THIS WEEK IN THE BAHAMAS (17th October 2014)
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generic viagra look times;”>Governor General Dame Marguerite meets Queen Elizabeth
ailment times;”>It goes something like this. The appointment of the Governor General in our Commonwealth comes with the award of a knighthood of the Dame Grand Cross of the Order of St. Michael and St. George; this investiture marked the Dame’s second knighthood. Her first came on March 21, 2007 when she was knighted a Dame Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George. She received that honour for community service and her work in charity and politics.
So in that grand British tradition, Dame Marguerite Pindling left Nassau for London on Friday 10th October for an eight-day trip, returning today, 17th Oct. That grand British tradition also requires the newly appointed Governor General to pay a courtesy call on the Queen, head of the British Commonwealth. That took place on 14th October at Buckingham Palace. With that, the ritual of the appointment to the office of Governor General is now complete.
Constitution Framers remembered
The 15 framers of The Bahamas constitution were remembered as the country celebrated its second annual National Heroes Day on Monday, 13th October 2014 at the mausoleum of Sir Lynden Pindling, the Father of the nation. Laying the wreath at the mausoleum was Deputy to the Governor-General, Mr. Oswald Ingraham.
It was in December 1972 when a bipartisan group of fifteen Parliamentarians, eleven from the governing party and four from the opposition, traveled to London to execute the Independence Order, paving the way for nationhood on July 10th 1973.
The Constitution Framers were then Prime Minister, Sir Lynden Pindling, Sir Milo Butler, Hon. Arthur D. Hanna, Sir Clement T. Maynard, Hon. Paul L. Adderley, Hon. George Smith, Hon
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. Cadwell Armbrister, Hon. Philip Bethel, Hon. Henry Bowen, Hon. Carlton Francis and Hon. A. Loftus Roker from the governing Parliamentary Caucus. The opposition House members were opposition leader Sir Kendal G. L. Isaacs, Sir Orville Turnquest, Sir Arthur Foulkes and Hon. Norman Solomon.
Of the fifteen framers, six are still with us. They are Hon. Arthur D. Hanna, Sir. Arthur Foulkes, Hon. George Smith, Hon. A. Loftus Roker, Sir Orville Turnquest and Hon. Philip Bethel.
Delivering the keynote address was Prime Minister Christie who foreshadowed the establishment of a National Heroes Park.
Also in attendance were Deputy Prime Minister Davis, Ministers Wilchcombe, Mitchell, Hanna-Martin and Griffin in addition to members of the National Heroes Committee including chair Fr. Sebastian Campbell and Freddy Munnings Jr.
Diplomatic week announced
Realizing the need to bring the foreign ministry, the diplomatic corps and the consular corps closer together while educating the public on the role of the foreign ministry, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration the Hon. Fred Mitchell announced Diplomatic Week on Wednesday, 15th Oct 2014 at the House. He was flanked by the ministry’s executive team including Permanent Secretary Philip Miller; Parliamentary Secretary Cleola Hamilton, and High Commissioner to CARICOM, HE Picewell Forbes.
“This (event) will give Diplomats the opportunity to interact with Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Government officials so that they can get an understanding of The Bahamas’ goals in foreign diplomacy” said Mitchell. He has indicated on many occasions that the fundamental objective of the Foreign Affairs ministry is to facilitate a seamless experience for Bahamians traveling around the world.
A service of thanksgiving at Christ Church Cathedral on Sunday, 19th Oct will kick off a week of events. Also planned is a meeting of the 12 Heads of Mission with the Minister and Permanent Secretary; a public forum at COB; the launch of the re-election campaign for a Bahamas’ seat on the board of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and a diplomatic corps speaking tour. The Official Opening Ceremony of Diplomatic Week is scheduled for9am on Thursday (Oct 23) at the Meliá Nassau Beach Resort, Cable Beach.
More PEPFAR grants to fight HIV/AIDS
The tripartite partnership between the government of The Bahamas, the United States government and local Non-Government Organizations (NGO’s) continues as three grants under the United States PEPFAR small fund program totaling some $13,000 were awarded to five NGO’s in the continued fight against HIV/AIDS through public education and community outreach across The Bahamas.
PEPFAR is the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. It is the United States government’s initiative to combat the global HIV/AIDS epidemic and is now part of the Global Health Initiative. Since 2004 PEPFAR has committed more than $30 billion in funding to fight the AIDS epidemic globally. PEPFAR reportedly continues to represent the largest financial commitment by a single country to responding to HIV and AIDS worldwide.
Receiving grants from the US Embassy were the Haitian Organization for the Prevention of HIV/AIDS & STI’s (HOPHAS); the Bahamas Sexual Health & Reproductive Association (BASHRA) in association with its partners SASHA Bahamas and BNN Plus and the One Eleuthera Foundation.
