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.

Wilson providing quality service at Salty Crab on Junkanoo Beach

SALTY CRAB  PROPRIETOR WARREN WILSON, LEFT, AND GB NEWS EDITOR FRED STURRUP

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

Situated among a number of similar hospitality facilities on the famed Junkanoo Beach (formerly Long Wharf area) of West Bay Street in New Providence, is the Salty Crab establishment. Proprietor Warren Wilson has carved out quite a special niche which provides delectable cuisine, and extremely friendly treatment, enhanced by a spectacular view of Nassau Harbour.
Others might try to emulate, but the Salty Crab is indeed one of a kind.Wilson’s hands-on approach, connects him very positively to patrons, local and foreign, on a daily basis. It’s an aspect that endears him to repeat customers and cements Salty Crab  as a prime tourism product.
“It’s about pleasing my customers, always. My presence is important, not particularly to watch over my staffers, but more importantly to ensure that the attachment to all who come for service is solidified.
“I take very seriously the role I play with my staffers, for tourism,” said Wilson recently.
For sure he wants to maintain a profit, but he is passionate as well, about interacting with guests to make their stay in his country rewarding in all the ways that Salty Crab can deliver. The menu lists the local favorites, such as conch fritters, cracked conch, cracked shrimp,  cracked lobster, fish steak to chicken quesadilla.
The Ministry of Tourism would do well to embrace places such as Salty Crab, for them to be included in the national marketing/advertising programs.
Salty Crab certainly continues to make a difference!

SEVENTH ANNUAL JONATHAN GOUTHRO MEMORIAL GOLF TOURNAMENT

The seventh annual Jonathan Gouthro memorial golf tournament was held on Saturday march 5th, 2022 at the Lucayan reef golf course. The event was conducted by the Rotary Club of Grand Bahama Sunrise with assistance from the Gouthro family. All proceeds from the tournament are placed in a scholarship fund under the same name, to be used for the education of Bahamians interested in an accountancy or business career.
Forty-six golfers teed it up for a shotgun start and the weather cooperated to provide excellent conditions for the event.
Brian O’Connell was the winner of the putting and closest to the pin contest (hole #17), Kirk Bowe had the most accurate drive on hole #12. However, there was no hole-in-one on #4 and no winner of the floating target contest, so garmin (obs marine) kept the prizes for next year. Matt Hynes rounded out the pin prizes taking the longest drive on hole #13.
The tournament was conducted under the “pinehurst format’, a combination of best ball and alternate shots in teams of two. The winners were the top three placing two person teams based on net (handicaps) and gross (true) scores.

The winners were as follows:
NET
FIRST- (66) SUE URBAN / MIMI LODS
SECOND – (66) CRAIG O’BRIEN / RUPERT SEARLES
THIRD – (68) MARCUS GOUTHRO / SPENCER GRAHAM
GROSS
FIRST- (75) LYNFORD MILLER / KIRK BOWE
SECOND – (83) JOHN LANE / BRAD CULMER
THIRD – (84) VIC SKINNER / MARTIN BRENT

Wayne Russell of the Rotary Club of Grand Bahama Sunrise thanked the sponsors at the awards presentation at Oceans Blue restaurant in the Ocean Reef Yacht Club & Resort and along with Jamie Sarles thanked the golfers for their participation, especially, Lynford Miller, president of the Bahamas Golf Federation who travelled from Nassau to support the tournament and Allan Gardner who did all the scoring. The event was deemed a success and planning has already begun for next year’s tournament.

