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  • CHRISTMAS CELEBRATED AT ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF CAROLS

    The sounds and sights of ‘Things Bahamian’ including festive costumes, goat skin drums, cowbells and conch shells resonated in the Church of God of Prophecy, East Street, as students and teachers from private and public schools throughout the country participated in the Annual Festival of Carols.

    The primary, junior and senior school students used their talents and abilities to ring in the spirit of Christmas playing musical instruments, dancing and singing in celebration of the birth of Jesus. The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology hosted the traditional event Thursday, December 8, on the theme “Celebrating the True Meaning of Christmas”.

    Deputy Director in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Seretha Clarke, said the event sets the tone for the season and seems to get better with each passing year.

    She described the Festival’s theme for 2016 as “appropriate” particularly in light of the devastation of Hurricane Matthew on The Bahamas.

    “We have much to celebrate and be thankful for," she said. "Christmas is about sharing God’s love and peace.”

    She encouraged the audience to focus on the blessings of family, friendships and relationship with God and not material things.

    In his message, Pastor Sterling McPhee, Vice-Principal of D. W. Davis Junior High School, urged those in attendance to celebrate the gifts and abilities to that God has provided them with.

    “It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, there is a gift resonating in you. Christmas is about you. Just like the Christ child, you are a gift to the nation and to the world. ”

    Some of the show-stopping performances included: “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” by Daniel Symonette, who sang and played the piano; a jazz selection by students of St. John’s College entitled “Mary Did you know”; Devin McKenzie and the students of C.V. Bethel Senior High School with “When a Child is Born,” and a trio by three male students who sang “We Three Kings,” unaccompanied.

    Students received high acclaims for the following: Yellow Elder Primary School for their welcome performance; the dance by students of C.R. Walker Senior High School; the combined Christmas chime selection by Cleveland Eneas and T. G. Glover Primary Schools; the Centre for the Deaf’s selection to “Now Behold the Lamb”; “Long Time Ago in Bethlehem” by students of S.C. McPherson Junior High School; “Silent Night” by Temple Christian High School; a Spanish version of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” by H.O. Nash High School; an instrumental ensemble by Doris Johnson Senior High School, Performing Arts Department’s ensemble and Sir Gerald Cash Primary School’s “Rake-N-Scrape” selection.

    The Governor-General Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling, Bishop Hulan Hanna, senior Education officials, school administrators and parents attended the event. (BIS Photos/Patrick Hanna/Letisha Henderson)

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  • INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES EDUCATIONAL FORUM AND EXHIBITION

    Celebrating International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, Disability Affairs Division and related non-governmental organizations held an Educational Forum and Exhibition on Saturday, December 3, 2016 at the Stapledon School Auditorium, Dolphin Drive. To the theme, “Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want,” highlights of the events were: International Day of Persons with Disabilities remarks by Minister of Social Services and Community Development the Hon. Melanie Griffin; presentations by National Commission for Persons with Disabilities Chairman DeCosta Bethel and Bahamas Alliance for the Blind and Visually Impaired President Tyrone Johnson; exhibits and entertainment. The commission works to protect the rights of all persons with disabilities -- safeguarding dignity, free from discrimination; facilitating access to suitable employment and to training, education, and health care services; and mandating a barrier free and disabled-friendly environment in which to live and work. (BIS Photos/Kristaan Ingraham)

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  • URBAN RENEWAL OFFERS HOPE TO PINEWOOD RESIDENTS

    The Urban Renewal Commission continued its mandate to bring relief and offer hope to residents with the 6th Urban Community Uplifting Service, which took place in Pinewood Park, Pinewood Gardens. Some 700 residents of the Pinewood Constituency including senior citizens, the disabled and disenfranchised, participated in the service, Wednesday, December 7, praising God and giving thanks. Residents and religious leaders of the Pinewood Gardens community offered testimonials and words of encouragement. The Urban Renewal Band provided musical entertainment.

    Urban Renewal Commission Co-Chairperson the Hon. Algernon Allen said the Urban Renewal 2.0 Programme is the most singularly “impactful” initiative by Government. He described it as community building, as it brings together the needy, the elderly and so many more. The service was led by Joycelyn Simms, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Urban Renewal Commission. Among those in attendance were the Hon. Khaalis Rolle, Member of Parliament for Pinewood; the Hon. Cynthia Pratt, Co-Chairperson of the Urban Renewal Commission; Patricia Francis, First Assistant Secretary, and Greg Butler, Deputy Director.

