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Abaco News
Abaco's famous candy stripe lighthouse backdrop for a '16 Islands' wedding
Submitted by Kendea Smith   
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 11:32

HOPE TOWN, Abaco -- At 16:00 hours  EST on January 16th, 16 couples were married on 16 Islands in The Islands Of The Bahamas.

The famous candy stripe lighthouse on Hope Town, Abaco, provided the perfect backdrop for the wedding of Wanjira Banfield, to Pierre Alex Demosthene.  Drizzling rain that started to intensify at exactly 1600 hours did not stop the wedding.  Minister Silbert Mills began the ceremony on time and as the rain drizzled, umbrellas were brought out to cover the heads of the bridal party and the Minister.

The Abaco, “Light Up My Life” wedding, that took place atop a hill at Hope Town Harbor Lodge, for the Florida couple, was only one of 16 weddings that took place simultaneously on 16 Islands in The Bahamas.  

The major bridal promotion launched by The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, provided visibility and created awareness of the country as a premiere weddings and honeymoon destination.  Couples looking for a wedding, honeymoon or anniversary destination can choose from 16 unique and exciting locations within the 700 Island archipelagic chain, as was successfully demonstrated by the multi-destination promotion.

The 16 Weddings, 16 Islands, One Priceless Day wedding promotion provided the 16 couples with air travel, accommodations and meals first to Nassau Bahamas and then on to one of 16 Islands in The Bahamas.  The couples were chosen from an entry pool of thousands and their dream wedding prizes included wedding rings, bridal gowns, tuxedos, wedding ceremony, cake and reception.  

Abaco Cays Realty launches new website, hits $100 million in listings
Submitted by DP&A   
Tuesday, 20 January 2015 07:51

Piece of Paradise – This 17-acre northern end of Man-o-War Cay, available at $14 million, is among Abaco Cays Realty’s listings that top $100 million in the northern Bahamas islands. MARSH HARBOUR, Abaco -- A prominent real estate firm in Abaco announced this week it has hit $100 million in listings with properties ranging from a modest Marsh Harbour home to an historic Hope Town cottage and a $14 million estate that looks like a movie set on 17 acres of sought after Man-o-War Cay.

The firm, Abaco Cays Realty, also this week unveiled its new website, AbacoCays

“Less than two weeks into 2015, there’s a lot of buzz in Abaco. After several years of investors being wary because of worldwide economic uncertainty, we are beginning to see more activity, leading us to be cautiously optimistic as we look to the future,” explained Paul Thompson, a former top level hospitality executive and Cacique winner who turned to real estate development in 2006, the same year Abaco Cays Realty was founded.   

Like others in the firm – each of whom specializes in one of the islands of the Abacos, though all are flexible enough to handle any Abaco offering-- Thompson’s listings are primarily on the island where he lives, Hope Town where his wife’s family was among its original settlers some 229 years ago.

Abaco Cays Realty co-founder Chris Plummer, who traces his real estate foundation back three generations to the original first family of real estate in The Bahamas, the Christies, focuses on Green Turtle Cay where he makes his primary home.

Abaco’s six national parks and wildlife sanctuaries to benefit from annual Art for the Parks event
Submitted by Barefoot Marketing   
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 14:48

Art for the Parks Celebrates the Beauty of The Bahamas - This January, some of the most celebrated Bahamian artists will gather at Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Harbour Marina to share the beauty of their work while protecting the beauty of The Bahamas.  Now in its 6th year, the Art for the Parks Festival will take place January 23-25, 2015 and is a collaboration between Abaco Beach Resort, the Bahamas National Trust (BNT) and corporate sponsors.  Over thirty artists and artisans will exhibit their work providing both residents and visitors a unique opportunity to view and purchase artwork, while raising awareness and funding forthe preservation of Abaco’s six national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.  Pictured is Stephen Knowles who will be displaying wood products at Artfor the Parks. (Photo courtesy of the Bahamas National Trust for Barefoot Marketing)MARSH HARBOUR, Abaco -- This January, some of the most celebrated Bahamian artists will gather at Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Harbour Marina to share the beauty of their work while protecting the beauty of The Bahamas.  

