Photo of the week

Comment of the week

SEE FOR MYLES AND MYLES AND MYLES

11/16/14 1:58 PM
commentweek

(The photo shows the weather conditions in Freeport, Grand Bahama at 5:25 p.m., fifteen minutes after the crash of the Munroe plane.)

The death of the Reverend Myles Munroe in the rainy mists and the junkyard of the Grand Bahama Shipyard on Sunday last just about 5:10 p.m. sucked all the oxygen out of the news cycle last week. The week seemed set for yet another round of rows about Haitians and illegal immigration to this country but all of that changed in the instant of that crash.

The words of Dr. Kendal Major MP,  the Speaker of the House and one of his acolytes, were typical of how it all unfolded.  He was relaxing at home watching TV and then the phone began to ring.  The question was it true?  His daughter was crying because she thought that he was on the plane. Some thought Andrew Young the former US Ambassador to the UN was on the plane.  Some said it was not Rev. Munroe’s plane.  Some said that it was a plane coming out of Bimini.  All idle speculation.  It turned out in the end that it was a Lear 36 Executive Jet.  It was Rev. Monroe’s plane. He was on the plane and  all who were on board with him perished and died.

The videos and stills started to circulate immediately.  That is the culture; some of them graphically showing the dead bodies.  Then the questions began: who, what where, when and why.  The Minister of Transport Glenys Hanna Martin kept the Prime Minister briefed throughout the evening. All the officials could say was that an investigation would be done into the crash but it was clear that all on board the jet had perished.

Then the mysticism and the second guessing began.  Whose fault was it?  Did Rev. Munroe push his pilot to take the flight in circumstances that were unsafe, particularly when the news came back that Bahamasair had made two approaches in the same weather minutes before and turned back to Nassau? Was there enough fuel on board to fly back to Nassau?  Did the pilot make an error, because it appears that he was flying too low and not in the proper approach path? 

 

Did Rev. Munroe predict his death?  Did he see it coming?  Did the Lord ordain this to happen?

 

Of course it is human to engage in speculation and to ask questions, particularly with something so gruesome and involving people that we knew and loved and who we had come to expect were invincible.  It just didn’t make sense .  But then when you think about it, nothing about life really makes sense.  Why are we here?  How did we get here?  We just don’t know.

 

Religion is an invention to help us make sense of these questions and provide some answer where science cannot explain the facts. The Book of Job supplies the answer for all questions that cannot be answered: the Lord gives and the Lord takes away said Job, having lost inexplicably all his family and possessions. Blessed be the name of the Lord, he concludes.  In other words, that’s life.

There is no mystery here then.  There was no ordaining or foretelling.  There was no prediction.  The evidence is that all that occurred in that shipyard last Sunday was a  simple accident.  A jet flying too low, in bad weather, into an airport without navigational aids for bad weather, crashed into a crane.  A jet going at hundreds of miles an hours, meeting a stationery steel barrier can only have one result.  The Trib says that it took seconds; they felt nothing and it was over.  One report says that Reverend Munroe had sent a text message to say the plane was about to land.  Another report says that Rev, Munroe was on the phone with one of those waiting to meet him to say they were landing and then the silence.

A formal investigation is being done, led by the Bahamian authorities but because it was a US registered aircraft also by the United States authorities.  We will get the story of what happened and should wait before speculating.

Last Sunday when Reverend Munroe got on that jet to fly to Freeport from Nassau, from all accounts he did what he usually did.  He got on plane which was his own plane. He had flown it before.  He was with pilots that he trusted. He had no reason to suspect bad maintenance or that bad weather would be a problem. The evidence is this was just an accident.  Accidents in life happen, even to famous people. 

As for the thinking that he predicted his death.  Preachers always talk about death.  They are always preparing us for death and they talk about their own death.  Not too much stress should be put on that either.  It was an accident.

In the midst of life is death.

Now for the future.  He has left his daughter and a son Myles Munroe Jr.  Dave Burrows, the former youth pastor appears to be filling in in the short term as the face of the Bahamas Faith Mission, the Reverend’s church.  What we know is that we must get over the funeral and the memorials before moving forward about the business of the church.  But it is heartening to hear them all say, we have lost a visionary leader but not the vision.

May he Rev. Myles and his wife Ruth: Rev. Richard Pinder; Rev. Lavard Parks and his wife Radel and son Jonathan including one en ventre san mere the two pilots Stanley Thurston and Farkhan Cooper    ;  the American passenger Diego De Santiago all rest in eternal peace. Amen.

