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BAHAMAS ACHIEVEMENTS ADMIRABLE SAYS MINISTER AT 44TH INDEPENDENCE CELEBRATIONS IN G.B

THE HON. MICHAEL PINTARD - Copy

As the country celebrates its 44th Independence on July 10 some of the best and brightest Bahamians have made contributions in many spheres internationally, said Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, the Hon. Michael Pintard during the Flag Raising Ceremony on Friday. The ceremony is part of the 44th Anniversary of Independence celebrations. "Our small national has become the envy, not just of the region but countries around the world who have understudied what we have done in tourism and in financial services. Even in crisis, we continue to prove we are resilient and powerful. In the aftermath of the blacklisting, we produce a cadre of compliance officers who designed one of the sophisticated compliance regimes that assisted this region in getting back on track. "Therefore, this morning as we raise our flag, we salute all those nation builders on whose shoulders we stand, some with title and many with no name or face recognition but, nevertheless, they played a pivotal role in transforming life as we know it in The Bahamas. So, we salute them. We also acknowledge that there are many unrealized dreams that we have set, and there are some stubborn issues that threaten the gains that we have made thus far. This Minnis led government believes that the collective will and genius of the Bahamian people will enable us to grow our economy once again; reduce the high incidences of crime and the high occurrences of non-communicable and other diseases. We are determined to forge deeper relationships with all Bahamians, regardless of their political persuasion, religious differences, differences in race. All of us have to be on the same page if we are to transform this country for the better."

Minister Pintard saluted all those who had the insight and courage 44 years ago who felt it was time for the country to govern its own affairs and sit at international tables as equals. "The pursuit and achievement of Independence on the 10th of July, 1973, was an acknowledgement that we ought to be the main agents, the main architects designing our own future and managing the growth and development of our own country. We accepted the challenge undergirded by our faith in God and the confidence in our collective ability as a people. "Over the last four decades plus, despite all of our challenges, we've accomplished I believe you would agree with me this morning, a great deal as a people. In the international sphere, our voice factored loudly. When we engaged as a global community in the discussion of disarmament, there was a Bahamian chairing many of those sessions, Dr. Davidson Hepburn. In international diplomacy our own Missouri Sherman-Peters impacted the significant work done by the United Nations, and our first Prime Minister, Sir Lynden Oscar Pindling's voice resonated internationally as we dismantled as a global community Apartheid's wall and rebuilt in its place, a multiracial South Africa that even today is working to forge a lasting peace."

The country has made contributions all over the world, he said. "In academics, we continue to produce multiple Rhode's scholars, scientists that are impacting the world both in technology, just ask NASA and in medicine as we travel throughout particularly Africa assisting on many levels. We have set a standard. Many of our scholars have sat international standardized exams and performed as well, and often better, than their colleagues who hail from around the globe. "We are good as anyone else, anywhere else in the world. "Sons and daughters of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas have caused tens of millions around the world to pause and salute The Bahamas as our flag has been raised in numerous stadiums around the world where track and field took place, in aquatic centres where swimming took place, on the shores even in Regattas. Our amateur and elite athletes have made a difference, have made us proud and have made the world take note." He added, "This morning, we salute all of you who continue to engage in this nation building exercise. Bahamians, those that have chosen to cast their lot with us and have moved to The Bahamas. Diplomats who have worked with us on an ongoing basis, we look forward to working with you to frame a democracy that will be envied. "This year's theme, "One God, One People, One Bahamas" is a most appropriate reminder of the core values that have held us together since Independence." Also present for the flag raising ceremony, held at the Harold Degregory Complex were: Senator the Hon. Dion Foulkes, Minister of Labour; Senator the Hon. J. Kwasi Thompson, Minister of State for Grand Bahama in the Office of the Prime Minister along with other Members of Parliament, senior government officials and religious leaders. While the ceremony was taking place in Freeport, Senate president, the Hon. Kay Forbes-Smith was present with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. K. Peter Turnquest in East Grand Bahama. Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Public Works, the Hon. Iram Lewis and Parliamentary Secretary of Information and Communications in the Office of the Prime Minister, the Hon. Pakesha Parker-Edgecombe were in West Grand Bahama. All three areas held Flag Raising Ceremonies simultaneously.

MINISTER PINTARD SAYS CULTURE MUST BECOME NATIONAL IN NATURE

Speaking culturally

Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, the Hon. Michael Pintard said the Government of The Bahamas has made the decision to ensure that the focus on culture has to be National in nature – the reason being that in the past far too many aspects of culture have been New Providence-centered. “The goal,” added Minister Pintard, “is to make sure that all of the Directors from the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture are visible and active throughout The Bahamas.” It was one in a series of meetings held by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture to meet with all leaders on Grand Bahama in each respective area of the Ministry and not only assist them in their endeavors, but also allow them to give their input and throw out creative ideas. The meeting with Cultural leaders in Grand Bahama was held at Bishop Michael Eldon School auditorium on Saturday, July 15, 2017. Leaders and participants in every aspect of culture attended the meeting, including artisans, Junkanoo leaders, drama and dance performers. Minister Pintard reminded those in attendance that it is his hope that the cultural community would do what it is designed to do -- cement the Bahamian identity, as the cultural community, like glue holds all other things in the country together. “In most countries, the fastest growing segment of the national economy is the creative industry, which includes all the genres of art that are represented here today, sports and media,” said Minister Pintard. “Those are the areas that are rapidly growing, multi, trillion dollar industries around the world. “The Bahamas is one of those developing countries that have not yet gotten the memo. So, we have to change that. We in the Ministry of Culture have made a commitment to form a firm partnership with you. “You have in all of us in the Ministry, strong advocates who understand the value of culture. So, you can expect that we will be attentive to the concerns you will have. But we need your help.”

Minister Pintard told cultural leaders and practitioners that they can do their part by properly registering their respective “not-for-profit” organizations with the Government of The Bahamas. To assist with the process and to lend a hand, Minister Pintard said that the Government was willing to pay half of what it cost to have each organization registered. “Half-way for us means that we are prepared to bring in house two attorneys who will sit in a room with those of you who have paper work completed to assist you in getting incorporated,” the Minister pointed out.“This will dramatically drive your cost down. Our goal is to make sure that all of you are properly registered, which will open up the doors for you to go out there and apply for funding for your product or your organization. Being registered will allow you to seek funding from overseas as well.” Minister Pintard said that it is important to monetize talent and aspects of culture. This, he said, means that the government is willing to work with those talented people who are producing things and shows that are culturally-based, which will allow those producers to get paid for their gifts and talents. “If you have a talent, and all of you in this room do, the question is whether or not you are content with doing it for fun or if you would like to see a profit from it? If you wish to use your talent in culture to generate income, we want to partner with you to make that happen. “So from the government stand point, you will find that over the course of the next several years more of the international trips taken, not just by culture and tourism, but by other government ministries will be including cultural artists or their products as a part of that delegation. “For instance, if we’re giving gifts overseas, we want them to buy gifts from Grand Bahama. If the G.B Port Authority is travelling on such trips, we want to increasingly ask them to include a Bahamian artist. This is the direction we would like to go in, but all of you have to play a role in branding yourselves, marketing yourselves and being registered.”

The Youth Zone

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