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Family Island News
Defence Force patrol ship named after legendary Bahamian sailor
Submitted by BIS   
Sunday, 03 May 2015 12:44

The children of Captain Rolly Gray, Mr. Frederick Gray and Mrs. Veronica Rolle, participate in the cutting of Commissioning Cake during the ceremony commissioning the HMBS Rolly Gray. The ceremony was held at the Marina at Emerald Bay in Great Exuma on Thursday, April 30.  Assisting is Marine Seaman Kameron Armbrister.  Looking on at right are Minister of National Security the Hon. Bernard Nottage and Mrs. Nottage.  (BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna).GREAT EXUMA, The Bahamas – The fourth of nine patrol vessels has been named after legendary Bahamian sailor, Mr. Rolly Bertram Gray. Her Majesty’s Bahamian Ship, Rolly Gray was commissioned during an official ceremony held at the Marina at Emerald Bay in Exuma on Thursday, April 30.

Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie led a delegation of Cabinet Ministers and Senior Government officials to attend the ceremony. Bahamians and a number of international guests were present despite the overcast weather conditions.  Prime Minister Christie said that he was honoured to participate in the event.  He said that Mr. Gray was a great Bahamian who contributed much to The Bahamas.

“I am satisfied that all Bahamians alike, will unquestionably agree, that Rolly Gray is deserving of this great honour,” said Mr. Christie. “This is a man who dedicated his life to promoting his country and his craft. He deserves this honour, posthumously, from a grateful nation.”

Minister of National Security, the Hon. Bernard J. Nottage also delivered brief remarks. He said that the patrol vessels would significantly impact illegal maritime activities, which currently plague the country.

For decades, Captain Gray’s name has been synonymous with regatta competitions. He was born on August 22, l922 to Richard Gray of Staniel Cay and Blanche Smith-Gray of Farmer’s Cay. In 1937, at the age of 15, Captain Gray went to sea for the first time with his uncle on an 18-foot boat.  One year later, he went out on the 36-foot Ragged Island sloop “The Return.”  Then at the age of 18, he became the captain of the 25-foot “Dolly.” Gradually, Captain Gray manned larger boats and more powerful boats, winning the first Out Island Regatta in the ‘A’ and ‘C’ divisions (which later became the National Family Island Regatta).

Silver Airways increases service to Bimini; deals offered with Resorts World Bimini booking
Submitted by Michelle Malcolm   
Friday, 01 May 2015 10:22

BIMINI, The Bahamas --Getting to paradise has never been easier or more affordable, thanks to a new joint promotion between Silver Airways and Resorts World Bimini (RWB). Silver Airways has increased its service from Fort Lauderdale to Bimini to 7 days per week, and passengers will receive 20% off* all flights to Bimini when booking air and hotel with Resorts World Bimini.

RWB President Ed Farrell says the new service and partnership between RWB and Silver Airways are a winning combination.

“Guests from South Florida wishing to travel to Bimini now have two convenient options, with the Bimini SuperFast cruises and now daily service on Silver Airways,” he said. “This is wonderful news for the island of Bimini, as it is now that much more accessible to the masses. We fully expect that this will provide a significant boost to the island’s economy and further solidify its year-round tourism business.”

The partnership comes at an opportune time, as guests can be among the first to stay in the new Hilton at Resorts World Bimini hotel, which opens its doors to the public on April 20th with the soft opening of Phase I. Additionally, guests can partake in several special events that are on stream at RWB.

  • Bimini Full Moon Party – May 1 - 3
  • Cinco de Mayo - May 3- 7
  • Mother’s Day Getaway – May 8 – 10
  • Hooters Calendar Shoot – May 10 – 15

Guests will be able to fish, dive and play in the home of the world’s best sports fishing and dive capital, go for a dip in crystal clear waters, relax on sandy white beaches, try their hand in Resorts World’s live action casino and lounge in the comfort of a luxury hotel.

Corey Wood joins Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina as Dive Shop Manager
Submitted by John Bell   
Friday, 01 May 2015 10:18

ALICE TOWN, Bimini — Corey Wood, a PADI IDCS Instructor, has been selected to head the dive operations team at the renowned Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina.

Wood comes to Bimini from The Pirate Haus Inn in St. Augustine, Florida where he served as manager and previously at Barefoot Divers in Roatan, Honduras and Sea World Dive Center in South Korea where he was employed as an assistant instructor.

