#242NewsBahamas Newsletter Edition: June 11th 2020
Bahamian Activist Fills Centennial Square
has undoubtedly been a crazy year! After enduring months of COVID-19
home isolation, the world has now exploded with outrage over the death
of George Floyd whose breath was stolen from him by police. His death
has promoted a world out cry for change in how we as a world treat those
of different colour and ethnicities.
was with great admiration and pride that last Sunday one of Grand
Bahama's very own, Asiyah Robinson, along with two of her friends, took
the initiative to host a peaceful Protest in Victoria, Vancouver,
Canada. One planned to turn outraged black voices into action. “I want
you to feel committed’” said Robinson. "I’m holding you to this. If you
see something, I want you to remember this moment. And if you don’t feel
comfortable engaging, learn how."
DPM Turnquest Presents Fiscal Projections for The Bahamas for the 2020/21 Budget Year
The Bahamas -- Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon.
K. Peter Turnquest explained that real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is
expected to decline by an unprecedented 12 percent this year --
representing the largest single year economic contraction since these
statistics have been kept.
economy is expected to be a lot smaller at the end of December than it
was in January. That means fewer business imports, lower sales revenue
for businesses, and therefore lower revenue for the Government,” DPM
Turnquest said as he presented the 2020/21 Budget Debate Opening
Statement in the House of Assembly, Monday, June 8, 2020.
Ministry of Education Announces July 13 as date for Beginning of National
The Bahamas – Despite the closure of schools in The Bahamas due to the
Corona virus pandemic, the Minister of Education, the Hon. Jeffrey
Lloyd, underscored that the educational system has performed an
“admirable” job in ensuring that students continue to receive vital
it does not replace face-to-face instruction in this situation,
Minister Lloyd said it is difficult to argue that it wasn’t or isn’t a
very “acceptable” alternative. In the midst of social media buzz
regarding the announced start of national examinations, Minister Lloyd
has confirmed that the Bahamas Junior Certificate (BJC) and Bahamas
General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE) examinations will be
carried out beginning July 13, 2020.
Lloyd addressed a virtual press conference Monday morning, June 8, 2020
that was attended by MOE officials including Lorraine Armbrister,
Permanent Secretary; Marcellus Taylor, Director; Julian Anderson, Deputy
Director; and Seretha Clarke Undersecretary.
DOSS ‘Significantly Expands’ Storage Capacity Ahead of 2020 Season
The Bahamas – Officials of the Disaster Management Unit of the
Department of Social Services, Ministry of Social Services and Urban
Development recently took possession of three, 40ft. containers that
will help to “significantly expand” the Unit’s storage capacity for the
2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
Hurricane Season opened June 1 and will run through November 30. The
three, 40ft. containers will complement the two warehouses the
Department previously used to store key hurricane supplies.
Leonard Cargill, Assistant Director with responsibility for the Unit,
said having the additional storage capacity is vital. “We got those
containers through one of our international partners and we are very
appreciative for the additional storage space those containers will
provide. We are looking forward to filling them up.”
Bahamas - While both domestic and global construction standards have
evolved over the years, traditional building may not be the best way
forward with the increased strength of Category 5 storms.
The Bahamas, a new company is shaking up the local home construction
industry, providing residents across the country with accessibility to
modern modular homes that are weather-resistant builds and insurance
approved. Led by CEO Edward Rice, Mosaic Modular opened in Freeport,
just before Hurricane Dorian hit the island.
lived in Freeport for some years previously, I knew right from the
outset, that it was the perfect location for us to launch this building
system,” said Rice. “The Bahamas is a place that needs a sustainable
solution to withstand the onslaught of wind and water more than anywhere
A Personal Plea to Help Save the Oceans of The Bahamas Before it is Too Late By Mario Carey
Carey is best known as a highly successful real estate broker, leader
and innovator in the industry. Although he has handled more than $2.75
billion in transactions over a 30-year career, he has always carved out
time to put everything else aside and pursue his lifelong passion – deep
sea diving. He wrote the following piece pleading for action after
watching the waters of The Bahamas degrade from alive and teeming with
marine life to near desolate in many areas. He blames much of weariness
of the seas and the depletion of fish, conch and crawfish stock on the
lack of regulation of foreign vessels and their guests. Carey says it is
urgent that a higher price be exacted for accessing Bahamian waters and
controls be established to monitor what remains of the country’s coral
reefs and marine life before it is too late. Where once that type of
monitoring would not have been possible across 100,000 miles of open
ocean, technology now allows it with the use of drones and individuals
with monitoring apps. He also calls for a national buoy tie-up system to
protect the fragile reefs and the life that depends upon reefs.
