Flag raising events salute Independence

NATIONAL PRIDE – Members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force Color Guard hoisted The Bahamas Flag during a ceremony on the lawn of the Harold DeGregory Building on Friday, July 5.

Residents in Grand Bahama came together to celebrate the nation on National Flag Day which took place Friday (July 5). Flag raising ceremonies were held in Freeport, East and West Grand Bahama and on Sweeting’s Cay simultaneously.

Don Cornish, Freeport Administration welcomed attendees at the ceremony held in Freeport at the Harold DeGregory Complex. He called the event a celebration of the nation’s most important symbol.

“Its one of those things that I think we ought to celebrate,” he said.

Various government officials attended, including the Deputy Prime Minister The Hon. K Peter Turnquest, Minister of Finance, MP for East Grand Bahama; Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister Grand Bahama, Senator J. Kwasi Thompson; Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, the Hon. Michael Pintard; GB Office of the Prime Minister Permanent Secretary Harcourt Brown; and Yvonne Ward Ministry of Education District Superintendent for East Grand Bahama. Other guests included Henry St. George, Vice Chairman of the Grand Bahama Development Company; Rand Memorial Hospital Administer Sharon Williams; and Reverend Robert Lockhart, President of the Grand Bahama Christian Council.

Minister Pintard brought remarks during the ceremony. He stated that Bahamians have a common challenge before them but they have the ability to face them together.

“Let us continue to be proud of who we are and continue to seize the opportunities that face us. To my young people I want you to continue to develop that pride. Bahamians are as talented as anyone else anywhere else in the world,” said Pintard..

DPM Turnquest who is currently serving as the Acting Prime Minister also addressed the crowd.

He stated that he is proud to serve the people as Acting Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and as a Member of Parliament for East Grand Bahama.

“I am most proud that I have been born bred and in my DNA a Bahamian. It is important that Bahamians learn to grow beyond what they are.

“It is no doubt that there is much work to be done. There is no doubt that there is much dissatisfaction throughout the nation. This is particularly prevalent in Grand Bahama. However, there is still much to celebrate such as our freedom of religion, freedom of political affiliations and even the overall conditions of the environment.

“Growth it is still important for certain traditions and values to be passed on to future generations,” said Minister Turnquest.

He went on to recall a simpler time in Bahamian history “when there were very few television channels and children spent their days doing things like shooting marbles and playing hopscotch. Although the games were simple they were significant in the personal development of Bahamian people.

“Those are the things that taught us values in life,” he said.

He added that “those traditions taught Bahamians values like how to win and lose and how to treat one another.”

Throughout the ceremony attendees were treated to a display of Bahamian culture with performances by the Back Yard Dancers, a selection by students of Sunland Baptist Academy, the RBPF Pop Band and Kandalia Rolle.

David Wallace served as the Master of Ceremony.

National Flag Day is one of the many events being held to salute of the country’s 46th Independence Day, July 10.

Other events to come include: an Ecumenical Service at Life Community Church on Sunday, July 7th, 2019 at 3 pm; the major celebration which has been moved to July 8 and continue on July 9;  Also, on Tuesday, July 9 there will be a Junkanoo rush out starting at 3 am on Bayshore Road, West End.  On Wednesday July 10, there will be a Family Fun Day program in East Grand Bahama, at Pelican Point from 12 noon-5 pm, a family fun day of activities in Sweeting’s Cay.

On Saturday, July 13, the Wall of Fame in Pinder’s Point and Williams & Russell Town will be featured.

The celebrations will end on Saturday, July 27, with the West Grand Bahama Games Championship and Awards in Jones Town Park at 4 pm and a cultural extravaganza at Sunset Village in Eight Mile Rock at 6 pm.

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