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GBPA & COB Executives Discuss Freeport as Centre for Maritime Studies
Jul 26, 2012 - 2:33:41 PM

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College of The Bahamas Executive Board, meets GBPA Executive Management.

Freeport Grand Bahama Island (July 22) - Executives of the College of The Bahamas traveled to Grand Bahama recently for its regular board meetings. While there, officials made good of the opportunity and liaised with executives of The Grand Bahama Port Authority Limited (GBPA), to discuss important issues relating to the country’s educational institution. 

GBPA’s executive management team inclusive of newly appointed Vice Chairman, Miss Sarah St. George, GBPA President, Mr. Ian Rolle, President and CEO of the Grand Bahama Development Company (DEVCO), Mr. Graham Torode, GBPA Vice President, Mrs. Ginger Moxey, and COB board member and GBPA Vice President of Building & Development, Mr. Arthur Jones all attended the event. Both groups met over an informal luncheon to discuss a wide variety of subject matters relative to the college, its campus, transition to university status and future plans for a signature ‘Maritime Affairs Program’.

“The College of The Bahamas plays a huge role in developing the skill and knowledge base of the country’s workforce and its importance is paramount in moving the nation forward,” commented Miss St. George.  “It was a pleasure to meet with Chairman of the group, Mr. Alfred Sears and COB President, Mrs. Boze to discuss current developments and future plans of the college as it pursues university status.” She continued.

At the official opening of the college’s Eastern Lucaya Campus in 2011, both government and college officials touted the possibility of the Grand Bahama campus becoming the location for all things maritime via a ‘Maritime Affairs Program’ to be offered by the college.

Newly appointed GBPA Vice Chairman, Miss Sarah St. George having a meaningful exchange with Dr. Betsy Vogel Boze, President of the College of The Bahamas.

GBPA Vice President, Ginger Moxey shared that a ‘School of Maritime Affairs’ is well suited to the island, thereby further diversifying its economy and propelling GBPA’s Edu-tourism initiatives. “As the industrial and maritime hub of the Caribbean, Grand Bahama should be the home base for a maritime institute, she states. “The implementation of such a signature program would encourage persons from all over the region to travel to Freeport for studies that specialize in the maritime sector, whether administrative or technical.  The city is built for it; we have the infrastructure, the amenities and quality of life that would complement such a venture.”

Today, the cruise industry is a major part of the world’s tourism sector accounting for more than $29.4 billion in revenue, and over 19 million passengers worldwide enjoyed leisure cruising in 2011. This coupled with the fact that containerized shipping has changed not only the face of shipping but, has also revolutionized world trade as well with approximately 90% of cargo worldwide transported by water.

Mr. Ian Rolle, GBPA President, noted that ‘with such staggering statistics’, most would agree that these numbers only emphasize the growing need for skilled human capital in the global maritime sector. This, he said, puts COB and the Freeport campus in a very opportune position.  “Having a campus on Grand Bahama would greatly benefit the entire Bahamas, by attracting more Bahamians to the maritime field, which has so much potential,” stated Rolle. “We are hopeful that if GBPA and DEVCO lead the charge, other industrial sector businesses would come on board to support this major initiative for the college.” He continued.

To date, GBPA and DEVCO have donated land for the construction of the COB Lucaya Campus. Both are enthusiastic and have been longtime supporters for a Maritime Program for the city, which ultimately will greatly benefit and diversify the nation’s labour resources.

Mr. Lowell Mortimer College of The Bahamas board member and Mr. David Morley listen in as GBPA President, Mr. Ian Rolle, shares his views on the benefits of having a Maritime Affairs Program offered at the College of The Bahamas’ Freeport campus.

“We are thankful to GBPA and DEVCO for their support thus far, as the Eastern Lucaya Campus has now been constructed on the land provided,” explained Arthur Jones, GBPA Vice President of Building & Development as he shared briefly regarding COB’s progression to university status. “University status for the college is closer and, this bodes well for us as a country. Globally, educational entities such as the college are expected to lead the academic way for the nation”, he stated. “We are very pleased that GBPA has graciously hosted this meeting and we look forward to the Group’s future support as there is still much to be accomplished.”

As discussions continue regarding a ‘Maritime Affairs Program’ for the Grand Bahama campus, the nation’s second city is poised with expectation. With the recent implementation of the Government’s Ministry for Grand Bahama, GBPA officials are all enthusiastic regarding Government’s vision to move the island forward.

Grand Bahama Island is strategically located just 65 miles off the US East coast of Florida, and sits as the gateway to the Americas and on every major shipping route globally. The city of Freeport is home to the Freeport Harbour Company, and Freeport Container Port, one of the deepest harbours and largest transshipment terminals respectively, along the US Eastern seaboard and immediate Caribbean region.

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