Retired Boxing Hall of Fame Rescheduled

PRESS RELEASE – The Retired Boxers Association Inaugural Hall of Fame Awards program originally scheduled for Sunday, September 18th has been postponed and will now take place at a date to be announced in late October.

A spokesman for the organization said that the event was put off because of circumstances beyond the control of the organizers.  However, plans are being made to hold the event in late October at the same venue – JCN Broadcast Centre on University Drive.

The Association will induct Oswald ‘Elisha Obed’ Ferguson, Gomeo Brennen, William ‘Yama Bahama’ Butler Jr., Ray Minus Sr., Nathaniel ‘Nat’ Knowles, Garry Davis, Charlie Major Sr., Kirkwood ‘Baby Boy’ Rolle, Leonard ‘Boston Blackie’ Miller, Bertram ‘Bert Perry’ Perigord, Wilfred Coakley Jr., Wilfred ‘Battling’ Douglas and Andre Seymour into the Hall of Fame Class of 2022 and recognize Taureano Johnson, Ray Minus Sr., George ‘Boo’ Wilmore, Everette Jackson, L. Garth Wright, Gladstone Thurston, Chris Malakius, Kirkwood ‘Baby Boy’ Rolle, Roger Kelty, Charlie Major Sr. , Wilfred Coakley Jr., Frederick Sturrup and Valentino Knowles for their outstanding contribution to amateur and professional boxing.

GB Christian Council, GBPA, and Government in joint Hurricane Dorian Memorial

By Fred Sturrup |GB News Editor | sturrup1504@gmail.com

The theme at the well-attended Hurricane Dorian Memorial Service on Sunday, September 2, at St. John’s Jubilee Cathedral in Freeport, Grand Bahama was, “Prayer.” Indeed, the male and female ministers of the gospel were fully, and deservedly recognized for being prayer warriors while Grand Bahamians and those in the neighboring island of Abaco, were riding out the monster category 5 Hurricane Dorian during the very last days of August, and early September in 2019.

One podium visitor, understanding the value of prayer always, but especially in times of crisis, urged the audience to pray even more. Other than the ministers who head various congregations, present for the occasion were representatives of the Government of The Bahamas, headed by Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Chester Cooper. In place also was the Official Opposition Leader Hon. Michael Pintard.

GB Christian Council President, Rev. Kenneth Lewis was most inspirational while giving remarks of comfort. He extolled the collective role of the praying ministers, and also made particular mention of the Grand Bahama Port Authority, that entity always on the leading edge of restoration after disasters in Grand Bahama. Although functioning a bit under the radar sometimes, as government officials grab the headlines, the GBPA has been valiant through the years in bringing some semblance of order to Grand Bahamian lives, following disastrous circumstances. On Sunday, GBPA President Ian Rolle represented Chairman Sarah St. George, and offered words of encouragement to the family members and friends who lost loved ones, 32 of them, to the horrific storm; and emphasized the continued commitment of the organization to Grand Bahama and its people.

Deputy PM Cooper who is also the Minister for Tourism and Aviation, expressed on behalf of Prime Minister Hon. Philip Davis, the government’s ongoing efforts at the full restoration of Grand Bahma and a meaningful economic recovery. He said information on future plans of the government for Grand Bahama will come later.

The second most influential person in the present Davis Administration, Cooper also paid a compliment to Opposition Leader Pintard, who, while at the podium, reached out a hand to the leading political party to join together in helping with the recovery process in Grand Bahama. 

It was Rev. Lewis who connected most profoundly with all within his hearing, however, his primary message being that “Jesus” watches over us at all times, as He continues to prepare a place for each of us (who do His bidding) in the house of His Father, God.

In all, a jolly good celebration time, prompted by moderator Minister Mary Russell was had by the congregation. 

Words of warmth, wisdom and encouragement came also from Bishop Godfrey Williams who extended the welcome to Jubilee Cathedral; and Minister for Grand Bahama, Hon. Ginger Moxey; among others. Terri Johnson, the music teacher at Sunland Baptist Academy; the singing pastor of Canaan Zion Baptist, Apostle Washington Williams; and Rev. Rudolph Roberts, pastor of the Wholeman Christian Center; were spiritually stunning as they sang.

