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News : Bahamas Information Services Updates Last Updated: May 19, 2022 - 3:28:19 PM

Deputy Prime Minister attends memorial service for the American tourists who died on Exuma
By Lindsay Thompson
May 19, 2022 - 12:21:56 PM

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(BIS Photo/Kemuel Stubbs)

EXUMA, The Bahamas - Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation the Hon. Chester Cooper attended a memorial for three American visitors to Exuma, Mr. and Mrs. Michael and Robbie Phillips and Mr. Vincent Chiarella, who died while staying at Sandals.  It was also a service for the recovery of Mrs. Donnis Chiarella.

The Service of Prayer, led by the Exuma Christian Council, was held at Ebenezer Union Baptist Church at Farmers Hill on Monday, May 16.

In attendance were Local Government officials, management and staff of Sandals, and community stakeholders.

Deputy Prime Minister Cooper said the country mourned the loss of the deceased, and prayed for the recovery of the survivor.

“The Phillips hailed from Tennessee and were no strangers to Exuma. They considered this their home away from home. They visited many times and arranged for many people to get to know our beautiful paradise,” the deputy prime minister said.
He noted that the Chiarellas, from Alabama, also loved Exuma and decided to spend their anniversary on the island, when the “unthinkable” occurred.

“As we honour the memory of the three people we lost so tragically, words cannot adequately convey the depth of our sorrow at the tragedy, and we know that we do not have the power to heal the broken hearts of the family, so we pray that God gives them strength,” he said.

(BIS Photo/Kemuel Stubbs)

The deputy prime minister said that he was honoured to bring remarks on behalf of the prime minister and the people of The Bahamas.

He observed that many people visit Exuma, fall in love with the island and develop long-lasting and meaningful relationships with Bahamians.

To the tragedy, he said that there are things in life that “confounds us” and when loved ones are gone, there is usually no explanation or understanding that would suffice.

“What we do know as a family and as a community is that there is a larger purpose for all things that we often cannot deduce with our limited sight. It is for our creator then, our Heavenly Father to know the reason then why good people are often taken away before we are ready to let them go.”  (BIS Photos/Kemuel Stubbs)
(BIS Photo/Kemuel Stubbs)

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