    The Commission distributed some 700 care packages to the residents. The next Uplifting Service will be held in the Fox Hill community. (BIS Photos/Patrick Hanna)

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  • BAHAMAS SIGNS NEW AIR SERVICE CONTRACT WITH BRAZIL

    After signing an Air Service Agreement between The Bahamas and New Zealand, December 6, 2016 Minister of Transport and Aviation the Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin (left) shakes hands with Principal Advisor in the Ministry of Transport of New Zealand Sonya Vandegeer. The two countries share similarities of being island nations with strong tourism base. Six new air service contracts are being signed by The Bahamas with Qatar, Singapore, New Zealand, Curacao, Brazil and Kuwait at the 9th International Civil Aviation Organization Air Services Negotiation Event (ICAN2016), December 5-9, at the National Stadium. (BIS Photo/Eric Rose)

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  • BAHAMAS SIGNS NEW AIR SERVICE CONTRACT WITH BRAZIL

    Minister of Transport & Aviation the Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin on December 7, 2016 signed a new air service contract with Brazil, on behalf of The Bahamas. It was one of six new air service contracts being signed by The Bahamas with Qatar, Singapore, New Zealand, Curacao, Brazil and Kuwait at the 9th International Civil Aviation Organization Air Services Negotiation Event (ICAN2016), December 5-9, at the National Stadium. Representing the Federative Republic of Brazil was Ambassador to The Commonwealth of The Bahamas, His Excellency Carlos Eduardo Sette Camara Da Fonseca Costa. (BIS Photos/Letisha Henderson)

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  • JUNIOR JUNKANOO: 18 SCHOOLS TO RUSH AT ARAWAK CAY

    “Junior Junkanoo ticket sales begin on Wednesday, December 7,” said the Hon. Dr. Daniel Johnson, Minster of Youth, Sports and Culture during a press conference at the Ministry on Tuesday, December 6. This year marks the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture’s 29th Annual Junior Junkanoo Parade.

    Being held in conjunction with 29-year sponsor Sol, formerly ESSO, it is scheduled for Saturday, December 17, at 3:00 pm on Arawak Cay. This year’s theme is “Matthew Couldn’t Stop This Rush” -- an expression of resilience from the children, said Minister Johnson.

    Eighteen schools will participate in the parade from the pre-school, primary, junior high and senior high levels including defending champs One on One Pre-school; Tarpum Bay Primary and Preston Albury High School.

    Tickets start at $5.38 for general admission and are $10.75 for V. I. P. There will be live entertainment, bouncing castles, face painting, and more.

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  • YOUTH ENVIRONMENTAL CORPS MEMBERS ATTEND WORKSHOP FOR GREEN AND BLUE JOBS

    The Ministry of Environment and Housing invited 160 participants of the new Youth Environmental Corps, between the ages of 18 to 39, to learn about their Apprenticeship Program for Green and Blue jobs, available in the Ministry.

    The Apprenticeship Program for job empowerment would place young people interested in working outside at National Park sites, the Bahamas National Trust, Environmental Health, and other endeavours concerned with protecting the environment.

    Although it started on October 3, the seminar introducing the different departments within the Ministry of the Environment began December 5 at the Department of Physical Planning, Aventura Plaza on JFK Drive. An award ceremony will take place on Friday.

    BEST Commission Director, Philip Weech, encouraged interested youth to become more familiar with the Family Islands to be effective in working with the Ministry of the Environment.

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  • CONCERT LIGHTS UP ABILITIES OF SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS

    Darron Turnquest, Director of Youth in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, called on Special Needs students to see the greatness, and the potential within themselves to rise above challenges. “What you see in me as my disability is my ability. Every individual has something to offer. The only way to demonstrate your talent is to look within yourself and say I am great. I have ability. It doesn’t matter what anyone says about me, I am who I believe I am,” he said.

    The Director addressed a Special Needs Concert organized by Resources and Education for Autism and Related Challenges (REACH) at the Stapledon School, Dolphin Drive, on Friday, December 2, 2016. Mr. Turnquest used Denair Rolle, three-time Special Olympian medalist who was present in the audience, to demonstrate his point. “When you believe you are going into the race a winner you’re already a winner,” he said. Even when you lose you’re still a winner. Keep your eye on the prize. Your talent is in you. Bring the talent out of you and celebrate you.”

