Thursday, September 18, 2014

First Lady treated to surprise birthday party in Atlanta

Mrs. Christie blows out her candles

Photos and Story by Arthia Nixon, The Ambassador Agency
for Bahamas Consul General’s Office of Atlanta

(Atlanta, Georgia)… Bernadette Christie, First Lady of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas received “the shock of her life” when she was given a surprise pre-birthday party during her visit to Atlanta, Georgia. Under the guise of being a guest at a party for someone else, she and her sister Paula walked into the home of friend Denise Harrod, only to be greeted by staff of the Bahamas Consulate General’s Office and Bahamas Tourist Office singing “Happy Birthday Mrs. Christie”.

The First Lady was led into a main area by friend, civil rights activist and broadcasting legend Xernona Clayton, where she found cakes honoring her. She also took time to greet Bahamian children whose parents are attached to the Consulate Office. After mixing and mingling, guests dined on a meal prepared by A Taste of Elegance’s Chef Maurice Randal, an Atlanta-based Grand Bahama native.

“I was in on the surprise because we all love Mrs. Christie so much that it was easy to put it together,” revealed Xernona Clayton. “We wouldn’t dare miss it because we are so in love with her and what she represents. Everybody from the country is just so wonderful and so friendly and so inviting, that it’s a joy to have any excuse to get together. And it’s very special because it’s her birthday and I’m delighted to be here.”

“How intriguing and delightful it is for us at The Bahamas Consulate in Atlanta to have [Mrs. Christie] visiting with us just moments before her birthday,” said Student & Cultural Affairs Officer Robert Pinder. “We thought it would be a momentous occasion to celebrate the First Lady’s birthday while she was visiting here in Atlanta. We are coming together to celebrate the wonderful legacy of our nation’s First Lady.”

“It’s a pleasure on behalf of The Bahamas Tourist Office here in Atlanta to be here and celebrate our First Lady,” added Eddie Archer, General Manager of the Ministry of Tourism’s Atlanta Office. “We are enjoying ourselves truly with a Bahamian flavor. The food, drinks, music and dance… it’s a great feeling!”

Said Deputy Consul General Monique Vanderpool: “Birthdays are so special and we just wanted to let our First Lady know how very special she is. We knew her birthday was coming up and we wanted to start the celebrations here to let her know how much we appreciate and love her.”

“I wish to take this opportunity on behalf of the Consul General’s Office and all the Bahamians in Atlanta, Georgia to wish our First Lady, Mrs. Bernadette Christie a very happy birthday,” said Consul General Randy E. Rolle. “It was a surprise birthday just to show her that we all love her here in Georgia and around the world. We are very happy that she is spending this time with us. She’s going home soon but while she was in our presence we wanted to make the most of it and ensure she had a very good time and an enjoyable day.”

 “Good Lord was I surprised?” laughed Mrs. Christie whose actual birthday is September 18. “I was supposed to be coming here to a party for the Ambassador’s wife so I wasn’t surprised - I was shocked! And when I saw all the people I recognized, I realized, these are not friends of the Ambassador’s wife, these are my friends so I was pleasantly surprised. This is the first time I had been surprised at a birthday party. They got me good.”

 Mrs. Christie presents the first slice of cake to her sister Paula Hanna

Chef Maurice helps hostess Denise Harrod after she receives the second slice of Mrs. Christie's cake

 Tourism Office General Manager Eddie Archer, Mr. Edward Hales and Consul General Randy E. Rolle

 Mrs. Christie's sister Paula Hanna and Robert Pinder Student and Cultural Affairs Officer

 Party goers join Mrs. Christie to dance rake 'n' scrape

 Xernona Clayton admires the fruit platter

 Yvonne Turnquest, Danielle and Kelysta Anusiem and Deputy Consul Monique Vanderpool

 Gianne and Dominic Demeritte with son Greyson

 Kelysta Anusiem shares a laugh with the First Lady

 Mrs. Christie celebrates with friends Wanda Howard and Xernona Clayton

 Mrs. Christie enjoys her birthday dinner with friends

 Alejandra Stack gets a hug from the birthday lady, Mrs. Christie

Andrea Roberts, Tieshka Archer and Therese Maddox 

 Bahamas Consul General Randy E. Rolle and First Lady Bernadette Christie

 Brenden and Brent Vanderpool, Jr wish Mrs. Christie happy birthday as Xernona Clayton and  Wanda Thomas look on

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