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Volume 6 © BahamasUncensored.Com 2008
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13th January, 2008
20th January, 2008
27th January, 2008
Columns From 2002 - 2003

6th January, 2008
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The Official Site of the Progressive Liberal Party... The Official Site of the Free National Movement...
PLPs On The Web... Interesting Places...
Vincent Peet / PLP North Andros & Berry Isl. Bahamas Government Website
Alfred Sears / PLP Fort Charlotte  Reg & Kit's Bahamas Links
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FredMitchellUncensored.Com ARCHIVES... Bahamian Kayaking News
Click on a heading to go to that story; press ctrl + home to return to the top of the page.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: On Sunday 30th December during the announcements at Christ the King Church in Freeport, Canon Harry Bain had the congregation rocking with laughter.  He announced the winners of the Junkanoo parade for Boxing Day.  The winner of course was the group One Family (click here for last week’s photo).  But Canon Bain said that did not disturb him at all.  His group, the Saxons, did come second, he said, but the important thing is that the Valley Boys their archrivals came fourth.  He added as long as the Saxons beat the Valley Boys then that was all right.  Such is the friendly rivalry that endures in The Bahamas at Junkanoo time.  We wonder what Canon Bain said to the congregation this Sunday now that the Valley Boys are the overall winners of Junkanoo for the New Year’s Day parade!  Oh well! You win some and you lose some. Our photo of the week is that of the winners for Junkanoo New Year’s Day The Valley Boys.  The photo is by Peter Ramsay.  Please visit again at 8 p.m. when we will upload a full photo spread of New Year’s Junkanoo.


Each government Minister is allowed to hire a driver.  That driver can either come from the public service or may be hired on contract.  The driver is an important part of the support structure for Ministers who are often rushing to get to one meeting or another, one function or another and they can help to make sure that a Minister effectively functions.  The driver gets to know the most intimate details of the person he works for and has to be confidential and discreet.  The driver has to know how to be there and not be seen, to hear and not hear.  It is not an easy job.  The last thing that you want to do then is to antagonize unnecessarily the people who work for you as drivers.

And yet that is what the Ingraham administration has done.  It has really cheezed them all off.  The only thing is they won’t say anything about it.  The problem came to the attention of this column when a letter written anonymously by a distraught wife was dropped into the proverbial garbage tin.  The wife was writing to Zhivargo Laing, the Minister of State in charge of the public service.  She was appealing to him to soften his heart.  That was a very interesting way to start a letter to someone who claims to be a born again Christian.

Why was the appeal necessary?  The wife says that the Government has decided that they will stop the overtime pay of all drivers.  Instead, they are to get as a substitute for overtime pay, the lump sum of $150 per month.  When one considers the amount of overtime hours that drivers have to endure then you can see how unfair this proposition is.  Further, as the wife points out, with the clothing allowances for drivers being inadequate and the drivers having to be dressed at the same level as their Ministers, it works an injustice if the level of compensation for the drivers is not there.  Cutting out the overtime will then substantially cut down on the income of drivers.  This should make them unhappy.  Certainly, this particular wife is most unhappy.

The fact is the practice of the $150 lump sum came to an end under the PLP.  The PLP reversed the practice of the FNM in 2002.  The advice from the Attorney General’s office was that it was unlawful.  In fact, the Employment Act, which governs overtime, mandates that the overtime must be paid and you cannot contract out of the provisions of the Act.  It would be interesting to know on what basis the drivers are now being deprived of their overtime pay.

What concerns us though is not only the fact of the overtime pay being discontinued but more importantly the fact that in the face of a clear injustice, the drivers themselves are not making noise about this.  Our private investigations reveal that because most of the drivers are necessarily FNMs, being hired since the new government came to power, and since Hubert Ingraham has sanctioned it being stopped, then they are loathe to say or do anything about it for fear of offending Mr. Ingraham or damaging the prospects of the FNM.  This, if true, is remarkable that people would support the FNM even to their own detriment.

It makes you think once again that the people of The Bahamas pulled a funny manoeuvre on the PLP where they got everything they could possibly get out of the PLP government, a Prime Minister who was simply accommodating in his role in Government.  They voted him out on the basis that he was indecisive, yet the new decisive Prime Minister has simply turned out, as we always knew him to be, a mean man who is depriving them of one thing or another but they are simply not motivated to protect their own interests.

Even the wife who wrote the letter simply signed the letter “Concerned wife”.  But at least she wrote.  It goes again to the view that women seem to have more “cojones” than the men.

This question perplexes us.  The general question of how easily people seem to have been intimidated by Hubert Ingraham and his government since the FNM has come to power.  You have scores of civil servants, the drivers being the latest group who have had their rights truncated and they say nothing but grumble under their breath.  The Union leaders do not seem to rise to the occasion.  They are silent in the face of the abuse, and it gives the impression or reinforces the point that we made in the run up to the general election that there was a double standard operating with union leaders and the PLP.  They were all loud and in your face with the PLP but when the great intimidator Hubert Ingraham came to power, they were quiescent, nothing.

You think of all the categories: the people who were fired and laid off in violation of their contracts of employment; the people whose contracts were cancelled by the government; the fact that the government of the FNM has now allowed to expire the provisions for exemptions for stamp duty that the PLP put in place for new homeowners up to $250,000.  These are just to name a few.  One would have thought that all of these would resonate with the electorate.  But at the end of the day, nothing, silence.  Could it be then that the level of intimidation in the country is so high that people are simply afraid?  It seems counter intuitive to think that people would not act for and in their best interests.  The PLP continues to fight and fight it must but no fight will be successful unless there is an underlying public opinion to support it.

Number of hits for the week ending Saturday 5th January 2007 up to midnight: 247,203.

Number of hits for the month of December up to Monday 31st December 2007 at midnight: 1,204,385.

Number of hits for the year 2007 up to Monday 31st December 2007 at midnight: 4,591,097.  [Does not reflect hits prior to 30th June, 2007]


    There is an excited tension in the political air in The Bahamas as the people, the pundits and the politicians await the ruling of the Election Court judges Anita Allen and Jon Isaacs on the challenge of Allyson Maynard Gibson, the former Attorney General who has challenged the declaration made by the Parliamentary Commissioner that now Minister of Youth Byran Woodside had won his seat in the House.  When the case adjourned on 27th December last year, the judges would only say that they hoped to complete their work before the next scheduled case set to begin on 21st January in Freeport.
    Now, the mercurial Fred Smith, the peripatetic political jack-in-the-box lawyer that he is, wants to give the judges some help by interrupting their deliberations and causing delay.  Mr. Smith has filed what appears to be a preliminary motion to strike out the petition of Pleasant Bridgewater altogether.  And then he was busy in the newspapers this week suggesting that some of the people named in Mrs. Bridgewater’s petition would themselves take action against Miss Bridgewater on the grounds that they were somehow the objects of discrimination.  Mr. Smith claimed that the people picked out by Miss Bridgewater were picked out because they had Haitian sounding names.
    Of course, we all remember that during the ill fated debate on the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME), it was this same Mr. Smith, a Haitian himself until naturalized as a Bahamian, who sought to use the spectre of Haitian immigration to frighten Bahamans into opposing a sensible policy for this country.  We hope the courts are wise to his nonsense.


    Alfred Gray the Member of Parliament for the MICAL seat in the House of Assembly has made good on his promise to take legal action in response to allegations made in the press of The Bahamas, The Tribune and The Punch about being found in a compromised position in his car in a church parking lot.  Mr. Gray vigourously denied the allegations from his holiday retreat in Orlando and said that he would take legal action.  The writs were filed on Thursday 3rd January.
    Fred Mitchell, MP for Fox Hill and former Minister of Foreign Affairs through his law firm Gwendolyn House filed the writs on Mr. Gray’s behalf.  Mr. Mitchell convened a press conference at the law firm of Alfred Gray on Friday 4th January and made the following statement followed by a brief statement by Mr. Gray:
    Mr. Mitchell:  “Yesterday, 3rd January, two writs of summons generally endorsed were filed in the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas on behalf of Alfred Gray, the Member of Parliament for the Mayaguana, Inagua, Crooked Island, Acklins and Long Cay (MICAL) seat in the House of Assembly.
    “The writs come as a result of certain allegations made, which Mr. Gray asserts are false, misleading, defamatory and injurious to his reputation as a Member of Parliament and as a Counsel and Attorney of the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
    “Mr. Gray will not take any questions this morning with regard to the matters now in the purview of the courts.  He has the support of his family, which speaks volumes.
    “It is again incumbent upon the press to understand that in playing its needed role in society, it ought to refrain from repeating salacious and unchecked allegations, which injure the reputation of individuals in the eyes of right thinking members of society.  It is now for the courts to adjudicate these matters.
    “Mr. Gray will now read a short personal statement, which he prepared.”
    Mr. Gray: “Today I have taken the necessary legal steps in the Supreme Court, which I full expect will clear my name from the vicious allegations made against me recently in the media.  I am certain that my enemies have brought me to it, but God will take me through it.
    “This is my final statement on this mater and I will now allow the legal process to take its course.”
Alfred Gray, seated at left, and Fred Mitchell, seated at right, are seen addressing the media.  Mr. Gray son is seen standing at left.