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Number of hits for the week ending Saturday 15th November 2014 up to midnight:903,027

Number of hits for the month of November up to Saturday 15th November 2014 up midnight:1,621,634;

Number of hits for the year 2014 up to Saturday 15th November 2014 at midnight:12,676,929.

 

 

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Editorial

TRIBUTES TO MYLES MUNROE FROM THE PRIME MINISTER, FRED MITCHELL MP AND THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION DR. HUBERT MINNIS MP

11/16/14 1:59 PM

 

 

(PM shown after speaking at the Leadership Conference in Grand Bahama on Monday 10th November following Rev. Myles Munroe’s death.

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The Prime Minister: 

 

CONDOLENCES: Fred Mitchell MP, Minister of Foreign Affairs

 

 

CONDOLENCES: Leader of The Opposition Dr. Hubert Minnis MP

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FUNERAL SERVICE ANNOUNCED FOR MYLES MUNROE

11/16/14 1:59 PM

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The Board of Governors of Bahamas Faith Ministries International along with the families of Dr. Myles and Pastor Ruth Munroe and Dr. Richard Pinder would like to announce the following dates for Home Going and Memorial Services.

The Home Going Service for Dr. Richard Pinder will be held on Tuesday, December 2nd 2014, at Bahamas Faith Ministries International Diplomat Center located on Carmichael Road in Nassau, Bahamas.dr.pinder

On Wednesday, December 3rd 2014, the Life & Contributions of Dr. Myles and Pastor Ruth Munroe will be celebrated during a National Memorial Service of Thanksgiving & Praise. We anticipate hosting this event at one of our major national facilities that will announced as soon as all official confirmations have been realized.

The official Funeral or Home Going Service for Dr. Myles and Pastor Ruth Munroe will be held on Thursday, December 4th 2014, at Bahamas Faith Ministries International Diplomat Center located on Carmichael Road in Nassau, Bahamas.

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MITCHELL: CITIZENSHIP CAN BE TAKEN BACK

11/16/14 1:59 PM
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Fred Mitchell MP speaking at the Pastor’s forum. Photo by Van Dyke Hepburn


Speaking in Grand Bahama on Friday 14th November, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell reminded his audience the Pastor’s Forum, headed by Rev. Wilbur Outten and in the presence of the head of the Grand Bahama Christian Council Rev. Peter Pinder that citizenship is precious and that you can be stripped in certain circumstances of one’s citizenship.  The comments came against the backdrop of Jetta H. Baptiste, a Bahamian formerly of Eight Mile Rock and now in the United States, saying that she supported “1000 per cent” a boycott of The Bahamas which was being organized by Florida State Representative Daphne Campbell.  Ms. Campbell who is of Haitian ancestry said that because of The Bahamas policy on immigration, in her words “ deporting Haitian children”, she was organizing a commercial boycott of The Bahamas.  Ms. Baptiste appears to be bitter in the extreme and irrational.  She has since responded on Facebook that she dares the minister to revoke her citizenship and went further to say that she prefers to be a British subject anyway.

You may click here for the Minister’s full statement:

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Florida State Representative Daphne Campbell

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Fred Mitchell MP in a group photo with the Pastor’s Forum in Grand Bahama: from left Michael Darville, Minister or Grand Bahama, Mr. Mitchell, Pastor Wilbur Outten, the host and Pastor Peter Pinder, President of the Grand Bahama Christian Council.


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Jetta Baptiste On Facebook

 

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FRANK WATSON SAYS LORETTA CANNOT WIN

11/16/14 1:59 PM

Loretta Butler Turner MP is campaigning hard for the leadership of the Free National Movement.  But according to Frank Watson, the former Deputy Prime Minister under Hubert Ingraham, despite her best intentions, she hasn’t got a prayer.  According to what Mr. Watson told The Tribune published on Tuesday 11th November, unless the present Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis makes a huge mistake, Mrs. Butler Turner cannot win.  That didn’t stop Mrs. Butler Turner’s campaign and the poster announcing that she is coming to Freeport is shown.

 

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HUBERT MINNIS’ POSTER

11/16/14 1:59 PM

The Leader of the Free National Movement Dr. Hubert Minnis who faces re-election to the post on 21st November is acting more and more confidently this time.  He is acting like he has the post all sown up.  After the endorsement by Hubert Ingraham supporter and mouthpiece Frank Watson (see story above), he could well feel confident that he has the support of the Ingraham faction and the establishment of the party.

 

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THE WORK OF THE MISSIONS ABROAD

11/16/14 1:59 PM

 

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Shown signing the book of condolence to Dr. Myles Munroe at The Bahamas Mission to the United Nations in New York is Ambassador Jim McLay of New Zealand, as H.E. Dr. Elliston Rahming looks on.