With some 1,500 dives to his credit, Wood has instructor ratings for all core courses up to assistant instructor and EFR Primary & Secondary Care, Underwater Navigation, Deep, Night, EANx, Search & Recovery, Wreck, Emergency O2 Provider,  and Peak Performance Buoyancy.

Big Game Divers visits a virtual treasure trove of dive sites and theme dives reached aboard Bimini Blue, the largest dive boat in the Bahamas—a glass bottom, double-decker certified for 100 passengers (but is limited to comfortably accommodate up to 30 divers with all their gear). Big Game Divers, which runs three dives per day, also offers a wide variety of services, including PADI  certification courses and equipment rentals. Bimini Blue is currently being re-powered and updated and will return to service at the Big Game Club on May 15th.

Featured dives include wrecks (The Sapona and Bimini Barge), reefs, Atlantis Road, Turtle Rocks and the Continental Shelf.  The shop also runs seasonal dives for hammerhead sharks and snorkeling trips for dolphin encounters. For more information, go to

E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival comes to Long Island
Submitted by BIS   
Wednesday, 29 April 2015 08:01

LONG ISLAND, The Bahamas -- Scenes from the E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival on Monday, April 27, on Long Island.  (BIS Photos/Patrick Hanna)

Individual Verse Speaking, Eulano Rolle, Deadman's Cay Primary School.

BTC television service test islands to enjoy live coverage of the IAAF/BTC World Relays
Submitted by Serena Williams   
Tuesday, 28 April 2015 13:54

NASSAU, Bahamas -- Residents in Bimini, Inagua, Long Island, Cat Island and Andros that are testing BTC television services will be able to enjoy live coverage of the two day IAAF/BTC World Relays courtesy of IPTV by BTC.

One of the BTC TV testers Lauren Cartwright who lives and works on Long Island says her family is thrilled with the service.  “The kids are really enjoying it; they love all the shows on Nickelodeon and they watch American Idol,” said Mrs Cartwright. “We are happy to be a part of the programme and report any problems to help them get everything right. I expect my husband will be watching the live coverage of the World Relays.”

Willimae Bridgewater, principal of the Inagua All Age School on Inagua is enjoying the variety and number of channels now available to her and especially, local news from ZNS. “I am so pleased to be able to watch our own local news,” said the school principal. “Now I watch it every day; it was missing from the Cable Bahamas very limited channel line-up which also had too many Spanish channels.  BTC TV is good, even with the testing going on and obviously some trouble areas to rectify, I’m finding it far more enjoyable, we are blessed to have it, and it’s a pleasure.” The school principal added that she’d be sure to watch the live coverage of the IAAF/BTC World Relays.

“We’re ready! For the first time in history, residents in several Family Islands will be able to watch the IAAF/BTC World Relays courtesy of BTC said CEO Leon Williams. “In addition to providing television services in several family islands, we will also be providing an enhanced state of the art mobile experience in the stadium. Last year we encountered many challenges with mobile services at the stadium. We have learned from that experience. The stadium now has a complete in building mobile network solution. In addition to that, there will be mobile cellular on wheels placed in the parking lot areas of the stadium to allow for seamless coverage.  With these new additions, we are confident that our customers will enjoy a better mobile experience at the IAAF/BTC World Relays.

BTC is the title sponsor of the IAAF/BTC World Relays. More than 600 athletes from around the world will compete in five relay disciplines in the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium.

DPM Philip Davis officially opens San Salvador National Park
Submitted by Elcott Coleby   
Monday, 27 April 2015 10:14

Remarks by
Hon. Philip E. Davis, Q.C., M.P.
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister of Works & Urban Development
Occasion of the opening of the San Salvador National Park System

COCKBURN TOWN, San Salvador -- Theme:  “Protecting the Natural Beauty of San Salvador”

Good Afternoon    

It is always good for a Member of Parliament to visit his constituency.  It is especially good if that MP represents a Family Island, because vast expanses of water separate us.  Words are insufficient to describe his joy when he visits to bring witness and give effect to an event that will protect and preserve specified areas in perpetuity.  

Christopher Columbus departed Spain in August of 1492.  Overall, he was in command of the three ships Niña, Pinta, and Santa María, being captain of the latter.  The story is told that about 2:00 on the morning of October 12th, Rodrigo de Triana, a sailor aboard the Pinta, sighted land.  The story goes on to say that Columbus himself later claimed that he had seen “a sort of light” a few hours earlier than Triana did.  He thereby claimed for himself the lifetime pension promised by Ferdinand and Isabella to the person who first sighted land.  The land turned out to be Guanahani, which Columbus renamed San Salvador, that is Holy Saviour.   

