A Row In Grand Bahama Over Independence Date

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The religious community and the trade unions along with figures from the PLP have weighed in on a government decision to move the date of the celebration of independence from the eve of the 9th July to that of the 8th July in Grand Bahama. This was apparently done to accommodate the Prime Minister Hubert Minnis’ travel schedule so that he can be in Grand Bahama as promised for independence and also in Nassau. The civic leaders in Grand Bahama have denounced it. They say it was changed without consultation. They say Independence Day is like Christmas, one of those dates you cannot change. They say that it was selfish because it inconveniences people who want to see the ceremony which takes place late at night and then have to go to work the next day. If it were held on 9th July, they would have the day off the next day. We agree with them. There are certain traditions you do not touch. This is selfish on the part of the FNM. Mr. Minnis ought to come to Freeport on the eve of the 9th and let the Governor General C A Smith stay in Nassau. They could do it the other way around. But leave the date and day of independence alone.