Three years after Dorian, though, there is much, much, more to be done for the displaced citizens, and for sure, the healing continues.

Leadership challenges faced by Pintard historically infamous

               

By Fred Sturrup | GB News Editor | sturrup1504@gmail.com

Recently during a high level meeting arranged by the Official Opposition in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, the Free National Movement, reportedly there was contention. The situation boiled over into an embarrassing, brutal physical altercation that left a noted party supporter seriously injured. Eye witnesses informed that he was savagely put upon by a fellow strong FNM proponent, who has differing views regarding Dr. Hubert Alexander Minnis who led the party to defeat last September.

The Hon. Michael Pintard is the sitting leader of the FNM. He attained such status in a democratic fashion, decisively. Dr. Minnis is the seemingly bitter former leader, who did not offer himself for the role when Pintard disposed of several others through the “in order” convention voting process.

As I pointed out in an earlier opinion piece it doesn’t appear that Dr. Minnis is going away. The view here is that he continues to grandstand, is not really respectful of Leader Pintard, and there is, accordingly,  this emotional spillover to his supporters. Thus the FNM party is in deep crisis. Pintard’s leadership is being assailed.

This is unfair and unprecedented in Bahamian politics.

This atrocious scenario never came about before because politicians and their followers of the past, though many of them were strong-minded, their characters did not lend themselves to violence against each other. 

The country’s first political party, the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) saw the leadership pass from Henry Milton Taylor to Lynden Oscar Pindling. Taylor and a few others were bitter about the new kids on the block taking over, but there was not much of a thought of challenging the new order.

After Pindling’s 30-plus years of leadership, Perry Gladstone Christie emerged as leader. There was the expected resentment and disappointment felt by those who preferred Dr. Bernard Nottage, but the party moved on handsomely. Christie delayed his time in PLP leadership, by failing to live up to his own reported time table to demit office. However, present PLP Leader and Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis bided his time, and look where he is today!

The second political party in the country which produced the first government, the United Bahamian Party, had a very smooth transition from the longtime leader Sir Roland Symonette  era to Sir Jeffery Johnstone.

The FNM itself,  went through many changes, in true democratic fashion, never burdened by anything such as inside troublemakers, apparently trying feverishly/violently to frustrate the leadership of one Michael Pintard.

This is not right. Let the man do his job in peace. 

From Sir Cecil Wallace to Sir Kendal Isaacs and back to Sir Cecil; to the three-time prime minister Hubert Alexander Ingraham; to Dr. Minnis; with interim leaders in place such as John Henry Bostwick, Cyril Tynes, and Tommy Turnquest; the FNM never faced anything even close to the present debacle.

It is therefore incumbent upon Pintard and the others within the FNM who have rationale, to immediately put the house in order. 

The Administration of PM Philip Davis

PM HON. PHILIP “BRAVE” DAVIS

By Fred Sturrup | GB Editor | sturrup1504@gmail.com

The present administration that governs the Commonwealth of the Bahamas is that of Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis. There is an unusual development that is most disrespectful, I think, to the nation’s chief executive.

I have noted that certain governing politicians are getting into the custom of mouthing these words: “The Davis/Cooper administration” in reference to the present government, headed by one man. That man is the one who carried the Progressive Liberal Party to a resounding victory over the Hubert Alexander Minnis’ FNM administration. That is Philip “Brave” Davis.

Those who have referred to the government of Philip “Brave” Davis in that manner ought to cease forthwith. Now, let it be understood. I do not wish to accuse the parliamentarians who have disrespected their PM, perhaps innocently, of being devious or seeking to achieve a goal in an underhanded manner.  No, not in the least. 

However, it is appropriate to bring this lack of protocol to the attention of those parliamentarians and others.

