As the month of May is observed as Rotary International World Youth Service Month, the Rotary Club of Grand Bahama Sunrise recently invited a few members of the Rotaract Club of Freeport to share some of their accomplishments thus far, with Rotarians.
Felix Bowe Jr, Regional Youth Service Chair for Grand Bahama and Past President of the Rotary Club of Grand Bahama Sunrise shared with this daily, the reason behind inviting three of the young professionals to speak at the club’s weekly meeting held at the Geneva’s Place Restaurant.
“May is World Youth Service Month and Rotary International supports all of the youth service efforts, which include Interact and Rotaract Clubs. As the Regional Youth Service Chair for Grand Bahama, 2018-2019 I felt it was important to give these Rotaracters the opportunity and the platform to come and speak to us not only to share stories about their professions, but also a bit about their personal lives, education and advancement.
“I was in their position, almost 10 years ago as a Rotaracter, and now I have elevated to the post of Regional Youth Service Director. I wanted them to come to allow us to hear their stories and let them have that opportunity. Someone did it for me and so I wanted to do it for them as well,” stated Bowe.
The invited guests, Phillecia Martin, Kinaz Rolle and Deniro Anderson all shared a bit about themselves. Following the meeting this daily had the opportunity to speak with the young professionals.
Martin, who is also President-Elect for the Rotaract Club of Freeport for 2019/2020 expressed, “I feel that it is very important for the Rotaracters to interact with our fellow Rotarians as they are what we aspire to be once we end this leg of being a Rotarcter. For Rotaracters to share our knowledge and experiences with the Rotarians, it was very welcoming for the Rotarians to invite us here, to hear what we do professionally.
“With Rotaract there is an age difference and so for Rotary to have us here, to share our experiences, it was very enlightening and refreshing.
“Hopefully, this will be a continuous relationship where we as Rotaracters can also have Rotarians come in and impart their knowledge and experiences with us.”
Martin, who has always been passionate about the advancement in technology holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering. She is presently employed at Aliv as a Network Engineer, where she is responsible for planning the cellular network and determining engineering network parameters, ensuring that all equipment is configured and sized to accommodate the network traffic.
Rolle, Training Customs Officer, Bahamas Customs and Excise Department, informed, “We were invited here today to speak about our professions and as young professionals, what we think about our industries. I gave a synopsis of the Customs Department, our various sections, what we do there and how we collect the duty for the government. Some of the job descriptions that we have are to examine goods, processing fees for various vessels that come into the country and so on. Customs is very big revenue generator for The Bahamas Government.”
Rolle has been employed with the Bahamas Customs Department for nearly three years.
Questioned on how important it was for him to present to the Rotary Club of Grand Bahama Sunrise with respect to his profession, he responded, “I am grateful to have been recognized as a young professional, to come and speak, on behalf of our club, here at the Rotary Club of Grand Bahama Sunrise. I am very appreciative for the opportunity.”
Deniro Anderson, an Immigration Officer with the Department of Immigration acknowledged, “Today, I talked to the Rotary Club of Grand Bahama Sunrise about the core functions of Immigration. One of our primary functions are boarder protection, we control the entry and exit of persons in to the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
“We regulate the movement of people across the borders of The Bahamas. We are responsible for granting documents, whether it is permanent status, such as citizenship and permanent residence or temporary status, such as work permits, home owners cards, resident’s spouse permits, permits to reside, for persons who would like to live here and study.
“We are responsible for investigating complaints, persons would tell us where suspected illegal activity is going on, we would go out and investigate it. Persons may also come to us and tell us where foreigners are working without a work permit. We would then go out, dispatch a unit and investigate all of the complaints diligently; we are also responsible for doing street patrols, patrolling the island looking for illegal immigrants or any breaches or infractions of the Immigration Act.
“We are also responsible for assisting Family Islands during operations or if there is a boat landing, they may sometimes call us for backup. We also prosecute persons that are found in breach of the Immigration Act. We have our own trained prosecutors, and so we go to court and we charge persons at Immigration. We take them to court and we are responsible for prosecuting those persons.”
Anderson also shared a bit about the Immigration Department’s newly formed K-9 Unit which was formed in 2016.
“The Government of The Bahamas sent law enforcement officers from all five agencies (Bahamas Defence Force, BDF), the prison, Immigration, Customs and the police). Four officers from each agency were sent over to Havana, Cuba in 2016, where we trained for six months and we all came back as certified K-9 technicians. The police and the prison always had a K-9 unit, but for immigration this is a first for us and so we are actually making history with our K-9 Unit. We also assist the Royal Bahamas Police Force with our K-9 Unit.”
Anderson has been employed with the Department of Immigration for the past five years.