Now in its 6th year, the Art for the Parks Festival will take place January 23-25, 2015 and is a collaboration between Abaco Beach Resort, the Bahamas National Trust (BNT) and corporate sponsors.  Over thirty artists and artisans will exhibit their work providing both residents and visitors a unique opportunity to view and purchase artwork, while raising awareness and funding for the preservation of Abaco’s six national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.

“We look forward to once again hosting this wonderful event and are proud to play a part in the preservation of our natural environment,” said Manny Alexiou, owner of Abaco Beach Resort. “What makes Art for the Parks so unique is that it not only showcases the natural wonders of the Bahamas through the work of our talented art community, but it also reminds us of the importance of protecting these areas so that future generations can enjoy them.”

Event attendees will enjoy viewing and purchasing works in all mediums including oils and acrylics, vibrant watercolors, handcrafted wood products, dazzling jewelry and incredible fabric art.  Art for the Parks commences with a cocktail reception on Friday and continues through the weekend with musical entertainment, local cuisine, a fresh market on Saturday, side-walk chalk art competition on Saturday, live art demonstrations by select artists as well as a natural history lecture about the region.

242 Colour Run livens up the streets of Hope Town
Submitted by PROMPT   
Tuesday, 30 December 2014 14:02

HOPE TOWN, Abaco -- The quaint settlement of Hope Town was inundated with colourful runners and walkers on a fittingly beautiful Sunday morning. On December 28th, one-hundred and eleven adults and kids tossed colour into the air and ran a 5km road race, starting and finishing at Firefly Sunset Resort.

The morning started off early with Albury's Ferry providing a direct ferry from Marsh Harbour to Firefly. Registrations continued last minute, as those who were in town for the holidays signed up to participate. Participants gathered their reusable race packets, which included a packet of colour, 242 Colour Run sunglasses, 242 and Rotary temporary tattoos, bumper stickers, a race shirt and bib, and samples such as Jergens lotion, Ovaltine biscuits and Pinol laundry detergent.

A few minutes before the 8:00am race start, the racers, volunteers, and spectators gathered for the much anticipated “colour toss”. Packets of multiple colours were tossed in the air and on each other, livening up the morning. The race then started from Firefly, continuing around the Old White Sound Road and back to Firefly. Runners found encouraging messages sprawled across the roads in every colour. Along the route, multiple colour stations tossed the FDA approved colour onto the participants, dousing them in Flamingo Pink, Bahama Blue, Sunshine Yellow, Seagrass Green, and the appropriately named Lighthouse Red.

Volunteers participated from across Abaco and abroad. The Rotary and Rotaract Clubs of Abaco provided support and were also a beneficiary of the event, along with the Hope Town Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department. A family visiting Hope Town for the first time decided to help out as well, their kids mingling in with the colourful action.

Florida couple ecstatic about winning dream wedding in Abaco
Submitted by Earnestine Moxyz   
Tuesday, 21 October 2014 09:14

PLANTATION, Florida -- “Super thrilled and beyond belief” are the sentiments shared by Pierre Alex Demonsthene, a legal aide, when he found out that he and his fiancé, WanJira Banfield, a travel writer and fitness instructor had won a complimentary dream wedding in Abaco, The Bahamas.

The couple who refers to each other as ‘Mayor’ (because of Pierre’s diplomatic disposition) and ‘Majesty’ (the regal-style treatment WanJira administers to others) are one of 16 couples from throughout the United States of America (USA) who recently won the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism’s (BMOT) unique social media “16 Weddings 16 Islands, One Priceless Day” contest.

Launched on February 14, 2014 to US residents, the contest resulted in more than three thousand entries. Sixteen lucky, newly engaged couples won a complimentary dream wedding on any of 16 islands in The Bahamas’, 700 islands chain. All 16 weddings are scheduled to take place on 16 Bahama Islands at 16:00 hours on January 16, 2015.

The contest also showcased The Islands of The Bahamas as the premier destination for romance, weddings and honeymoons and highlighted the diversity, beauty, charm, characters, flavors and cultures of each of the 16 Bahama Islands.