    If the matter were not so serious, you would really laugh.  Sir Jack Hayward who has never cared one wit about the future of Freeport or its economic or community development, not, at least, that we could discern, is now going to court, he says, to stop the declaration and payment of a 12 million dollar dividend to the principals of the Port.  These principals just happen to be Henrietta St. George, the widow of his former partner and himself Sir Jack Hayward.  You will recall that the two families are involved in a bitter and public battle over who owns the Port Authority and the direction in which the Port should go.  Interventions by the Government have been to no avail.
    The mercurial Fred Smith, who was one day the Port’s general counsel and the next day the counsel for Lady Henrietta St. George, got the courts to appoint a receiver at the company.  The receiver has moved to have the dividend declared and wants to distribute it.  Sir Jack says no, according to the press, and is going to court to prevent it.  He says that the money should be spent on the development of Freeport.  That was where we started by saying a big laugh.  The real story is that in the fight with the lawyers, the wealthier partner is Sir Jack.  He hopes that by denying the payment of the dividend he can starve Henrietta St. George into submission and hereby end the case.  Really now Sir Jack!  This thing reads like a Shakespearean comedy; or is it a tragedy, or is it a farce?

    John Marquis, the lousy newspaper editor with the slimy opinions and interest in smut and low life, is nothing but a shameless self promoter as it turns out.  Having been kicked out of The Bahamas in the 1960s and booted from one newspaper in The Bahamas before being picked up by The Tribune, and boasting about how he caused the PLP to lose the election, he is now the subject of a website called  From that website we learn that Mr. Marquis and Neil Hartnell, both British who work for The Tribune, witnessed the death of a young constable in The Bahamas, one of the last murders of 2007 which the website describes as a cops and robbers gunfight.
    Typical of the jerk Marquis is, he claims that Nassau is the best news town outside of a war zone.  We say again, he needs to be kicked out of this country.  We thought that maybe there was hope for Neil Hartnell, the Business News editor who seemed to stay out of the low life trouble that Marquis is always in, but the website says that the two of them hang out together so maybe there is no hope for him either.  Marquis is from Northampton and Hartnell is from Cornwall.
    We also learn from that website that the FNM administration has given yet another work permit to the same type who came from Bermuda.  His name is Marcus Day.  Day worked on the Royal Gazette which purveys the equivalent of the same racist opinions in Bermuda that The Tribune spews forth in Nassau.  A pox upon all of them.  The story appeared on 1st January 2008.

    The Indigo Service is the only competition to BTC, the Bahamian monopolist telephone company, in The Bahamas.  BTC has been giving them a lot of trouble in allowing them to get access to international communication.  It has made Indigo fighting mad because the Public Utilities Commission had ordered that BTC provide the connections within 42 days of their order made in November.  Owner of Indigo Paul Hutton-Ashkenny was making noise about this fact in the Nassau Guardian of Saturday 5th January.  Indigo is part owned by The Tribune so we would do nothing to support them but at the same time we have to point out again the poor service for voice communication and Internet provided by BTC and how there must be competition to help solve this problem.

    The Brits are doing a pretty good job of coming here and swaying the natives.  The Privy Council came to town from London for the first two weeks of December.  It was their second time in a row.  A great time was had by all.  You hardly heard anything about the cases before the ultimate court of the land but there were plenty of social functions: dinners for the judges and cocktail receptions.  At this rate the Court will never be repatriated to The Bahamas.


    Each year on this first Sunday in the month of January, the officers of the Supreme Court: the judges the lawyers, the staff join the community at large in service to ask for the blessing of God for the work of the Judiciary.  This year was no exception.  There is a formal official service held at the Anglican Christ Church Cathedral on the second Wednesday in the month but the Roman Catholic Church hosts the Judiciary to a Red Mass with the Archbishop Patrick Pinder celebrating the mass.  Peter Ramsay of the Bahamas Information Services was there this morning and shot this photo of the Judiciary at St. Francis Xavier’s Roman Catholic Cathedral in Nassau on Sunday 6th January.


    The PLP will mark the 41st anniversary of the advent of majority rule in The Bahamas and its coming to power on 10th January 1967 on Thursday 10th January this year.  There will be a national address by Party Leader Perry Christie.  Party members will join the St. John’s Native Baptist Church for their morning service on Sunday 13th January to mark the occasion.  There will be a discussion in the round about Majority Rule at party Headquarters Gambier House: the history and where do we go from here live on TV 12 and radio GEMS, Radio Bahamas and Love 97 on the evening of the 10th January beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Senator Jerome Fitzgerald, PLP Vice Chair Irrington 'Minky' Isaacs, PLP Admin's Andrew Burrows, former Senator Paulette Zonicle and Fred Mitchell MP are shown in a planning session for the Party's Majority Rule Day observances.  Photo: PLP Media


    The mighty Valley Boys returned to form to win the New Year's Day Junkanoo Parade on Bay Street.  Steffan Christie (above left) is pictured resplendent on the Valley's bell line.  The winning Valley created excitement with music, costumes and even acrobats (see above, right).
Photos: Peter Ramsay

Ralph Seligman Q.C. Dies
We announce the death of Ralph Seligman Q.C., former Stipendiary and Circuit magistrate, and Honorary Consul for Israel to The Bahamas at the time of his death.  He hailed originally from Dublin, Ireland, which is in the independent southern portion of Ireland.  He was 88 at the time of his death.  Although it was initially reported that Mr. Seligman was a Roman Catholic at the time of his death, he apparently never converted from his Jewish birthright and in accordance with that custom was buried within 24 hours of his death in the Jewish cemetery in Nassau.  He is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter, Helene.  Mr. Seligman died on Wednesday 26th December, 2007.

Wavell Thompson M.D. Dies
Dr. Wavell Thompson, well known medical doctor and general practitioner has died.  Dr. Thompson was a friend and contemporary of the late Winston Saunders and a close cousin of former Supreme Court justice Jeanne Thompson.

The Darrold Miller Case

The case against the former ZNS TV presenter and talk show host has at last begun in the Magistrate's Court on Friday 4th January.  Darrold Miller is charged with using his position to extract sexual favours from a female employee.  All the salacious details filled the headlines in The Bahamas on Saturday 5th January.  The evidence sounds like a lot of you say and I say.  The problem is the hypocrisy in this society when everywhere sexuality drips forth and is present in everything, then we try to pretend and be sanctimonious when someone gets his signals wrong.
Mr. Miller (left) speaks with his attorney Michael Kemp (centre) outside the court.  Nassau Guardian photo.

Funeral In Bimini

Hubert Ingraham, the Prime Minister took his Minister of National Security Tommy Turnquest and Obie Wilchcombe the PLP MP for Bimini with him to attend the funeral of Dion Rolle who was gunned down  by the police and whose death caused a riot in Bimini as the year closed.  Mr. Ingraham did not have much to say except that he was committed to the rule of law.  Tommy said where you put me.  The Member of Parliament Mr. Wilchcombe thanked the Prime Minister for including him in his delegation.  Mr. Wilchcombe was instrumental in bringing peace to Bimini.  A town meeting is to be hosted by the Government on Wednesday 9th January to review the events.  The Prime Minister is expected to attend.
Photo of Mr. Wilchcombe, former Tourism Minister and MP for Bimini: Peter Ramsay

Joan Sawyer Rowing Again

Dame Joan Sawyer just can’t help herself, always rowing about something.  The latest outburst came when she opened the Court of Appeal for the year 2008.  She was attacking the public for blaming the courts for crime.  Far as we know, know one had blamed the courts for anything except the Attorney General Claire Hepburn, who claimed and then tried to walk away from, that the criminal cases  in the courts of The Bahamas were being held up for adjudication because of the Election Court.  Dame Joan’s remarks came on Wednesday 2nd January.
Photo: BIS

Justices Of Appeal To Retire
Dame Joan Sawyer says that there are two vacancies coming up this year that need to be filled on the Court of Appeal.  One is to replace Justice Emmanuel Osadebay who will soon reach the mandatory age of retirement.  The other is to replace Justice Milton Ganpatsingh who will also reach the mandatory age.  In our view all future justices should come from The Bahamas.  Dame Joan made the remarks after she was finished rowing about who was responsible for crime (see story above) on Wednesday 2nd January.

A Note To John Marquis
Here’s a story for you.  Since you like smut so much, why not dig into the smut of a man who was a close friend of the dead husband of a widow at a nearby island resort in this tropical paradise.  Turns out one year after the man’s death, the so called friend propositioned the widow.  Looks like his credit is no longer good at the resort and daddy does not want to see him around anymore.  Check it out Johnnie baby!

Junkanoo Clean Up

After a successful Junkanoo performance for the Congos, leader Trevor Pratt and other members of the Congos gathered to help clean up the area including their shack on Saturday 5th January.  They were joined for a short time by Fox Hill MP Fred Mitchell.
Photo: Fox Hill PLP

13th January, 2008
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The Official Site of the Progressive Liberal Party... The Official Site of the Free National Movement...
PLPs On The Web... Interesting Places...
Vincent Peet / PLP North Andros & Berry Isl. Bahamas Government Website
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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: In 1967, the Progressive Liberal Party first held the reigns of government.  That was 10th January, 1967; 41years ago.  Since that time, the country moved on to Independence.  But there are so many who, even in this year, remember that glorious night when it became clear that there had been a momentous shift in the political firmament of The Bahamas.  The black majority in the country had finally taken the reigns of government, following centuries of slavery, and generations of racial oppression and exclusion.  But perhaps Paul Adderley put it best when he said at the observances in Nassau at Gambier House, PLP Headquarters, that the real point of the Majority Rule Day story is that the PLP in 1967 changed The Bahamas and that was something that was good for all Bahamians.  Our photo of the week is a shot by PLP Administration’s Andrew Burrows at the PLP’s live telecast at Gambier House on Thursday 10th January when the party marked Majority Rule Day.


