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News : Bahamas Information Services Updates Last Updated: Jan 17, 2020 - 10:32:03 AM

Band Ready! Urban Band to participate in Tampa MLK Parade
By Matt Maura
Jan 16, 2020 - 11:10:02 PM

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Members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force attached to the Urban Renewal Programme were among the delegation that traveled to Tampa, Thursday. Pictured (second from right) is Superintendent of Police, Mr. Philip Rolle, Officer-in-Charge. (BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna)

NASSAU, The Bahamas – Members of the Urban Renewal Marching Band, their instructors and chaperones, departed the Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) Thursday (January 16) for Tampa, Florida, where they will participate in the 31st Annual City of Tampa Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade.

The City of Tampa MLK Parade will be held on Monday, January 20, which will be observed as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day across the United States of America.  Similar Parades commemorating the life and legacy of the former Baptist Minister and Civil Rights Leader, will be held in cities and states across the country.

The City of Tampa Parade will commence at 12noon at the corner of 15th Street and 21st Avenue in East Tampa, head north to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard; east on Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard to 22nd Street, and then north on 22nd Street to Osborne Avenue -- ending at Middleton High School. Thousands are expected to line the route, which covers two miles.

Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell, meeting with instructors, chaperones and band members for one final time prior to the band’s departure from the Lynden Pindling International Airport, Thursday morning. (BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna)

Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell, who met with officials, instructors, chaperones and band members prior to their departure from LPIA, told the band members that the Cabinet of The Bahamas was more than pleased to sign off on their participation in the Parade.

Minister Campbell said the band’s participation was a testament to their talent and commitment. He told the delegation to take pride in their new roles as Ambassadors of The Bahamas – representing the country, the government, the citizens of The Bahamas, their families, their various communities and indeed the Urban Renewal Programme.

“I have no doubt that you will put on a good show,” Minister Campbell said. “I remind you to be your Brothers and Sisters’ keepers. Ensure that everyone returns the same way they left except for the excitement and joy you would have received from participating in a parade such as this.”

Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell, with 7-year-old Jamiar Brennen (front left) and 12-year-old Latheo McCoy, both of whom play the snare drum. Brennen is the youngest member of the Tampa-bound delegation. Also pictured (back left) is Matthew Rolle, Instructor, Urban Renewal Band. (BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna)

Minister Campbell also gave the band members a brief history of Dr. King’s life and legacy and his contribution to the Civil Rights Movement in the United States of America. Components of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, were said to have been written by Dr. King while on vacation in The Bahamas.

“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is an iconic international figure who was respected worldwide for his contribution to the Civil Rights Movement which fought for equity and equality for all races,” Minister Campbell said. “The effects of his life and legacy were felt in countries around the world, including The Bahamas. For you to have been invited to participate in the City of Tampa Parade in the first instance, and then join thousands of others in participating in the Parade come Monday, is of an historic magnitude. Perform at your highest level.

“I am extremely proud of you. I am proud of what the band programme is doing to positively engage our young persons so that they can become positive, productive citizens of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

“It speaks to the social development arm of our ministry; that we are not just providing social assistance, but that we are also making every effort to develop our people socially to the extent that the need for assistance will be reduced,” Minister Campbell added.

Ms. Sheryl Knowles, Special Projects Manager, Urban Renewal Commission, said the band members – the youngest of whom was 7-year-old Jamiar Brennen -- were “looking forward to participating in the Parade with great anticipation.”

“The kids are excited. We are going to be the first Urban Renewal Marching band to participate in the City of Tampa Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade. The adults traveling with the delegation as chaperones, as mentors, are here to provide our support and guidance to the band members. The programme is here to empower them, to support them and to bring positive change into their lives, and it is my belief that their participation Monday will help to do just that.”

Corporal Anthony Capron serves as Band Director. He said the band “is ready” to put its best foot forward.

“We anticipate that the kids will perform at a high level and be true ambassadors for their country,” Corporal Capron said. “This is the first time the band will perform in Tampa and so we are excited and looking forward to making magic happen and representing our country to the fullest.”

Organizers of the City of Tampa’s Martin Luther King Parade, say the event is “an exciting component” of a full week of cultural activities, celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. King, while further “displaying the beautiful diversity and community spirit of the Tampa Bay Area.”

“The MLK Day Parade is family friendly, entertaining, and fun. It’s also an opportunity for the businesses, social and community groups that make this city strong to come out and be recognized while supporting a common cause.”



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