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Community : Grand Bahama Last Updated: Apr 27, 2018 - 11:27:13 AM


GBPA dedicates Island Monument to Bahamian Golden Knights
By The Grand Bahama Port Authority
Apr 27, 2018 - 10:20:33 AM

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Official Cutting of the Ribbon- GBPA officially dedicated the island’s first monument, honouring the Olympic victory of the Bahamian Golden Knights. Chris Brown, Michael Mathieu, Ramon Miller and Demetrius Pinder, gained the gold medal in the 2012 London Summer Olympics 4x400m men’s relay. The ribbon was cut by the Golden Knights, who were present for a two-day celebration event hosted by the GBPA. Pictured left to right are: Troy McIntosh, GBPA City Manager and 2000 Bahamian Olympian; Mrs. Jacki Boss, Monument Artist; Fred Sturrup, President of the Grand Bahama Sports Promotion Assoc.; Henry St. George, GBPA Executive Director; Michael Mathieu, Golden Knight; Rupert Hayward, GBPA Executive Director; Demetrius Pinder, Golden Knight; Sarah St. George, GBPA Acting Chairman; Chris Brown, Golden Knight; Ramon Miller, Golden Knight; Hon. Michael Pintard Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture; Iram Lewis, Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Works, MP for Central Grand Bahama, GBAAA President; Frederick McAlpine, MP for Pineridge; Ian Rolle, GBPA President.

Freeport, Grand Bahama - Monday, April 23rd, 2018, marked a historic occasion for the island of Grand Bahama with the official unveiling of a truly unique 360 degree four-sided Monument dedicated to the Four Golden Knights’ victory in the 4 x 400 Men’s relay in the 2012 Olympics.  

The Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) hosted a two-day celebratory event. Perhaps the most exciting aspect, was the thoughtful act of flying each of the Golden Knights in to witness in person, how their Olympic victory became the source of inspiration behind the beautification project.  On Sunday, April 22nd, tourists and residents were able to partake in an intimate meet and greet with the Bahamian Olympians; Chris “Fireman” Brown, Demetrius Pinder, Michael Mathieu and Ramon Miller in the Port Lucaya Market Square where they made their grand entrance accompanied by The Classic Dancers Junkanoo Group.  The festivities culminated the following Monday afternoon with a float parade leading to the dedication ceremony, which included some of the Grand Bahama 2018 CARIFTA track students, having a chance to be recognized with the Knights; a visual representation of the past, present and future of the Bahamas’ track and field athletes.

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Ready, Set, Go!- The Golden Knights dazzled the crowd with a taste of the magic they displayed at the 2012 London Olympics, where they won the gold medal in the 4x400 men’s relay. Pictured left to right are: Hon. Michael Pintard, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture; Ramon Miller, Golden Knight; Chris Brown, Golden Knight; Michael Mathieu, Golden Knight; and Demetrius Pinder, Golden Knight.

The Golden Knights Monument Dedication Ceremony took place at 4:00pm on Settler’s Way and Coral Road Roundabout, where attendees could view the special art piece behind the 4x400m Champions.  The ceremony was moderated by Olympian, Troy McIntosh, GBPA City Manager, and Parliamentary Secretary in The Ministry of Works, Iram Lewis, also MP for Central Grand Bahama and President of the GB Amateur Athletics Association.   Both shared their background as past 2000 summer Olympians in Sydney, Australia, with McIntosh gaining a Bronze Medal in the 4x400m men’s relay.  As the monument roundabout leads to Jubilee Cathedral Boulevard, the opening prayer was conducted by Bishop Godfrey Williams of Jubilee Cathedral.  GBPA President, Ian Rolle, brought welcome remarks, followed by a keynote speech by GBPA Acting Chairman, Sarah St. George.  

St. George stated, “I think of Olympians as Giants, and so, I’m very relieved that this mural isn’t life-sized, and that Chris, Demetrius, Michael and Ramon aren’t actually 50 feet tall in reality, but of course, a Champion is a Colossus, a Superman to the rest of us mere mortals.”   She also drew on the ancient Greek origins of the Olympics mentioning that the Olympic Torch signifies the Light of Spirit, Knowledge and Life with the hope that,  “this piece will be seen as an inspiration.”

