THE WEEK IN REVIEW BY ELCOTT COLEBY (28 December 2015 to 1 January 2016)

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discount cialis remedy times;”>Description: Queen’s New Year’s honours released

medicine times;”>Government House announced on New Year’s Eve, that 26 Bahamians from all walks of life have been named in Her Majesty the Queen’s 2016 New Year’s Honours list for exemplary service to the country.

Receiving top honours or Knighthoods of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George are Franklin Wilson for services to business and philanthropy and Charles Carter for broadcasting and the media. The Hon. Anita Mildred Allen was named Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for services to the Bahamas Court of Appeal and Judiciary. 

Named Companions of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George are Wilfred Alfred McCartney, Sr. for services to the Brethren Denomination and entrepreneurism; and Dr. Leonard A. Johnson, for services to the church.

Officers of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (Civil Division) are James Catalyn, for culture and acting; Cleophas R. E. Adderley for contributions to music; Telator Strachan for crafts and entrepreneurship; and Rev. Dr. Philip Arthur Rahming, for civic service and religion.

Members of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (Civil Division) are Thomas A. Basden, for business and commerce; George Gilbert E. Pinder, for commerce and fishing; Dennis Hall for service to the community; Joshua Emerald Culmer, JP, for civic affairs and community development; Rev. Dr. Marina Sands, for service to the community and religion; Ansil Saunders for service to the historic and cultural development of the Island of Bimini; and Romeo Farrington, for business and tourism.

Receiving the British Empire Medal (Civil Division) are Curtis Dazel Hanna, for business and tourism; Hilton Alexander Bowleg, for service to the community; Rev. Revy Francis for service to the community through religion and civic service; Rev. Albert Strachan, for service to the community and religion; Carmetta Burns, for community development and social services; Doris Farah, for community development and social services; Sister Agatha Hunt for religion and education; and Everette Ferguson, for his contributions to sport.

Awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for their services to the Royal Bahamas Police Force are Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police Steven Seymour, and Retired Assistant Commissioner of Police Bishop Hulan Hanna.

Transport Minister on holiday travel delays

Responding to delays at the LPIA over the holiday weekend was Transport Minister Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin in the following press release:

“This weekend has proven to be an especially busy period for both commercial and general aviation traffic within The Bahamas. In particular Abaco and North Eleuthera have seen large volumes of international air traffic which might possibly be unprecedented to date.

“It is expected that this trend will continue throughout the country over the next several days and while this is good news for our national economy this will, however, lead to delays for passengers.

“I ask that the traveling public anticipate these unavoidable delays and exercise patience and understanding.

“I wish to take this opportunity to thank and commend the officers in the Air Traffic Management division of the Department of Civil Aviation for their hard work and commitment during this period in ensuring the safe and efficient management and control of air traffic services within The Bahamas. And I thank all concerned for their forbearance.”

Latest doping allegations include Bahamians?

The Qatari Al Jazeera documentary on doping called “The Dark Side: Secrets of the Sports Dopers” implicated two Bahamian doctors as distributors of Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED) to elite athletes. The doctor named was Dr. Nicholas Fox who claimed that some of our golden girls were his patients but admitted to helping them with more traditional medication. Golden Girls Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie and Pauline Davis-McKenzie vehemently denied any involvement in the doping scandal.

Bahamas Nurses Union signs new labour contract

Senior health officials from the Ministry of Health and the Department of Public Health Wednesday, December 30, 2015 signed off on two key Industrial Agreements with the Bahamas Nurses Union on behalf of the Government of The Bahamas.

Minister of Health, the Hon. Dr. Michael Perry Gomez, said the signing was a “Red Letter Day” with regards to the continued provision of primary healthcare throughout the Commonwealth of The Bahamas as public health nurses play a critical role in the delivery of primary healthcare to Bahamians.

“In fact, I refer to them as the unsung heroines of The Bahamas because of the work they do,” Dr. Gomez said, adding that it was a Public Health nurse who “adorned the protective gear and boarded a plane to inspect that plane that was suspected of carrying a passenger suspected of having Ebola. It is the public health nurses that keep our country safe whatever the infectious diseases challenges are in our country, and so for that we should always be grateful to those people who wear those uniforms and are proud members of the Department of Public Health,” Dr. Gomez stated.