    The concert highlighted the abilities of the students who entertained the audience with a variety of music including Junkanoo, a Hand Bell performance, dance and songs. Schools participating were: the Centre for the Deaf, Bahamas Association for the Physically Disabled, Garvin Tynes Primary School, Sir Gerald Cash (Special Unit), T. G Glover Primary School (Special Unit), Blairwood Academy, Sadie Curtis Primary (Special Unit), D.W. Davis Junior High (Special Unit), the Hopedale Centre, Anatol Rodgers High School, Training for Raining School and Stapledon School.

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  • BAHAMAS TO SIGN NEW AIR SERVICE AGREEMENTS

    The Bahamas will sign six new air service contracts this week. This, according to Minister of Transport and Aviation the Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, will open new windows for the country’s aviation industry. Minister Hanna-Martin delivered remarks at the opening ceremony of the 9th International Civil Aviation Organization Air Services Negotiation Event (ICAN2016), December 5, 2016, at the Kendal G. L. Isaacs Gymnasium.

    The five-day conclave in Nassau, December 5-9, is being held at the National Stadium. This is the second time the event is being held in the Western Hemisphere: Jamaica was the host country for the conference in 2010.

    “The Bahamas will negotiate new agreements which open new windows of opportunities into the world,” said Minister Hanna-Martin. “This will not only mean opportunities in the aviation sector but also will impact our tourism sector as it would facilitate the movement of people, which is germane to the economic health of our country.”

    During the five-day negotiation conference, the Government of the Bahamas will sign agreements with Qatar, Singapore, New Zealand, Curacao, Brazil and Kuwait. Two other agreements were recently signed with Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

    Under Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Aviation Charles Albury served as Master of Ceremonies for the event. Mr. Albury said that the event was a great opportunity for The Bahamas to showcase to the world that it is ‘ready for business,’ not only in the aviation sector but also for any type of world-class event.

    He highlighted the fact that hosting the event at the National Stadium also proved the venue’s versatility in staging world-class events. The location of the Kendal G. L. Isaacs Gymnasium is also the site of the former Oakes Field Airport, the country’s first international airport.

    Over 800 delegates representing over 90 countries, including The Bahamas will gather over the next five days to negotiate air services agreements for their respective countries.

    The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is a UN specialized agency, which was established by States in 1944 to manage the administration and governance of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention).

    ICAO works with the Convention’s 191 Member States and industry groups to reach consensus on international civil aviation Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and policies in support of a safe, efficient, secure, economically sustainable and environmentally responsible civil aviation sector. These SARPs and policies are used by ICAO Member States to ensure that their local civil aviation operations and regulations conform to global norms, which in turn permits more than 100,000 daily flights in aviation’s global network to operate safely and reliably in every region of the world.

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  • PUBLIC WORKERS RECOGNIZED FOR INVALUABLE SERVICE

    Seventeen employees of the Ministry of Works and Urban Development were honored for their service to the Government of The Bahamas during a Retirement Luncheon Friday, December 2, at the British Colonial Hilton. The Hon. Philip Davis, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works and Urban Development, acknowledged and thanked the retirees who have served the Bahamian people “well.” “Thanks to you because through your good and gracious service, our Bahamas emerged from colonialism on firm footing and has grown from strength to strength. You have given your youth to service of others, very often sacrificing time and energies that would have gone to building family,” he remarked.

    He encouraged the retirees to enter the new phase of life with boldness and the assurance of God’s continuing sustenance. He challenged them to continue to do all they can to change the world, to transmit values and to leave the earth better than they found it. “Through Public Service you have not become wealthy by traditional standards; however, wealth unlikely showed up in kind. No money can open the doors for which your service now holds the key. I am certain that many of you can relate to going into an agency and getting assistance – not because of who you are, but because your mother or father was good to someone.

    “Your kindness will follow you for the rest of your lives and extend to your children and theirs.” The honorees are: Ambrose Cargill, 45 years; Elizabeth Smith-Cox, 45 years; Joseph Archer, 42 years; Andre Thompson, 40 years; Rudolph Tinker, 40 years; Burket Dorsett, 39 years; Christopher Gilbert, 37 years; Anthony Humes, 34 years; Godfrey Bowe (posthumously) 30 years; Anthony Rolle, 29 years; Florence Darville, 26 years; Anville Sargent, 24 years; Henley Claridge, 23 years; Cyril Rolle, 20 years; Thelma Kerr, 19 years; Elvis Rolle, 18 years; Roosevelt Virgil, 17 years. The theme for the 4th Annual Retirement Luncheon was “Celebrating the Journey, Stepping Out in Faith." The Royal Bahamas Defence Force Pop Band provided entertainment for the event.

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