UB North Campus Set to Revitalize Freeport

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

One of the great decisions made by Prime Minister Hon. Philip “Brave” Davis and the rest of the hierarchy of the Progressive Liberal Party Government of The Bahamas, was the intense focus on concluding negotiations for buying the Kipling Building, downtown Freeport, Grand Bahama, to relocate the University of Bahamas North Campus.
By all indications, the UB North Campus, ideally situated between Kipling Lane and West Mall Drive in the very heart of downtown Freeport, will revitalize the economy of Freeport. In a short period of time, Freeport could be transformed into a vibrant college town, such as those found in the United States, Canada, and in many other countries throughout the world. The existing surrounding businesses, especially the eateries and other operations, are set to thrive because of the economic energy which figures to result from the campus.
The atmosphere created by the presence of UB North Campus, indeed, will no doubt encourage new ventures in the area. The campus will be a windfall for vendors of a variety of products.
In 2010 when the UB Campus was officially opened in East Grand Bahama, that was historic; but the destruction of the institution, inclusive of the dormitory building by Hurricane Dorian in 2019, gives merit to the notion that good things sometimes come from bad situations. The view here is that the transformation to Freeport, and in particular, downtown, will be magnificent.
The UB Board is headed by a proven deliverer of successes, Chairman Allyson Maynard-Gibson. She sits in the top chair of the board, well qualified, with a background of general excellence, comparable to any other, and on a higher level than most.  She has hit the ground running with a multitude of meetings and a hands-on approach to reshaping, for the better, the UB North Campus.
It’s a safe bet that the campus will now become synonymous with Freeport and the wider island of Grand Bahama like never before. It is anticipated that going forward, through a vigorous public relations program, the UB North Campus and all of its attributes, will become common knowledge in Grand Bahama, the rest of he country and, certainly the region.
It surely is a new day for the University of Bahamas Northern Campus.

GBUC Launches Smart Meter Upgrade Program

GRAND BAHAMA UTILITY COMPANY LIMITED- For Immediate Release –

February 21, 2022 – Freeport, GB, The Bahamas: – The Grand Bahama Utility Company (GBUC) Limited is excited to announce the launch of its smart meter upgrade program, which commenced Saturday, February 19, 2022, in West End and will work east to cover all customers across Grand Bahama.

Philcher Grant, Chief Operating Officer of GBUC & Public Affairs stated, “This is GBUC’s first step in the automation of our metering system.” She added that the completion of this project will improve the efficiency of operations and mitigate the need to estimate accounts, while providing a greater accuracy of metering. 

In addition to the smart meter upgrade program, GBUC has implemented an overall improvement strategy, which includes a leak detection program, preventative maintenance, and equipment modernization. Ms. Grant added, “As the company continues to progress and invest in building back stronger & better, all of these initiatives are a part of GBUC’s long-term asset management program to ensure we remain resilient against climate change and future storms.”

Anastasia Rahming, Utility Relations Supervisor noted that GBUC’s replacement of older meters with advanced technology smart metering, will enable the utility to address hard to access areas, as well as perform remote readings. “Our GBUC team encourages customers to assist us with the execution of this program by ensuring that crews can easily access the meters, by removing all debris from around the area of the meter and securing all dogs.”  She advised that there will be a brief interruption in service for 30-minute intervals while crews remove the current meter and replace it with the new smart meter. 

This past weekend the work in West End was completed and crews are scheduled to continue the program in the areas of Jones Town, Sea Grape, Pine Forest, and Holmes Rock on February 26 & 27, 2022.  Customers are encouraged to follow the Grand Bahama Utility Company Facebook page or visit www.grandbahamautility.com for the latest change-out area updates.

Presenting Covid-19 Packages

Rotary of Sunset President Fred Sturrup and Grand Bahama Port Authority Chair Person Sarah St. George led an initiative, on Thursday Nov. 18, presenting COVID-18 packages to residents of Pelican Point. Along with Sturrup from Rotary Sunset was Past President Tony Miller.

Galaxy Lounge

Galaxy Lounge

Shaolin Rolle’s Galaxy Lounge is one of the popular spots in Grand Bahama. It is located on Oak Street, Freeport in the Commercial District. Pictured from left are: Roland Rolle, Gladstone’Moon’ McPhee, Cleveland Duncombe and Ernie Barr Jr.