I have been observing politics closely from the days of the United Bahamian Party (UBP) governance era.  Although Sir Stafford Sands was known to be quite influential, the UBP Government was Sir Roland Symonette’s administration. Then came the Pindling (Sir Lynden) administration (acknowledged as such despite his deputy being the great freedom fighter Arthur Hanna); the Ingraham (Hubert Alexander) administration; followed by the Christie (Perry Gladstone) administration; and the other Hubert (Alexander Minnis) administration.

The administration today is headed by one person; the one who appoints all of the Cabinet ministers, and who can also fire each of them.

In the USA, presently it is the Biden (President Joe) administration.  The Andrew Michael Holness administration runs the government in Jamaica. Horace Anthony Chang is the Deputy Prime Minister. It’s the Holness administration in that country, not the Holness/Chang administration.

Prime Minister Davis ought not have to speak to this local “political administration” matter at all. Deputy Prime Minister Cooper should personally take responsibility to ensure that this trend is stopped.  He knows that he works for the People of the Bahamas in the administration of Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis, the man who appointed him to high office. He knows that the leadership is not a shared one and that he works at the behest of Davis.

There is one chief, not two.

So, Cooper should politely speak to those parliamentarians who talk about a Davis/Cooper administration. Yes, he should have a private conversation with them.

The view held here is that there is no such thing as a joint administration leadership.

Indeed, there is one chief, not two!

Women’s Basketball Team to Spend Thanksgiving Week at the Baha Mar Pink Flamingo Championship

(Rebels to Face off against Dayton and Utah in the Bahamas)

NASSAU, Bahamas – Head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin is set to take her Rebels back to her native Bahamas, as Ole Miss will take on Dayton and Utah in the 2022 Baha Mar Pink Flamingo Championships, Nov. 21 and 23.

“With so many new faces on our team, playing in the Bahamas against strong NCAA tournament tested programs like Dayton and Utah will be invaluable for our team as we prepare for Southeastern Conference play,” said McPhee-McCuin. “One of the hallmarks of our program is providing great experiences for our student-athletes and having the opportunity to take a trip like this is going to make for lasting memories for our program and fans.”

This is Ole Miss’ first trip to the Bahamas since the 2006 Junkanoo Jam, where the Rebels split their two contests going 1-1 on the island. For the second time in program history, the Rebels match up with the Dayton Flyers after last meeting in 1994 with a victory over UD. A tough test follows in Utah, as the Utes are coming off of a second-round appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Rebels hold the all-time advantage in the series 3-0, with the squads last meeting in 2014 at the Nugget Classic.

Both games will be broadcast on FloHoops with times for each contest from the Baha Mar Convention Center to be announced at a later date.

A native of Freeport and the first Bahamian woman to sign a Division I letter of intent as a player and the first Bahamian woman to coach at a Division I school, McPhee-McCuin relishes the opportunity to bring her team back to her home country.

“I’ve always wanted to bring my team home to the Bahamas. I love my country and I think it’s great that many will be able to enjoy the beautiful island! It is my hope that my fellow Bahamians come out and not only support Ole Miss but all of the teams in this event.”

OLE MISS SPORTS NEWS – June 30, 2022

Grand Bahama Port Authority on the Ball!

By Fred Sturrup | GB News Editor | sturrup1504@gmail.com

Recent months of ongoing road works have indicated that the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) is on the ball in Freeport.

Paving of roundabout sectors and residential areas have given rise to a new and refreshing feeling about Freeport. Residents of those communities which have been on the front line of the infrastructural upgrade are appreciative. Drivers throughout Freeport are enjoying the smooth approaches to roundabouts and recognizing a look that was once commonplace in the city which the GBPA, through the Hawksbill Creek Agreement, has municipal authority over. 

GBPA Chairman Sarah St. George and President Ian Rolle are leading an initiative which coincides with the encouraging outlook the Government of The Bahamas has for the entire island of Grand Bahama, and the investment prospects.

For years, roadways in need of repair had added to the dismal economic cloud over Freeport and the rest of the island.  Now, the millions of dollars the GBPA has invested in road restoration demonstrates, I think, a great recovery interest and a desire to begin the process of recapturing the glow of the Magic City. It is, for sure, a tall order to make Freeport magical again; but the approach of the GBPA, presently, is fostering enthusiasm among many, such as Bahamasair’s Airport Assistant Manager Harold Williams.  