BOOK OF CONDOLENCE OPENED IN  NEW YORK FOR DR. MYLES MUNROE NEW YORK –

A book of condolence has been opened at The Bahamas Mission to the United Nations in New York to allow members of the Diplomatic Community and the Bahamian diaspora in New York to pay last respects to Dr. Myles Munroe, an internationally renowned leadership coach and spiritual leader who perished in a plane crash in Grand Bahama last Sunday along with his wife, Ruth, and seven others.

The memorial gesture was sparked by the number of telephone calls to His Excellency Dr. Elliston Rahming, Bahamas United Nations and Organization of American States Ambassador, from members of the Diplomatic Community who expressed shock and grief at Dr. Munroe’s tragic and untimely passing.

According to Ambassador Rahming, “Dr. Munroe and I were childhood friends – we were born five days apart in 1954. Even as a teenager, Dr. Munroe understood his purpose and used his special gifts to maximize his potential. He was a towering intellect, a multidimensional talent and servant of God with global appeal.

 

NEW YORK – Mrs. Kayleaser Deveaux-Isaacs (right), Senior Deputy General Manager at ZNS Bahamas, paid a courtesy call on the Hon. Forrester J. Carroll, Bahamas Consul General to New York, on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at Bahamas House, 231 East 46th Street.  Mrs. Deveaux-Isaacs was invited to New York by FOX News to participate in its 10th Annual Ailes Apprentice Program. Mrs. Deveaux was previously a Producer at FOX News and also the first Recipient of the Ailes Apprentice Programme

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LONDON

Bahamas High Commission, London

Bahamian Vice Chair of The Commonwealth Local Government Forum in London at CLGF

 Mr. Phillip McPhee of The Bahamas Local Government Council and Vice Chair of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) was in London attending the CLGF Executive Meeting at Marlborough House. Mr. McPhee (L) met the High Commissioner for The Bahamas, His Excellency Eldred Bethel at the CLGF annual reception, Blenheim Saloon on Thursday, 13 November.
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WARREN LEVARITY FORMER MINISTER DIES AT 82

11/16/14 1:59 PM

levarityNassau, The Bahamas – The Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas issued the following statement on the passing of former parliamentarian and Cabinet minister in the first Majority Rule Cabinet formed in January in 1967.

I am saddened to learn that former Cabinet minister and Grand Bahama MP, Warren J. Levarity, passed away on Sunday after a lengthy illness. He was 82.

Mr. Levarity was a member of the first PLP cabinet that followed the attainment of Majority Rule in 1967. He served as Minister of Out Island Affairs in that historic cabinet and represented the Grand Bahama District and later the West End & Bimini Constituency in the House of Assembly. He would later part ways with the PLP and become one of the Founding Fathers of the Free National Movement.

Mr. Levarity was an astute political strategist with a deep knowledge of Family Island politics. In the struggle for Majority Rule he played a key part and, with His Excellency Sir Arthur Foulkes, was known to be among Sir Lynden Pindling’s closest and most trusted advisors.

In his own right, however, Mr. Levarity was, for a great part of the 1960′s, the dominant politician in Grand Bahama which he represented in the House of Assembly from early as 1960. His standing was further enhanced by his father, the late Garnet Levarity, who was a patriarchal figure and senior public official for many years in Grand Bahama.
It is noteworthy that with Mr. Levarity’s passing, the Hon. Arthur D. Hanna is now the sole surviving member of the first Majority Rule Cabinet.

I extend heartfelt condolences to Mr. Levarity’s widow, Vera, his children and other relatives and I do so not only on my own behalf but for and on behalf of the Government and the Bahamian people.

May the soul of this distinguished Bahamian and historic figure in the Struggle for Majority Rule rest in peace.

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FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR WARREN LEVARITY

11/16/14 1:59 PM

PRESS RELEASE

14thNovember, 2014

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

The Cabinet Office announced today that a State Funeral will be held for the late Warren James Levarity, CMG, former Cabinet Minister and Parliamentarian, on Thursday 20th November, 2014 at 11:00a.m. at Christ Church Cathedral, George Street. 

       

The Cabinet Office also announced that with immediate effect, The Bahamas would be in a state of mourning and would remain in that mode until after the state funeral and interment, with the public buildings appropriately draped and flags flown at half staff.

 

Further, Mr. Levarity will lie-in-state on Wednesday 19th November, in the foyer of the House of Assembly, Parliament Square from 9:00am until the body departs for the church on Thursday.

 

Viewing for the General Public will be from 12:00 noon – 6:00pm on Wednesday 19th November.

