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!

GBPA Chairman Sarah St. George Lauds Freetown Housing Initiative

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

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.

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.

Sports Minister Bowleg Urges Boxing Revival

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

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.

TRIBUTES TO GEORGE CURTIS

George Curtis

Statement by GB News Editor Fred Sturrup

George Curtis, yet another of the fabled and meaningful characters from the St. James Road/Kemp Road/St. Margaret Road (New Providence) vicinity, has died. I knew him all of my life, lost contact with him for years when he moved to Grand Bahama, but renewed our relationship when I made the Second City my home a decade ago. He was class personified, an exceptional and engaging human being. Condolences go out to Ann Stevenson-Curtis and the rest of George’s dear family. 


Press Statement by Peter Adderley, President of Creative Works

The death of prominent Grand Bahama businessman George Curtis serves as a blow to our island’s courageous and colourful past. George Curtis’ journey to Grand Bahama from New Providence decades ago was one that demonstrated a belief in the Bahamian dream of ownership and Freeport’s promise of opportunity. 
His work ethic, business savvy and flamboyant love for life inspired those of my generation.  He unselfishly fought for a level playing field for Bahamian businesses in Freeport. 
George Curtis was an unsung political and community activist.  He was a family man and he valued true friendships.  His legacy marks our national progress, Grand Bahama’s best days and Freeport’s rich potential.  He will be missed. 
I extend condolences to his soul mate and wife, Ann, as well as his entire family and friends

Maynard-Gibson, A Major Nation-building Contributor

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

There are those who claim very good genes, and factually so.
And, then there are folks with superlative genes.
One such lady who has climbed the steps of an incredible genealogy to become one of the Bahamas’ greatest nation-building matriarchs, is Allyson Maynard-Gibson.  She was recently appointed Chairman of the University of The Bahamas (UB) Board of Trustees, yet another portfolio from which enhancement of a nation and its people will be definite given her all-round pedigree of success.  No doubt, her genes have factored in the consistent efforts over the last four decades or so of excellence which put Maynard-Gibson in a very special category of Bahamian heroes.  When my immediate family of three – my father, mother and I moved a block further east from the Mackey Street North/Okra Hill Community in the summer of 1958, William Street was our destination.  In a famous home on that street lived Dr. Roland Cumberbatch and Meta Davis Cumberbatch, one of the most noted married couples in Bahamian history. I was one of the many youngsters afforded kindness by Dr. Cumberbatch and Mrs. Cumberbatch, not at all cognizant at the time of the historic individuals who touched our lives.  They were the maternal grandparents of Maynard-Gibson.
Seven blocks west of William Street, on Shirley Street, was the homestead of Georgiana Symonette one of the anchor icons of the Women’s Suffrage Movement (which fought for the rights of women to vote).  Ms. Symonette was Maynard-Gibson’s paternal grandmother who brought forth Clement and Andrew “Dud’ Maynard. The former became a pivotal unionist and later deputy prime minister of the country. The latter, for many years, helped shape the progress of  the country under a Progressive Liberal Party Government led by one Lynden Pindling who would later be knighted and accepted as the Father of the Nation when independence was ushered in on his watch.
So, coming from that ancestry, Maynard-Gibson understandably was earmarked for progressiveness – personally and in all that she had jurisdiction over.
She is a no-nonsense diplomat of the highest order. It is a characteristic rarely found. Normally the straight-shooters don’t particularly care about diplomacy. On the other hand, the usual diplomat is concerned mostly about being politically correct.  Maynard-Gibson combines both elements with grace.  Her voice level never changes no matter the heat of the discussion or the significance of the matter at hand, be it legal, political, or otherwise.  She is a barrister supreme, a Queen’s Counsel; a former Member of The House of Assembly and Senate; the country’s one-time Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs; a past Minister of Financial Services and Investments; and now UB Chair, the first woman so elevated.
Accordingly, this lady with the uncommonly prominent genetic background is positioned to continue her fantastic legacy of contributions to this country.
Congratulations Dame Maynard-Gibson!
Not yet? Well, perhaps in the near future.

Pindling Legacy of PLP Leadership Continues through PM Philip Davis

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

The Sir Lynden Pindling Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) leadership legacy continues.
The Most Honourable Philip Davis, QC, MP, was not among that initial group of Pindling leadership politicians, each considered to be a protege. No, that list included Kendal Nottage, Darrell Rolle, Hubert Ingraham and Perry Christie, primarily. (The latter two succeeded Sir Lynden in the high political seat of Prime Minister in the country).
However, there was a great PLP stalwart known as Edward “Big Brave” Davis, a fierce, fiery fighter in politics. The story goes that Sir Lynden very badly wanted to bestow an appointment of high honor on this giant of the political trenches who hailed from Old Bight, Cat Island. “Whatever you have for me, Mr. Prime Minister, give it to my boy.” Reportedly, that was the essence of that particular conversation between Sir Lynden and Big Brave Davis.