“Hurricane Dorian caused a lot of damage to the roadways and I think what the Port is doing is necessary. It falls right in line with potential developments we have heard of. I certainly give the Port Authority kudos for what is being done,” said Williams.  The airport executive echoes the sentiments of a lot of Grand Bahamians.

So much is on the plate of the GBPA. There are still quite a number of derelict buildings in Freeport. The old International Bazaar is a huge eyesore. In some residential areas, individuals are still piling old, discarded furniture along the streets where they actually live.

It’s time for a culture change indeed. 

Hopefully, residents will read appropriately into what the GBPA is doing and begin thinking accordingly. 

The view here is that St. George, Rolle and their GBPA associates are up to the task. 

Let’s see what the future holds.

For now, though, congratulations to the GBPA!

City of Miami Commission Names Area ‘Little Bahamas’

BY FRED STURRUP | GB News Editor | sturrup1504@gmail.com

There is an area in Florida now entitled, officially, “Little Bahamas.”

Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, and portions of the 1930s and 1960s, The Bahamas and the United States engaged in a joint project which enabled Bahamian men (mostly) and women to travel to the latter country for the purpose of farm work.
Historically, the program has been referred to as the “Contract” or the “Project.”  Because most of the Bahamian farm workers were provided jobs by owners in Florida, there was a great blending of humanity and cultures in that state.

Many of the men, and some of the women, were part of the farming project for decades, and ended up establishing families.Thus, South Florida, in particular, became heavily Bahamian-influenced.  The Coconut Grove area is one of the hotbeds of the Bahamian connection.  Recently, the City Commision of the City of Miami recognized the significant Bahamian contribution to the development of South Florida.

The City Commission proclaimed that: Whereas, the area in the South East portion of the City of Miami, is the cultural heart for the Bahamian Community; and Whereas the historically Bahamian Community has enriched Miami-Dade County’s multi-ethnic character as a whole; andWhereas Little Havana and Little Haiti have been recognized for their cultural heritage and importance to the community; andWhereas, other historic areas within the City of Miami have been identified for their importance to their respective communities; and Whereas, the Miami City Commission wishes to designate the area described in Exhibit “A,” and incorporated as “Little Bahamas of Coconut Grove”, in recognition of the historical and cultural importance of the area;Now, therefore, be it (so) resolved by the Commission of the City of Miami, Florida.

This development, a special honor bestowed on our country, comes on the heels of another major historical interaction between entities of the two countries, namely Grand Bahama and Florida.  Two weeks ago, the Hon. Chester Cooper, Minister of Tourism and Aviation in The Bahamas, announced the purchase of the Grand Lucayan Properties in Grand Bahama by the Electra America Hospitality Group for $100 million. Electra is a Florida-based company. The Bahamas-Florida connection is indeed ongoing and vibrant.  Accordingly, this is yet another plank from which Minister Cooper can advance aspects of our tourism industry.

Job Opportunities for Grand Bahama!

By Fred Sturrup | GB News Editor | sturrup1504@gmail.com

Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! 

The announcement by the Prime Minister Philip Davis led Government of the Bahamas, on Wednesday, that the Electra America Hospitality Group had purchased the Grand Lucaya properties in Grand Bahama for $100 million, heralded the great opportunities for gainful employment residents have been wishing, hoping for.

Based in Florida, Electra certainly came to the table with a bundle of credentials. Its marketing promo follows: “Electra America Hospitality Group (EAHG) is a unique joint venture between Electra America, a leading real estate operator and capital provider, and AKA, a leading provider of long-short term luxury accommodations. The partnership is designed to capitalize on dislocation in the hotel industry. Marrying Electra’s expertise in value-add investing and repositioning with AKA’s unique, design-driven philosophy and loyal customer base, EAHG generates premium returns for investors through the acquisition, renovation and management of well-located hotel resorts with upside potential in major U.S. markets.”