St. George spoke to the Mural itself as, “not being just a moment of creative genius but also a labour of love.”  She quoted Antoine St. Exupery with the words, "A pile of rocks ceases to be rock, when somebody contemplates it with the idea of a Cathedral in mind”.

“Indeed, street art expert, Jacki Boss, not only conceived the four-dimensional mural, but gave this to us all as a gift, as she did with her mosaic in Port Lucaya”, noted St. George, who worked closely with an outstanding team of GBPA and other local contractors to see this piece erected at one of the busiest roundabouts on the island.  “We at the GBPA purchased her raw materials and assisted with the installation.”  St. George also stated, “I love the monument, because it carries more than one message.  As yesterday was Earth Day, I’ll make this about the elements; Earth, Wind, Fire and Water. The four Knights are sons of the Bahamian soil or earth, they flow like water, they fly like the wind, and Chris is the Fireman!”

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Bringing Remarks- Keynote Speaker, Sarah St. George, GBPA Acting Chairman, addressed a large crowd of guests, who came to witness the historic dedication ceremony. Edward St. George, who commemorated the Golden Girls with a special gold coin, minted before his passing in 2004, -St. George mentioned, “As his daughter, it’s strangely fitting to find myself now paying tribute to the Golden Knights”.

Taking the baton from her father,   Edward St. George, who commemorated the Golden Girls with a special gold coin minted before his passing in 2004, St. George mentioned, “As his daughter, it’s strangely fitting to find myself now paying tribute to the Golden Knights”.  She went on to name other notable Bahamian Olympic and World Champions, stating; “We have so much athletic talent in The Bahamas, and right here in Grand Bahama.  For a small country with often limited funds, we are remarkable and truly blessed!  Often we look outside for our heroes, but I see them right here among us”.

Sarah St. George reaffirmed GBPA’s continuing support for Grand Bahamian Track & Field athletes and for all other Sports ranging from basketball to swimming and gymnastics and concluded, “On behalf of the GBPA, I warmly thank The Four Golden Knights for so graciously agreeing to reunite here for the unveiling today.  We thank Jacki Boss, the monument artist.  Also, our MC’s for today – GBPA City Manager and former Olympian, Troy McIntosh and his Olympian colleague, MP for Central GB, Iram Lewis.   I would also like to thank the Hon. Michael Pintard, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture for bringing such inspiring remarks.  Our special invited guests, Pineridge MP, Frederick McAlpine, and all government representatives, Bishop Godfrey Williams, Platinum Knights Junkanoo Group, The Grand Bahama Youth Choir and the Legends Marching Band.”  She added in closing; “May we all celebrate many more Golden nights and Golden days!”

Monument Artist Jacki Boss also gave remarks, stating, “I wanted to create something that deserved special attention; I was made aware of the Golden Knights’ amazing performance at the London Olympics, and decided portraits of these Olympian athletes, were so worthy of the time and effort it would take to actualize a four-sided mural of this type.”  Boss also thanked Sarah St. George and the GBPA for accepting her proposal and assisting her with bringing the project to life.  Each face alone took five weeks to paint.

The Knights were exuberantly serenaded by the Grand Bahama Youth Choir, under the direction of Mr. Kevin Tomlinson.  Also bringing remarks at the ceremony, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, the Hon. Michael Pintard, elicited applause with his words, “We commit in the presence of the entire country, that next year, we will allocate the required resources to support a Bahamas Invitational, where Chris Brown would be the chief patron”.  

The Legends Marching Band led the Knights to the roundabout for the unveiling of their name plaques.  Chris Brown, Demetrius Pinder, Michael Mathieu and Ramon Miller, the gold medalists in the 2012 London Olympic 4x400m men’s relay Bahamian team, dressed in their national flag colors, with their gold medals proudly displayed as they cut the ribbon to the Monument.  Family members of the Knights and close friends, along with students and members of the community, watched in great excitement, as they each unveiled their name plaques, strategically placed at the angle which revealed their faces on the monument.  Their expressions conveyed joy and pride, for the overwhelming outpouring of love and support.  The Golden Knights each thanked God and expressed their appreciation to the GBPA, and artist Jacki Boss, noting that it was a pleasure and an honour to be recognized.  Chris Brown also seized the opportunity to encourage future athletes to push past hurdles, believe in their dreams, and look to them as role models, to know that hard work does pay off.


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