By the media accounts all of last week, at least up until the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday 8th January, Barack Obama, the African American who is trying to become that country’s first black president, had it all wrapped up, the nomination for the President of the United States of America.  The press was in a thrall following a large and unexpected victory in another U.S. state the week before.  This was to be Obama's time.  Hillary Clinton, the wife of the former U.S. president Bill Clinton who is also running for President, was said by one newspaper to be “Oh so yesterday!”

This was really heady stuff.  Mr. Obama, who is biracial, with a white mother and black father, was now speaking for the quiet ones who wanted the divide of racial separation closed in the United States.  At last, said many, there is someone who can speak for us.  The polls were showing that Mr. Obama was going to win in New Hampshire.

And then the gloves came off in New Hampshire.  Bill Clinton who was affectionately known as the “first black president” of the United States showed his fangs for his wife.  He called what Mr. Obama had been portraying “a fairy tale”.  The wife, poor little lady, who was so aggressive and calculating on the stump just a week before, suddenly choked up and her eyes welled up in tears.  Talk about calculating.  The electorate fell for it, the pundits say.  The polls proved to be wrong.  Mr. Obama lost in New Hampshire.  The pundits now say that it is going to be a dogfight to the end.

It is a pity that at a time when it appears that the Democrats can actually win that the U.S. has to choose between the first woman president and the first black president.  Graham T. Allison, who used to be the Dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government said in 1979 that before the end of the twentieth century there would be the first black president and he added before the end of the century there would be the first woman president.  The twentieth century is gone and the U.S. is still struggling with crossing that barrier.  For all the sophistication of the country, there are still deep and spooky prejudices that haunt the United States that can prevent either from happening even in the 21st century.

It seems to us that in the choice between race and gender, the United States will go to its default position and that is either choose a white man and failing that a white woman but Senator Barack Obama, biracial though he may be, is still too black to be President of the United States.  Even watching Bill Clinton at work with his wife Hilary, it was almost as if you could hear just below their breaths, the wish that they could say that this black man should know his place.  It was an eerie and strange feeling.

W.E.B. Dubois, the great African American author and social scientist said it in 1903 that the problem of the twentieth century would be that of the colour line.  Indeed, it is still the problem of the 21st century, even in some surprising places.

This is not of course to discourage the Obama fever, or to discourage him or those who support him, but we who look from afar must ask the question when this bugaboo of race will be exorcised from the national polity in the United States.

We should not be surprised, however, that it is not gone because of course it still exists here.  The PLP in 2008 is petrified to even mention race as a subject matter because the white minority that was displaced in 1967 after centuries of oppression and discrimination against their fellow blacks, now hold tightly to the reigns of political power in the guise of the Free National Movement.  So race is the factor that dare not speak its name in The Bahamas even though everyone knows it is there.  It is the eight hundred pound gorilla in the room.

You have a situation today where the black middle class do not want even a discussion about it because in the view of many who have made it to that class, there is an element of a lack of sophistication in being connected with poorness, blackness and other such themes.  The PLP’s great problem is how in the face of all that was done to create the middle class they have lost touch with so many in that group and their aspirations.  The party itself seems to be reviled by the very group that it created.

We want Senator Barack Obama to win the presidency.  That single act would catapult the reputation of the United States in the world, that it has truly accepted its creed that all men are created equal.  It will also give hope to black people in this country that the race to which they belong is acceptable, since even after majority rule in this country there appears to be some inner doubts about it.  It will mark a new beginning in a sense.  We have no illusions about whether it can happen.  We don’t think it will happen but nothing beats a try.

Number of hits for the week ending Saturday 12th January 2008 up to midnight: 301,364.

Number of hits for the month of January up to Saturday 12th January 2008 at midnight: 487,628.

Number of hits for the year 2007 up to Monday 31st December 2007 at midnight: 4,591,097.  [Does not reflect hits prior to 30th June, 2007]


    As of last night, there were four murders in The Bahamas.  The community seems shocked into being insensitive to each new horror story.  The Church leaders can only come up with short term palliatives like a prayer service and call for a crime free day.  That does not help much, but at least it is something.  The government is silent.  It does nothing.
    We need to elaborate on what we believe is a shocking murder all the same because it took place on Frederick Street in the heart of Bay Street, the main street of the town.  Can you believe the story that on Monday 7th January, a car pulls up to Frederick Street, and rolls down the window and shoots into a crowd killing 18 year old C.R. Walker High School student Deangelo Cargill.
    The police say they do not think that the bullet was intended for Deangelo.  So there goes the proof that the Hubert Ingraham statement that the average citizen is safe and that “at least they (the criminals) are killing one another” was entirely dumb and stupid.  A young man has lost his life.  The government does nothing.  The society wrings its hands.  Parents cry out for vengeance.  The police are very talkative.  The judges say don’t blame us.  And that is The Bahamas with 79 murders last year, and five unclassified that may become murders and four already for this year.


    Fred Mitchell, the Opposition’s spokesman on the Public Service held a news conference at the House of Assembly on Friday 11th January to call for the Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham to follow through on the commitment made by the PLP government to settle various disputes in the public service.  Amongst them were agreements to pay road traffic officers monies due following their dismissal from the service; to settle the Abraham Butler claim against the Water and Sewerage Corporation; to pay the restored pensions of prison officers; to pay the certification allowances to the operators who work in air traffic control system.
    Sitting with Mr. Mitchell were some of the retired prison officers and Abraham Butler who is suing the government for his dismissal from the Water and Sewerage Corporation.  Zhivargo Laing, the talkative Minister of State was like a little political parrot when asked by the newspaper what his response was.  He said that they would do things in their own time.  You may click here for the full statement of Mr. Mitchell.  The photo at the news conference was taken by Dennis Fountain.


    The Progressive Liberal Party marked the 41st anniversary of Majority Rule Day with a TV and radio live broadcast meeting in the round.  PLP supporters gathered and heard Sir Clement T. Maynard former Deputy Prime Minister and Paul L. Adderley, the former Attorney General, recall the struggle for majority rule, along with Effie Walkes who is a heroine of Black Tuesday.
    The programme was hosted by Fred Mitchell, MP Fox Hill and former Foreign Minister and  former Senator Paulette Zonicle.  Mr. Mitchell said that Dr. Doris Johnson had to be credited with the view of the history of majority rule as starting from the Burma Road riots up to the 10th January 1967.  Above, Ambassador Eugene Newry, a founder of the PLP's historical National Committee for Positive Action, discusses Majority Rule as hosts Paulette Zonicle and Fred Mitchell look on.  The photos of the event were taken by Andrew Burrows.

    Hubert Ingraham, the Prime Minister, is still the same old biggetty man that we knew.  The PLP tried to warn the Bahamian public that he was not a changed man.  Bit by bit it is coming out.
    On Wednesday 9th January, Mr. Ingraham as promised went to Bimini to hold a town meeting to discuss what had happened on 22nd December over the Christmas - New Year’s holiday in Bimini when a riot ensued as the result of the death of Deon Rolle who appeared to have been shot at point blank range by a police officer.  In what looked suspiciously convenient, that Officer Carliston Darling was charged in the courts the day before Mr. Ingraham's town meeting for manslaughter.  This enraged the  family of the dead man.
    The dead man's family were upset over the fact that the police officer appeared to have been given a simple slap on the wrist, special treatment; allowed to show up in court without handcuffs which they would have done for any other suspect; was chauffeur driven by the police to and from the arraignment; the police snuck him into court to duck the media and then blocked the media from taking his photograph; was given $10,000 bail and allowed to go.  Further, the Police Staff Association weighed in to say that he should not have been charged at all and that instead there ought to have been a coroner’s inquest.  That is ridiculous.  The police officer should have been treated like any other suspect: you have the evidence, you charge.
    If Mr. Ingraham thought that by charging the police officer that was going to quiet the criticism, it did not.  He seemed at the meeting more concerned about property and buildings than the life of the man who died.  The residents thought Mr. Ingraham was rude and curt with them.  This is what the Bahamian people voted for in 2007.

