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Columns : Letters to The Editor Last Updated: Sep 23, 2018 - 3:52:39 PM


28,000+ Signatures for preservation of Lighthouse Point
By Joseph Darville Chairman, Save The Bays
Sep 23, 2018 - 3:47:36 PM

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Dear Editor:

I will be most grateful if you can publish this:

28,000+ Signatures Cry Out for Preservation of Lighthouse Point, Asking to Give Island Jewel Away is Like Asking Me to Hand Over a Child

I am a man and I cry. There, I have said it.

I cry for the inhumanity of human against human. I cry for all the parts and parcels of The Bahamas that Bahamians do not have access to.

Please, please do not make Lighthouse Point one of them.

Every time I learn of a little piece of this beautiful archipelago that is being developed without kind and gentle care for its future, I am torn between wanting to scream and shedding another tear.  Like others who support Save The Bays, I am not anti-development. But development must be done by with care by those who care. It must be sensitive to the environment and sustainable for the future. Its footprint must be acceptable.

At this moment in time, there is no area under more of a threat than Lighthouse Point and Lighthouse Beach in South Eleuthera. Disney Cruise Lines wants to buy either the 700-acre parcel or some substantial portion thereof to create a private destination for its passengers. I cannot blame Disney. Lighthouse Point is one of the most breathtaking places on the face of God’s green earth and that is only one reason why it must be preserved for Bahamians. It is also one of the highest elevations and with climate change and the accompanying sea level rise, researchers far wiser than I predict that many of our islands may be underwater in less than a century, making it even more critical to preserve key high elevation places for future generations.

Fifty, 80 or 100 years from now, our great grandchildren and theirs may be searching for high land or living on the sea. And where will Disney be then? Will it have abandoned its pretty little piece of paradise like Gold Rock did when it finished the Disney movie, Pirates of the Caribbean, and left structures to rust, like a diseased ghost town in Grand Bahama?   

If you do not care about one senior citizen activist like me who wants to save Lighthouse Point, there are 28,382 other reasons, every one of them a person who cared enough to sign the petition as of 5 pm on September 17, 2018. It is the largest petition in Bahamas history so far as I can tell. Before this, Save The Bays had amassed the most signatures with more than 7,000 for a broad spectrum of environmental measures. Bahamians are not great petition signers. We would rather go on radio and talk or complain to anyone in general. But the children from a school in South Eleuthera who are leading part of Save Lighthouse Point drive and the crush of people signing every few seconds is jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring. Consider it relative to other drives. An oil pollution petition attracted 1,400 signatures, an anti-Oban Energies petition got 550 signatures. Save Lighthouse Point is at 28,000 and climbing.  

28,000+ signatures – Mr. Prime Minister and those who we elected to represent us, hear the voices of those who penned that petition and do the right thing. Not because one old man does not want to shed another tear for another piece of The Bahamas that will be lost. There are plenty of places to create a cruise ship play area, including right across the harbour from where the ships dock in Nassau or in Grand Bahama. But not at Lighthouse Point. Please, Mr. Prime Minister, save Lighthouse Point for Bahamians and anyone who wants to visit and leave that craggy, rocky, green hills and white sand beaches canvas of Nature just as they found it, taking only memories of the beauty with them.  

Joseph Darville
Chairman, Save The Bays
September 17, 2018.

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