 

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THIS WEEK IN THE BAHAMAS (10 – 14 NOV 2014)

11/16/14 1:58 PM

elcottCOMMENTARY BY ELCOTT COLEBY

  

Rev. Myles Munroe: Bahamian National Hero, gone too soon

 

 “Yet how often is the lamp of the wicked snuffed out? How often does calamity come upon them, the fate God allots in his anger? (Job 21:17)

With so much evil all around us, this ancient question was revisited on the lips of many Bahamians in the wake of the calamity that struck in Grand Bahama where the lamp of nine righteous souls – righteous souls who ironically dedicated the better part of their adult lives to ridding evil from among us – were snuffed out on Sunday evening. As the nation wrestled with this horror, evil doers were to and fro on McCullough Corner and Market Street shedding innocent blood with apparent impunity.

Of the nine who perished was internationally renowned speaker, teacher and leadership coach, Rev Dr. Myles Munroe. His story is intrinsically linked to the Bahamian story. His beginnings were humble, but he rose to walk and talk with world leaders.   

I recall Myles’ music ministry on the public parks of Bain Town where he and a group of young men hosted street meetings. This was in the 1970’s. He was a founding member of a local gospel group called the Visionaires (later renamed Al and the Visionaires).

His ministry continued during his education at Oral Roberts University where he would preach at local churches in Nassau during summer breaks. I heard one of his earlier sermons at the Golden Gates Assemblies of God Church where he and Bishop Roston Davis were friends and colleagues.

His rise to international prominence was not meteoric, but through dedication, hard work, vision and faith he would advise world leaders and train a generation of leaders at home and abroad. He became one of the most recognizable Bahamian exports and we gladly and proudly shared him with the world.

In the prime of his life and at the height of his popularity and influence, the end of his earthly sojourn was officially recorded this way.  

 “The Department of Civil Aviation has confirmed that a Lear 36 Executive Jet which departed Lynden Pindling International Airport for Grand Bahama International Airport at 4:07pm with nine souls on board, crashed while making an approach for landing at Grand Bahama International Airport at 5:10pm.”

Dr. Munroe, his wife and seven others were on their way to participate in a leadership conference. May their souls Rest in Peace.

 

 

 Mitchell Responds to Campbell

“I’m asking all, all cruises and all tourists, to make sure every industry boycotts the Bahamas to end discrimination against Haitian children, Campbell stated “Boycott Bahamas! Boycott Bahamas! Boycott Bahamas!”

 

These were the words of Daphne Campbell, a Democratic member of the Florida House of Representatives from the 108th District, while addressing the media in Little Haiti. She was responding to a Bahamas government policy that she claimed discriminated against Haitian children.

 

In a swift and terse response, Bahamas Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell branded the attack as foolish and baseless lies almost unworthy of a response.

 

“The comments of the State representative are foolish and are so baseless as to almost bear no response. However, it is important for the record to say that the allegations made about The Bahamas and its policies as it relates to children made by this representative are lies.” 

 

 

 

The Prime Minister Addresses BICA

Two important issues Prime Minister Christie touched on during the Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA) Seminar were the recent layoffs at Baha Mar (which occurred on Friday, Nov 7) and the implementation of a National Health Insurance (NHI) Scheme.

 

Conceding the limitations of government regarding private contractual agreements, he blasted the layoffs as “unfair” and indicated the need for greater employee protection in future negotiated Heads of Agreements.

 

“…we have to have a balanced approach between the rights of the employer and most certainly, the rights of the employee. I think that we must put in the (Heads of) Agreements the necessary protection for the workers and that that provision should be enforceable in a strong way” said the Prime Minister. According to Vice President Robert Sands, about 100 of the laid off workers were offered positions at Melia.

 

Turning his attention to National Health Insurance (NHI), Christie said “it’s not a question of whether we should (but when we should). We have three options. Stage 1 is about $350-$360 million. Stage 2 takes over $500 million, and stage 3 is just over $600 million.”

 

The phased in approach is preferred explained the Prime Minister because the economic impact of a “one shot” implementation would be too great for the private health care industry bear.  

 

The seminar was held at the Melia Resort on Tuesday Nov 11. The seminar’s theme was “Nation Building, Serving our Community and Profession.”  

 

 

 

 

 

Key Components of Disability Legislation Become Law

The Government of The Bahamas announced this week that it had moved quickly to “bring into force” six major components of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities) Act, 2014, with effect from November 3, 2014.

 

This was announced by Social Services Minister, Hon. Melanie Griffin at a press conference on Wednesday.

 

The legislation was passed by both chambers of the House in July, 2014 and was assented to by Governor-General, Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling on August 12, 2014.

