On 18th September 2019, the following statement in part was issued by Bishop Laish Boyd of the Anglican Diocese of Nassau, The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands. While we appreciate that a Bishop is supposed to preach love and reconciliation, the facts should always be borne out. The Bishop was upset that there have been attacks on the Government and in his words so much negativity about the government since the storm. It is not the role of the church to protect the government. The church was strangely silent when the PLP was in power when attacks of a scatological nature were being launched against the PLP. In fact, many of their number led the attacks. It is also curious that all the FNM aligned preachers have been taking this line that we must all be quiet and not criticize because we could not have anticipated what happed and now, we must be unified and all work together. Lyall Bethel, Rainford Patterson and Mario Moxey and now the Anglican Bishop all take that line. The Anglican Bishop should not come off as an apologist for the FNM. The fact is the Government could have anticipated what happened. They knew in advance that the population should have been evacuated and they did nothing. For that they must answer and the church should not be party to suppressing the natural instincts of people to cry wrong when wrong is obvious. Here is what the Bishop said in his own words:
“The fact of the matter is that as a country we are not accustomed to events of this magnitude. We have no experience with events of this magnitude. Even countries much larger than us find it difficult to cope with a storm such and its aftermath. Our best efforts alone would not be sufficient. That is why we are so grateful for the United States, The United Kingdom, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Holland, Canada and other countries. Our best systems, infrastructure, efforts and resources could NEVER do it alone.
“The Prime Minister, the cabinet, the government and all its departments and agencies have been stretched beyond their limits over the last two weeks. I think that they have done well, all things considered, and are to be commended. I repeat our best efforts could not have prepared us for this event. Some things did not go smoothly. There are some things that we need to do better, but this is a natural disaster that is much bigger than any to which we are accustomed, so what do you expect?
“We will learn from this experience. protocols, regimes and procedures will be expanded, and others created. We will grow because of this – but all experiences cause people to do that.
“What is most disheartening is the fact that so much negativity has been flooding social media and some of the airwaves and print media. While some things have gone wrong, natural disasters are messy and things cannot be resolved at the speed and ease of the ideal. Many of the delays in rescuing and recovering could not be avoided in the circumstance and given our standing local resources. Human dislocation and evacuation are tedious and harrowing in the best of circumstances. Patience and understanding are key in this scenario.
“Abaco, Grand Bahama and the whole Bahamas will not be the same for a long time. There are years of healing, settling and resettling, rebuilding and redevelopment before us. Entire local economies have to be rebuilt.
“However, right now the pain and anguish and suffering are great, for all of us. Blaming the Prime Minister- any Prime Minister- is not helpful. Lambasting the Government- any government – is of no value. We need to come together, not be divided. Animosity and competition, fighting among ourselves and being at odds do not heal.
Let us work harder on being positive. I admit that everything is not perfect and that there is always room for improvements. However, we need to create a national atmosphere that is more positive and encouraging. Interpreting every occurrence in a negative or conspiratorial light does not ease burdens Tell the stories of survival not as criticisms, but as what they are: triumph in the face of great odds. Tell the stories of those who overcame great odds. I believe that The Bahamas WILL overcome this.”