Originally from Haiti, and a resident of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Pierre said he met WanJira, the ‘light of his life’ in 2012, through a mutual friend, who had given him her telephone number. The two spoke on the telephone daily for two weeks without even seeing or meeting each other. “When we met, the chemistry was incredible. Her charm, beauty, quick wit and personality “bamboozled” me, and I knew immediately, I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. We have been together ever since,” he said.

Abaco excited about new luxury charter air service
Submitted by Jeannie Gibson   
Friday, 17 October 2014 10:22

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida --- Wynsome Davis, Manager of The Bahamas Tourist Office, Abaco, recently expressed high praise for IJet Charters who has announced plans to offer scheduled charter service to Abaco Island and four other Bahamas destinations from Fort Lauderdale as well as flights to Abaco from New York, Spring of 2015.

Davis was one of many of the key influencers, media and other government officials in Abaco who toured the airline on Tuesday to view the state of the art aircraft, that was in Marsh Harbour on its introductory trip to the Island – the actual flights to Abaco and the other Bahamas Out Islands, are scheduled to begin in April of 2015.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Abaco, Davis said.   Affordable and adequate airlift has been a challenge for sometime for us so this new service is a plus for the destination.  This is in fact a huge plus for Abaco especially with our new terminal,” the tourism official said.

Jim Swieter, founder of IJet Charters, which is providing marketing and reservations for the scheduled charter, advised that the company’s plans are to fly direct scheduled flights, April through August, from Fort Lauderdale to Marsh Harbour, Abaco; Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bimini;  Georgetown, Exuma and North Eleuthera.  He said that the scheduled charters will fly out of Sheltair at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International (FLL), which will streamline the check-in process. Some return flights will arrive at FLL Terminal 4.

“This definitely will be the top-of –the-line service choice for all airlift currently servicing the Bahamas,” said Swieter, who added that all flights will offer complimentary beverages,  all premium class seating and high-speed travel. He also disclosed that the company is looking to schedule a non-stop from New York to Marsh Harbour during the high season.

U.S. Embassy’s Abaco Youth Ambassadors host community dialogue on social inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities
Submitted by the US Embassy Nassau   
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 12:20

U.S. Embassy Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Neda Brown (center) with Kimberly Rahming, Catalina Albury, Berthony McDermott and Kandise Kelly. (Not pictured – Conrad Cornish).MARSH HARBOUR, Abaco -- On September 24, the U.S. Embassy’s Youth Ambassadors representing the island of Abaco held an engaging community dialogue to promote social inclusion of Bahamians living with intellectual disabilities during a one-day forum at the Office of the Prime Minister in Marsh Harbour, Abaco. The community service project coordinated by the youth ambassadors was a direct follow-up to their participation in an international youth leadership exchange program sponsored by the U.S. State Department in February of this year.  

The participants, Kandise Kelly and Catalina Albury, both students at Forest Heights Academy, Berthony McDermott of S.C. Bootle High School and Conrad Cornish of Abaco Central High School, were accompanied by Kimberly Rahming of the Ministry of Education who served as the group’s chaperone.  During the three-week exchange in the U.S., the youth leaders joined students from throughout the Caribbean in Denver, Colorado and Washington, D.C. to participate in hands-on community based activities.   

Upon their return to Abaco, the youth ambassadors chose to champion the cause of disability awareness in the various communities throughout the island in a community dialogue.  The U.S. Embassy’s Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Neda Brown was on hand for the event along with educators, religious leaders and representatives from special needs schools and various governmental departments including Social Services and the Department of Housing.

The highlight of the program was the screening of a short film produced by the youth ambassadors titled, “People with Possibilities,” which addressed everyday challenges faced by the disabled. The film included interviews with educators, parents and disabled youth on Abaco.  During the discussion, Lynn Major, principal of Every Child Counts School, which provides an alternative education to children with learning, developmental and physical disabilities on Abaco, stressed the need for inclusion of the disabled primarily among Bahamian youth.  Members of the religious community also raised a call to action in an effort to address concerns of the disabled among them.  

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