ACCEPTANCE REMARKS BY CHESTER COOPER AND EVA BAIN
ON THE OCCASION OF HIS RATIFICATION
EXUMA AND RAGGED ISLAND CONSTITUENCY
NATIONAL GENERAL COUNCIL MEETING
PROGRESSIVE LIBERAL PARTY
LYNDEN PINDLING CENTER
17th NOVEMBER 2016
Thank you so much PLPs for your warm welcome here tonight.
I’m Chester Cooper and I don’t think it’s any secret that Exuma is PLP country and with your help and with God’s help in the next election we will keep Exuma and Ragged Island in the PLP family!
Thank you Mr. Party Leader – the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie, for your endorsement of my candidacy. I won’t let you down as I continue the long and proud tradition of quality representation by those who held this privileged position before me.
Thank you Deputy Leader Davis, Chairman Roberts, the Candidates Committee, NGC, special thanks to those who came before me Hon. George A. Smith, Hon. Livingston Coakley, Hon. Ruby-Anne Darling, and special thanks to Hon. Anthony Moss for his contributions over the past 15 years and for facilitating such a seamless transition in passing the baton on to me so that together we can continue to make Exuma the envy of The Bahamas. [There was also a gentleman who represented Exuma in between from 1997 to 2002. I believe it was the Fresh Wind that blew him away. I give you my word that we will keep him in political retirement!
Special thanks to Team Cooper Movement in Exuma, My wife Cecillia (she is the original member of the TeamCooper Movement); My Family, Stalwarts, Branch Officers, Young Liberals and the Community generally. I am also grateful for the wonderful people who came here today from the mainland of Exuma, Ragged Island & the Cays to throw your unreserved support behind me. I am humbled; I will do my best. I will not let you down. Thank you!
Ladies and gentleman, I promise to be brief…
Who is I. Chester Cooper some of you may ask? Well, I was born and grew up at Forbes Hill Little Exuma. I am the last of 12 children of Rev. Eulon & Louise Cooper. My father died tragically when I was 5 and my mother sacrificed all she had to see that I got a good education and became a good & productive son of the soil. But even with my mother’s help, I couldn’t do it alone.
It took a community, a Village, it took a PLP government willing to help with scholarships, and it took the support of a nation to get me where I am today.
My personal story is inextricably linked to the Bahamian story. A story that speaks to endless possibilities where our sons and daughters can rise from the rural dirt roads of Pompey Bay Acklins and Long Bay Cay Andros to meet with Heads of States on Mount Fitzsimmons.
Our Bahamian story speaks to the redemptive power of second chances where you can recover from the setback of expulsion from the Government High School only to become an eminent and distinguished barrister-at-law, government minister, Prime Minister, one of the most successful and longest serving Parliamentarians and the self proclaimed BEST JUNKANOO DANCER IN THE HISTORY OF OUR PREMIER CULTURAL EXPRESSION BAR NONE.
And now my brothers and sisters, it’s time for me to follow those noble examples and give back to a country that has given so much to me. As we move forward, it’s time to empower Exuma so that more children of meager means can realize the Bahamian dream through hard work hard, commitment and the support system from a caring Government.
The PLP is not perfect, but this government has laid a solid foundation for a new and Stronger Bahamas, boldly and fearlessly addressing the challenges confronting this country from food security, energy reform and criminal justice reform to tax reform and health reform through NHI.
The University of The Bahamas promises to be a Center of Excellence, leading solutions driven research and development in addressing our national challenges.
It is a matter of public record that since the commencement of the Christie Administration in May 2012, The Bahamas has succeeded in securing significant capital commitments of some $7.8 billion in foreign direct investment, delivering an additional 1500 hotel rooms and 300 high-end estate homes and villas in resort inventory over the next decade. Mr. Prime Minister, we know that Exuma has not been left out and I look forward to what can only be described as an economic renaissance over the next decade. I offer just a few examples:-
- JMMC Bahamas Ltd’s $311 million multi-faceted Great Exuma Adventure Resort on 275 acres at Hooper’s Bay Estates, Great Exuma.
- Further food and beverage expansions at Sandals Emerald Bay are planned in addition to its continued community and education outreach
- A $185 million residential community resort, marina and golf course on Children’s Bay Cay and Williams Cay.
- The redeveloped February Point includes a world class Welcome Center, a new marina and marina village with condo units, Bistro Bar and Spa.
- The Stocking Island Development Ltd, will develop the Stocking Island Club, a luxury $600 million residential resort boutique hotel and villas on Stocking Island.
So Prime Minister, we know that your government has been hard at work securing the economic future of Exuma and The Bahamas and I look forward to playing a pivotal role in securing job opportunities and expanded entrepreneurial opportunities for Exumians as these developments unfold.
From Little Exuma to the Forrest; from Rolleville to Black Point; and from Georgetown to Ramsey we will work together to empower our people through entrepreneurship.
We want to own the plumbing company; we want to own the tour company; we want to own the airline; we want to own the hotel; we want to own the ferry boats; WE WANT TO OWN EXUMA.
We will work with industry partners to secure more airlifts from the U.S., Canada and Britain to Exuma’s new airport; construction is scheduled to commence in the next few months.
I plan to unveil eVision 2030 shortly, a blue print for the empowerment of Exuma over the next 5, 10, 15, even 30 years. This comprehensive plan includes Jobs creation, entrepreneurship, a fully functional hospital, youth & community programs, scholarship opportunities, and the development of eco-tourism. Team Cooper proposes to leverage and develop Elizabeth Harbor, effectively cementing Exuma’s position as the yachting capital of the region.