 

The six components to be implemented include all sections of Parts I and II; Sections 24-26 of Part III; Section 34 of Part IV; All Sections of Part VI and Sections 43-45, 47-51 and 53-55.

 

Of particular import is Section II of the bill which establishes the National Commission for Disability. This 15 member commission will oversee the implementation of the disability legislation.

 

Prime Minister Launches RFP for Liberalization of Cellular Sector

In launching the Request for Proposal (RFP) for a second Cellular Network Operator, Prime Minister Christie explained the competitive selection process and that it was necessary to maintain transparency, thus the integrity of the selection process.

 

“The competitive selection process that will be adopted for the award of a second cellular licence is a two-phased approach, involving a technical and financial assessment in Phase I and a spectrum auction in Phase II. Only those applicants that satisfy the minimum criteria of Phase I will be allowed to participate in Phase II. The Successful Applicant in the end will be the one which acquires the highest combined score of the scores derived in Phase I and Phase II.”

 

The election campaign pledge was announced at a press conference held at the Hilton on Wednesday of this week.

 

Going further, the Prime Minister explained that his government’s selection approach was also designed to “strike the right balance of optimizing the revenue from allocating rights to valuable spectrum, with its broader objectives of promoting competition, investment and innovation in the cellular mobile market.”

 

The Task Force has projected a timeframe for the selection of a successful candidate within six (6) months, i.e. by the end of April 2015.

 

BAMSI Delivers First Fruits To The Prime Minister

Moving full speed ahead with its plans to reduce the $1 billion national food bill and create a measure of local food security, BAMSI began the marketing phase of its agricultural products with a presentation of its ‘first fruits’ from its tutorial commercial farm to Prime Minister Christie at his Cable Beach office on Wednesday afternoon.

 

Beaming with pride as he conducted the presentation of a sample of Papayas was President of BAMSI, HE Godfrey Eneas. The sample was part of 1,500 pounds of harvested Papaya to be delivered to Solomon’s Supermarket within days.

 

 “We are on the road to feeding The Bahamas” said the decidedly bullish BAMSI President on the future prospects of the institute he presides over. “We are on the road to cutting back on that huge food import bill of a $1 billion and they are in the process of producing sustainable, high quality commodity which will satisfy the demand of our consumers, the demand of the hotel industry and also (it) will enable us to engage in export marketing.”  

 

Expanding on the overall policy objective of BAMSI, Prime Minister Christie said that in addition to the commercial expectations of the institute, BAMSI has an important academic mandate, especially in the field of research.

 

“We are also trying to produce graduates and that the intention is for us to produce trained minds in agriculture who will go on to work in some of the farms in The Bahamas and go on to own some of the farms. That is the purpose and the intent” said the Prime Minister.

 

Concurring with PM Christie, Education Minister Fitzgerald said that he is looking forward to the government offering assistance to graduates in helping them in realizing their dreams in the sector.

 

OPBAT Receives A Prestigious Award

Bahamas Government Ministers joined US officials in attending the 2013 USIC Award ceremony and roundtable discussion on Thursday morning at the SuperClub Breezes Resort. They were National Security Minister Hon. Bernard J. Nottage; Foreign Affairs Minister Hon. Fred Mitchell; Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Sen. Allyson Maynard-Gibson and State Minister for National Security Sen. Keith Bell.

 

On had from the US side were the U.S. Interdiction Coordinator (USIC) and representatives from The Interdiction Committee (TIC). This first-ever and prestigious 2013 USIC Award in the Joint Operations category was presented to Operation Bahamas, Turks and Caicos (OPBAT) in recognition of significant contributions to the continuing effort “to counter the increasing international and asymmetric threat posed by the trafficking of narcotics and other illicit substances” according to the local US embassy. 

Award presenter, Senior White House official Marilyn Quagliotti, Deputy Director of Supply Reduction in the Office of National Drug Control Policy, had high praises and words of encouragement for the OPBAT personnel.

“The sustained dedication, motivation and superior performance of OPBAT personnel have directly contributed to disrupting the conveyance of illicit narcotics and denying a significant percentage of the critical stream of revenue used to support transitional criminal organizations, insurgencies and terrorism” said Quagliotti.

Commissioner of the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) Elliston Greenslade and Commodore of the Royal Bahamas Defence (RBDF) Force Roderick Bowe received the award on behalf of their respective organizations.   

 

Hanna-Martin Proposes A Nassau Air Transport Hub

“My government invested $400 million in the newly completed Lynden Pindling International Airport. At present, it is only handling half of its capacity. It has a U.S. Pre-Clearance facility.  We believe that there is an opportunity to partner with one of you to develop a Nassau hub.”  

