines wanting to heist Bahamian Crown Land from Bahamians and then RCL want to give native Bahamians a “special rate” to enjoy our own land, but only on days when Royal Caribbean guests are not over there. How much cultural segregation do they want?
Now it’s a “New Day”: A New Day for Bahamians. Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines shold carefully observe the signs stating “The Bahamas is for Bahamians”. PILH is confident that Prime Minister Davis and his capable team will see the merits of PILH’s Bahamian owned and operated boutique resort. Prime Minister Davis stated, when in opposition, he will cancel any deal done with RCL for Crown Land on Paradise Island and we know Prime Minister Davis to be a man whose word is his bond.
Meanwhile, PILH says let’s not repeat the mistakes made in the past and fall for what Columbus did to exploit the Bahamas and let Bahamians thrive in commerce and ownership.
Paradise Island Lighthouse & Beach Club also seeks to officially propose to the government that we wish the beach currently named “Colonial Beach” to help us get away from the Colonial era and the negativity it carries and request the name of the beach to be “Lighthouse” Beach. We are tired of the masters and we need our own identity and Bahamians need to stand together and oppose it being the “Royal Beach”.
Paradise Island Lighthouse & Beach Club Co. Ltd. intends to proceed with our project. Our initial investment for development will be $2M and increase significantly over the first five years of operation. We shall fully restore our Bahamian Paradise “Hog” Island Lighthouse at no cost to the Bahamian public with the revenues made from our Beach Club. We shall employ more than eighty Bahamians and have an all-Bahamian team. Generate hundreds of millions of dollars of revenues and add to the Bahamian GDP as it circulates our Bahama land. Generate tens of millions of dollars in government revenues. We shall promote our Bahamian culture and history with Bahamians. We shall provide beach access to Bahamians and amenities to enjoy it. Build a right sized boutique beach club that doesn’t exploit nature, we work in harmony with the environment. Develop a low impact experience and embrace a reduced carbon footprint and use alternative energy. Be a true expression of Bahamian culture, history and have Bahamians there to promote it. Provide for Bahamian ownership in multi facets. Assist in securing opportunities for future Bahamian generations. Provide a Bahamian excursion of scale to accommodate the growing domestic and international tourism market.
Captain Toby C.S. Smith,
Paradise Island Lighthouse & Beach Club.