Ragged Island, Little Exuma, Black Point, Staniel and Farmers Cays – you have important planks in our Vision for Exuma. I will fight for you with every fibre of my being!
We need every man, woman, and child on or connected to Exuma to be a part of building what we believe can be the best community in the country so get involved, take part and join Team Cooper and help us empower our Exuma together.
I pledge to be a change agent, giving of my skills, knowledge, ability and experience acquired in the private sector to facilitate progressive public sector reform and change!
On that note Mr. Party Leader….
I HUMBLY ACCEPT THE NOMINATION OF THIS GREAT PARTY FOR THE EXUMA & RAGGED ISLANDS CONTISTITUENCY.
Thank you so much again, ladies and gentleman.
See you in Exuma next Friday night for a grand celebration
Follow us on Facebook –
Team Cooper – we are on the move!
God bless and good night!
ON THE OCCASION OF HER RATIFICATION
PLP CANDIDATE FOR CENTRAL AND SOUTH ABACO
NATIONAL GENERAL COUNCIL MEETING
LYNDEN PINDLING CENTER
17th NOVEMBER 2016
In 1967, the father of our nation, the late Sir Lynden Oscar Pindling, borrowed the words from the prophet Samuel when he said the following:
“He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.”
Party leader, Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie;
Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon. Philip Brave Davis;
Party Chairman, Mr. Bradley Roberts;
Other Cabinet Ministers, Secretary General- Ms Barbara Pierre, Stalwart Councillors, council members, PLPs and especially my Central & South Abaco Supporters, my biggest fan, My husband – Mr. Willis Hubert Bain, ladies and gentleman, a pleasant Good Night.
Tonight I reverence God who is the head of my life and give Him glory for the great things that He hath done.
And I heard a voice in South Abaco saying, whom shall I send and who will go for us?
Then said I, HERE AM I, SEND ME, I WILL GO!
I WILL GO for Central & South Abaco – Moore’s Island, Sandy Point, Crossing Rocks, Bahama Palm Shores, Casuarinas Point, Cherokee Sound, Marsh Harbour, Guana Cay, Man O War Cay, Hope Town, I WILL GO!
I WILL GO for Community Development, Youth Development, Infrastructure Development, Mentorship programs, increased educational opportunities for our young people, economic empowerment for our entrepreneurs – I WILL GO FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE!!
Fellow Councillors, the record will show that for as long as the FNM represented the Island of Abaco, and represented by no less the FNM Prime Minister, it took the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie to cause for the single largest investment project in Abaco’s history – the resort at Bakers Bay. To date the total investment in that multi-phased mixed-use resort is in the neighbourhood of $700 million and counting. This makes Bakers Bay the third largest resort in The Bahamas behind Atlantis and Baha Mar. An understated fact is that our visionary Prime Minister is directly responsible for giving birth to two of the three largest tourism projects in The Bahamas – they are Bakers Bay and Baha Mar; give our illustrious Prime Minister a round of applause. This mega mixed use resort is a major supplier of jobs and has fuelled the Abaco economy for many years. Developments at Schooner Bay and the Abaco Club coupled with a resurging agricultural sector together ensure a positive economic outlook for Abaco.
The Christie administration has been attentive to the infrastructure needs of Abaco as this is necessary to complement and support this island’s continued and sustained economic growth while improving the lives of Bahamians in Abaco. I point to the seaport in the north, the asphalt roads in Marsh Harbour and the surrounding community of Murphy Town in addition to Sandy Point in the South.
I am pleased to see the construction of the modern amenities on Moore’s Island, inclusive of a new sporting complex for our young talented athletes; new road works; an extension to the airport runway and at long last some resolution to the longstanding and vexing challenges of unsettled generational land issues due to unclear titles. This impasse can serve as an impediment to economic empowerment for our people and I thank the Christie government for being proactive in this critical area.
I would be remiss if I did not mention two landmark achievements of this government that strikes at the essence and foundation of who we are as a people and what our government thinks about ordinary Bahamians. I speak about National Health Insurance and the University of The Bahamas. Our beloved Prime Minister believes that no resource should be spared in ensuring the health and wealth of our people. Regardless of your social and economic status in life, every Bahamian has a God given right to access affordable high quality health care and high quality education. It was the PLP who universalized education way back in 1967 and are transforming health care in 2016 in a way that touches the life of every Bahamian man, woman, boy and girl.
These transformational policies represent the core belief of the PLP which is social justice and a level playing field for all Bahamians. These two initiatives, like National Insurance, remind me of why I support this great organization, the Progressive Liberal Party – ALWAYS LOOKING OUT FOR THE WELFARE OF THE SMALL MAN.
I thank you Prime Minister Christie for policies like NHI and UB. These are gifts to the nation that will keep on giving in perpetuity long after we in this place would have passed on to our eternal rewards.
With that I close by stating that I, Eva Bain, stand ready, willing and able to join team PLP under the leadership of the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie to build on the progress his government has made in Abaco and this beautiful commonwealth of ours – policies that will positively and directly impact the lives of ordinary families for generations to come.
So Are You Ready Central & South Abaco?
Mr Prime Minister, WE ARE READY!! AND I ACCEPT, WITH ALL HUMILITY IN ALL SINCERITY, THANK YOU FOR GIVING CENTRAL AND SOUTH ABACO THE CHANCE OF A LIFETIME.
CENTRAL & SOUTH ABACO, TOGETHER WE CAN!!!! PLP… PLP…PLP!