    No one quite knows what the thinking behind it could have been, but in what appeared to be a move both impetuous and contemptuous and in anger, Kenyatta Gibson PLP MP whose nomination had been so perilously close to being withdrawn by the PLP last year, turned on his patron Perry Christie, Leader of the PLP and former Prime Minister.  Mr. Gibson announced on 10th January that he was resigning from the PLP to sit as an independent.
    Mr. Christie’s response called for Mr. Gibson to resign his seat and accused him of political treachery.  Mr. Gibson responded in a vicious and personal way describing Mr. Christie as reptilian and demanding that he go as leader of the PLP, saying he was not fit to lead.  This from a man who not even a year ago was on a TV programme singing Mr. Christie’s praises.
    The response from party members was swift and furious.  It appears that Mr. Gibson from the man-on-the-street interviews in the press and on the radio and television does not enjoy the support of his constituents with many of them demanding that he resign from the House and saying a number of uncharitable things about his representation of the constituency and even accusing other MPs including Mr. Ingraham of orchestrating it.
    Two PLP MPs were caught in the web of criticism, which motivated Mr. Gibson to issue, yet a third statement on Saturday 12th January in which he denied that he and the two other MPs Obie Wilchcombe MP and Glenys Hanna Martin MP were engaged in a conspiracy with regard to Mr. Gibson’s resignation.  It is reported that Mr. Wilchcombe made a statement to the same effect also denying any conspiracy with Mr. Gibson.
    People were obviously offended by the use of Mr. Gibson’s injudicious language toward Mr. Christie no matter what Mr. Gibson felt personally toward the man who had been his benefactor and protector throughout his years in the PLP.  One PLP described it as “peeing in the well on the way out the gate”.  The feeling is that you ought to respect the office of the Leader of the Party and that Mr. Gibson should have given both the leader and his PLP House colleagues an opportunity to know what he was going to do.
    Whatever his private griefs the whole process seems not to have come off well for the now former PLP MP.  There are some who argued that Mr. Gibson’s act was designed to put further pressure on the PLP's leader to go but it is hard to see the evidence of that in the responses from party members.
    On 10th January 2008 the night that Mr. Gibson’s response came, the PLP gathered at Gambier House for a rousing observance of majority rule and the party gave Mr. Christie a standing ovation.  During his comments at Majority Rule Day, Mr. Christie said:
    "The struggle endures.  It is ongoing.  It is never finished.  Our work is never done.  One generation of leaders passes into another.  Some soldiers step forward from the ranks to take up commanding positions at the front.  Some soldiers slip away.  Some fall by the wayside.  Some soldiers are seduced by the promise of life on the other side, so they slip over to sleep with the enemy.  Some soldiers turn out to be craven cowards whose knees buckle under pressure.  Others turn out to be downright traitors." Please click here for Mr. Christie's full address.
    Mr. Gibson himself may not have appreciated the error of the act, the irony of it to savage the PLP on the anniversary of Majority Rule, a day that helped to usher in the good life for the generation to which he belongs and of which he is a beneficiary.  This is a problem with many young politicians who seem to fall into error in their view of entitlement without first serving.
    The move by Mr. Gibson may in fact have the opposite effect than what seems to have been intended.  Mr. Gibson did not get the support of other PLP MPs in any of his statements save for one who has since disavowed any connection.  Now Mr. Gibson has left himself open to all sorts of rumours including the fact that his departure was motivated by economics.
    It is quite sad that someone with such a bright future could put it in peril by a rash decision.  The ink was hardly dry on the resignation letter when young men and women who are his contemporaries started calling Mr. Christie asking for the nomination for Kennedy.
    The PLP will gather in convention in February.  One source tells us that a resolution is being proposed for the convention to condemn Mr. Gibson’s remarks and to call for our parliamentarians to move a private members bill, which would allow the recall of MPs, who cross the floor in mid term.

Christie on GEMS Radio Today
Leader of the Progressive Liberal Party Perry Christie is to appear on the GEMS 105.9FM Sunday public affairs programme ‘Tell It Like It Is’ today, Sunday 13th January at 6 p.m.  Programme host Sean McWeeney is expected to question the former Prime Minister on matters ranging from his legacy, his leadership, politics and the likelihood of an early election.  The programme is to be simulcast on cable channel 956.

Have We Signed the EPAs?
The Economic Partnership Agreements with the European Union and the African Caribbean and Pacific States were to be signed or come into effect on 1st January 2008.  So far no word from the government of The Bahamas on whether or not they have actually signed on to the EPAs.  The EPAs are important to protect the markets for crawfish, rum and polystyrene products exported from The Bahamas to Europe.

Barbados Elections
Barbados’ governing party under Owen Arthur the Barbados Labour Party  is hoping to win a fourth consecutive term on Tuesday 15th January when general elections will be held in that country.  The polls put Owen Arthur’s party at five percentage points below David Thompson's Democratic Labour Party.  The election is said to be a nail biter and the press there are predicting that Mr. Arthur will lose the election.  Fred Mitchell MP for Fox Hill and PLP spokesman on Foreign Affairs will be in Barbados for Tuesday’s election.

Chief Justice’s Turn To Be Upset
Chief Justice Sir Burton Hall has announced that he has made a formal complaint to the Attorney General Claire Hepburn about comments made on what was described by him as a popular political website about the election court.  “Is it us, Milord?”  He also said that he has made a complaint against a certain local clergyman for his comments about the Judiciary as well.  The offending comment: “the law of the land is being played with lawyers and judges playing games with it.”  So now the coercive power of the state is to be used to throttle free speech.  While it is perfectly acceptable that the Courts must seek to ensure that they are independent and that the integrity of judges is not impugned without evidence, one wonders whether in the face of all the other challenges the Judiciary and the Attorney General have, whether this is the best use of judicial time.  The Chief Justice says that the remark is probably contemptuous.  Just by way of history, one ought to remember the famous quote from Lord Denning:  “Justice is not a cloistered virtue”.  The evolving standards of society have long ago made this kind of contempt of which the Chief Justice now complains obsolete and unnecessary.  Further, there is the famous case that ended up in the Privy Council in the 19th century where a newspaper editor in The Bahamas was jailed for contempt and the Privy Council struck it down.  Given the extent to which evolving standards of free speech in the country have come, what success or utility could there possibly be in the Chief Justice's complaint?  The Attorney General ought to resist this in the public interest.  One may in fact get a conviction but do we really want to be jailing preachers and website columnists.  Oh well!

The Dip In Tourism
Tourism figures were down last year.  The fault has been laid at the feet of the U.S. passport initiative which required all air passengers coming from The Bahamas back to the U.S. to have a U.S. passport and also the fact that rooms were out of inventory both in Freeport and in Nassau.  But it seems to us that this is all just a small part of the problem.  Take a walk down the main thoroughfare of the city: one dirty filthy place with nothing to do or buy and a lot of harassment.  The cancellation of the straw market project was a big mistake because the PLP did it to start the process of redeveloping the city.  Now the FNM must take responsibility for this failure.

Chamber Head: “Judiciary In Complete Disarray”
We wonder if Chief Justice Sir Burton Hall will now make a complaint about the comment attributed to Chamber of Commerce President Dionisio D’Aguilar at the Bahamas Outlook Seminar on Tuesday 8th January.  The Chamber president said in his speech (click here) that the judiciary was in complete disarray.  Get the handcuffs ready for Mr. D’Aguilar.  Free speech may be at risk.  But the speech should be read in its entirety for its frankness and straight down the middle quality.  He talked about the government’s delay in approving the Cable Beach project at Bahamar, the delay in approvals for the re routing of the road in southwest New Providence for the Albany project, the lack of an electronic platform to allow electronic clearing of cheques, and the affect that the murder on Bay Street had on tourism.  Click here for the full address.

What’s The Story On Desmond Bannister?
Desmond Banister FNM Representative for Carmichael is the Minister of State in the Attorney General’s office.  We wish he would comment on reports that there is major row brewing in the office between himself and the Registrar General’s Department.  It is causing concerns that have been registered here.

Correction On Ralph Seligman Q.C.
Last week we received an e-mail for which we are grateful correcting some bits of bad information re Ralph Seligman, the Q.C. who died in Nassau late last year.  While we ran the corrected text, sometime people may not see the updated versions of the site and so this week, we run the corrected version in the first edition:

Ralph Seligman Q.C. Dies
We announce the death of Ralph Seligman Q.C., former Stipendiary and Circuit magistrate, and Honorary Consul for Israel to The Bahamas at the time of his death.  He hailed originally from Dublin, Ireland, which is in the independent southern portion of Ireland.  He was 88 at the time of his death.  Although it was initially reported that Mr. Seligman was a Roman Catholic at the time of his death, he apparently never converted from his Jewish birthright and in accordance with that custom was buried within 24 hours of his death in the Jewish cemetery in Nassau.  He is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter, Helene.  Mr. Seligman died on Wednesday 26th December, 2007.

Dr. Wavell Thompson’s Funeral

A service of remembrance for well known physician Dr. Wavell Thompson was held at the Ebenezer Methodist Church in Nassau on Wednesday 9th January.  Rev. Reginald Eldon presided.  Dr. Thompson was a cousin of former Justice Jeanne Thompson and was a friend of the late Winston Saunders and his wife Dr Gail Saunders.  The photo is by Peter Ramsay.

John Marquis Says It’s a Lie
Last week this column ripped into the writer of slime over at The Tribune who now claims that he did not say what it was reported by the British newspaper, in particular that Nassau was the best news town outside of a war zone.  He then goes on to say that this was just a jocular aside.  We don’t believe him.  As for his assertion that The Tribune is the market leader, he needs to swallow hard and get over the fact that The Tribune is the market leader in slime and he is its main purveyor.  Meanwhile John Marquis, have you checked up on the man who propositioned the widow of his friend over at the resort?  Since you like muck, why don’t you go mucking into that and see if you will last with your employers?

