Prior to emerging from the May 10 general elections as the prime minister and chief executive of the country, on many occasions Dr. Hubert Minnis expressed a commitment to Grand Bahama’s overall advancement.
His belief then and now is that given the potential, much more should be happening that is positive for the island and its residents. He promised, in the Speech From The Throne” delivered on May 24 by Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling, Governor General, a great focus on the Island of Grand Bahama by his government.
On Thursday past, in the person of the Minister of Youth Sports and Culture, the Minnis Government took encouraging steps to begin fulfilling the commitment. The Hon, Michael Pintard convened two very important meetings at the Office of The Prime Minister.
First, he held court with the key active sports leaders in the country. A broad range of sporting issues were brought up and discussed. Sports leaders left the meeting encouraged and very hopeful, that through the government, the Grand Bahamian sporting landscape will be tremendously enhanced.
Sports patriarch Churchill Knowles-Tener, always enthusiastic when sporting activities take place on the island, expressed the view that Minister Pintard has inspired a more comprehensive sporting outlook.
“I like the fact that he realizes the significance of sports in Grand Bahama,” said Knowles-Tener.
Following the one-and-a-half hour meeting with sports leaders, Minister Pintard engaged those who drive the cultural initiatives on the island. The music and entertainment industries, the Junkanoo stalwarts, etc. once contributed greatly to the attractiveness of Grand Bahama and the Magic City of Freeport.
The task for Pintard is a monumental one. He has been given a tripartite ministry that is responsible for three aspects of Bahamian life that are of the utmost importance to nation building. Indeed, there is a good argument to be made for Youth, Sports and Culture being separate ministries.
This is the one holdover from previous central administrations that is not in the best interest of The Bahamas. Combining Youth, Sports and Culture, minimizes growth opportunities for each. On top of that, the national budget allocation has never been, even close, to what is necessary to appropriately coordinate the Youth, Sports and Cultural sectors of the country.
Nevertheless, Minister Pintard appears to relate to the uphill struggle he faces. We think, though his high level of interest, and his strong community-minded approach will help to compensate for the lacking in national funding.
He was well received by the sporting and cultural leaders of Grand Bahama.