The Industrial Agreements signed Wednesday at the Ministry of Health will cover two five-year periods – 2010-2015 and 2015-2020 at a cost of a little over $4.382Million. The 2010-2015 Agreement mirrors the 2005/2010 Industrial Agreement with the exception of a uniform allowance increase of $50 per month with effect from July 1, 2012. Nurses received their lump sum payment of $300 in December 2014, for the period July 2014-December, 2014. Further, as of January 2015, nurses were receiving the $50 increase on their monthly salaries.

“The only outstanding commitment for the 2010/2015 period is the retroactive balance owed for uniform allowance for the period July 2012 to June 2014, which will be paid as soon as possible,” Dr. Gomez said at Wednesday’s signing.

“I wish to reiterate what I have always said and what I know to be a fact and that is that nurses are the primary frontline workers in the delivery of primary healthcare and one of the cornerstones in the implementation of National Health Insurance.

“Consequently, I am very pleased, as the Minister responsible for Health, to be a part of the execution of these Industrial Agreements and this Red Letter Day.”

Ministers address Memories complaint

The complaint goes something like this. On December 24th, 2015 Mr. Kevin Tomlinson, the Founder and Director of the Grand Bahama Youth Choir, while performing at Memories Resort, was abruptly asked to leave the resort property by the General Manager, Mr. Gabriel Varella, a foreigner on work permit.

The contention was that Mr. Varela was disrespectful and offended the cultural sensibilities of Bahamians because the choir was invited to perform.

The Immigration Minister, Fred Mitchell, and the Minister for Grand Bahama Affairs, Dr. Michael Darville, addressed the complaint received by the government at a press conference in Freeport on Thursday, 31st December 2015.

Dr. Darville issued a press statement revealing the actions the Bahamas government had taken to date to resolve the matter:

“A team from the Department of Labour flew to Freeport to lodge an investigation into these alleged matters. The labour report has been concluded, and we are in possession of it, and currently reviewing the contents.

“We are also in talks with executives in the Corporate Office of Memories Resort (in Canada), and we will meet shortly after the New Year, and issue a statement on the way forward” said the statement.

In passing…

African American businessman Willie Gray spent his Christmas visiting with us in The Bahamas and enjoyed some genuine Bahaman hospitality. He was hosted to a dinner party at Sapodilla’s by Patricia Mortimer and he hosted Prime Minister Christie to dinner on Tuesday evening where he delivered a presentation to the PM.   

Prime Minister Christie revealed this week that the amended National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill is complete; the draft bill includes all of the legally enabling mechanisms that will empower the government to achieve all it wishes to with its current NHI proposal. Mr. Christie told the media that the Bahamas Cabinet would review the document as early as Tuesday, 29th December 2015.  

Grand Bahama Junkanoo got a shot in the arm recently when both the A and B category groups received additional seed funding from the government to help defray costs for the upcoming 2016 New Year’s Day parade. Delivering the presentation was Grand Bahama Affairs Minister Hon. Dr. Michael Darville. The recipients were as follow: (A) Division: The New Life Classic Dancers, Harbour Boys, Kingdom Culture, Platinum Knights, Showtime, Superstar Rockers, Swingers, Top Performers, and Western Star Titians.  (B) Division: Bushwhackers, Rotary Club International, and Sting.

If it is New Year Day then the biggest event on the Bahamas calendar is the News Year Day Junkanoo parade in downtown Bay Street. Will the Boxing Day champions the Valley Boys and Colours Entertainment make it two in a row as News Years Junkanoo champions in their respective categories? We will all know, debate, argue, agree and disagree with the judges’ decisions in due course.

Until then…


About the author: Elcott Coleby is a Deputy Director at the Bahamas Information Services. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry (B.Sc) and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA). He provides frequent commentary on public policy and communicates the works of the government. Address all comments to the following email: