Thursday, August 7, 2014

Bahamas Consul General’s Office Concludes Post-Independence Events with Shaback

By Arthia Nixon, The Ambassador Agency
for the Bahamas Consul General’s Office of Atlanta.

Front row: Atlanta’s BChase Williams; Robert Pinder, Consulate’s Cultural and Student Affairs Attache`;  Mrs . Monique Vanderpool, Vice Consul General for The Bahamas to Atlanta; Consul General to Atlanta, Randy E. Rolle; Clint Watson, Director of Shaback and Radio One personality, Veda Howard.

(Atlanta, Georgia)…The Commonwealth of The Bahamas wrapped up post-independence celebrations in the city of Atlanta, concluding with several performances by the award-winning Bahamian gospel group, Shaback. Led by Clint Watson, the young singers were given the opportunity to tour some of Atlanta’s well known attractions in addition to paying a courtesy call at City Hall, visiting the legendary Xernona Clayton and enjoying a dinner at the residence of Consul General to the jurisdiction, Randy E. Rolle.

Watson expressed his thanks to the Consul General’s office, especially Robert Pinder, Cultural & Student Relations Officer.

“We brought a taste of the Bahamian experience through gospel music to the City of Atlanta,” said Watson. “The Bahamas considers itself a Christian nation and so gospel music is one of the most popular forms of music whereby Bahamians gather strength and encouragement. Shaback is confident that the sound we carry is a unique one, divinely inspired and orchestrated. We enjoyed the fellowship and interaction with the people of Atlanta. Our goal was not to entertain but minister to the hearts of those who came.”

The group consisted of ten singers, three musicians and five members of their travel road support team. They present a mixture of Caribbean styles, traditional and contemporary American hits and of course, the indigenous Bahamian sounds of Junkanoo and Rake ‘n’ Scrape.

"’One of the greatest psychological changes that has overtaken the Bahamian People in the years since 1967 is their sense of pride in being 'Bahamian.' There was a Time when being a Bahamian did not count for much. The Bahamian was tolerated but not recognized. Now he is given full recognition and cannot be just tolerated. But we Bahamians have a responsibility to our Country not to let our new-found sense of pride go to our heads. Instead, we should always use our heads to make the most of our pride of being. Independence will mean work for us all, self-reliance for us all, dignity for us all, and reward for us all; but the mere fact of Independence will not promise us a rose garden,’” Robert Pinder quoted the late Sir Lynden Pindling, first Prime Minister of The Bahamas. 

“When the late father of our nation presented these profound words at the National Convention on Independence in April 1972, he was preparing the path for today, when we as Bahamians can enjoy the luxuries of the world and sit among the brightest of the world,” noted Pinder. “As we pause to celebrate forty one years as independent country, how timely it is to choose a theme so fitting that aligns its message globally ‘celebrating our culture, a commitment to peace.’ The main thrust of this theme is peace, as I listened attentively to the interview of the newly sworn in Governor General Her Excellency, Dame Marguerite Pindling and she heralds the sentiments of National Peace in our country…As the first Cultural & Student Relations Attaché in the Atlanta Consulate, I was also thrilled to see the emphasis placed on culture and the honoring of forty one Icons in that arena, as culture has become the new driving catalyst by which the countries are marketing themselves and our beloved Bahamas is a part of this run. In this regard, I salute our country as we continue to make strides among the global landscape.”

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