The Grand Lucayan properties certainly fit the bill, and all of The Bahamas, from a business perspective, is considered an extension of the U.S. market.
Moving about Grand Bahama in the days following the announcement, the name Philip Davis was heard spoken of highly by all and sundry. Frankly, although he is the maestro of the governing political party, the signing by Electra transcended politics.  Folks view the development as something joyful for all; and PM Davis and his associates in the Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Grand Bahama are accordingly complimented. 
As for the Prime Minister, he continues to overachieve, when one considers how he was perceived during the early years after he ascended to the helm of the Progressive Liberal Party and when the most recent general elections campaign began. His transformation to what he is today, has been nothing short of magnificent. There is no doubt that, as the head coach, he makes the jobs of his Cabinet Ministers so much easier.

The PM has orchestrated a comfort zone in this country not experienced throughout the entirety of the Free National Movement Dr. Hubert Minnis’ governance or during the latter portion of the Perry Christie administration’s second term. In less than a year, Davis has gone to a lofty height, whereby he can legitimately be talked positively about in the same FNM-Hubert Ingraham and PLP-Perry Christie conversation.  It was Ingraham who was the catalyst behind the emergence of Atlantis, that great resort empire on Paradise Island; and likewise Christie is to be thanked for the Baha Mar grand hospitality facility in New Providence.  In both cases, the day was saved for the country financially, as Atlantis and Baha Mar ushered in climates for economic security through thousands of steady, part-time and sourced out jobs.  For Grand Bahama, finally, there is the substantive sign of economic revitalization. Prime Minister Davis, is indeed charting his own course, but functioning similar to a phrase coined by Ingraham: “I say what I mean and mean what I say.”  Just a couple of months into his prime ministership, right in Grand Bahama during a press conference, Davis said it’s time for there to be much more than just talk about what needs to and will happen with Grand Bahama economically.  Well, his government is placing substantive action alongside the talk.

Grand Bahama is better off with his leadership.

Minnis Falls Far Short of Other Major Parties’ Official Leaders

QUALITY NATIONAL LEADERS

SHAPING UP WELL

A POLITICAL PARIAH?

Hubert A. Minnis

By Fred Sturrup | GB News Editor | sturrup1504@gmail.com

Dr. Hubert Minnis is considered to be a political pariah. He certainly fits the description of an outcast, much more so than any other leader in Bahamian political history, I submit.  This man has been rejected by the national voters in great numbers, and within the party he hangs on to, the Free National Movement (FNM), it is understood that the great majority wish he would just go away, resign, and get totally out of the picture.  Killarney could very well do with another representative. 

The fall from political grace that, in my view, is the largest aspect of his legacy, puts Dr. Minnis in the ignominious category of one. Given what happened under his watch; the questionable contracts, the inflated budgets, the attitude etc., I know of no other major party leader who bore as much or more public disgrace or shame.  

Let’s go through the list of political leaders in the modern Bahamas. For the now-governing Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), the leaders include Henry Milton Taylor, Sir Lynden Oscar Pindling, Perry Gladstone Christie and Phillip “Brave” Davis.   The first government of the country, the United Bahamian Party (UBP), had Sir Roland Symonette and Godfrey Johnstone.  The Free PLP/FNM’s list is longer, inclusive of short-term leaders. The prominent chiefs were, of course, founding-leader Sir Cecil Wallace-Whitfield, Sir Kendal Isaacs and Hubert Ingraham. Then, there were Cyril Fountain, Cyril Tynes, Henry Bostwick, Tommy Turnquest and Michael Pintard (currently in charge).  All of them, their faults noted, were thought to be honourable men.

What about Dr. Hubert Minnis?  The truth be told, there is the view that he sours the FNM.  And, he won’t go away.

In an earlier commentary in GB News, it was predicted that Dr. Minnis would be a great obstacle to Pintard’s leadership. He seems determined to undermine the younger politician who has been widely accepted by FNMs across the length and breadth of this nation. Pintard is certainly more dignified.  The antics of Dr. Minnis are disgusting.  He lost the election of 2021 and the FNM opted to change him and go with another at the helm. That was the logical conclusion. His decisions in leadership, for the most part, were not sound ones at all.  