One Million Bucks To COB

Chamber of Commerce President Dionisio D’Aguilar claimed in his speech to the Outlook Seminar on Tuesday 8th January that the clearinghouse banks in The Bahamas make collectively some 300 million dollars per year in profits.  The Royal Bank of Canada gave some of that profit away to the College of The Bahamas: one million dollars of it.  The gift is to be used to create a Corporate Business Centre at COB.  The presentation was made on Thursday 10th January to the President of the College Janyne Hodder by RBC Regional Vice Chair Ross McDonald.  Pictured, from left, at the January 9, 2008, cheque presentation are as follows: Chairman of COB's College Council T. Baswell Donaldson; Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham; RBC Head of Caribbean Banking Ross McDonald; COB President Janyne Hodder; RBC Vice President and Country Head Nathaniel Beneby and Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture Carl Bethel. (BIS photo: Eric Rose)

20th January, 2008
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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Fred Mitchell, the former Foreign Minister and now Opposition Spokesman on Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and the Public Service was in Barbados for the general election there and witnessed a transition in power from Owen Arthur’s Barbados Labour Party (BLP) to David Thompson’s Democratic Labour Party (DLP) on Tuesday 15th January.  Mr. Mitchell congratulated Mr. Thompson on behalf of PLP Leader Perry Christie.  He then went on to Trinidad and Tobago where he paid a courtesy call on Patrick Manning, the Prime Minister, and presented him with a framed copy of a Peter Ramsay photo of Mr. Manning's historic address to the first joint session of the Parliament of The Bahamas ever addressed by a foreign leader.  Mr. Manning addressed the Senate and the House of Assembly of The Bahamas on 29th September 2004 marking 275 years of continuous parliamentary democracy in The Bahamas.  Our photo of the week is Fred Mitchell, Opposition spokesman on Foreign Affairs presenting the framed photo to Prime Minister Manning on Wednesday 16th January in Port of Spain, Trinidad. The photo is by Roy Rique.


The year was 1965 and Cyril Stevenson who had helped to found the PLP could go no further.  He announced just shortly after the Black Tuesday event when Sir Lynden Pindling threw the Speaker’s mace out of the window on 27th April 1965 that he would no longer sit as a PLP member but would sit as an independent.  That was a long time ago and who really remembers it now?

Who remembers that in 1967 there were some irregularities in the general election of that year in the Crooked Island seat and the seat was declared vacant shortly after the election.  There was a bye election and the result was a victory for the United Bahamian Party (UBP).  There was a great celebration on the Eastern Parade, the traditional gathering ground of the now defunct UBP.  Basil Kelly appeared dressed in a UBP cape.  Does anyone remember that?

This is not to minimize the present impact of the resignation of Kenyatta Gibson, the former PLP MP who announced unexpectedly two weeks ago that he would sit as an independent in the House of Assembly.  It is really to put it into perspective.  Hubert Ingraham had to tell him in the House on Wednesday 16th January that you don’t last long as an independent.  You have to be either fish or fowl.  That is probably the only truthful thing that we agree with said by Hubert Ingraham this year.  Mr. Gibson would do well to remember it.  But the stories told of the past also tell us that after a while, the whole episode fades to black and no one remembers.  The individual becomes a blip on the history page and the country moves on.  There are larger fish to fry.

The Leader of the PLP probably spoke for most of his colleagues when he said on Sean McWeeney’s radio show last Sunday around this time that what Mr. Gibson did was simply inexplicable.  To many it made no logical sense.  In the absence of logic, the country, the party and the radio talk shows are left to speculate.

Some speculation centred on the more voluble PLP on the subject MP Obie Wilchcombe, former Tourism Minister, who has been in the press explaining about the need to reach out to Kenyatta Gibson and bring him back into the fold because if the PLP wins the election court cases, we will need his vote to form the government.  It assumes of course that Mr. Ingraham would allow such an eventuality, since the conventional wisdom is that it won’t get that far and a general election will be called.

Given the history of the Kennedy seat, Mr. Gibson does not have a hope in hell of winning in a general election.  The interventions simply seemed in one sense to backfire on Mr. Wilchcombe with PLPs accusing him in turns of master minding the whole Kenyatta thing, of being disloyal to Mr. Christie and plotting his undoing, to trying by stealth to portray himself as leader of the PLP.  Some argue however that this only temporary pain with the real benefit for him staked out in the future. Several times during the week, that MP had to deny all of the above and assert his loyalty to Mr. Christie.  He brushed off the criticism saying that he was not concerned about it.  Mr. Christie has not said what he believes or whether indeed it matters.

Mr. Gibson himself seemed to have the reaction of wonderment when he appeared on Wednesday 16th January in the House of Assembly.  He was the centre of attention.  All sides were talking about him.  The cameras were clicking for him.  There was even a small group of protestors from the PLP there to denounce him.  But at least he was the centre of attention, his proverbial fifteen minutes of fame, and he pronounced himself amazed at the reaction to his sudden resignation.  We can believe that!

Some members of the public on talk shows and in the streets have asked; who is in charge of the PLP?  Is it the MP who keeps doing all the talking?  Is it the actual leader of the PLP?  Of course, those progenitors of slime and anti PLP rhetoric at The Tribune were leading the way.  Mr. Christie’s diffuse style is again in danger of leading the uninformed and the general public in the wrong direction.  From what his history as a leader discloses, he has generally had no agents, no negotiators and no one is authorized to speak on his behalf or enter into any negotiations.  The press seemed preoccupied with an assertion that Mr. Christie had authorized such negotiations.  Can you imagine what the distaff side of his household would say to that thought after the nasty and vile things that were said about him?  Some would wish he would simply say who is in charge and ask his MPs to be quiet and shut up about it.  Although PLP MP Alfred Gray spoke closest to the truth when he told the press, during a House recess, that it was sad what happened but the PLP goes on.  It is argued that in the absence of Mr. Christie’s declarations on leadership, nature abhors a vacuum and the old saying applies:  the devil finds work for idle hands to do.

What then to make of the events following this unexpected and inexplicable resignation?  If the event was meant to make Mr. Christie less secure and isolated in the PLP, it has not done that.  It has made him more secure.  He has now lined up the votes to re-elect himself as leader and even if there were a hint of a try before, it is not expected that anyone will run against him in the February convention.  Contrary to any assertions made that there has to be a special convention to elect a leader, anyone at the upcoming convention can in fact nominate for the post and run against the leader of the PLP.  Mr. Christie himself appeared to anticipate such a possible eventuality but said that he would fight to stay on.

It appears that Mr. Gibson has isolated himself in the political framework.  But that does not mean that in the near future, as the election court unfolds he does not become a key player in making the PLP the government again.  In a way, history gives him little choice in the matter unless he simply wishes to be bloody minded.  It would be a complete betrayal of all that he stood for if on a close result following the election court decisions, he ended up siding with the UBP.  His conscience, if he has one, must dictate that he cannot side with the UBP.  That would be the worst form of Uncle Tomism, for which history would condemn him.  That would be his Randol Fawkes moment, and like Randol Fawkes no matter what, he has to side with the PLP.

We end as we began.  In the history of these things who will remember in forty years that this even happened?  It will of course be in the history books but by then it will have long receded in importance and from memory and will simply have faded to black.

Number of hits for the week ending Saturday 19th January 2008 up to midnight: 286,686.

Number of hits for the month of January ending Saturday 19th January 2008 up to midnight: 792,240.

Number of hits for the year 2007 up to Monday 31st December 2007 at midnight: 4,591,097.  [Does not reflect hits prior to 30th June, 2007]

Photos of Kenyatta Gibson and of Alfred Gray PLP MP and of PLP Leader Perry Christie on Wednesday 16th January by Peter Ramsay



    Whatever the result on Monday 21st January of the scrutiny and recount in the Pinewood election, Allyson Gibson, the now Senator and former MP and perhaps soon to be MP again, her counsel Philip ‘Brave’ Davis are to be congratulated for a job well done.
    Some have suggested that the Parliamentary Commissioner Errol Bethel should take administrative leave as a result of the decision by the Election Court judges Anita Allen and Jon Isaacs that 110 votes were unlawfully on the rolls for the Pinewood election.  The view is that a full investigation ought to be carried out into the circumstances that permitted such a large number of unlawful registrants.  The feeling also is that this is the tip of the iceberg and that the irregularities probably carry throughout the entire system, putting the general election results in doubt.
    The fact that there are two intrepid judges who were able to wade through the thicket of the evidence and come to a sound conclusion is also a tribute to our justice system which is under so much stress in other areas.
    The next step is that the ballot boxes will be opened on Monday 21st January.  The bad ballots will be identified in front of the parties and then a recount will take place.  Throughout Nassau on Friday when the court made its announcement people could be seen walking around in their party colours again.  The hopes of the PLP are especially high on this.  If there is a victory for Mrs. Gibson, this will be unprecedented, turning around a sixty four vote deficit to victory.  We pray that is the result.  The victory then poses another challenge.  What does Hubert Ingraham then do?  The conventional wisdom is that we would be facing a general election.  The PLP must get ready on all counts.
An ebullient Mrs. Maynard Gibson is seen leaving the court with a legal associate in this Peter Ramsay photo.


    It is unfortunate that Brent Symonette, the Deputy Prime Minister and the FNM don’t seem to know a conflict of interest when they see one.  Hubert Ingraham was busy announcing and announcing the non successes and the mistrust agenda of the FNM over the past eight months in his so called address to the nation last week.
    Turns out that the government has made a decision to move the container terminals from Bay Street to Arawak Cay.  This is the advice given by a special committee that Brent Symonette, Minister of the Government chaired in 2007.
    Perry Christie the former Prime minister challenged Mr. Ingraham on this matter to say that Mr. Symonette was not involved in a conflict of interest.  Mr. Ingraham denied it but it now turns out that Mr. Symonette is in the midst of a shocking conflict of interest where he sat in on meetings making the recommendations to the government while at the same time he was a shareholder in the container terminals on Bay Street.