At this discovery, Christianity was introduced to a whole “New World”.  This Christianity, the tenets which we embrace today for the most part, enables us to appreciate all of Creation.  Pope Francis provides for us that “Creation is not a property, which we can rule over at will; or, even less, is the property of only a few: Creation is a gift, it is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude.”

American ex-pats raise money to rebuild the Exuma Straw Market
Written by BIS   
Friday, 24 April 2015 09:02

Adam Stenftenagel, Exuma resident talks about how the ex-pat community has been raising donations after the fire to build a straw market building like the one in New Providence (BIS Photo/Gena Gibbs)GEORGE TOWN, Exuma -- American ex-pats residing in the Elizabeth Harbour community garnered support from friends and family back home in the United States to raise thousands of dollars to rebuild the Exuma Straw Market that was burnt down to the ground on April 16.   

A Town Meeting was held at the Kettel Centre of the Exuma Foundation, George Town, on Monday, April 20, attended by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works the Hon. Philip Davis, at which Exuma residents discussed last week’s straw market fire in George Town, and the next steps.

At the meeting Adam Stenftenagel of Boulder, Colorado, an Exuma resident, said so far, Exumian Ex-Pats have already raised about $20,000, which will go to building a facility similar to the Straw Market in New Providence, equipped with appropriate common amenities, particularly indoor public bathrooms.   

He said: “I’ve been coming here for 15 years and I absolutely love it here!  I was there when we saw the first flames coming out of the Straw Market right at the very beginning.  We tried to do what we could to put it out with garden hoses from the two T’s (Two Turtles Hotel and Bar) and I came down with Dan, who is one of the managers at the Two T’s and worked hard to try to put it out, but that didn’t work.

“So anyway, it was a crazy night, and after we kind of watched everything get put out at the end of the night, I went back home and was like what do we do? What do we do? After talking to some friends back home, I was like ‘Oh, well why don’t I set up a donation page?  It’s really easy to do and I put it together that night and we got our first donations early that morning.  And within a day, we had $10,000 raised in less than 24 hours.  It was pretty spectacular.”

Phase One of Hilton at Resorts World Bimini opens April 20th
Submitted by Michelle Malcolm   
Tuesday, 21 April 2015 08:55
MIAMI and McLEAN, Va –– Resorts World Bimini is pleased to announce today’s opening of Phase One of the new Hilton at Resorts World Bimini. The guestrooms are now complete and are bookable on with a special introductory rate from $139 per night, which includes a round trip cruise transfer from Port Miami via the resort’s dedicated cruise ship, Bimini SuperFast. Kids aged 17 and under sail and stay free*. Guests may also begin earning and redeeming Hilton HHonors® points.  

“We are proudly welcoming guests to the new Hilton at Resorts World Bimini, in advance of our busy summer season,” said Ed Farrell, president, Resorts World Bimini. “Bimini is a popular destination for families and individuals alike – the proximity to Miami and convenient travel by Bimini SuperFast makes for a convenient and quick getaway for a weekend or even a longer vacation experience.”  

Resorts World Bimini is an expansive resort that extends far beyond the walls of Hilton at Resorts World Bimini. Located on North Bimini Island in the Bahamas, it is just 50 miles off of the South Florida coast. The resort’s dedicated cruise ship, Bimini SuperFast, offers round-trip cruises from Port Miami three days a week. Passengers have a choice of staying in cabins onboard Bimini SuperFast, in the Hilton at Resorts World Bimini or in one- or two-bedroom condos on the resort property.  

Guests at the Hilton at Resorts World Bimini can enjoy multiple restaurants and bars, trendy boutiques, water sports and a world class casino – the first in the world with water and marina views. The 10,000-square-foot casino features live-action table gaming such as roulette, craps, blackjack and baccarat, as well as the latest slots and a full service sports book. The property also boasts the largest marina complex in the Bahamas with two marinas – Fisherman’s Village Marina (136 slips) and the Mega Yacht Marina (94 slips) – conveniently located at the center of the resort.   Phase Two of Hilton at Resorts World Bimini is scheduled to open in the Fall of 2015 and will include an expansive lobby level space with several food and beverage outlets, lounge seating and a piano bar, a rooftop entertainment and amenity area with a stunning pool servicing a private VIP Lounge, a state-of-the art spa and fitness center as well as conference and meeting space.

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