FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT AND COMMON DECENCY BASED ON MUTUAL RESPECT – MEMORIES RESORT

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best viagra purchase times;”>e603e843-a541-4c27-a618-6294c2a90377FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT AND COMMON DECENCY
BASED ON MUTUAL RESPECT – MEMORIES RESORT

In the 1950’s high net worth individuals came to Nassau for what came to be known as the “season” which ran from Thanksgiving to Easter. These persons built winter homes along the eastern road and out west while others had extended stay(s) at the Montaque Beach Hotel. In those days, white glove service was the order of the day. This was tourism in its embryonic stage fifty (50) years ago. It was the privilege of the local domestic worker to interact with the rich and famous becoming the first generation of the tourism industry worker. The men were taught how to dress, good grooming, and how to deport themselves in the art of fine dining. The ladies, likewise, were taught in the art of good housekeeping. For the service rendered, these employees were paid handsomely, but beyond that some of their children were given scholarships to institutions of higher learning in the U.S., Canada, and England. This was a priceless commodity for that generation. The most important thing of that time was the employee and employer were both treated with dignity and mutual respect, fifty plus years ago.

Shortly after the PLP 1967 majority rule victory, the first wave of Bahamians were given scholarships to colleges and universities to schools like Cornell University, New York Hotel and Motel School to pursue diploma and degree courses in hotel administration. I know this because my father, Felix Seymour, was a recipient of that program which was made possible by the PLP when Carlton Francis was Minister of Finance. Today, we have a School of Hospitality at the College of the Bahamas. We are now training managers in the tourism industry for the world. Scores of trained Bahamian hoteliers working around the world in top management positions but sadly on the home front qualified Bahamians can only go so far and no further. We as a people cannot point to one Bahamian that heads up a major resort in the Bahamas. Most Bahamians find they are managers in token positions to satisfy Immigration requirements. Public policy has failed our people miserably notwithstanding the numerous degrees and 50+ years in the tourism hospitality industry and counting. The question is why? The answer is our politicians lack the precious commodity called “courage”. 

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Grand Bahama Youth Choir just before being kicked off Memories property last week

On the 24th December, 2015, the Grand Bahama Youth Choir was unceremoniously ejected from the premises of the Memories Hotel & Resort while performing for guests at the hotel on Christmas Eve by the Mexican resort manager. It would have been better if the resort manager had driven the choir out of the resort with a horse whip because the sting of the whip would have eased after a few minutes. In crossing the line of human decency, in one swoop, he, the manager, humiliated his Bahamian manager; insulted the choir director, and worst of all, he cut to the bone the innocent idealism of the children by demonstrating to them, that they are second class citizens in their own country. Sadly, depending on the size of the investment dollar, money run things, and it is okay to emasculate your leaders, which was the message I am sure these young people will not soon forget. It was the action of a coward and a bully, but it is probably common place in Mexico, where the less privileged is sometimes treated as sub humans in the work place.

The Grand Bahama community has been outraged. Family members of the children in the choir are still in shock that this sort of brazen behavior can still happen in the modern Bahamas. The resort has not made a statement and is unlikely to because a full week has elapsed. So, it now falls to the government of the Bahamas to act. As members of this community, we the people, will watch, wait, and listen, to see if the appropriate steps are taken in this regard, for this is a defining moment for the PLP government.

Foreign direct investment is what drives the country’s GDP; at the same time, the balance of treating all people with dignity and respect must be a paramount component of national development, otherwise chaos will ensue in the work place.

Proverbs tells us a wise man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children. In the government’s zeal to find jobs for its citizens, it should not compromise on any deal that will rob the Bahamian people of their self-respect and self-worth. The Bahamas is a beautiful country and a wonderful place to live: let us not in this generation, as leaders, shrink from our responsibility so when we pass the baton to the next generation, we hand them a country better off than we met it.

Senor Varella, there is an honorable course of action, you are invited to take that course: if not, Sun Wing Corporation should immediately recall you, or the government should declare you PERSONA NON GRATA, adios my brother, your actions are bad for business, and bad for these Isles of June, for the road you trod will not lead us to a common more loftier goal as is intended by our national anthem .

Brian Seymour