By Fred Sturrup | GB News Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
A “truly magnificent initiative” was how Grand Bahama Port Authority Chairman Sarah St. George described the $50,000 housing ministry project highlighted during a ceremony Sunday, March 13 in Freetown, Grand Bahama. The venerable patriarch of Freetown, Rev. Rufus Cooper and his wife were presented with the new home. On the invitation of St. Cleveland Baptist Church’s Pastor Preston Cooper, St. George was among the dignitaries and christian leaders in attendance. “This initiative will continue. I know Pastor Cooper will see to that. This is just wonderful, and may I call you Uncle, Rev. Rufus? I am very happy for you and your lovely wife, Uncle Rufus. I applaud this housing ministry established by St. Cleveland Church. These are the sorts of efforts that restore communities devastated by natural disasters” said St. George. She spoke passionately to the residents in Freetown, about the pleasure she felt, being among them. “There is the commitment that I adhere fully to, doing more of this, moving through the communities, interacting with really fine people like yourselves. Congratulations to the Coopers and best wishes to you all,” she concluded her remarks. Housing Ministry head, Pastor Preston Cooper said the residence handed over, was simply the “beginning”. “We are not going to wait for any government administration or any NGOs (non-governmental organizations). Our Housing Ministry will move forward, reaching out for assistance to relocate residents who lost their homes during Hurricane Dorian, to get back to Freetown,” said the St. Cleveland pastor. Also present were: East Grand Bahama Member of Parliament, Kwasi Thompson; Grand Bahama Christian Council President, Rev. Ken Lewis; Administrator, Gregory Knowles; Chief Councillor, Rev. Marcus Cooper; and Pastor Edwin Pinder. The event was moderated by Ms. Vivian McIntosh.
A few weeks ago, Minister of Youth Sports and Culture, Hon. Mario Bowleg, met with Bahamas Boxing Commission Chairman Fred Sturrup and other commissioners for the first time. The minister made it quite clear that he plans to fortify the commission, the government’s arm for the control of professional boxing, as best as is possible with the main objective being the full revival of the sport. He requested that Sturrup lead an initiative that links all of the boxing programs in the collective interest of boosting the sport. To that end, the commission has engaged with Vincent Strachan of the Bahamas Boxing Federation (Amateur arm of the sport); Meacher Major, the national director for the Pan American Caribbean Boxing Organization, which is headquartered in the Bahamas; and Patrick Strachan who just recently registered a veteran boxing body. A conclave is scheduled for April in Grand Bahama, a day after the scheduled Boxing Reconstruction Invitational which is set to take place at the Castaways Hotel in conjunction with the YMCA of Grand Bahama. The sport is on the move for sure. There is a great chance that this first joint effort by all of the leadership of boxing will bring about a revival nationally and bring back memories of the ring greats who once had boxing solidified as the most popular sport in the country. The names Gomeo Brennan, Yama Bahama, Elisha Obed, Baby Boy Rolle, Sugar Cliff, Battling Douglas, Ray Minus Sr., Ray Minus Jr., Cassius Moss, Quincy “Thriller” Pratt, Ernie Barr, Freeman Barr, Nat Knowles, Gary Davis, Taureano Johnson, Jermain Mackey, Carl Hield, Wendell Newton, Rene Pinder, Boston Blackie, Tidal Wave Duncanson, Vogal Reckley, Roy Armbrister, Sammie Isaacs, and many others were once noted in households around the country. It is the intent of the commission to coordinate and spearhead clinics throughout the land, the capital island of New Providence and the inhabited Family Islands. The entire plan is to connect the country to boxing like never before and spawn champions and great athletes akin to the aforementioned. No doubt, boxing development is a top agenda item for Minister Bowleg. The fistic fraternity is appreciative.