    We reported on this site the arrest and detention in U.S. Federal custody of Rudolph King aka Dr. Rudy King.  He has been charged with seeking to use a fraudulent international draft on the United States Internal Revenue Service to obtain a fraudulent refund of 2.7 million dollars using the name Klever Rosales.
    The press in The Bahamas has since reported that Mr. King has been released on bail and is now back in Nassau.  Now there are rounds of e-mails going throughout The Bahamas which give a fascinating history of connections with the government of Dominica, a small Caricom state that apparently hired Mr. King as a special envoy and then later released him.  You may click here for that link.

    The Commissioner of Police Paul Farqhuarson has now passed officially into history.  There was a handing over ceremony to an Acting Commissioner Reginald Ferguson, the brother of FNM Acting Chairman Johnley Ferguson.
    When you see the political turmoil that ensues now in Kenya because the police are using live rounds of ammunition to shoot down  unarmed, lawful protestors against the government, you have to be concerned about a situation where politics may dominate the Force to the extent that officers would carry out any order because of their political connections.
    Mr. Farqhuarson could have left on a high note.  After all, he accomplished much.  However, the banquet that was held for him on Thursday 17th January was marred by one bit of misinformation.  Mr. Farqhuarson thanked the Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, not the former Prime Minister Perry Christie who was also there, for giving the police improved health insurance benefits.  Now what concerns us is why is it that public servants often feel the need to ‘curry favour’ as we say in this country.  Why not simply stick to the facts, not embellished or changed, but just the facts.  Perry Christie’s government put in place the health insurance which was slated to come into being with the new budget for 2007/2008.  In the event, the elections intervened and Mr. Ingraham simply carried out the decision that was made by the PLP.  What about the facts Mr. Farqhuarson?  This really blighted an otherwise stellar career.
    The question is, since Mr. Farqhuarson is going into the diplomatic world, will he exercise his discretion and job without fear or favour for all Bahamians in London, where he is to be High Commissioner, or will his acts be coloured by the fact that Mr. Ingraham gave him this unexpected appointment?  It also seems to us that Mr. Ingraham himself ought to know better than to call a grown man who has had such a stellar career “Paul” in the public domain as if he is some little child.  If you read the reports of Mr. Ingraham’s speech at the banquet it was “Paul this” and “Paul that”.  But it just goes to show how our Prime Minister thinks of him.


    In briefing the media on his recent trip to elections in Barbados and to meet Prime Minister Manning in Trinidad & Tobago, MP Fred Mitchell scored Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham for characterising matters before the election court as a game.  "Obviously" said Mr. Mitchell, "the rules on not commenting on matter currently before the courts do not apply to the Prime Minister".
    While in Barbados, Mr. Mitchell congratulated the new prime minister David Thompson on behalf of the Progressive Liberal Party (see story below).  He noted that "It is important for the PLP to ensure that it is abreast of the developments in the region".
Fred Mitchell at Gambier House briefing the media on viewing Barbados elections and meeting with Trinidad PM in this Nassau Guardian photo by Eddie Russell III

Election Result In Barbados

David Thompson is the new Prime Minister of Barbados.  Mr. Thompson won handily with a two thirds majority in Barbados reversing a trend against his party for thirteen years.  His former colleague and previous Leader of the Opposition Clyde Mascoll lost his seat.  This was thought to be punishment for crossing over to the governing party in midterm and accepting a ministerial post in the previous Cabinet.  Mr. Thompson when he was Leader of the Opposition in Barbados in 2000 met with former Prime Minister Perry Christie and then Shadow spokesman on Foreign Affairs, Labour and Immigration Fred Mitchell at the Barbados Consulate in Miami to discuss the question of an annual meeting of Leaders of The Opposition paid for by the governments in the same way that Heads of Government of Caricom meet.

Elections In Belize
Prime Minister Said Musa will face elections in Belize on 7th February.  While Mr. Musa is confident of victory, it is hard to see how, when his government virtually fell apart from defections, firings and financial scandals during the last five years.

The PLP Convention
The Chairman of the PLP Raynard Rigby announced last Sunday 13th January that the PLP would hold its convention at the Crystal Palace beginning on 21st February for three days.

Walkout At The Registrar General’s Office
On this site, we asked the question about problems relating to the Registrar General’s office and Minister of State Desmond Bannister.  The government ignored our question.  Their not paying attention led to a walkout at the Registrar General's office, which was supported by the President of the Bahamas Public Services Union John Pinder.  The walkout took place on Tuesday 15th January.  Next time they will pay attention to what we say we hope.

Curtis McMillan Dies

Dr. Curtis McMillan, the dentist who ran for office in 1967 and won becoming a member of the first Majority Rule cabinet in the history of the country, has died at the age of 74.  He is survived by his wife Thelma and his three children a son Curtis Jr. (Dukie) and two daughters Shelly.  Funeral services will take place at the Hillview Church of Seventh Day Adventists on Harrold Road on Monday 21st January at 11 a.m.  Leader of the Progressive Liberal Party Perry Christie issued a statement marking his passing and extending condolences to Dr. McMillan’s wife and family.  Dr. McMillan’s body was reposed in the foyer of the House of Assembly on Friday 18th January.  Peter Ramsay took the photo of Perry Christie, the PLP’s Leader at the viewing.

George Stewart Passes Away
    When you think of the life of George Stewart, you think of the negro spiritual ‘Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen‘.  But he succeeded brilliantly.  George Stewart died on 13th January 2008 at the age of 66.  Mr. Stewart was amongst the first Bahamian graduates of the University of the West Indies (UWI) to come back home and make his contribution to the building up of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.  He came back home just following the attainment of majority rule and just before Independence.  He was brilliant and became in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the expert on the law of the sea.
    Mr. Stewart was humiliated by Hubert Ingraham in 1999 when he was summarily dismissed because Mr. Ingraham did not like a decision taken by the ministry to advise the Swiss government that they could not deviate from the grounds that the fugitive Werner Rey was extradited for to Switzerland from The Bahamas.  The then Minister Janet Bostwick, who attended the funeral for Mr. Stewart on Saturday 19th January at Zion Baptist Church, did not go on record to protect one of her ministry’s best employees.  The rule that confines a state to the ground of the extradition warrant is called the specialty rule.
    When the PLP came to power in 2002, Mr. Stewart was rehired in the Ministry and began the work of finalizing the boundary issues with the states that border us; the Turks and Caicos Islands to the south, Cuba to the west and the United States to the north.  That work was never completed and he takes much of it with him to the grave.  Pericles Maillis, the attorney, a friend of Mr. Stewart, called his life fruitful and said that he was a real builder of the country about whom stories should be told in the schools.  Also paying tribute was Sir Clement T. Maynard former Minster of Foreign Affairs.  Fred Mitchell, also former Foreign Minster, also attended.  Secretary to the Cabinet Wendell Major attended the service as well.  Left to mourn are his faithful wife Beth and his three daughters.

Seminar In Freeport On Majority Rule
Fred Mitchell, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs and the now Opposition spokesman on Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and the Public Service, will host a seminar on Majority Rule in Freeport beginning Thursday 24th January and ending on Saturday 26th January.  The resource persons for the seminar will be Sir Clement T. Maynard, former Deputy Prime Minister and author of the memoir ‘Putting On More Speed’ and former Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs Paul L. Adderley.

Some Brief Notes
    The Ritz Carlton Hotel is finally going to start on Rose Island just to the east of Paradise Island.  This is one of the projects that the FNM stopped.  Now, with unemployment rising, they are desperately trying to get projects going…
    It surprised us that Willie Moss, a former employee as Senior Counsel of the Grand Bahama Port Authority Ltd. would allow herself to get embroiled in the dispute over whether Fred Smith can act as the attorney for the St. Georges in the matter of their dispute with Sir Jack Hayward.  The conflict is apparent on the face of the record.  Mrs. Moss swore an affidavit in the proceedings and in a tortuously worded document proceeded to try to show that indeed there was no conflict.  The case continues.  But Mrs. Moss herself might be accused of being in a conflict since she is in dispute with her former employers over her departure from them, the Grand Bahama Port Authority. on terms that were not acceptable to her…
    Earl Deveaux, the Minister of Public Works, has explained that the straw market is not a priority for the government.  This means that the straw vendors can expect to suffer some more.  This is what we voted for…
    Hubert Ingraham has the reputation of running a stingy government.  It has allowed the exemption on stamp duty for homes under $250,000 to expire claiming that the government is broke.  Al Jarrett, the former Royal Banker, says that under the FNM’s watch the national debt has gone up to 3.1 billion, some 40 percent of GDP, blowing the PLP’s IMF acceptable 37 percent of GDP figure.  Some homeowners now have to find additional sums to finish their transactions because they did not complete their purchases before 31st December 2007.
    The Exigency Orders, which were signed to allow people to rebuild their homes following the October 2007 floods in the south eastern islands, also do not go far enough say some residents affected areas.  One man complained that he could only get a car exempted at the actual value of his car, not a replacement value.  So for example, he had a 1995 car worth $1,000 that is all he can get exempted for but he asked the right question: where can he find a car for $1,000 today?  The man was quoted by the Bahama Journal was a Long Islander.  Well, you get the government you voted for.