 

Those were the words of Transport and Aviation Minister Glenys Hanna-Martin as she made the case for Nassau as a regional air transport hub during an address to delegates attending the Latin America and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) Forum for airline leaders.

 

“Have you considered Nassau as yet?” asked the Minister. “Perhaps the time has come.  We would like for you to begin to see Nassau not only as a possible termination point for your flights; but as a spring board to new route development opportunities,” she said.

 

Avoiding long delays in Miami and extending route networks to North American gateways more seamlessly and perhaps more cost-effectively were some of the additional strategic advantages of a Nassau hub according to the Minister.

 

Hanna-Martin also suggested to airline leaders that perhaps the time had come to discard the industry’s existing airlift model with the built-in Minimum Revenue Guarantee (MRG) as this model was unproductive and placed both the destination and the airline at a disadvantage.

 

“More often than not, ALTA delegates, I believe that we have allowed old, unproductive airline models to hold sway, to our mutual disadvantage” said the Minister.

 

The Forum was held November 12 – 14 at the Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island.  

 

In Passing

After a long illness and a very long and fruitful life, former Majority Rule Cabinet Minister, Parliamentarian, freedom fighter and professional Accountant Warren J. Levarity passed away on Sunday in hospital. Condolences go out to his wife Vera and their five children.

 

The Inaugural KING ERIC GIBSON REGATTA was announced by son and Labour Minister, the Hon. D. Shane Gibson during a press conference held at the Bahama Grill on Wednesday. The regatta is scheduled for January 2015.

The inaugural SIR CLIFFORD DARLING ART EXHIBITION was officially opened by Labour Minister Hon. D. Shane Gibson on Wednesday at the National Insurance Board offices that bear his name. The exhibition is an illustration of the work and life of the man who implemented National Insurance in 1974. His widow, Lady Ingrid Darling was on hand to cut the ceremonial ribbon.

With an equal split between public and private schools, forty-six students were inducted into the teacher-cadet program. It is hoped that these tenth graders from fourteen schools will enter the 2017 fall semester of the School of Education at the College of The Bahamas to begin their training in the “noble profession”. Good luck guys.

To mark road safety month, a tree was planted on JFK Drive in honour of traffic victims during a short ceremony on Wednesday led by State Minister for Transport and Aviation Hon. Hope Strachan. 

Transport and Aviation Minister Hanna-Martin met with Jet-Ski operators on Thursday evening to discuss the current state of and future prospects for the industry. Customer service, safety and security were some of the issues discussed.

Former Governors-General held a panel discussion on Thursday evening to share with the public their experiences, duties and responsibilities as representatives of the crown. Comprising the panel were Sir Orville Turnquest, Dame Ivy Dumont, Arthur D. Hanna and Sir Arthur Foulkes and they covered their experiences from the period 1995 to 2014. Under the theme “A Governor General’s view from Mount Fitzwilliam,” this historic event was held at the Bahamas Historic Society and Museum.

Continuing with his public education campaign on the new Immigration policies that came into effect on Saturday Nov 1, Immigration Minister Mitchell traveled to Grand Bahama today (Friday) to meet with local pastors at the Freeport Bible Church to discuss immigration and the misinformation surrounding the enforcement of this law. Pastors from the Haitian community and local social activist Joe Darville were among those in attendance. The host pastor was the Rev. Wilbur Outten.

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JEROME FITZGERALD SAYS NO VAT ON BGSCE FEES

11/16/14 1:58 PM

fritzergaldVAT Will Not Be Added to Bahamas National Examination Fees
By Ministry of Education, Science and Technology 
Nov 14, 2014 – 12:38:17 PM

It has come to the attention of the Minister of Education, Science and Technology that one of the Ministry’s school official disseminated information that is inaccurate and untrue. We wish to clarify this matter and assure the public that the information circulating in the public domain regarding the addition of Value Added Tax (VAT) to school related fees is unequivocally false.

According to the information being circulated, it is purported that VAT will be added to National Examination Fees if not paid before December 31, 2014. We wish to confirm that no such charges will be applied and that fees will remain the same after the stated date.

May I also bring to your attention information directly from the Value Added Tax Act, 2014 pertaining to education related services;

Second Schedule (Section 7); Exempt Supplies and Importations Part I, Exempt Supplies of Services states that an exempt supply of service is a supply of, or a transaction comprising –

(4) Education services funded by tuition costs in a course of study as prescribed in regulations.

