The veteran hospitality host/personality has embarked upon a venture, which, judging from the response on opening day, Sunday, October 30, will certainly bring a touch of magic back to Freeport. Her lounge, located on Yellow Pine Road at the exact location where Radio Station Cool 96 FM once operated, is called “Round The Corner.” On Sunday past, a quality mixture of patrons turned up for the grand opening and there was host/manager/owner Janet beaming with joy, welcoming the first gathering from what is expected to be a long clientele list.
The venue focuses on rhythmic/pulsating music and sporting events. Accordingly, some patrons were able to interact, and enjoy the music, while sipping their brand of beverage and savoring souse and finger food. Others watched their favorite NFL teams play. Later, NBA games were optional.
If the culture experienced at the opening remains, the Round The Corner lounge will become the new popular spot in Freeport, and be a superb attraction for a long time.
Janet and her two assistants/bartenders Sandra Remy and Sherice McPhee are prime hosts, all with an exquisite hospitable touch and persona.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.