27th January, 2008
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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Last week in The Bahamas, you could have been forgiven if you thought that a plague was visiting upon former Parliamentarians, what with the deaths of two of the pioneers of the PLP and the struggle for majority rule leaving the scene back to back.  Dr. Curtis McMillan was buried in an official funeral on Monday 21st January.  Then in quick succession it was announced that J. Russell Ford had died (click here for Mr. Ford’s biography).  Mr. Ford was not in the first PLP Cabinet, but in 1968 he won the Inagua and Mayaguana seat as it then was and served until 1982.  He was part of the majority rule generation.  In his latter years, he suffered from prostate cancer and was a poster boy for cancer survivors, which was a major contribution to the recognition of the disease in The Bahamas.  Mr. Ford was lauded by former Prime Minister Perry Christie in remarks made in the House of Assembly on Wednesday 23rd January and eulogised by Mr. Christie at the funeral.  The photo taken of the funeral service of J. Russell Ford former MP at the Christ Church Cathedral on Friday 25th January is by Peter Ramsay of the Bahamas Information Services.


Dr. David Allen is perhaps the nation’s most famous psychiatrist.  Dr. Timothy McCartney is our most well known psychologist.  Take your pick.  Both are experts in anger management.  It just so happened that this week, when the Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham behaved like a perfect jackass from the public stage, ranting and raving about Perry Christie and the PLP, that David Allen was on television talking about the need for  people to control their anger.  He said something that we thought was interesting, that people who can’t control their anger have issues that remain unresolved, a thousand little hurts that remain unresolved.

That is why today we recommend to Hubert Ingraham that he either go to see Dr. Allen or Dr. McCartney.  They may be able to help him.  His anger on the face of it is inexplicable.  It is like he has some deep seated fear of Perry Christie that causes him to want to lash out and strike back.  The fact is what he says about Perry Christie has no effect on Perry Christie, and this must further drive his anger.  Mr. Ingraham in an extraordinary rant on television on Tuesday 22nd January and later on the public stage  at turns called Mr. Christie a dummy, incompetent, and oh yes he repeated that one about him having to be ashamed of himself.  You name it, anything but a child of God.

For his part, Mr. Christie responded on 23rd January that the one that ought to be ashamed is Hubert Ingraham himself with his tiresome, rude language.  He said that the country was simply sick and tired of it.  He laughed at Mr. Ingraham’s assertion that the PLP can’t accept that they have lost; the game is over as Mr. Ingraham put it.  Mr. Ingraham said that the PLP was counting, counting and more counting.  This particular outburst came as result of the PLP’s statement about the election court result on Monday 21st January, which went against Allyson Gibson.  The PLP called for electoral reform.  Mr. Ingraham did not like that.

Well he won’t like this either.  We believe that his FNM is directly involved n the corruption of the electoral process.  We read with some interest the words of the Acting Parliamentary Commissioner in the Bahama Journal last week.  He said that they did the best they could and rejected what the judges had said about the electoral process. Please click here for the full judgment.  Last week in this space, we called for the Parliamentary Commissioner to be put on administrative leave and for a full scale investigation to be held into that office and its practices.

Here is what we have heard happened.  FNMs would show up with the flimsiest of documents to known individuals at the Commissioner’s various stations, sometimes with only a driver’s licence and they would be registered.  PLPs would come with the same documentation and they would be put through hoops to get registered.  We believe that the FNM knew this, they colluded in it, and they thoroughly corrupted the electoral process in 2007.  What was uncovered in the election court case involving Allyson Gibson is just the tip of the iceberg.

In our view, this must in part be why the FNM is fighting so hard to stop the Pleasant Bridgewater case in Marco City in Freeport from going ahead.  There is much more dirt by the FNM to be revealed.

Mr. Ingraham is furious that the PLP just won’t shut up and go away.  He made the assertion at his party’s political rally on Thursday 24th January that the PLP is no longer the great organization that it once was.  He wouldn’t know, but when he gets slapped down politically by the PLP, he will know.  He was defeated once; he can be defeated again.

Our guess is that Mr. Ingraham is suffering the syndrome of the poor black boy from the wrong side of the tracks in Abaco.  He is bearing a thousand insults from both blacks and whites about the colour of his skin, the stature of his body, the way he talks.  Yet he has succeeded beyond all expectations to be the Prime Minister of The Bahamas.  You would think that this would get rid of all these little hurts.  But no, not at all.  Instead, it has brought out all the nastiness and vituperation that we have seen over the past nine months from the public platform.  These outbursts are petty acts of revenge.  Mr. Christie, being light skinned, well spoken, from the upper crust, coloured bourgeoisie of The Bahamas must be attacked because of that.  That is our guess.

So we will do Mr. Ingraham a favour this week.  We will offer to pay for one session with either David Allen or Tim McCartney in anger management.  We don’t know if Tim is still taking patients, but it may be a better bet since he lives in the States and the setting will be less open in the States.  But it is clear to us that Mr. Ingraham needs help to control his anger and needs it sooner rather than later.  In the volatile world in The Bahamas in which we live, his is not the best example for the young.

Perry Christie pointed out that the murder rate is through the roof, crime spiralling out of control, the economy in the tank, and here is Hubert Ingraham wasting time on a public platform talking about the PLP.  By one count, Mr. Ingraham called the name of the PLP and Mr. Christie 114 times at their rally last week.  This really is a cry for help from him.  We want to help him.  Help him, Holy Ghost!

Number of hits for the week ending Saturday 26th January, 2008 up to midnight: 296,118.

Number of hits for the month of January up to Saturday 26th January, 2008 at midnight: 1,101,519.

Number of hits for the year 2007 up to Monday 31st December, 2007 at midnight: 4,591,097.  [Does not reflect hits prior to 30th June, 2007] 


    The Election Court in the Allyson Gibson Pinewood case has made its ruling and finished the scrutiny.  The result Byran Woodside, the FNM MP and Minister of State won the seat by 49 votes.  This has been quite a roller coaster ride for PLPs, their hopes dashed by the 2007 general election results, then raised again by the three challenges to the seats and now dashed again following the court’s findings.
    The immediate question is whether or not the court case helped the PLP.  The short answer is yes, it did, in that it spotted scores of irregularities which if we had not brought the case; we would not have known the extent to which the election of 2007 was corrupted by the FNM and their ideologues within the public service.
    PLP Leader Perry Christie commended Mrs. Gibson on the work she did to strengthen the system.  He called for a review of the finding of the court and said that there ought to be reform of the system following the findings of the Judges in the matter.  We add our words of congratulation to Mrs. Gibson.
    Now it’s on to the Marco City seat where Pleasant Bridgewater hopes to unseat incumbent Zhivargo Laing.  Could not happen to a finer person.  There is some pressure to drop the cases because people feel that now there is no chance of winning the government again even if all the remaining seats are won.  Another view is that all seats count and it would be a psychological victory if the remaining two seat challenges are successful.  Fred Smith, the mercurial attorney for the FNM in this matter has launched an application that resumes before the courts on Monday 28th January to have Ms. Bridgewater’s petition struck out.  We hope that he does not succeed.

    The Leader of the Progressive Liberal Party Perry Christie held a new conference on Wednesday 23rd January to deal with comments made by Hubert Ingraham, the Prime Minister, about the election court results.  The results, which saw the Court declare Byran Woodside of the FNM the winner of the Pinewood seat, were announced by the Court on Monday evening 21st January.
    Hubert Ingraham called the ZNS reporter in and went after Perry Christie in a personal way.  It was a vicious attack.
    Mr. Christie in his press conference rejected the Ingraham criticisms and made some challenges of his own with regard to Mr. Ingraham’s mismanagement of the government.  Mr. Christie called for the government to start to approve the projects that were left behind by the PLP.  The redevelopment of the Cable Beach strip in New Providence awaits the government’s approval to the Bahamar group.  This project can create up to 8,000 jobs for Bahamians, yet the government refuses to grant the permission necessary for it to start.  For example, it is reported that the government has received a sober report on the state of the economy.  There are building contractors out of work.  The city of Nassau is in a state of disrepair.  The government does not seem to be able to deal with the crime epidemic.  Mr. Christie said that Mr. Ingraham ought to be ashamed of himself.
    You may click here for Mr. Christie’s full remarks.

    How long will the PLP allow the comments - inappropriate ones at that - of Dame Joan Sawyer, the President of The Bahamas Court of Appeal, to go unchallenged?  We take issue with a few.
    First, the Nassau Guardian reported on Thursday 24th January that the Court of Appeal claimed that the government broke the law when Samuel ‘Ninety’ Knowles was extradited to Florida in 2006.  Nonsense.  The issue of the validity of the extradition was not before the Court and no arguments were heard on the point.  Its comments, then, were not part of the ratio of the case.
    The Court of Appeal has been overturned so many times by the Privy Council, why should anyone accept that what it says is right on any point of law that has not been appealed.  The comments were not necessary to the decisions they were called upon to make.  The appeal failed and so the matter should have ended there, but instead, the gratuitous comments by the Court, which, in our view, endanger the lives of the ministers involved in the matter.  The comments were irresponsible.
    Then on Friday 25th January, Dame Joan reportedly attacked Perry Christie by name.  This was quite extraordinary that a sitting Judge, a President of the Court of Appeal, no less, attacks by name a former Prime Minister.  What are PLPs to think when they come before the courts now?  And what is she criticizing the former PM for; because he reportedly defended the right of citizens of The Bahamas to demonstrate against a decision of the Court of Appeal.  If that is true then there was nothing wrong with his comments.
    Then Dame Joan claimed that she had considered locking up Rev. Dr. William Thompson for contempt because he allegedly called the Court of Appeal a kangaroo court.  Something has got to be seriously wrong with that.  Here is Dame Joan now saying that she was going to cite for contempt the now former and then President of the Christian Council.  Was it true that he called the Court of Appeal a kangaroo court?  Was not her comment prejudicial to the interests of the Reverend gentleman?  And what redress does he have when she makes a statement that has an absolute privilege from the bench?  The comment is irresponsible.
    Then the Guardian reports that she attacked Perry Christie again by name, this time saying that he told the House that he got the best legal advice on the Court of Appeal’s decision in the Sidney Stubbs bankruptcy and that the Court was wrong.  Hello!  The Privy Council did say that the Court of Appeal was wrong.  But our general point is that something should be said publicly about this to call this person down on these irresponsible remarks before we lose all sense of decorum and PLPs begin to lose even more respect for her and the Court she sits in.  Remarks were made in a case that had nothing whatever to do with the matters she raised and seemed entirely gratuitous.


