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THE COMMISSIONING OF THE ROLLY GRAY

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cialis sale cialis sale times;”>image005 GREAT EXUMA, The Bahamas – The fourth of nine patrol vessels has been named after legendary Bahamian sailor, Mr. Rolly Bertram Gray. Her Majesty’s Bahamian Ship, Rolly Gray was commissioned during an official ceremony held at the Marina at Emerald Bay in Exuma on Thursday, April 30.

Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie led a delegation of Cabinet Ministers and Senior Government officials to attend the ceremony. Bahamians and a number of international guests were present despite the overcast weather conditions. Prime Minister Christie said that he was honoured to participate in the event. He said that Mr. Gray was a great Bahamian who contributed much to The Bahamas.

“I am satisfied that all Bahamians alike, will unquestionably agree, that Rolly Gray is deserving of this great honour,” said Mr. Christie. “This is a man who dedicated his life to promoting his country and his craft. He deserves this honour, posthumously, from a grateful nation.”

Minister of National Security, the Hon. Bernard J. Nottage also delivered brief remarks. He said that the patrol vessels would significantly impact illegal maritime activities, which currently plague the country.image006

For decades, Captain Gray’s name has been synonymous with regatta competitions. He was born on August 22, l922 to Richard Gray of Staniel Cay and Blanche Smith-Gray of Farmer’s Cay. In 1937, at the age of 15, Captain Gray went to sea for the first time with his uncle on an 18-foot boat. One year later, he went out on the 36-foot Ragged Island sloop “The Return.” Then at the age of 18, he became the captain of the 25-foot “Dolly.” Gradually, Captain Gray manned larger boats and more powerful boats, winning the first Out Island Regatta in the ‘A’ and ‘C’ divisions (which later became the National Family Island Regatta).

Captain Gray has received many awards for his participation in sailing, including: a plaque in l972 (from Prime Minister Lynden O. Pindling); Queen’s Birthday Honours in l977; a plaque from the Governor General in l980, and recognition from local and international organizations for his participation in sailing — including honours from the Ministry of Tourism, image007National Regatta Hall of Fame, All-Exuma Association, Burn’s House, Long Island Sailing Club and the Long Island Association, among others. In 2007, Captain Gray was an inductee on the ‘Wall of Fame’ at the Lynden Pindling International Airport by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture. Captain Gray was married to Maggie nee Bodie of Black Point, Exuma and the couple had eight children: Veronica, Barbara, Penelope, Yvonne, Ruel, Tony, Freddie and Sandy. He died on February 17, 2008.

 

In March 2014, The Ministry of National Security moved to acquire nine vessels for the Defence Force. The Ministry of National Security contracted the services of Damen Shipyard to acquire four Damen Stan Patrol 4207 vessels (at 138 feet in length with 8-foot draft); four Damen Stan Patrol 3007 vessels (98 feet in length with 6.5-foot draft); nine Rigid Inflatable boats; and one Damen Roll-on Roll-off Landing Craft – a Damen Stan Lander 5617 that is 183 feet in length with 8.5-foot draft. The new boats would support the government’s efforts to curb illegal maritime activities including human, arms and drug smuggling and illegal poaching in Bahamian waters.

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The HMBS Rolly Gray is the fourth in the Damen Stan Patrol 4207 vessels. The other three ships that have already been commissioned include: HMBS Arthur Hanna, HMBS Durward Knowles and HMBS Leon Smith.

The Commanding Officer of the HMBS Rolly Gray will be Mr. Granville Adderley, Acting Lieutenant Commander of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force.