Hubert A. Ingraham
of Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium
gift of this new National Stadium from the Government of the People’s
Republic of China is a generous demonstration of the good relations
and friendship between our two governments and peoples since the establishment
of diplomatic relations in 1997.
celebrate the embodiment of our Bahamian Spirit and our Bahamian Pride
in Thomas Augustus Robinson in whose name and honour we dedicate this
new National Stadium.
you make us all proud to be a Bahamian. You are a sprinter by
training. Yet you are also a marathon man as demonstrated by your
considerable contributions to national development, and in helping to
bring to fruition, the dream of this day.
you have fought the good fight. You are finishing the race with
the very style and grace you exhibited in representing your country
in four Olympiads. You have kept the faith.
we also celebrate Bahamian athletes, past and present.
we celebrate a new day for athletics in fields of endeavour and competition
such as baseball, basketball, soccer, American football, swimming, diving,
tennis, cycling and other sports.
are delighted that this new athletic and cultural centre will host major
regional and international events like jazz and reggae festivals as
well as other musical and special events.
Bahamians at home and those joining in this celebration from overseas:
we celebrate the very essence of who we are as a people; we celebrate
our Bahamian identity and nationhood.
Bahamas is located at an intersection of the world’s cultures and
peoples. We are woven from the texture and fabric of Africa, Asia
and the Americas, Europe and the Caribbean, a unique tapestry that is
the Bahamian experience.
have created out of this diversity, a commonwealth of extraordinary
talents way beyond the measure of our relative size. We have done
so with enviable success in art and music, athletics and academia, and
increasingly in entertainment and world fashion.
per capita medal count at the Olympics is a matter of national pride.
That we have more Olympic gold medals than a number of much larger countries
highlights the immense potential of our young people and our athletes.
Andre Rodgers in baseball to Mychal “Sweet Bells” Thompson in basketball
to Myron Rolle in football, as well as others, our Bahamian talent has
excelled in international athletic competition.
Artist rendering. Photos of today's celebration coming soon.
Bahamas National Children’s Choir and the Bahamas National Youth Choir
have captivated thousands around the world. They leave their audiences
wondering: “Who are these young people who so proudly call themselves
when others look at a world map and see our size and discover the size
of our population, they ask themselves a follow-up question: “How
does so much talent come from such a small country?”
success is not limited by our geographic size. Our success as
a country will be determined by the boldness of our national vision,
the breadth of our Bahamian Imagination and the strength of our national
is not an idle boast to invite the world to mark the manner of our bearing!
We are a gifted people.
Thomas A. Robinson Stadium, the centerpiece of what will be among the
foremost athletic complexes in this region, gives full expression to
the boldness of our vision, the breadth of our Bahamian imagination
and the strength of our national character.
wish therefore to acknowledge and thank the Leader of the Opposition
and his colleagues in office for their contributions towards the development
of our National Stadium.
are all here this evening with unity of spirit, unity of purpose, a
shared love of country and a Bahamian patriotism that transcends creed
and race, circumstance of birth and political affiliation.
long-distance race, the course of decades and the course of endurance
that has brought us to this place began in earnest in 1956. It
gathered pace with champions like Sir Durward Knowles in sailing and
Thomas Robinson in track and field.
us pause for a moment, as One Bahamas, in gratitude for the life, legacy
and longevity of Sir Durward.
Durward: The nation that you love with generosity beyond measure, loves
you in great return. That we as a country were granted the generosity
of spirit and talent of yourself and Tommy Robinson is a blessing.
That both of you are here to bear witness to the fullness of many of
your dreams for The Bahamas is a blessing ten-fold.
the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, Australia, by happy coincidence
56 years ago, Sir Durward won a bronze medal. He went on to win
a gold medal in Tokyo in 1964 along with Cecil Cooke.
was at that 1956 Olympics that The Bahamas first participated in track
and field. That was the year that 18 year-old Thomas Augustus
Robinson competed in the 100 and 200 metres.
that year, Tommy Robinson blazed a trail. It is that trail upon
which today’s Bahamian Olympians and tomorrow’s champions pursue
their world class and Olympic dreams.
discipline of mind and body, this Bahamian champion and world class
athlete did his part to help shatter the myths and prejudices of colonialism
and racism which sought to deny the gifts and dreams of men and women
new Stadium and the facilities to come, represent a new day for sports
and athletics in The Bahamas. Generations of young Bahamians and
aspiring athletes can dream even bigger dreams because of today.
In addition to world-class facilities my Government will continue to
enhance athletic scholarships and other sports programmes.
will only permit me to acknowledge a few of those who contributed to
the realization of our new National Stadium and to this festive occasion.
addition to the Government of the People’s Republic, I thank the Minister
of Works, Transport and Housing, the Hon. Neko Grant, and the Minister
of Youth, Sports and Culture, the Hon. Charles Maynard, and their staffs
as well as the staff of the Sports Authority.
thank architect Iram Lewis, other planners and designers, the various
local contractors, subcontractors and their workers, I thank
also the various sporting associations, federations and clubs, for their
contributions, along with a host of others noted in the souvenir programme.
of all I thank all of those, including athletes, coaches, athletic officials
and sports enthusiasts whose dreams and hopes and labour of love made
today possible. It is these same dreams and hopes that will make
the promise of tomorrow even better.
us celebrate Bahamas for there is so much for which to be grateful.
And there is much to celebrate, as a people and as a nation, gifted
and blessed as we are with boundless talent and endless possibilities.
thank you and good night.