(8) Any services by a ministry, department, statutory body, agency, local government council, or other entity of Government, in connection with a taxable activity where the consideration for such services is-

a) nominal in amount; or

b) not intended to recover cost of such goods or services.

(9) Services rendered by a daycare business, including the provision of afterschool care.

All of the above are items in the Value Added Tax Act directly related to education.

For further clarification on VAT, I encourage you to review the Act onwww.bahamas.gov.bs

We assure you that the Ministry will do whatever is necessary to ensure that all school officials both public and independent are well informed of the Value Added Tax Act and its implications on educational services.

The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology encourages all parents to pay careful attention to the payment schedule of their respective school(s) and to ensure that all fees are paid before stated deadlines.

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ISLAND LUCK WEB SHOP IS TO GO PUBLIC

11/16/14 1:58 PM


The names of the Board members of the company Island Luck, soon to go public, in preparation for legalized gambling for Bahamians were posted on Facebook as follows: Barry Malcolm – Former President of Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce; Alfred Sears – Legal Advisor; Theresa M. Moxey-Ingraham – Former Cabinet Minister; Paul Major—former Citibanker;  Julian Francis – Former Central Bank Governor; Edward Rahming – Forensic Accountant;  Durk Simmons – Hedge Fund Expert; Wesley Bastian former Banker.  The CEO of Island Luck is Sebastian Bastian.

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ATTORNEY HAL TYNES SERIOUSLY ILL IN FREEPORT

11/16/14 1:58 PM

(since this story was written, we learned that sadly Mr. Tynes died last evening. H ewas 47 years old.)

11/16/14 9 AM

Hal Tynes, a well-known attorney at law in Freeport and the nephew of Harvey Tynes QC is seriously ill in hospital in Freeport.  He appears to have suffered an attack which has left him in the ICU of the hospital.  He is surrounded by family and friends including his mother and uncle.  His cousin, the star of Gippie’s Kingdom, Chigoze Ijeoma posted this note on Facebook:

Thanks To All Family And Friends That Have Held Hal O Tynes in your thoughts and prayers. Prayer Is a powerful tool, we have seen his condition improve somewhat. He is fighting and that is encouraging. There are small signs of improvement and for that we are grateful. Please continue to pray for him as we will be praying. For all the kind words of encouragement extended to our family during this difficult time we thank you and love you all.  In the photo below Mr. Tynes is seen in the foreground at the far left.

 

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PLP CHAIRMAN THANKS FRED MITCHELL ON IMMIGRATION

11/16/14 1:58 PM

plpthanks

The following is excerpted from the speech of the Party Chair of the PLP delivered this morning by Bradley Roberts at the PLP’s prayer breakfast under the theme “ In All Things Give Thanks”: 

Continuing on with our theme of giving thanks, I offer heartfelt thanks to Bahamians everywhere who stood up for The Bahamas in the face of criticism by those who either have no loyalty to The Bahamas or who were duped by misinformation on social media.

Special thanks go out to the Minister of Immigration, Hon. Fred Mitchell who remained steadfast, gave no quarters and allowed the detractors no space as he vigorously defended his officers, the government and by extension, the Bahamian people in the face of extreme vitriolic invective.

Please give brother Mitchell a rousing round of applause.  

One needs only to look at the policies of the United States, Australia and Trinidad and Tobago to appreciate that when faced with the challenge of illegal immigration, those governments acted in the best interest of their respective countries. The Bahamas is no different.  

The Bahamas has been hospitable to and considerate and patient with our neighbours to the south, but when some of them could not get their own way, they called the government and the people of The Bahamas everything but a child of God. This most unfortunate but I encourage the government to see that the laws of this country are duly enforced.  

Also, it is refreshing to note the bipartisan support publicly expressed on this issue.

Below Photos by Peter Ramsay

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ELWOOD DONALDSON IS NEW AMBASSADOR TO JAPAN

11/16/14 1:58 PM

He was one of the original PLP MPs that ushered in majority rule in 1967.  Five years later, having fallen out with Prime Minister Sir Lynden Pindling, he left to help found the Free National Movement.  Now things have come full circle with Dr. Elwood Donaldson both as Ambassador to UNESCO in Paris, nonresident and as of 13th November the Ambassador for The Bahamas to Japan, non-resident.  Life is interesting.    You may click here for his address delivered to Vice Minister Akitaka Saiki in Tokyo.  He was accompanied by Ambassador to Caricom Picewell Forbes.  They were both in Japan for the Japan/Caricom ministerial summit.  