    Fred Mitchell, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs led three days of discussions this past week in Freeport Grand Bahama on Majority Rule.  The seminars were led by resource persons Sir Clement T. Maynard, the Hon. Paul Adderley and Mr. Mitchell.
    The Progressive Liberal Action Network held the seminars at the Ascension Church Hall over three days from Wednesday 23rd January to Friday 25th January.  The seminars were well attended.  They were convened under the patronage of the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie, Leader of the Progressive Liberal Party who spoke on the last evening.  The photos of the event which covered a discussion on the events from the Burma Road riots in 1942 to the 10th January 1967 show Sir Clement Maynard autographing his new book 'Putting On More Speed' and Messrs. Christie and Mitchell.  More photos below.

    The PLP has said that the FNM’s decision not to renew the first time homeowners tax exemption is “shockingly ignorant”.
     A release from the Party said “The Progressive Liberal Party is appalled by the Prime Minister and the FNM government’s refusal to extend the tax exemption for first time homeowners on houses under $250,000.  It is a shockingly ignorant decision.  It is proof that the Prime Minister and the FNM government do not understand our economy or economics generally.  Further, it is a reflection of the FNM’S callous insensitivity toward the average Bahamian.
     “The logic that the government needs revenue or cannot afford tax breaks as an excuse for discontinuing this exemption is economically flawed.  If there are no new houses, there are no imports of materials, fixtures and fittings.  No imports means no revenue derived from import tax for the Public Treasury.  It is not a difficult concept; it is simple, basic economics.
     “At a time when the economy is struggling, the government’s role is to create an environment that will stimulate economic growth and any policy of withdrawing incentives that will assist to revive our present sluggish economy is irresponsible and shows poor judgment.
     “When the Prime Minister states, “the number one thing is jobs and then people will be able to afford to get mortgages”, there can be no clearer indication that he does not possess the bold and innovative leadership qualities that our economy needs in the 21st century.  Does he not understand that if there is a reduction in homes being built, there will be a reduction in available jobs?
     “What about the dozens of persons who were in the process of purchasing a home, but could not complete before December 31st 2008?  Either they are now forced to increase their borrowings by up to $20,000, placing an extreme burden on them, or they have had to simply walk away because this additional cost has meant they are unable to qualify to get the same loan for which they had previously qualified.
     “How can this be after eight shorts months?  This is especially so when the PLP had intended to increase the exemption from $250,000 to $400,000.  This cannot be the “proven leadership” that the people voted for on May 2nd. 2007.
     “Obviously, the Prime Minister and the FNM do not share the philosophy and core fundamental value of the PLP that every Bahamian is entitled to affordable housing.  To add insult to injury the FNM has not built one single home since coming to office in May 2007.”


    The annual Red Cross Ball was held this weekend and photographer Peter Ramsay, shown above with Dame Marguerite Pindling, provided some photos.

Sir Clement Ill In Hospital
The former Deputy Prime Minister Sir Clement T. Maynard has been hospitalized.  There is no word on his condition.  Sir Clement took ill late on Saturday 26th January 2008.

Drivers - Still No Overtime
Earlier this month, we reported on this site that drivers of government ministers are up in arms over the decision to stop overtime payments to them when they drive ministers beyond their normal working hours.  Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham wants to revert to the system of paying a lump sum of $150 per month for drivers in lieu of overtime.  This would be unlawful.  The latest information is that the Prime Minister has told all his ministers that they must drive themselves after hours.  So you can see it now, there is an official function at 6 p.m. and ministers are trying to get there, hustling for a parking spaces like the rest of us mere mortals.  Only in Hubert Ingraham's version of The Bahamas can this be considered efficient.

Urban Renewal Workers Are Fired in Freeport
It is reported that Barbara Burrows, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Health and Social Development and Melanie Zonicle the Director of Social Services has told 45 workers in the Urban Renewal offices in Freeport that they must vacate their present offices in the Department of Housing in Freeport.  They are to be redeployed to different offices as of Monday 28th January.  They have been told that the budgetary allocation for their salaries runs out in June 2008 and that they cannot be assured the continuation of their jobs.  The word around town in Freeport is that they are to be fired and replaced by workers who will do the same jobs but will be known FNM supporters.

Janet Turns Down China
We have received information that Janet Bostwick has turned down the offer of a post as Ambassador to China first reported on this site.  We thought it was a bad idea anyway.

Time For A New Leadership In Finance
The 1992 to 2002 Ingraham administration kept on the existing leadership of the Ministry of Finance for too log.  The PLP administration kept the existing leadership in position as well and again left that leadership there for the Ingraham administration to keep in the job again.  The leadership is stymieing change in the ministry and the ministry is falling behind in best practices.  The younger staff in the ministry are asking is whether or not there are only a chosen few in the whole Bahamas who can occupy leadership positions in Finance.  It is time for the government to find new leadership and to update and modernize that Ministry which is living in the dark ages.  After a certain time, anyone, no matter who and how talented should move on and let new people and methods take over.

Curtis McMillan Funeral

The funeral of the late Dr. Curtis McMillan, former Member of Parliament and Cabinet Minister in the first PLP government, took place at the Hillside Seventh Day Adventist Church on the Tonique Darling Highway on Monday 21st January.  The Prime Minister attended and spoke on behalf of the country.  Dr. McMillan served in the House of Assembly for five years.  From 1967 to 1972.  He left the PLP to form the Free PLP and part of the Dissident Eight who split from the PLP with the late Sir Cecil Wallace Whitfield in 1970.  He was the first Secretary General of the FNM.  The BIS photo of the funeral procession is by Patrick Hanna.

Tit For Tat Murders
While Hubert Ingraham was busy rallying the FNM in their red shirts about the PLP and the election court, the country was experiencing another round of murders.  To date there are eight murders for the year, at this rate 2 per week.  A possible self immolation by a Junkanoo group marshal may be classified as a homicide, but never mind.  On Elizabeth Avenue in the heart of the city, one hundred yards off Bay Street, someone was murdered on Friday night 25th January.  On the afternoon of Saturday 26th January, two more murders, a husband and wife in Pinewood, which murders it is being said on the street are reportedly connected to the first murder victim and the crime is thought to be a revenge killing.  Instead of having rallies about the PLP, Hubert Ingraham needs to talk about the murder rate spiralling out of control.

PLP Deputy Leader Convalescing
Speaker of the House of Assembly Alvin Smith told the House of Assembly on Wednesday 23rd January that Deputy Leader of the PLP Cynthia Pratt was unable to attend the House of Assembly session because of deterioration of the cartilage in her feet, which causes pain.  The doctors have told her not to climb stairs.  We wish Mrs. Pratt a speedy recovery.  The Speaker said that Mrs. Pratt believes that the condition is a result of her early years as an athlete.

Charles Rolle Is Buried
The brother of Donald ‘Nine’ Rolle was the quiet one.  But he was a fierce supporter of the PLP and virtual mayor in Kemp Road.  Known as ‘Do It Right’ or Junior, Charles Rolle died on 10th January, 2008 one day after his birthday at the age of 70.  Mr. Rolle was a close friend of Governor General Arthur Hanna and of former Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell.  Both attended the funeral and spoke at the service held at St. Margaret’s Anglican Church in Kemp Road on Saturday 26th January.  You may click here for the full remarks of Mr. Mitchell.  Perry Christie the Leader of the PLP also attended the funeral and spoke as well.  He is survived by his brother Donald ‘Nine’ Rolle, his children Wilfred, Deborah and Sarah.

Eric Mitchell Remembered

Eric Mitchell was one of four sons born to Robert and Odessa (nee Weech) Mitchell of Bain Town.  He was an excellent carpenter.  He worked at the prison as a carpenter and retired there.  He died in 1985.  Mr. Mitchell and scores of other civilians and prison officers were remembered in a moving ceremony on a Sunday 20 of January when a Wall of remembrance with their names inscribed thereon was unveiled.  Prison Superintendent Elliston Rahming and National Security Minister Tommy Turnquest presided.  Shown in this BIS photo by Patrick Hanna are left to right Audra Mitchell, granddaughter of Mr. Mitchell, Fred Mitchell MP nephew of Mr. Mitchell, Anwar Mitchell, his grandson and Andre and Audley Mitchell, his sons.