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The Creation of the Grand Bahama Labyrinth
By Barbara Chester
Jun 18, 2008 - 11:27:10 AM

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The Creation of the Grand Bahama Labyrinth. Photos: Tohni Blower, Susan Mackay, and Barbara Chester.

After many days of hard work, combating very inclement weather conditions, the new Grand Bahama Labyrinth at the Garden of the Groves is nearing completion. Labyrinth expert Judy Hopen, from Labyrinth Enterprises (Missouri) arrived on Grand Bahama Island the weekend of June 7th to begin the process of creating a beautiful full-scale sacred 'Chartres' Labyrinth. Greg Farrington of Entech Services began leveling the ground and poured concrete for the 50'x50' octagonal base in early June.

Phase one of the process was marking the pattern out on the concrete. Judy brought special tools for this and used Sharpies to mark the base. Only socked feet were allowed on the surface during the creation of the labyrinth. In phase two, the very laborious process of meticulously marking all the lines with masking tape is done.  This was a challenge as many millipedes enjoyed the surface and had to be continuously swept off. Phase three was covering the entire area with plastic and cutting out the area to be painted with resin, creating a large plastic stencil. Phase four is applying the coloured resin to the open areas. The final phases, once the resin has dried completely, will be to cover the entire area with a sealant, and then lastly the project gets any final cosmetic touch-ups.

The following is a personal message from Ms. Barbara Chester who was impassioned to bring the Grand Bahama Labyrinth into existence:

"It is Tuesday afternoon 17th June and I am taking a moment to absorb the absolutely beautiful Labyrinth we have created in the Garden of the Groves.  It still has to be 'sealed' to protect this piece of artwork on which we will soon be walking our sacred path.


I feel very blessed to have been given the opportunity o help with this community project which I truly believe will provide a place of peace and clarity.  As we walk our Grand Bahama Labyrinth Path and enjoy the reconnection with Mother Earth and our Divine Creator we will have the joy of healing benefits which will reverberate out to our Community and our Planet.


First and foremost I give heartfelt thanks to my dear project partner, Susan Mackay, the 'firefly' of the Labyrinth;  her bright beautiful light flits about all over the place!

We have received wonderful help. 


It would be remiss of me not to give thanks and credits to the people who have been directly involved in our work of the past 9 days. We began on Sunday, June 7th with the erection of an enormous tent covering the beautiful octagonal concrete base previously laid by Greg Farrington, David Hylton and the team from Entech.  Solo-Rent-A-Tent  generously supplied and carefully erected the large tent at a much reduced price to the Community. Judy Hopen from Labyrinth Enterprises flew into our Island to instruct our volunteers in the exact execution of this creation.  Judy is not only a delightful person but an incredibly gifted and knowledgeable Labyrinth Artiste Extraordinaire who has personally produced over 900 Labyrinths around the World!  Judy was given free accommodation at Bell Channel Inn.  Our grateful thanks to Liz



Dear Peachie Tianva from the Mail Drop who dealt with the shipping (including the cost) of artistic materials.  Water was provided in abundance by Sunny Isles and lovely lunches at Banana Bay by Toni and Danny. Respirators were donated by Grand Bahama Shipyard. Weights were generously loaned to us by Jenny Whylly of G.B. Fitness, and a wide variety of materials and help was provided by Larry Nelson of Dolly Madison. Electrical work and fittings, coolers, scrapers, leaf-blower, leads, and a miscellany of invaluable items were provided by many friends in the Community too numerous to name.   You know who you are, and so do we.  Bless you for so generously providing for our immediate needs.


Our wonderful team of volunteers came and executed all manner of jobs from scraping to taping (very exactly!);  sweeping and scrubbing, to power-cleaning; mixing and lifting (very heavy containers, 78lbs!) ; covering and masking; plastering and detailing; washing, conveying, goforing and even moving water and drying concrete with fans, blowers and, even hair-dryers - all in conditions which were sometimes incredibly difficult.   We had days when our protective covering gave way under the weight of water and we were totally drenched;  we worked in high humidity under the tent roof in company with mosquitoes, millipedes, centipedes, spiders, curly-tails and other garden creatures who wanted to walk the path before it was finished!  We worked with knee pads, but still developed blisters after hours of kneeling on concrete....but everyone felt blessed in the work! 


Everyone was totally focused and followed instructions to the letter;  all who were able, returned after a first visit. Our youngest helper was aged seven and our eldest was  seventy.


I feel these special Illuminators deserve a mention (not in any particular order because everyone gave light to the path): Judy Hopen (our leader); Susan Mackay; Fiona Mackay; Dylan Mackay; Dimetri; Michelle Hanson; Joanne Parotti (Garden Path Chicken); Penny Richards; Sol Lopez; June Henderson; Claudette Dean; Lee Turnquest; Dee Anna Kennedy; Donnah Blake; Tohni Blower; Kayla Waugh; Tanya Eustrom; Christina Eustrom; Anne Marie Koster; Rakhee Laberge; Del Foxton; Sandra Huizer; Ruth Williams; Angelika Christie; Nicole LeBlanc; Charlton Smith; Claudine Thomas; Paula Farrington; Caitlin Farrington; Paul Sullivan; Gwen Sullivan, Robbin Whachell and Dave Mackey.


I thank you all, as I also thank all of our heavenly Labyrinth Angels.  I look forward to meeting you all again, and often, on the beautiful path edged in a rich cobalt blue - the colour of healing and of grace.


This is only the beginning;  we need funding to cover the many expenses so far incurred and to continue the work in this special Healing Garden.  We also need Gardening Volunteers, Stones, Rocks, Engravers and Plants.  We need them fast before the heavy rains set in.  This is a very special project.  Let's continue to work together as a Community.  Let's enjoy the beauty of the creation and let's proudly present it to the World.  I am arranging for it to be on the World Wide Locator in company with over 2000 Labyrinths around to Globe.  This will be the first in The Bahamas."


Barbara Chester - barb.chester@gmail.com    OR   grandbahamalabyrinth@gmail.com   Telephone 242.373.6026



Related Links:

Grand Bahama Labyrinth Announced

An Introduction to the Labyrinth

A Labyrinth Experience

Streaming Video - The Return of The Garden of the Groves

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