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THE END OF FINANCIAL SERVICES

11/16/14 1:58 PM

gmorris

Professor Gilbert NMO Morris

 

THE END OF FINANCIAL SERVICES – Actually, the industry will not die. It will transition to G-20 nations, which have busied themselves destroying the International Financial Centres (IFC) sector in small post-Colonial nations. Here is the back story: In 2009, at the G-20 meeting in London, President Sarkozy of France and Prime Minister Gordon Brown – attempting to curry favour with Mr. Obama – proposed a “kill strategy” for International Financial Centres” (IFC). China objected bitterly, stunned by what it saw as the shameless hypocrisy of these countries, charging that it was the West that had hounded China concerning the rule of law as the foundation for legitimacy in international actions. And now the West seemed almost gleeful about simply imposing rules on sovereign nations or territories. In real terms, the Chinese wanted to protect Macau, Shanghai and Hong Kong from these “evangelistic initiatives”. The Chinese were virulent and vociferous in their refusals to support or permit this breach of comity between nations or to allow such license in international behaviour.

 

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Letters to the editor

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In passing

100TH Birthday In Bimini

11/16/14 1:58 PM

From The Bimini Times

In the beautiful island of Bimini on November 7th, 2014 the community oldest, most respected and entertaining personality Uncle Natty Saunders aka Piccolo Pete celebrated his 100th Birthday in Grand Style at the Bimini Big Game Resort on North Bimini. For many of you who thought Piccolo enjoyed his celebration from the seat of the chair then are sadly mistaken. Uncle Natty can dance and step with the best of them who’s twice his junior. The Bimini Times want to extend a Huge 100th Birthday wishes to the Rock and Backbone of the Bimini Community.

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Richard Pinder The Wind Beneath The Wings

11/16/14 1:58 PM

Folk are complaining that too many people when they think about the accident that happened last Sunday talk only of the loss of Myles Munroe and not the others.  That is life.  Mr. Munroe was by far the most famous.  We would like however to pay tribute to Richard Pinder, his brother in law, who stayed at home to mind the store while Myles Munroe was out making waves around the world.  Mr. Pinder was the proverbial wind beneath his wings.  Rest In Peace.

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Rodney Moncur Rejoins The FNM

11/16/14 1:58 PM

The proverbial peripatetic political jack-in-the box Rodney Moncur is no longer a member of the DNA, he is now once again donned in an FNM uniform and is campaigning it appears for Dr.  Hubert Minnis for Leader of the party.  He ran for the DNA in the last general election under Branville McCartney.  His fellow traveler Nicholas Jacques with whom he had formed the  Worker’s Party wrote a letter to the press to defend Mr. Moncur’s choice.  Mr. Jacuqes also warned Hubert Ingraham in the letter to stay out of politics.  Things that make you go: hmmm.

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Opposition Spokesman On Foreign Affairs Backs Mitchell

11/16/14 1:58 PM

fm_chippmanOpposition spokesman on Foreign Affairs Hubert Chipman had this to say about the call of Daphne Campbell, the Florida legislator to boycott The Bahamas.  He spoke to The Tribune’s Nico Scavella.  The story was published on 12th November.


“When the Dominican Republic the other day deported all the Haitians, I didn’t hear the outcry that we’re hearing now, and for Campbell to go ahead and talk about boycotting the Bahamas she is totally out of order,” he said. “The question is, has she ever been to the Bahamas? Does she know the conditions that the illegal immigrants live under? So I think it’s an unfair statement she made.

 “And to threaten us? Nobody takes a threat lightly, I will tell you that. I personally do not take a threat lightly. To talk about Florida, look what Bahamians do for the Florida economy. Billions of dollars are pumped into that on a daily basis. But the thing is, we can’t go to Florida or any state for that matter, take up residence, and say ‘Oh, I’m here, I reach. There’s hard times in the Bahamas so I need to stay here’.

 “The Minister as far as I’m concerned, he’s trying to defend the Bahamas, and rightly so,” he added. “Only those who feels it knows it. (Mrs Campbell) can sit outside the country and can throw any type of blow, but she doesn’t live it. We’ve been going through this for the last 40, 50 years. We cannot continue. All we’re trying to do is enforce the laws.”

 

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The Untruths of Louis Bacon: How a NY Hedge Fund Billionaire is Trying to Rewrite History of a Bahamas Slave Site

11/16/14 1:58 PM

(The views in this post are those of the author.  Editor)

keodsmith

A decade ago, grassroots activists in The Bahamas triumphed over US developers and the ruling political party when they won a five-year battle to preserve an historic slave plantation site doomed for destruction to make way for a $400 million gated community. A rare victory for local residents over foreign encroachment, Clifton Heritage National Park memorializes the sacred ground where ancestors of the Bahamian people arrived on slave ships from Africa.

 

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