One Eleuthera Foundation (OEF) has moved from one storm to another –
Hurricane Dorian in September 2019 to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Both have created difficult economic times for The Bahamas and this NGO
has been there to help elevate the burden. By June 2020, contributions
and grants for the OEF Hurricane Dorian Relief (HDR) Program have
amounted to $900,000 and were used for a variety of programs to help
evacuees get a new start. The Foundation is preparing for a busy
hurricane season with strong fundraising efforts while working through a
new normal in their many partner organizations.
one of the strongest storms on the planet when it struck the Northern
Bahamas in September 2019, the fierceness and destruction of category 5
Hurricane Dorian is still fresh. Abaco evacuee Josette Albury-Gilbert
who is a single mother was thankful for a new start in Eleuthera. She
left a shelter in Nassau with her 3 of her 4 children ages 6, 12 and 14.
Her eldest is 23 and is a student at the University of The Bahamas.
Celebrities, Local Companies Say ‘Thank You’ to Social Services Staff
The Bahamas – Award-winning singer, songwriter and producer Mr. Julien
Believe, celebrity Disc Jockeys and entrepreneurs The Mighty Pencil and
Dion “Da Butcher” Knowles, and entrepreneur Mr. Josh Miller surprised
staff at the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development and the
Department of Social Services with lunch Friday (May 29).
distancing protocols and other safety measures as dictated by the
Ministry of Health, were adhered to during the visit.)
again, the May Run was very low key, carried out on a Friday just
before the weekend total lockdown with only the run leaders involved to
minimize exposure and practice social distancing. Another 50 bags
delivered. We are looking forward to a relaxation of the restrictions
beginning in June 2nd when church services may resume and giving easier
access to shops and most businesses. With Pastor Ken and Steve
off-island, Mervin & Lolita completed the Eight Mile Rock run
distributing 28 bags. The photos document their dedication.
always in need of help. Her eldest son, Nekino remains in hospital in
intensive care for the past 3 weeks. However, he is soon to be sent home
and Nekemea is preparing his room and a welcome home.
Grand Bahama International Airport Resumes Domestic Flights
Management of Hutchison Ports GBAC, is pleased to announce the opening of the Grand Bahamas International Airport.
of commercial and private domestic travel begins Monday, June 8, 2020.
You may contact your travel agent or airline for travel schedules.
advises that various new and enhanced protocols have been put in place
to minimize and mitigate against the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Such
protocols include enhanced cleaning and sanitizing, physical distancing
and the wearing of facial masks in accordance with the safety guidelines
of the Ministry of Health.
The Grand Bahama International Airport will operate between the hours of 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. daily.
Disaster Relief Foundation helps Reach Out Youth Organization Feed
Grand Bahamians Struggling with Unemployment Due to COVID-19
Grand Bahama Disaster Relief Foundation (GBDRF), the charitable arm of
the Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA), continues to support
Grand Bahama in times of need. COVID-19 has impacted all residents,
including those who are still recovering from the effects of Hurricane
Dorian, and GBDRF has partnered with Reach Out Youth Organization (ROYO)
to help feed thousands of struggling families.
led by President Dudley Seide, is a non-profit organization that works
with at-risk and inner-city youth to provide wholesome activities and
help them realize their true potential. With GBDRF’s weekly donation,
ROYO’s Community Centre has fed over 7,000 families over the past five
In this final passage from the First Letter of John, the author spends a
lot of time considering the testimony of certain witnesses. That the
word “witness” or “testimony” appears nine times in these few short
verses should tell us something. But what is a witness or testimony?
Many of us have a certain preconceived idea of what a testimony is in
the context of the church, but that is not its original context. Just
like we use the word today, it originally had to do with one who
participates in a courtroom proceeding. A witness is a person who has
seen or knows something and is therefore competent to give evidence
concerning it, and a testimony is the evidence the witness gives.
Revenues at General Post Office Outperforms Previous Fiscal Period
The Bahamas – The General Post Office, which is considered a port of
entry, has undergone a successful relocation exercise and has improved
previous performance. During his contribution to the 2020/2021- budget
debate on June 8, 2020, Minister of Transport and Local Government, the
Hon. Renward Wells said that the move has been a successful one.
is a well-known fact that the General Post Office successfully
relocated in May of 2019 to the Town Centre Mall,” he said. “In so
doing, its priority agenda pursues transforming operations through
technology as a fundamental first step.”
said that despite the fact that the Department’s ambitious projections
were almost immediately impacted by the devastation caused by Hurricane
Dorian early in the fiscal period, and most recently, from the impact of
the Covid-19 pandemic, they have fared well.
Simplified Lending CEO Robert Pantry Suggests Bahamas Consider Prime Rate Reduction to Kickstart Economy
the local economy predicted to shrink as much as 15% and the global
economy projected to take nearly a decade to fully recover from the
COVID-19 shutdown, one Bahamian financial expert is suggesting lowering
the prime rate would be a surefire way to re-energize growth and
Pantry, founder and CEO of Simplified Lending, offered the prime rate
reduction suggestion following one of several national appearances in
virtual discussions about the economy in recent weeks.
comments coincided with those recommended by the International Monetary
Fund (IMF) the same day. IMF suggested that The Central Bank had wiggle
room to lower the interest rate that now stands at 4%.
is always a delicate balance between adjusting the prime rate for an
economic stimulus tool and maintaining a certain standard to protect
necessary reserves,” said Pantry.