So, it followed that upon the resignation of Erwin Knowles as the representative for Cat Island in late November 1991, it was Philip (Little Brave) Davis who Sir Lynden endorsed to represent the PLP in 1992. The rest is history. Davis lost his Member of Parliament status during the 1997 general elections, but regained it in 2002 and has been that constituency’s political standard bearer ever since. Very early into his term as Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, Davis is really the one looking most like Sir Lynden. He made a dramatic transformation with House of Assembly presentations and otherwise when bringing remarks at podiums, press conferences, etc.  The collective tag of hesitancy and rambling no longer fitted him. In fact, some two years prior to the 2021 September general elections, Davis started to make smooth deliveries and he became better and better as time went on. The masses of the people started thinking of him as “prime” Prime Minister material.
There was something else about Davis that I noticed, and I’m sure others did as well. The mannerisms of Sir Lynden could be detected at times in Davis.  There was this strong conviction and a high confidence level portrayed by Davis that was surprising.
He is not a Sir Lynden clone.  Nevertheless, much more so than Ingraham (a three-time non-consecutive PM) and Christie (twice the nation’s PM, non-consecutively) Davis resembles the Father of the Nation, Sir Lynden. Davis started out very well in appointing a magnificent Cabinet of The Bahamas. Then, inside his cabinet and outside he strategically placed others, including the most qualitative collection of women in parliament in the nation’s history, in key positions of governance.
The decision to allow the country to breathe by rescinding a lot of the restrictions imposed by a competent authority of the last government was huge. The return to nationwide normalcy began and continues despite the ever-present COVID-19 pandemic. If he can bring about the economic recovery of Grand Bahama and the revitalization of the wider country, he will further appear to be Pindling-like in leadership. How he and his ministers cope with national matters left in shambles by the previous government will determine just how much good he can do for the country, as did Sir Lynden.
At the present, PM Davis is off to a solid start. A nation now waits to see what the mega venture in Dubai produces.

Cooper Presents Different Historical Dynamics for Progressive Liberal Party

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

For the first time in history there is a deputy leader who is not considered by many to be a true Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) product.   I. Chester Cooper, the Deputy Leader of the PLP and the Deputy Prime Minister, as well as Minister of Tourism, Aviation and Investments in Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis’ cabinet, was not even in the PLP mix during most of the last Perry Christie PLP Government (2012-2017).  Somehow, he surfaced as a PLP Candidate for the 2017 general elections after being thought to have initially decided to opt for the Free National Movement (FNM). 
In fact, during a House of Assembly session following his success in Exuma as an Official Opposition representative Cooper was accused on the floor of having changed his mind for the PLP rather than the FNM.  Whatever the case, his personal PLP link is relatively new.  This is where he differs greatly from all others who were deputy leaders of the oldest (established in 1953) formal political party in the country. When Lynden Oscar Pindling who would later be knighted and enshrined as the Father of the Nation came home from successful law studies and joined the PLP in 1953, he met Henry Milton Taylor (later to rise to the status of governor general) as the de facto leader of the PLP.  Taylor was not successful in the 1956 elections and Pindling evolved into the unquestioned leader of the PLP. There are different stories of Pindling’s ascension to the PLP leadership, but what was never in doubt was the absolute loyalty of his deputy Arthur Hanna (who would also later become governor general). Hanna was quite comfortable in his role as deputy leader of the party and deputy prime minister through 25 consecutive years of governance. It has been said far and wide that he never aspired to be party leader or prime minister. No one, not even Pindling or the late great Clarence Bain were thought of as being more PLP than Hanna.  Hanna lost in his election race in 1992 and easily slipped into the background of national politics. Perry Christie and Dr. Bernard Nottage emerged as the top choices to be Hanna’s successor as deputy leader of the PLP. In a one-day convention, Christie overcame Nottage and was officially established in the role Hanna performed so brilliantly for many years. Whatever can be said about Christie and his rise to the prime minister position for two non-consecutive terms, it was never doubted that his political career was rooted in the PLP and remained so. The political transition over time saw Cynthia Moxey-Pratt and Davis emerge as deputy leaders of the PLP, and once again, there was no questioning the distinct PLP background of the two. Now, there is Chester Cooper.  Because his FNM friends Algernon Cargill and Marlon Johnson and, I understand, quite a few others have remained entrenched in high, meaningful positions in this PLP Government; Cooper has drawn many sideways looks from PLPs, especially those who fought hard in the trenches and have received no flowers at all as yet.
This man Cooper does not have the bearing of a PLP.  He seems abstract to PLPism. Oh, he exists as a PLP hierarchy member, but the bet here is that only a small percentage of those who pay close attention to the political arena see him as a true PLP.  Such is the strange situation of historical dynamics he presents. That he has ambitions to be prime minister is not in doubt however.  This is where Davis ought to be careful and watchful; Cooper is 51, and Davis is 70. It seems an easy scenario, the younger man waiting comfortably in the wings for the older to serve two terms as prime minister. I don’t think this to be the case though.  I see Cooper fighting very hard to keep as many of his FNM buddies around, then eventually seeking to get them in the PLP ranks as part of his support base for the future. He is just a different kind of political creature; one never seen before around the PLP leadership table. 

Should Davis be uneasy?

Well, certainly he would be best minded not to go to sleep on Cooper.