The Grand Bahama Home and Day Care for the Aged and Children’s Centre celebrate its 29th Anniversary

CELEBRATING – The Grand Bahama Home and Day Care for the Aged and Children’s Centre celebrated its 29th Anniversary recently, with young students of the Children’s Centre observing Career Day. (PHOTO: JENNEVAA RUSSELL)

For nearly 30 years the Grand Bahama Home and Day Care for the Aged and Children’s Centre has been a staple in the Grand Bahama community, providing wholesome service to both the young and the elderly.

Last month, the facility celebrated its 29th Anniversary of existence. Due to the passing of Hurricane Dorian back in September, the centre was unable to celebrate the great achievement in ways they had anticipated; however, this past Friday, November 1, they decided to celebrate by highlighting the future on our nation, the youth, while at the same time acknowledging various persons throughout the community that have and continue to make indelible marks post-Hurricane Dorian.

Founder of the Grand Bahama Home and Day Care for the Aged and Children’s Centre, Agatha Thompson shared with this daily on Friday, “This is The Bahamas’ first intergenerational centre. We are embarking on our 30-year countdown; 30 years of service to the Grand Bahama community, the children and the elderly.

“Because of the passing of the hurricane, we are not doing anything extravagant with the home and the children. But today, because the kids went through so much with the hurricane a lot of them are traumatized and so we wanted to keep it as normal as possible for them, bringing some form or normalcy and familiarity to them. Today we are highlighting our community helpers.

“We got them back into the school early; we also welcomed some kids from Maurice Moore and  Hugh Campbell, which we all know was completely devastated, and so we wanted to get the kids back into the classroom as soon as possible.

“Today we are having our Community Helpers Day; our kids are dressed up in the various services that are offered here in the community, the doctors, lawyers, nurses, police officers and so forth.  We also have a few teachers, plumbers, construction workers and reporters. We are excited this morning, with the parents here with us as well,” she added.

“We also want to say a special thanks to the media for always sensitizing the community to our plight and a special thank you to the Grand Bahama community for keeping these doors open for nearly 30 years. 

“We would like to thank some special people from the offices of the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA), those past and present, especially the last Sir Albert Miller, who was our ‘Godfather’ and we miss him dearly, Edward St. George and Sir Jack Hayward; they have all been there for us. We also like to thank the present officers Sarah St. George and her officers.  The late Doris Minnette-Cooper has been there for us as well, including all of the schools, churches and civic organizations who have all kept these doors open.

Many families, some of whom did not even have relatives in the home have been there for us and we want to say a big world of thanks to all of them. 

As it relates to the tremendous support offered by international organizations throughout the World, lending a helping hand to The Bahamas, Grand Bahama, Abaco and The Cays, in particular, she stated, “We definitely want to thank all of the foreigners that are on the island, assisting us in recovery. 

“The Samaritan’s Purse has been a special help to us and we thank them for leaving their homes and coming here, to ensure that our people, seniors and patients at the Rand Memorial Hospital are taken care of. They have been on the ground and operating a full-fledged operation and we raise our hands to them. Our hearts go out to them.  

“The Billy Graham Foundation has been offering compassionate help, support and encouragement to the patients as well as going out through the community, speaking with survivors. 

“I think that we are all, even though we might not have lost our homes, we are all victims because we are living this and we all know someone who died or who was devastated.  At this time we pray for our government, our Department of Social Services that has their hands full, the Bahamas Red Cross, in trying to bring some normalcy and to get us back. We pray to God that one day we will see and be back bigger and better. 

“At least at this time, we are realizing that people are more important than things.  

We are seeing the outpouring of love from the world; we have an abundance of help on this island and we do thank them; all of the countries that have assisted us; it is just amazing.

“I think God sometimes allows these things to happen to make us realize what is really important to us. 

“We thank our government that has their hands full and although it may seem to some that they are not doing enough or doing it fast enough, but they are doing something, they are trying. We just have to pull together and be patient and watch them work,” she added.

The Grand Bahama Home and Day Care for the Aged and Children’s Centre was officially opened on October 19, 1990.  

In conclusion she expressed, “While this year is our 29th Anniversary, leading into our 30th Anniversary, we want to celebrate the home throughout the year and climax in October 2020.

“We had planned several things but because of the hurricane we will just wait and see what will happen, but we thank God that we are here and that these doors are opened. We plan to keep them opened as long as God allows it,” stated Thompson. 

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