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Family Island News
Governor General visits Crooked Island and Acklins
Written by BIS   
Wednesday, 27 January 2016 17:04

CROOKED ISLAND, The Bahamas – Governor General Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling on Monday, January 25, visited the islands of Acklins and Crooked Island, which were impacted by Hurricane Joaquin in October of last year. She visited key government personnel on those islands. Photos here capture the visit to Crooked Island. (BIS Photos/Letisha Henderson)

Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling greets residents of Crooked Island.

BTC’s FLOW TV reaches Inagua
Submitted by Chauntez Dillet-Wilson   
Wednesday, 27 January 2016 16:41

NASSAU, Bahamas -- After launching in Bimini last year November, the roll-out of Bahamas Telecommunications newest product, FLOW TV is progressing steadily, with Inagua being the second island to launch the product. Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) packages became available to customers in Inagua on December 15th with Cat Island, Long Island and parts of Andros testing for their own approaching launches.

Colette Godfrey, BTC’s Senior Product Development Associate with responsibility for Broadband and FLOW TV has been overseeing the roll-out in the Family Islands and says that the response has been very positive, especially in Inagua.

“Customers in Inagua were actually waiting for us to touchdown so they could sign up. We already have 70 customers on the island, most with one or two set top boxes.”

Ms. Godfrey said that the testing period was a large part of the enthusiastic response, with the product’s positive performance reviews acting as their own advertisement. “Prior to launching in Inagua we had customers on test who enjoyed the service, so Inagua knew we were coming and were asking about the product. I think that is why we got the response that we did. With the success of the testing, when we launched officially they had no hesitation paying for the service.”

Two Bahamian hospitality veterans join Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina
Submitted by John Bell   
Tuesday, 26 January 2016 09:09

Larry Williams and Pedro Miller at the Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina. ALICE TOWN, Bimini — As the historic Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina completes its final phase of a $6 million-plus renovation, resort owners have announced the appointment of two Bahamian senior level managers.

Larry Williams, a 20-year hotel industry veteran, joins the Big Game Club Resort & Marina as General Manager for the popular 51-room resort. Williams, an MBA, holds a BS degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management from Morris Brown College, and most recently served as General Manager of the Blue Water Resort on Cable Beach. He has also worked for several hotels in the Bahamas, including Divi South Bahamas, Holiday Inns of the Bahamas, Atlantis and Cape Eleuthera Resort and Marina. Williams replaces Steven Riely managing the day-to-day operations of the property, while Riely stays on board in a Managing Director role. Williams is a native of New Providence.

Pedro Miller joins the Bimini Big Game Club as Director of Operations, overseeing resort and guest service operations and finances. As seasoned hotelier with over 20 years experience, Miller most recently was Director of Operations for the 740-room Grand Lucayan Beach and Golf Resort in Freeport. He also served as a Director for Starwood Hotel and Resorts’ Westin and Sheraton brands and for Radisson—all with more than 650 rooms and 4 star ratings. Miller is originally from Grand Bahama.

The Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina has long been a Bimini destination favorite, drawing heavily from South Florida (just 50 miles away) as well as being a regional, national and international draw for those looking to experience Bimini’s True Island Feel that has appealed to thousands of visitors, including author Ernest Hemingway.

NEMA conducts an after-action review of Hurricane Joaquin’s impact
Written by BIS   
Tuesday, 19 January 2016 08:56

Lieutenant Commander Michael Saunders of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) reviewed the actions undertaken by the RBDF when Hurricane Joaquin impacted The Bahamas. (BIS photo/Raymond Bethel)NASSAU, Bahamas -- The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in collaboration with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) conducted an After-Action Review (AAR) of Hurricane Joaquin’s impact on The Bahamas at NEMA’s headquarters, Gladstone Road, January 15, 2016.

Hurricane Joaquin hit The Bahamas during the month of October 2015 affecting Crooked Island, Acklins, Long Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador.

The After Action Review (AAR) was conducted with the purpose of improving preparedness and response following the impact of a hazard, by examining the actions taken before, during and after the impact (in this case) Hurricane Joaquin on The Bahamas, which resulted in damage to infrastructure and homes from severe flooding, storm surge and hurricane-force winds.

Objectives of the After Action Review (AAR) were to:

  • Examine the operations, coordination and communications of the National Disaster Management System (NDMS).
  • Identify needed improvements in the NDMS.
  • Identify operational equipment, training and staff needs.
  • Identify what happened.
  • Identify what went well and why.
  • Identify what went wrong and why.
  • Identify what areas need improvement.
  • Provide recommendations.

Stakeholders participating in the review were Administrators from the islands impacted by Hurricane Joaquin and representatives from the Disaster Management Committee, composed of representatives from relevant Government Ministries and Departments and from the private sector.