The award presentation and grant signing ceremony took place today, 14th October 2014 at the Ministry of Health headquarters. Representing the Bahamas government were Permanent Secretary Marco Rolle, Dr. Glen Beneby, CMO and Dr. Delon Brennen, Deputy CMO. The US Embassy was represented by Ananda Hall-Pyfrom, Asst. PEPFAR Coordinator and David Allen, Pol/Econ Chief at the local US Embassy.
World Food Day celebrated
On the 16th October 2014 The Bahamas joined 150 other countries in observance of the 34th annual World Food Day under the auspices of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). Under this year’s theme “Family Farming: Feeding the world, caring for the earth,” the 62 year old FAO, one of the oldest organs of the United Nations, continued its fight to eradicate world hunger which affects upwards of one billion people today.
The Bahamas celebrated this day with a seminar on backyard farming and agriculture and cooperative display booths at Arawak Cay. The opening ceremony included performances by school choirs and community marching bands.
Ministers Rolle and Darville at World Investment Forum 2014
Seeking to attract more investments to The Bahamas, Ministers Rolle and Darville led a delegation from the Bahamas Investment Authority to Geneva, Switzerland to participate in the World Investment Forum (WIF) at the Palais de Nations from 13th to 16th October. This year’s theme is “Investing in Sustainable Development.”
The delegation included the Director of Investments at the Bahamas Investment Authority (BIA) in the Office of the Prime Minister, Mrs. Candia Ferguson and Project officers Melissa Forbes and Leslie Dorsette from the Ministry of Grand Bahama.
The World Investment Forum (WIF) is a high level, biennial assembly that provides a global platform to engage policy makers, the private sector and other stakeholders in discourse on Foreign Direct Investment policy formulation and promotion. The Bahamas Investment Authority delivered presentations on investment opportunities in the Bahamas generally and in particular our industrial capital, Grand Bahama
Other countries participating at the forum included United States of America, United Arab Emirates, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Zimbabwe, The Netherlands and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.
Anglican Bishop addresses public policy at the 113th Synod
The 113th Synod of the Anglican Diocese of The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands was held this week with the opening mass at Christ Church Cathedral on Tuesday evening. During his charge, Bishop Laish Boyd expressed support for the four constitutional bills on gender equality currently before Parliament and urged Anglicans to use common sense when considering the bills. He argued that there cannot be one rule for men and another for women – all must be treated equally.
On the issue of immigration, the Bishop said that the country must create policies that are relevant to the realities of the twenty-first century and not the 1960’s or 1940’s. He decried the slow process for the regularization of lawful applicants for citizenship. While he proclaimed his nationalistic love for The Bahamas and would not want to see it overrun by another nationality, he advised that “there needs to be a discussion about a path to regularization and even citizenship for some.”
On Value Added Tax, the Bishop referred to it as a new and challenging chapter in the life of the country and Bahamians must prepare for it. He urged Bahamians to “bite the bullet and weather the implementation transition. It (VAT) will be an adjustment for us all but the long term effects will be for the good.”
Amid claims that the country might not be prepared for an Ebola outbreak, Health Minister revealed on Monday that the government is ready and has a plan and that “anybody who is out there espousing that the ministry has not done anything is not telling the truth.”
“Ministry of Health has a plan to address the Ebola issue” said Dr. Gomez to the media. He continued that “it is a plan that has been developed over a period of months and a lot of work has gone into it.” He was referring to the 42 page plan his ministry developed.
On Tuesday at Government House, Deborah Fraser, former Director of Legal Affairs in the Office of the Attorney General was appointed a Justice on the Supreme Court Bench. Current Supreme Court Justice Jon Isaacs was promoted to Justice of the Court of Appeals Both justices were sworn in by Deputy to the Governor General, Mr. Oswald Ingraham.
In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Bahamas Cooperative League (BCL), the Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government in conjunction with the BCL hosted a distinguished lecture on Thursday, 16th Oct 2014 at the Harry C. Moore Library. The guest lecturer was Joel Lalonde who spoke on the topic, “Accelerating wealth through cooperatives.”
The much anticipated Bimini SuperFast Cruise ship made its inaugural voyage from Fort Lauderdale to Bimini on Tuesday 14th Oct with more than 800 passengers on board. This is good news for Resorts World Bimini and local businesses in Bimini, especially during the slow tourism period.
In observance Youth Month under the auspices of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, a Youth Parliamentary session was held on Friday at the House of Assembly. The Youth Parliament debated the Constitutional Bills on gender equality currently before Parliament and the pros and cons of Value Added Tax or VAT. The Minister of Youth, Dr. Daniel Johnson was in attendance to show his support.