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News : Bahamas Information Services Updates Last Updated: Jun 17, 2019 - 4:39:53 PM

PM Minnis expected to be a part of Grand Bahama’s Independence Celebrations
By Andrew Coakley
Jun 17, 2019 - 5:00:44 PM

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PREPARING FOR INDEPENDENCE – Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator the Hon. Kwasi Thompson and Chairperson for the Grand Bahama Independence Committee, Senator the Hon. Jasmin Dareus inform the media of plans for the 46th Annual Independence Celebrations in Grand Bahama during a press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister, June 13, 2019. (BIS Photo/Lisa Davis)

FREEPORT, The Bahamas – Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Hubert Minnis will take part in Grand Bahama’s Independence Celebrations, scheduled for July 8, 2019. 

At a press conference at Office of the Prime Minister, June 13, Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator the Hon. Kwasi Thompson pointed out: “We are very excited that this year’s Cultural Extravaganza will be held on July 8, which will allow us to become the centre of attention in the country for Independence celebrations,” said Minister Thompson.

“We are pleased that we will be having our Prime Minister and a number of our Cabinet Ministers on island for that event for the first time.  It will also be live on television, which means we will not only be holding our Independence celebrations first, but we will be the center of attention throughout the country on that day.”

Independence celebrations usually take place on July 9 in both Nassau and Grand Bahama, and as such it was impossible for the Prime Minister to be in Grand Bahama.  Now, with Grand Bahama’s event moved up to July 8 this year, the Prime Minister will fly to Grand Bahama to celebrate with Grand Bahamians.

“We are inviting all Grand Bahamians and even those from other islands to come to Grand Bahama on July 8 for this historic Independence celebration,” added Minister Thompson.

“It is a time when all Bahamians can come together and be unified for one purpose and for one goal. There are many things in this country that sometimes divide us, but the Independence celebrations is really one occasion that should unite all people from all across the country and from all across this island.

“It is also a time that the island can give God thanks for what has taken place in the past year.  It is a time that we can give God thanks for being Bahamian. It is time to give God thanks for all of the wonderful blessings that we have on this island and for all of the blessings that we have in this country.”

Newly-appointed Chairperson of the Grand Bahama Independence Celebrations Committee, Senator the Hon. Jasmin Dareus said the national theme for this year’s 46th Anniversary celebration is, “United We Stand Bahamas, Together We Can.”

This theme, she added, reflects the importance of unity and hope for Bahamians to ponder a time when solidarity and brotherhood were the glue that kept communities together.

“We will focus on the cords that bind us together as one people,” said Senator Dareus. “For where there is unity, there is strength; where there is unity, there is prosperity and where there is unity, there is victory.”

The Independence celebrations will kick off at the end of June with special church services in two locations on Sunday, June 30, 2019 – one at the New Mt. Olivet Baptist Church in Eight Mile Rock, and the other at the St. Michael’s Anglican Church in Sweeting’s Cay.  Other special church services will follow. 

Another service is set for Monday, July 1, at Emmanuel Baptist Disciple Centre in High Rock at 7:00 p.m. 

The major service for the Freeport area, which is being spearheaded by the Grand Bahama Christian Council, is set for Sunday, July 7, at Life Community Church, Polaris Drive, Caravel Beach.

The Cultural Extravaganza is set for July 8.

On July 10, there will be a Junkanoo rushout at Bayshore Road in West End at 3:00 a.m.; a Family Fun Day will take place in East Grand Bahama at the Coconut Festival Site in Pelican Point, beginning at 12 noon.  Similar events will take place in Sweeting’s Cay simultaneously.  At 6:00 p.m. everyone will be invited to Taino Beach for the start of the Summer Goombay celebrations. 

On Saturday, July 13, the celebrations will move to Hunter’s and Williams Town beginning at 3:00 p.m. with ‘Wall of Fame’ celebrations, saluting outstanding residents past and present for those areas.

An important feature of Independence celebrations is the National Flag Raising Ceremony, which in Grand Bahama will take place July 5, 2019: Three Flag raising ceremonies will take place on the island simultaneously, that is -- at the Harold DeGregory Building in Freeport, the Government Park in High Rock, and the Administrator’s Office in West End.

“We will have a few remarks from the various government officials, some entertainment, followed by the Official Flag Raising at 10:00 a.m.,” explained Senator Dareus. “The Flag will be hoisted simultaneously in the three locations and we are inviting the local radio stations to play the National Anthem at the same time.

“I invite all Grand Bahamians, wherever they may be when this occurs, to stop what you’re doing to pay respect to the National Anthem. On that day, let us all reaffirm our love for country and our commitment as citizens of this beautiful corner of God’s creation to ensure its continued and sustained growth.”

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