Emergency lighting system at Deadman’s Cay Airport restored
Submitted by BIS   
Tuesday, 19 January 2016 08:53

NASSAU, Bahamas -- The Minister of Transport and Aviation is pleased to announce that the Emergency Lighting System at the Deadman’s Cay Airport, Long Island which was damaged during Hurricane Joaquin has now been fully restored by the Department of Civil Aviation. The Department has further carried out remedial works at the Colonel Hill Crooked Island Airport and over the next few days will complete repairs to San Salvador International Airport, Crooked Island Airport and Spring Point, Acklins Airport thereby restoring full capacity for emergency flights to these islands and to the respective communities.

Plans in progress for multi-purpose gymnasium for South Andros
Written by BIS   
Monday, 18 January 2016 08:14

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works and Urban Development the Hon. Philip Davis (far right) views the site of the multi-purpose gymnasium for South Andros. Also shown far right is the Hon. Picewell Forbes, the Bahamas’ Non-Resident High Commissioner to the Caribbean Community, and other members of the community.ANDROS, The Bahamas – A multi-purpose gymnasium is on the drawing board for South Andros. The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works and Urban Development the Hon. Philip Davis outlined plans for the facility to be constructed at The Bluff at a cost of $500,000 during a stopover visit to the island recently.

In addition to hosting indoor games of tennis, volleyball and basketball, the gymnasium will also serve as a hurricane shelter. Construction is expected to begin within the next two weeks and is anticipated to take three to four months to complete.

“They have little facilities now. This is but one of the planks of our Charter of Governance -- to ensure that we have provisions for young people to participate and hone their skills in any discipline of sport going forth in each of the islands” said the Deputy Prime Minister.

“It is anticipated that we will soon have another Bahamas Games and it’s not fair for the Family Island participants not to have the same facilities to at least train and to be able to enhance their skills and talents as those in Nassau.”

He said the gymnasium would provide the “proper” infrastructure to allow for the enhancement of talents for young people in the Family Islands.

Dr. Martin Luther King found peace in Bimini
Submitted by John Bell   
Sunday, 17 January 2016 07:38

His favourite Out Island remembers civil rights leader

ALICE TOWN, Bimini — The quiet and natural beauty of Bimini’s backcountry mud flats were heaven on earth to a somewhat weary Dr. Martin Luther King in the spring of 1968.

Guided by local boat builder Ansil Saunders, Dr. King wasn’t interested in chasing bonefish, snapper or permit, but to just deeply inhale the surroundings and fill his lungs with nature and to decompress for the moment.

So much to do. So many new challenges facing the civil rights leader as he headed into another tumultuous year.

King relished these trips to the small Bahamian out island, watching a flock of birds flying low over the water, he quipped to Saunders “I believe now more than ever in the existence of God.”

That was 48 years ago and Bimini has never forgotten Dr. King.

Long Island schools receive facelift from holiday travellers
Submitted by Mieko K. Smith   
Friday, 15 January 2016 09:28

Simms Primary School Head Girl Knia Adderley helps paint her school.LONG ISLAND, The Bahamas -- Hurricane ravaged schools in Long Island benefited from the community service of The Domestic Tourist and a group of island hoppers this Majority Rule Holiday, as the crew travelled to the island for a weekend of giving back.

The travellers donated their time to paint lunch benches at Mooresville Primary School in south Long Island and the exterior walls at Simms Primary School in the north, jobs which would have cost the cash strapped schools hundreds of dollars. Morrisville was the last school to open in Long Island after Hurricane Joaquin. Both schools suffered major water damage and lost electronics and other school supplies. The entire computer lab at Morrisville was wiped out.

“Harambee is an East African (Swahili) call to action; it is a rallying cry for the community to pull together. We use the call to action to rally the children of The Indaba Project, a community based organisation I am a part of,” said Noelle Khalila, owner of The Domestic Tourist, an innovative publishing and marketing lifestyle company dedicated to promoting travel throughout the Islands of The Bahamas.

The company kicked off its 2016 season of travel by introducing the first in a series of all-inclusive thematic trips planned for this year. The Domestic Tourist Harambee Weekend combines community service with island adventure. In addition to working at the schools, the group explored Long Island, visiting Hamilton’s Cave, Columbus Harbour and Turtle Creek and Dean’s Blue Hole, bringing much needed economic activity to the island.

“I was inspired by the work we do at The Indaba Project and decided to launch the inaugural Domestic Tourist Harambee Weekend, which is all about pulling together and travelling with a purpose. Every year we invite seasoned and aspiring island hoppers to join us on the Majority Rule Holiday for a weekend of giving back,” said Noelle Khalila.

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