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Prime Minister's Remarks at Children's Bay Cay Development Presentation in Exuma
Apr 1, 2016 - 1:48:46 PM

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Barraterre, Great Exuma, The Bahamas - Remarks by The Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie, M.P., Prime Minister on the Occasion of the Presentation of the Children’s Bay Cay Development, Children’s Bay Cay and Williams Cay, The Exumas on , March 31, 2016 :

Fellow Cabinet Ministers, Parliamentarians, Officials, Clergy, my beloved Exumians, residents of Barraterre ... thank you for the warm welcome and hospitality you have extended to our special guests ... Ms. Dona Bertarelli and Mr. Yann Guichard ... on this occasion of Dona’s introduction to the people of Exuma.

Reverend Lloyd, national figures like yourself, and the families of the McKenzies, Charltons, Taylors, Smiths, Burrows, Johnsons, Rolles, Storrs, Harts and Deleveauxs, just to name a few… and of course your forefathers, have all made an indelible mark in the historical foundation of Barraterre Settlement.

And you haven't been satisfied with just setting a firm foundation for your off-springs.

Your love and the bond you share in this tight-knit family centered community now drives each of you to exert all efforts to rejuvenate this northern seafaring settlement into a vibrant coastal town while building a brighter future for your children ... this is evident by your gracious acceptance of Ms. Bertarelli amongst yourselves.

It was mid February when Ms. Bertarelli became a signatory to the Heads of Agreement for this $200 million eco-friendly ultra luxury resort project. Her undertaking to me in her own words is to develop here in Exuma the finest resort in the entire Caribbean region.

A successful entrepreneur, hotel owner, philanthropist and sportswoman, Ms. Bertarelli co-chairs the Bertarelli Foundation which focuses on implementing change in marine conservation and life science research. The Foundation is actively supports creation and enforcement of Marine Protected Areas.

I am informed that she intends to establish a Foundation to fund community improvements in Barraterre and that Exumians will contribute to this effort through membership in the Foundation.

As you are aware, Michel and Lloyd are Project Managers for this development. In collaboration with the Investment Authority’s team, Michel and his colleagues have presented to you along with Local Government officers, the development plans for Children's Bay Cay and Williams Cay on several occasions. A few of you would have also participated in tours of the Cays.

Again, it is encouraging to see the relations being fostered between the development and the community.

The Children's Bay Cay project will serve as a catalyst for positive changes in Barraterre.

We all share in the vision of a Barraterre offering all of the modern amenities of a city but yet retaining its small town charm.

In the not so distant future, you will begin to see changes...a reconstructed Queen's Highway connecting Barraterre to the other settlements and a new network of roadways throughout your settlement.

The network of roadways will lead to newly constructed residential subdivisions with colourful island styled houses resting on evergreen lawns.

Your children will return to Barraterre ... and, along with other Bahamians, make those houses their homes.

Recreational and nature parks will accent your neighbourhoods.

You will soon have a town centre with essential services such as a police and fire station, a medical clinic, Government administrative offices, a shopping centre and a business district.

The public dock and its surrounding area will be developed into a full harbour port.

Complementing this improvement in cargo shipment will be an expanded and upgraded Exuma International Airport.

It pleases me to say that the fruits of your efforts in educating your children can now be realized here in Exuma, through all levels of employment at the Children's Bay Cay resort, as business professionals and as entrepreneurs.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is expected that the resort will implement a program which will allow you and your children and grand children to steadily progress to top management positions.

In fact, you will be informed of the plans to build a solar plant and a reverse osmosis plant at Barratarre … producing electricity and water for the benefit of both the resort and your community. Your children who have trained in the sciences will likely have oversight of and maintain those highly technical systems.

It is generally viewed that hotel employees do not require higher education to perform their job assignments.

But, I must say to you there is a growing change of this perception in the tourism industry. And the requirements of this ultra luxury resort most certainly go against the grain.

Children's Bay Cay resort, from its inception to its operation, demands the highest quality standards in every aspect. Its employees must be suitably qualified, well trained, have superior inter-personal skills and be able to perform their tasks with warmth and perfection.

Bahamian charm and personality will accompany excellence in service.

Exumians, I have admonished you on many occasions to prepare yourselves to take part in the economic development of Exuma and its Cays.

I am very encouraged to learn that Administrator Campbell with the assistance of the Exuma Chamber of Commerce has staged a number of Town meetings to help guide residents on the steps of enhancing their employability and entrepreneurial skills. It is indeed encouraging. This course of action will continue with the National Training Agency which will work hand in hand with the developer in preparing Bahamians for employment.

But, I again implore you Exumians to not sit on the sidelines and watch others reap the most benefits from your efforts.

Become owners of businesses. Should any of you lack a particular business skill, join together … form partnerships ... there is strength in numbers.

Infrastructural works on Children’s Bay Cay are slated to begin at the end of this year, followed closely behind by vertical construction works …

The timeline is set… you have been given sufficient notice to bring together your relatives with certain specialties who might live elsewhere in The Bahamas or abroad, who may have been waiting for this economic opportunity.

As I look into the audience I see expressions of excitement and great anticipation...there are some who appear doubtful.

You can all be assured however, that this resort, marina and golf course development, will be to the mutual benefit of Ms. Bertarelli and Exumians, and it will co-exist harmoniously with the natural environment.

Barraterre, you are in the beginnings of becoming a major urban centre on Exuma, catering to the livelihoods of your neighbouring sister settlements...Curtis, Stuart Mannor, and Rolleville....

With careful planning, community consultations, and partnerships with Local Government, civic and business leaders, my Government in collaboration with Ms. Bertarelli will build a modern Barraterre.

Throughout my tenure as Prime Minister of this magnificent country, I have promised a better life for all Bahamians...Barraterre, this is your moment in time to flourish...seize the opportunities!

Let me conclude my remarks by thanking Ms. Bertarelli on behalf of the Government of The Bahamas and the people of Exuma for this strong manifestation of confidence in the economy of The Bahamas with this major investment. I pledge the full cooperation of my Government.

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