Think about it for a moment.  Dr. Minnis could still be the executive leader of this country. His Cabinet Ministers could still be moving about in the political style befitting their portfolios. In particular, they could still be earning their salaries. Cabinet Ministers each lost more than $60,000 because of the decision made by Dr. Minnis to call an early election, September 16, of last year.  He dealt serious blows to his party and the pockets of ministers, other parliamentarians and supporters with lucrative contracts.

Yet he sticks around, seemingly making every effort to upstage the sitting FNM Leader Pintard. In that earlier commentary, I warned Pintard about what he was likely to face in Dr. Minnis. It is not a pretty scene for the FNM. On the one hand there is Leader Pintard, trying valiantly to make his party relevant with the voters once again.  On the other hand, Dr. Minnis appears to be disdainful of Pintard and his status in the country as Her Majesty’s Loyal Official Opposition Leader. 

The time has come for those who care deeply for the FNM to take a strong stand alongside Pintard, and insist that Dr. Minnis moves on. If not, a fractured party will be the result and the FNM will not be able to go to the people for voting support as a unified body.

Minister Munroe Ought Not Put PM in Position of Dismissing Him

By Fred Sturrup | GB News Editor | sturrup1504@gmail.com

National Security Minister Wayne Munroe is deemed by many to be out of order for comments made regarding a plea agreement which enabled a man recently convicted of having intercourse with a minor to receive a prison term of just four years.
He was quoted:”If I was advising the accused and someone gets seven years for raping somebody, I wouldn’t be advising my client to agree to four years for unlawful intercourse. I would say that if we go to court, you would say to the judge, “He didn’t rape her. She consented.” A release from the Ministry of National Security claimed that Minister Munroe was regretful that his comments “caused concern.” His defense continued with the following: “When I provide my analysis of a legal matter, as I have done in recent interviews, I do draw upon decades of experience practicing law.”  
Indeed, Munroe is a noted attorney; but in his capacity as Minister of National Security, he does not have the luxury to act or think, only, as a lawyer. Protocol dictates that he functions, in particular while in public, in the interest of his ministry. He seems, based on his comments, sympathetic to the convicted individual, and not very much concerned that a child under the age of 16 has been interfered with sexually, her innocence violated. Quite frankly, at that age, she is unable to give legal consent.
From throughout this country and the wider Caribbean Region, reportedly the outcry against Munroe has been great. He thus sits, it is submitted, as a cancer in the Cabinet of the Most Honourable Prime Minister Philip Davis. Cancer should be removed.
PM Davis is batting on a really fine wicket. His detractors are hard pressed to criticize him with any sense of logic. His cabinet ministers can be his downfall though. Voters have long memories.  I suggest that the prime minister takes his mind back to the 2002-2007 first Progressive Liberal Party governance term of Perry Gladstone Christie. The economy was booming, things were going well in the nation; but Christie lost respect when he failed to handle properly, in the view held here, the BAIC (Bahamas Agriculture and Industrial Corporation) debacle and several other national matters of great concern.
The same can happen to Davis four and a half years down the road.
PM Davis, I urge you to remember how Sir Lynden Pindling functioned as prime minister, especially during those early years of a quarter of a century of leadership.  I mention for emphasis the names of Simeon Bowe and Ervin Knowles. There was the case of the PVC pipes. It was a huge controversy, although Bowe was not thought to be personally involved. Bowe was a dear friend of the then prime minister and one of the heroes of the eastern district. He stepped down from his ministry post, however, so the government could move forward without that baggage.
In the case of Knowles, a matter regarding a contract for BAIC was his downfall. Just like Bowe, he was very close to Sir Lynden, and not known to have been the culprit. However, it was on his watch and convention dictated the honourable path. Knowles took it.
This controversy Munroe is now involved in, is highly sensitive and he is in a quandary of his own doing. The matter won’t die.